How To Choose The Right Brush for Glazing Polymer Clay

How To Choose The Right Brush for Glazing Polymer Clay

Hi guys, its Cindy Lietz, your Polymer Clay
Tutor, and today’s Studio Tip, I’m gonna show you how to choose the right brush for adding
glazes to Polymer Clay. Now, first of all, what I’m gonna do is explain
to you a little bit about brushes and what are the right types. There’s a few different types out there, and
a lot of people, when they’re adding glazes to Polymer Clay, they get streaks in it, they
have little hairs falling out, they’re having issues with getting a nice, smooth finish
and part of it is because of the type of the brush that you’re buying. Now when you’re ever working…well, most
of the time when you’re working with Polymer Clay, you’re going to be using finishes like
these ones back here, we’ve got Sculpey Glaze… it’s not really my favorite, but there’s some
of these other ones here, Golden Varnishes, I like to use the Golden Glazing Medium it’s
a great one, there’s also Liquitek’s Matte Varnish, some people still use Future and
I’ve also used Minwax Polyurethane, now… and…there’s lots of them trust me, but most
of them are water based, which means that you need to use a synthetic brush. Now, there’s a couple of different kinds,
I’ve got a package of brushes here, these are synthetic brushes and these are the natural
bristle brushes, now they come in lots of different shapes and sizes, both types do. The synthetic ones…being synthetic means
it’s man made, which means it’s basically kind of like a nylon or… type fiber, and
the natural bristles are made of different types of animal hair, this one actually happens
to be a camel hair brush…poor camel, but anyways and they’re… Synthetics are used with water based products,
because the bristles won’t swell up, and they…in the water, and so they’ll handle the water
quite nicely if they’re synthetic. The natural bristle brushes are used for oil
based products, oil based products, and their solvents to clean them up and stuff, will
melt the synthetic brushes, but on the natural bristles, they will…the oils and things
will work like… kinda like your hair, and it kind of moisturizes it and stuff, so its…there’s
a reason why you use the 2 different types of brushes. There’s also different types of brushes for
the…that are different shapes… that was easy for me to say, so this is what would
be called a flat brush and it’s perfect for varnishing flat areas and it’s great for varnishes
and finishes and glazes…I’ll talk about that in a sec. There are also round shaped brushes, these
are not that great of a shape for doing flat surfaces or even adding glazes, because it
just comes to too much of a point, this is more for painting and doing details and different
types of strokes and things. There also is different types of… I don’t know what they call it in brushes,
I’m not an expert in brushes, but there are fine bristles and coarser bristles, these
ones are quite coarse. If you use a really coarse bristle brush on
a glaze, you’re gonna leave a lot of streaks in the finish, these super fine ones, the
bristles are just so, so, so fine that when they go across your project, and this actually
happens to be a little Polymer Clay painting…the whole painting is done in Polymer Clay, and
I’ll put the finish on it in a second, but when you’re running across a finish like this…
or a surface like this, these little tiny bristles won’t leave any brush strokes, whereas
a coarse bristle brush like this will, and then if you’re using something like a round
brush, you’re just gonna get a little point at the end, it’s really not that effective,
okay? Even rounder surfaces, like a whole bunch
of beads, will work nicely with the flat brush, and you can leave them on their bead pins
and just run your finish over the brush…I mean brush it over your beads and things like
that, and then put them on the rack to dry. Obviously, big sponge brushes aren’t gonna
be very effective, they’ll leave streaky marks and that kind of thing, plus they load up
with a lot of finish which you’re gonna have to wash out later, these are better for
different types of projects, alright? I got this package of 10 different flat brushes,
some of them are angled brushes, some of them… there’s a couple of round ones in there, but
they’re a really nice little set, multipurpose synthetic and these, I got at Michaels for…quite
inexpensive, I actually can’t remember the price but just about anyone of these brushes
would work great, the larger the brush you can use, the less brush strokes you need to
cover the surface and the better you’ll get…finish for it. So I would use this larger brush out of the
pack to put a coating on this little painting here…oh and I should say one more little
thing about the different synthetics, this one is White Synthetic, this is also synthetic,
it just happens to be in a color so it has a little bit more of a natural bristle look
to it, but it’s actually a synthetic, so usually it’ll say on the package, but watch out for
that as well, okay. So I’m gonna just use some glazing medium
on here, I quite like this glazing medium, generally, I sand and buff my pieces, but
sometimes, you’re not gonna sand and buff like this… with this little painting that
I’m working on…I’m gonna be doing a tutorial on it soon and I’m just gonna put a little
bit of this glaze on here, and just use my brush and spread it on, I will go into all
the surfaces, I don’t want it all puddling up on my piece, but you can see…especially
with a light stroke that you won’t have any brush strokes, once I work it in here. So I’ll just get it on, spread it over the
whole surface… I’m having quite a bit a fun figuring out
this tutorial, its…I’ve done paintings before, but never this tiny and never with only Polymer
Clay, so it gives you the opportunity to get quite a bit of dimension and things to the
piece, because Polymer Clay is also dimensional, but you can also spread it out and blend it
and do some really cool things. So I would just do this until I got it nice
and clean looking, I don’t want it puddling up, and this particular glaze…I’ll have
to do a review on it sometime soon, it goes on kinda milky, and then it dries nice and
clear with a nice gloss on it. So there we go, that’s how you do that, and
then you want to always clean your brushes, it’s super important, clean them really well,
I have a little drop of Dawn dish soap in here…in this water, and you clean your brushes
right away, you don’t wanna let it harden in there. Then you want to just always just pinch the
top of it, and reshape your brushes and let them dry that way, then they’ll always stay
in great shape. If you don’t do it… like the kids weren’t
doing with this one, look at it, it gets all frayed and wrecked looking pretty quick, and
then it’s very difficult to get a nice clean finish with that…or a smooth finish, so…oh
and if you do ever end up leaving paint in your bristles, you can clean them with rubbing
alcohol, it’ll break down the old acrylic paint, it doesn’t work with oil paints, you’ll
have to use the turpentine and everything, but the acrylic paint, you can break it down
with rubbing alcohol, get it cleaned, but it is hard on the bristles, it’s kinda like
putting something harsh in your hair and stripping it out, so you can…it’ll clean and you can
kinda save them, but it is hard on it, so you don’t wanna do it on a regular basis. So I hope that was helpful for you, and that
you learned a lot of great tips from this video. And if you have any other suggestions or things
that you would like me to show you in the future, that would be great. And chances are, if you have a question about
Polymer Clay, I’ve probably already done a video on it, so you’ll wanna make sure to
check it out and see if we’ve done a video, and if not make sure to suggest the video,
so that we can make sure that every answer is getting…every question is getting answered,
alright? So we’ll see you next time and bye for now.

