Can You Use Poster Paints for Polymer Clay?

Can I use poster paints for my polymer clay is a common question frequently asked by crafters. When the question of applying paint to polymer clay projects comes, you may often wonder what paints are appropriate to choose. As poster paint is familiar to us from our childhood, we want to use it in our craft projects.

So, Can you use poster paints for polymer clay? The answer is Yes, you can use poster paint for polymer clay, but there is a catch. 

Read the article, and you will learn the problems you may face when using poster paints on polymer clay. 

Poster Paints for Polymer Clay

Using poster paints for Polymer Clay: What you need to know

Poster paints are water-based paint. This paint is specially used on paper, and that’s why it has a different drying process. So, using it on clay surfaces is difficult. Moreover, poster paints are water-soluble and have additional longevity than oil paints. 

Poster paint is the most adored paint because it is the paint everyone uses during school days. To bring the Leonardo out of us, we all used poster paints back in our school days. 

So, if you use poster paints on polymer clay, you need to seal it with a good finish; otherwise, the paint may peel off. Poster paints also known as tempera paints are not permanent, so if your polymer clay gets exposed to water later, the paint will not stick to the surface.  

Paint On Polymer Clay

Poster paint will not provide you with a glossy finish on the surface. So, you may want to use other types of color instead of poster paint, such as acrylic paint, as they are water-based and dry quickly. You can use multiple layers successively on the surface within a brief period with acrylic paint.

Experts often suggest using artist-feature acrylic paint on polymer clay to get beautiful views of the clay models. But if you want to save some pennies on your polymer clay projects, you can definitely use poster paint. This paint is cheaper and available on all crafters’ shelves.

Besides being cheap, poster paint is also non-toxic. So it is a better choice for children’s art. You have children at home, and using poster paint on their painting projects is not a threat to them. 

How to protect poster paint on Polymer clay?

Polymer clay is made of vinyl plastic, and that’s why it is difficult to put paint on them as its surface is not absorbent, unlike paper or canvas (for which most of the paints are produced). 

To make your poster paint stay a long time on polymer clay, if not permanently (which is not likely to happen), you need to follow some proper steps. Firstly, you need to sand the surface to get better adhesion. Make sure to use high-grit sandpaper and sand the surface gently. 

Use a sealer. There are different types of sealer that you can choose to make your paint stick on the clay. 

You can use Acrylic paint sealer or other spray paint sealer on the surface to make the paint stay on the sculpture, which can protect your clay models from water and scratches. Make sure the clay is completely dry before you apply sealer on it because a wet surface will ruin the paint if you use an artist-grade sealer. 

You can also apply varnish on the paint to make the paint stay on the surface of the polymer clay. However, choosing a high-end varnish to protect the paint would be best. Because varnish also comes with different issues. 

Make sure to apply the varnish after the first layer of paint is applied. If the color starts peeling off, varnishing it will not be of any use. Varnish works well only when you apply it before applying multiple layers of paint. 

To make it even easier, apply paint on raw polymer clay before baking it in the oven. There is not any problem with baking polymer clay with paint on it. 

Helpful Tips for Poster paint

If you are using poster paint, some helpful tips can help you throughout the process. Here are some given below.

Prepare your paint on a palette; if you have kids around when you are painting, it is better to use a non-spills tray. Some trays come with sections for each color and an area where you can mix all the colors to get vibrant new colors and tones. 


Choosing the right brush for poster paint is also important. To get a striking result out of your painting, use a long-handled brush. And don’t forget to choose a brush that is suitable for all sizes of hands. If you are working with budding artists, that will come in handy. 

Most poster paints are washable. So, you need not worry about your clothes if you get paint on them. But removing stains of some specific brands from clothes is a rigorous job. So, try putting on old clothes or how about the clothes you are about to put in the bins. 

Polymer Clay Paint


What Paint To Use On Polymer Clay?

The best option to use on polymer paint is water-based acrylic paint. You can use acrylic paint after baking and before baking the polymer clay. But if you paint the clay before baking, the paint may change color, and the color will set in your oven. That’s why it is better to paint the clay after baking.

Can You Paint Polymer Clay With Watercolors?

Yes, you can use watercolors on polymer clay. Putting watercolor on polymer clay is challenging but is not undoable, just like poster paint. You must follow the proper process and have the patience to work it on.

Can You Color Polymer Clay With Paint?

Yes, you can color polymer clay with paint. The best option is to use Acrylic paint, but you can also use poster paint. However, there are some colorful polymer clays that you can buy if you want to avoid painting on the polymer clay.

The Bottom Line

Using poster paint on polymer clay is complex, and that’s true. But with the proper process, determination, and patience, you can surely use poster paints for polymer clay. And to get your paint to stay on the surface of the clay, use a proper sealer and prepare the surface properly. Thus you will be able to use poster paint on the polymer clay and get a better result out of it.