Air-drying clay is a versatile form of clay used for modeling sculptures and other objects.
The thing with air-drying clay is that it is not waterproof. Hence, you will have to use varnish for preventing the finished item from cracking. Damp clay will cause the paint to smudge thereby ruining your art piece.
While you are trying to paint air-dry clay, you need to make sure that you are using quality paint which is apt for the clay type.
So, what kind of paint is most suitable for air-dry clays? Acrylic paints are great for air-dry clay. Tempera and other craft paints are also suitable, but may not produce as durable or quality results as acrylic paints.
Acrylic paints are perfect. On the other side, oil markers can take a long time to dry and it will also smudge easily. Read on for more information to help you choose the best paint for your project.
The Best Paints For Air-Dry Clay
It is best to seal regular air-dry clays. Permanent paints serve as a sealer naturally. Acrylic paints are available in varying thicknesses, qualities, and pigment loads. If you want to fire your clay after painting, then it is best not to use regular paints.
You need to wait until your piece is completely dried. Choose the best quality paints such as tempera or acrylic for painting air-dry clay. You can also use poster paint depending on your preferences.
Some paint colors become permanent upon drying and some will require sealing for preventing bleeding or from reacting upon coming in contact with moisture.
Finding a suitable paint for coloring your art pieces can be confusing sometimes. Hence, we have compiled a list of the best paints available for air-dry clay.
|Arteza Craft Acrylic Paint
|Artist-quality acrylic paint with matte finish
|S&S Worldwide Acrylic Paint Assortment
|Quick-drying, kid-friendly acrylic paint set
|Liquitex Basics Acrylic Paint Set
|Artist-quality, non-fading acrylic paints
|Delta Creative Paint Pots Set
|Non-toxic, quick-drying mini acrylic paints
|Jacquard Pearl Powder Pigments
|Shiny metallic pigment additive
You can go through the reviews below and consider the pros and cons of each brand to pick the most suitable paints for your project.
1. Arteza Craft Acrylic Paint
This acrylic paint set offers endless possibilities to both hobbyists and professionals. The set comprises of 20 vivid colors.
You will receive both primary and complementary colors in the kit. Fluorescent colors are also included in the kit along with gold and silver.
Arteza craft paint set is ideal for painting air-dry clay craft pieces. It is easy to clean up and is non-toxic as well. This multipurpose paint can also be used on paper, ceramics, fabrics, rocks, glass, and wood. The paint comes with quick-drying properties and thus saves you from waiting for a long time for it to dry.
These paints can be combined with a pouring medium. These are quick to blend and allow you to create the most unique colors for your crafts. You can create stunning custom shades with the set. These paints are non-toxic and AP-certified.
- Multipurpose craft acrylic paint set
- Colors dry with a matte finish
- AP-certified nontoxic
- Conforms to EN71 and ASTM D-4236 standards
- 100 percent guarantee on quality by the manufacturers
- Blends smoothly thereby offering optimal surface coverage
- Can be used on a variety of surfaces
- Fast-drying formula and easy cleanup
- Good texture and consistency
- Set includes two metallic paints which have a rich shimmer
- Some colors appear transparent and require multiple layers
2. S&S Worldwide Acrylic Paint Assortment
This non-toxic, multipurpose acrylic paint is bright and rich. It is fast-drying and can be used on various surfaces such as plastic, paper, wood, and canvas.
This 8-color assortment set of 8 oz bottles will deliver delightfully opaque, permanent color to any art piece.
The flip-top bottles are easy to squeeze. The paints are easy to mix and the colors are also rich in texture. The set promises great value and is easy to wash off from the skin.
- High-quality paint available in vibrant colors
- 8-color assortment set
- Each paint is available in 8 oz. capacity
- Easy to open flip-top bottles
- Great for kids or hobbyists
- Fast drying and non-toxic
- Opaque permanent color
- Works well on multiple surfaces such as canvas, plaster, and wood
- Is a little thin
3. Liquitex Basics Acrylic Paint Set
The acrylic paint set is ideal for all creative work. Each color has been formulated uniquely and brings out clarity and brilliance of each pigment.
