I’ve been fascinated by acrylic pouring for a while now and love watching all those YouTube videos, quite mesmerizing. So when a local artist advertised an acrylic pour workshop in Geraldton (my home town) I jumped at the chance. Hmmm now how could I possibly transfer some of these techniques to polymer clay. Now I looooooove creating art beads so that was my challenge.  I wanted to create an acrylic pour polymer clay veneer and then manipulate the veneer to create a bead. In this case, with the particular brand of paint I used, I had success, and with a little tweaking I think this technique could be taken alot further.

So let’s have a look at how I created some tube beads with an acrylic pour veneer.

Firstly I decided to use plain white clay – both kato and premo. I decided I would use a flow medium called Floetrol mixed with Ironlak Fluid Acrylics in one test and Ironlak Fluid Acrylics on their own in the other test.  I mixed 1 part Floetrol with 1 part fluid acrylic.

First I used the Ironlak Fluid Acrylics (with no additives) and poured straight from the bottle onto the raw clay.  Because the clay acts as a “resist” I moved the paint around with my finger to cover the entire piece of clay. Of course there was more paint than I needed so I let a little drip off the edge and by doing so I ended up with a nice marbled pattern.  By turning the tile in different directions you (kind of) control the paint flow.  You can also use a straw to blow the paint in different directions.  I did this with both Premo clay and Kato clay and didn’t notice much of a difference between the two.  The Ironlak Fluids are beautiful to use on raw clay and flowed well.  I then left them to dry.

Now to experiment with Ironlak Fluid Acrylics mixed with Floetrol (remember the ratio was 1:1).  I poured them straight from the little container onto the Kato raw clay and used my fingers again to “move” the paint around.  I also used a straw and I held the tile on a few different angles to create movement in the paint. For the Premo, I decided to pour the paint mix into a cup and then pour this directly onto the clay surface.  I moved it around a little with my finger and ended up with some really nice patterning.  I then left these to dry.

It’s a little difficult to see the difference between the two but the Floetrol/Paint mix had a much better flow and I ended up with some really interesting areas.

Let’s look a little closer.

Once all the paint was dry I noticed the surface of each one and the clay with Floetrol/paint mix dried matt.  The other dried shiny.

The next step was to create beads using these veneers.  The veneers were easily manipulated and I found this paint actually stretched beautifully with the clay.  Some I’ve tried haven’t worked like this so it was a nice surprise.

Next was to test the curing process and that all went well.  All the beads cured well and I have to point out here I put them all in the oven at once and cured at the recommended temp for Kato – actually it was probably a little higher and they all survived beautifully.  I did notice after curing however, the matt beads (or the beads with Floetrol/paint mix) ended up shiny.  This is a pic of them all out of the oven after curing.


The last step in creating these beads is, of course, sealing them.  I tried two with Kato liquid clay and cured with a heat gun and I tried two with PearlEx Varnish.  I have to say the Floetrol/Paint mix didn’t like the heat from the heat gun and you’ll note it actually discoloured the paint.  There’s a noticable difference and I didn’t really like it.  The varnish was a good option and there are probably many more sealers on the market that could be used – these are just the two I had on hand.  You can see the difference in these two beads in particular.   The one on the left is Floetrol/paint mix sealed with PearlEx Varnish and the one on the right is Floetrol/paint mix sealed with kato liquid clay and cured with a heat gun.

So in conclusion, I looooove playing around with acrylic paints on raw clay.  It’s kinda like marbling which I’ve always had a fascination for.  As I mentioned right at the beginning, there are many variables and so many different options here.  It’s all about working out what you like and what works for you.

So that’s it for today everyone.  I hope you enjoyed the post and don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter for more tips and tricks with polymer clay.

Thanks everyone. Bye for now.

Love Deb



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Kathy McCurry

Love your experimentation, Deb! I also read/saw when I was investigating this technique months ago that adding liquid silicone to the pour can create interesting ‘cellular’ areas where the paints resist the silicone and essentially break away. If anyone can make it work, You can! (ooops, just saw that Donna Haggerty had the same suggestion) 🙂

Christine Buss

Thanks for this, Debbie! A couple of notes about my own experimenting. I’ve been doing my pours on freezer paper. The smooth underside adheres really well to raw clay and – as you noted – it takes baking fine. I’ve been using DecoCraft paint. I did add small amounts of silicone to mine. I love the effects, but it can make it bumpy, to the point where (unless that’s the look you’re going for), it really needs resin. Some areas were fine, though. Oh, and the dry acrylic is difficult to cut with standard cutters. It’s both leathery and stretchy.… Read more »

Linda Esseltine
Linda Esseltine

You made excited to try this. Where can we get these paints?


Thank you so much for this effort Debbie! I have been fascinated with this process but neve thought it could be use on polymer clay. Your results and details of the process were incredible! You have now helpe my creative process! Love, Marilyn


These beads are so beautiful! I’m anxious to try this technique.

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