36 thoughts on “How To Choose The Right Brush for Glazing Polymer Clay

  1. Id like to know color making recipe's for translucent clays, like mixing opaque polymer clay with translucent clays and or alcohol inks mixed in translucent clays. But it all coming down to a scale from opaque to translucent. 

    Oh, i'm not working on anything with translucent wet (but some are on my list), but can you show the difference between translucent clays that haven't been dumped in ice cold water compared to translucent's that have?

  2. Thank you a lot for this video! I didn't know the dirfferende between the 2 types of brushes. And I'm not very happy with the glaze I use, so I'll try using this PCT ^-^

  3. Hi Cindy
    This is Very useful  I have been using synthetic brushes & still get streaks.  It may be that I need finer bristles.

  4. I was going to make a joke saying do I see polymer paintings in our future, then you said it  would be an upcoming tutorial.  I was totally SOL – SINGING OUT LOUD!!!!  LOL!  Can't wait.  Thanks for all the info on the brushes.  :o)

  5. What's your opinion on Fimo Glaze .vs Sculpey ? I always used Sculpey but I somehow lost my little jar of gloss glaze and I bought a Fimo glaze for the larger jar. Fimo seems more watery and doesn't glaze well in my opinion.

  6. Oh, Cindy, I must tell you, I so look forward to seeing you've posted a new video but I also dread it because I know you're going to show me something that I MUST have in my life.  I've just gone on a Lucy Clay Tools binge, and I have to say the baking tray has COMPLETELY changed my polymer clay baking experience. In my convection oven, I don't need anything else, it's amazing. The extruder is the BEST, it is so freeing to use a tool that you don't have to be so careful with.  Thanks so much for sharing your finds with us. 

  7. Nice varnish tips. I am curious to see your painting tutorial. I have done a couple little pendants for myself using a polymer clay painting technique.

    – Heidi

  8. Hey Cindy, I know you have a tutorial on making a felt buffing wheel (not the one that you sew) but, I was wondering if you would make a mini tutorial on how to make that?  I've been watching your videos, and others, on the Jooltool and though I would LOVE to get one it's not in the budget right now.  Thank you.

  9. Which Golden Medium is best for polymer beads? Can I use the Acrylic Glazing gloss medium to add shine on my beads please?

  10. +polymerclaytutor hello i want to ask you something my glaze is quite thin and wattery and i don't know if that's the problem but when i start glazing i get air bubbles and it almost looks like i glaze it whit soap haha.i use a round brush (a not natural brush) so if you know what's the problem please help!

  11. Another great way to clean the brushes…not as hard as alcohol but with alcohol as an ingredient…hand sanitizer works wonders! If I have been interrupted and leave my brushes in water (I use just water; I'll have to try the Dawn) and even if they for whatever reason become dried with paint, I can leave them soak in hand sanitizer for a day or so and then work it into the bristles and wind up with what might be mistaken for a brand new brush!

  12. I keep ending up with teeny tiny black hairs on my projects ( end tables , night stands, small dressers..) after I glaze or varnish them 😁 Sometimes I get one coat looking good and clean but then the second will have them, so many too!I seem to only be able to use a new brush one or two times for glazing, when I try to use the brushes again they leave the hairs no matter how I clean them ( I use water & dish soap) Is dust in the air getting on my brushes? Where is it coming from?!? I'm so frustrated any advice would be great

  13. I recently purchased premo polymer clay and I baked a charm that was mostly red, when I went to glaze it the color leaks on my brush and stained all of the other lighter colors on my charm. is it the clay or my glaze?

  14. Thank you for this video.  No wonder my pieces are streaky!  I have been using the wrong brushes.  Thank you for showing where I have gone wrong.  Love your videos — so informative and helpful.

  15. I made my first pair of polymer clay earring after watching your videos !yay!, but when I put the sculpt glaze on they came out streaked. Can they be salvaged?😣

  16. Thanks for this video! I want to glaze my work when I’m finished and I would hate to have brush bristles or brush marks in it. My local Michael’s still carry the 20 piece White Bristle paintbrush set by Artist's Loft for $15 so I will be picking one up.

    UPDATE: I just came from Michael’s and those brushes didn’t look anything like yours or the website. Seems like after 3 years they have cheapen them. The bristles looked rough and uneven. Anyway, I stumbled across Martha Stewart’s Premium Synthetic white Bristle brushes and I grabbed them. The Bristles look like Silk and they are very fine and cut evenly.

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