The paint has a buttery consistency and is easy to merge. The paint has medium viscosity and can be expanded to 72 colors. It is ideal for color mixing and the set is AP-certified.
Liquitex uses the highest quality pigments while manufacturing the product. The fine art pigments are ground using reinforced ceramic beads. This set is economical and covers large areas pretty easily.
The color pigments in this set have passed extensive tests. The colors are stable and do not fade. This medium viscous paint is available in a single consistency and is highly versatile. It is quite easy to work with. Each color has its own character. Some of them are opaque, while others fall in the semi-opaque category.
- Great color development, brightness, and strength
- Is a versatile paint set
- Is available in a range of opacities
- Shade, tint, and undertone can be adjusted
- Color pigments used have passed extensive tests
- Available in medium consistency
- Formulated with highest quality pigments
- Dries quickly and sticks almost to any surface
- Offers the perfect balance of economy and quality
- Colors do not fade
- Few paint tubes are watery whereas a few are viscous
4. Delta Creative Paint Pots Set
This set features specially formulated paint which is fade-resistant and weatherproof. It is available in a variety of colors. The easy one-step application makes it the preferred choice of many hobbyists and professionals.
This Delta paint set can be used to paint a variety of hard surfaces including concrete, plaster, terra cotta, and wood. This high-quality product is quite versatile and allows for painting on any surface such as rigid plastic, ceramic, tin, wood, glass, and much more.
The classic original formula of delta products helps one create durable and vibrant painted craft pieces. The formula is creamy and rich and offers consistent coloring and excellent coverage over porous surfaces.
You can paint complex or simple designs with a variety of finishes such as metallic, matte, glitter, satin, and a lot more. You can finish the final product with a good quality sealant offered by the brand.
- Is available in popular color combinations
- Can be used on a variety of hard surfaces
- Non-toxic paint and safe to use
- Specially formulated colors
- Easy one-step application
- Weatherproof and fade-resistant
- Dries very fast
- Is quite stable
- The quantity in the paint pots may be too little for some purposes
- Lids may be hard to open
5. Jacquard Pearl Powder Pigments
If you want your art pieces to be the center of attention with a shimmery color base, then you need to invest in this set of pigments.
To be clear, these are pigments to add to other paints or media, but they’re so luminous we thought they deserved to make the list anyway. You can always invest in a simpler paint set and mix some of these shiny pigments with it.
Add luminous colors to your pottery work with this paint set. You can also incorporate these into acrylics, oil, varnishes, gouache, or any other medium.
This color set can be sealed once it dries. It has been made from powdered mica. The tarnish and the rustproof pigment, being stable, are suitable for various applications.
It can also be coated on a pottery piece and fired at 600ºF. This nontoxic color set comprises of the following colors: copper, brass, blue, silver, gold, and white.
- Can be incorporated in varnishes, gouache, acrylics, oil and in a viscous medium
- Is non-toxic
- Comes in a 0.75-ounce bottle
- Offers a metallic finish
- Conforms to ASTM D-4236
- Made from powdered mica
- Can be sealed upon drying
- Can be fired at 600ºF
- Is tarnish and rustproof pigment
- Is stable and highly colorfast
- Ideal for pottery work, collages, and paintings
- It is quite difficult to manage the fine powder
Related Painting Questions
Can these paints be used on a ceramic pot that has already been painted? Yes, these work well in painting ceramic items that have been painted, especially if the original paint was also acrylic or a craft/poster paint such as tempera. It may be difficult to paint over a glaze, however.
Can I paint something made with air-dry clay before it’s dry? You need to leave the clay to dry entirely before painting. Air-dry clay does not react with water. So once it has hardened, there is no way you can modify anything – which means you can paint it without altering it by accident.
If you want to add colors to your pottery work designed from air-dry clay, then you need to use suitable paint products for the purpose. There are plenty of options available in the market. Acrylic paints work best for air-dry clay products.
If you choose paints with good consistency and stability, then you will not have to opt for a sealant. In some cases, you will have to make use of sealants. You can choose one from our recommendations if you are not sure of which brand to decide on.
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