Tips for Painting and Finishing Fired Clay Projects

(If your projects were air dried go here for painting and finishing tips.)

Returned projects from The Clay Teacher are fired in the kiln but remain fragile. Please remind your students they will break easily. If a student's project has had pieces separate in firing (and we can't figure out how they go back together), they will be taped together and can be glued back on once the project is returned. A glue gun usually works best. Acrylic paint also makes a great glue.

Before the students begin painting their project we suggest a few minutes of visualization and planning take place before they begin to paint. (There are illustrated painting tips here.)

Acrylic Paints Provide a Simple One Step Finish

We suggest you begin by painting the background and large items first. Possibly one single colour for the whole piece. For instance white for polar bears. Once the base colour has dried (it will only take a few minutes) smaller details can be added.

If your school does not have acrylic paints they can be purchased from art and craft supply stores. They are available in a variety of colours.Younger children especially will require some supervision to protect clothing.

A good low odour paint on gloss sealer is DecoArt Triple Thick, mixed one part water to three parts sealer. Low odour Krylon® spray on gloss sealer is also a good product for applying a gloss coat at the finish.

Tempera Paints or Felt Markers are a Good Two Step Finish. Spray or paint with the sealer for a gloss sealed finish.

Any water based paint or marker can be used on the returned project. For picture frames and other projects with small details permanent markers sometimes work best. This should then be followed by a low odour clear coat spray, applied by an adult. The advantage of water based paints is they are easier to clean up, but they do require more handling because of the extra step. A variation would be to use a glitter spray instead of the clear coat.

To Dress Up or repair a Project Use a Hot Glue Gun

For added sparkle or decoration the students may want to add string hair, dry flowers, faux jewels, picture cut outs, or other items. Sometimes a project may break while being handled. Repairs can usually be made with the use of a glue gun.

Pack the Project Carefully for the Trip Home

Please wrap the projects carefully in paper to ensure they make the trip home safely in the paper bags provided. NO BACKPACKS!!!