I added crushed micaceous (loaded with mica) rock from family land in South Dakota, and a few other things, to the Premo brand polymer clay. That’s why it’s so sparkly and, due to its refective nature, can appear darker or very light depending on how the light shines on it. You will see sparkles as well as flashes or glints as the pendants are moved.
The Backstory on the Micaceous Rock: https://www.flickr.com/photos/sari0009/19354330223/in/dateposted-..
Spelling — Viva Decor’s US office closed in 2015 and my bottle is labeled “Precious Metal Colour” because that is how the UK spells it. Many sites and blogs still use the US spelling (Precious Metal Color), you may notice.
This is a water-based paint. Precious Metal Colour gold colored paint, specifically, has larger glitter-like particles while the mica powder has super fine (!) particles. Alone, Pearl-Ex mica powder has orange-ish undertone by comparison. Alone, Previous Metal Color is a bit bright and silvery. Combined, the color is amazing and the larger particles of the paint aren’t glaringly evident.
So, I added a decent amount of Pearl Ex mica powder to Viva Decor “Precious Metal Colour.” Rule: With mica powder, less is more, meaning you start by adding very small amounts and adjust according to your liking. I found my mix pleasing as a 14 karat gold color.
This doctored up Viva Decor “Precious Metal Colour” acrylic/enamel paint was painted in 3 or 4 layers on an already baked Premo polymer clay mix.
The bezels were entirely painted with the paint while the figurative beads only had detail work painted.
All but one were heat-set at 275°F for 30 minutes. There was no visual or tactile difference between the baked and unbaked paint.
I couldn’t scratch the paint off with a fingernail once the paint was heat-set. The paint looks the most like real gold. I finally, after years of looking for a rather durable solution, now have a tremendous amount of confidence regarding gold detail work on my beads and pendants.
Although Varathane Gloss sealant is one of the top choices for sealing polymer clay, it’s water-resistant, not waterproof. I’d prefer not to have to seal my beads at all.
Acrylic Paints — Drying Time vs. Cured
Note: There is A difference between drying time in curing time. Drying time might occur within minutes or a few hours for acrylic paints while curing time might take a few days. This difference might help explain some problems with heat-setting acrylic paints a polymer clay.
I say it might help explain some of the problems because, according to Blue Bottle Tree, there was a correlation between painting the paint on raw polymer clay before heat-setting and the paint bubbling. This was dependent upon brand of acrylic paint and/or polymer clay, whether the clay was raw or cured, and other factors. For more information, see that Blue Bottle Tree blog post.
One Minor Problem to Solve
When removing these painted bezels from the glossy tile they were baked on, some of the gold paint stuck to the tile. There was enough paint remaining on the bezels so this wasn’t a problem but I’d would still prefer this not happen.
Perhaps baking on a silicone mat would improve things.