papier glaze and lacquers

   This is  a Write up by  Jeanne Rhea  to read more visit her web site .   http://artfortheheart.blogspot.com/2007/03/clear-dimensional-glazes-or-finishes.html

Glossy Accents, A Clear Dimensional Embellishment by Ranger is labeled “Dries to a hard clear, glossy finish.” Drying time is 15-60 minutes according to the amount applied.
These are the results from my tests:
1. The drying time can be as long as five to seven days depending on the thickness of the application.
2. Out of five pieces, three are still cloudy after five days. Two have thinner layers of Glossy Accents and became clear on the fifth day.
3. Bubbles can appear out of nowhere. A pin with a bead head or the eye end of a large needle works to pull the bubble to the edge. If almost dried, it may be impossible to pull the bubble to the edge. Touching a fingertip to the surface can pop this type of bubble. If surface is damaged when trying to pop the bubble, it may be possible to dampen a fingertip and smooth the surface. Wait to dry and then apply more of the finish.
4. The finish’s hardness rating from 1-5 is about a 2.5 once it is completely cured. It can be scratched, but if care is taken, it should hold up under normal use.
5. If using any inks such as Pinata or other alcohol inks, they may bleed. One piece that had a charm stained with Pinata ink had bleeding. Some of the tiny holeless glass beads also bleed. Other holeless beads do not so I believe this to be specific to the type of bead and not necessarily due to the finish.
6. Advantage is that no toaster oven, heat gun or melting pot is needed to use this product.

Lisa Pavelka’s Poly-Glaze is labeled as a “One-step Dimensional Glaze for Polymer Clay” and is “Crystal Clear, Gloss Finish, Quick Drying.” An extra sticker on the bottle provides the following instructions. “Apply clear non-yellowing nail polish, Future or water-based Varathane to last dried coat.” This product is also made by Ranger.
From my tests, these are my observations:
1. This product appears to be identical to Glossy Accents. Both are made by Ranger, but I suspect the Poly-Glaze was made to market specifically to polymer clay artists. They have almost identical information on the labels and product information on the web sites.
2. Out of seven pieces, five are still cloudy after five days. Two have thinner layers of glaze and are almost clear.
3. This product has bubbles very similar to Glossy Accents. Some of the bubbles are very tiny and they appear on the surface days after sitting and when they appeared to be past the bubble developing stage. The same method is used as for the Glossy Accents to remove bubbles if not cured.
4. Hardness appears to be about a 2.5 out of a scale of 1-5. I suspect the extra instructions to apply a clear non-yellowing nail polish or another finish on top of the last dried coat is to protect the finish from scratching. (Polymer clayers tend to be a testing/experimenting lot and I suspect the additional instructions are specifically to solve this problem.)
5. If using any inks such as Pinata or other alcohol inks, they may bleed. One piece that had a charm stained with Pinata ink had bleeding. Some of the tiny holeless glass beads also bled. Othe holeless beads do not so I believe this to be specific to the type of bead.
6. Advantage is that no toaster oven, heat gun or melting pot is needed to use this product.

Aleene’s Paper Glaze for dimensional designs and laminating is marketed as non-yellowing, acid-free, non-toxic and dries to a hard, nontacky glass-like finish that accentuates design details and won’t run. Drying time depends on the amount used.
My results from this product:
1. After three days, the glaze is even cloudier than when first applied. It is almost completely dried. No image can be seen and it is not a clear glass like glaze.
2. Air bubbles appeared out of no where and were quite large. I popped them and the glaze filled in before curing or drying.
3. I removed the product from one bottlecap to see if I could tell what was happening to the image. It appears that it is bleeding terribly.
4. I assume that this product should be applied only in very thin layer and it in fact is not a product that works for this application.

Plaid Royal Coat Dimensional Magic is a dimensional clear finish. Instructions are to dry for three hours.
From my tests, these are my observations:
1. This product causes all ink jet images to bleed so bad that the images are unrecognizable.
2. All six pieces were still cloudy after two days, but were clearing on the third day. Unfortunately, the images were unrecognizable.
3. This product had few bubbles after the initial bubbles were popped or removed.
4. On a scale of 1-5, the hardness of this product is about two. Note: It may harden more the longer it cures.
5. The brass charms turned the area around the charm a green color and this area grew by the day.
6. Advantage is that no toaster oven, heat gun or melting pot is needed to use this product.

Judikins Diamond Glaze is labeled as a “Water-based Dimensional Adhesive.” Directions are to use directly over artwork for a raised glass-like clear finish.
From my tests, these are my observations:
1. This product dries very clear.
2. Out of twelve pieces, all were clear within two days and the thinner layered ones were clear and cured in less than one day.
3. This product had very few bubbles and none appeared out of nowhere after appearing to be fine.
4. Hardness appears to be about 3.5 out of a scale of 1-5. They can be scratched, but with more force than the previous three products. This may be due to the fact they have cured faster than the other products above.
5. The brass charms that I used had some slight greening. Some of the tiny holeless glass beads also bled. Some of the holeless glass beads do not bleed so I believe this to be specific to the type of bead.
6. Advantage is that no toaster oven, heat gun or melting pot is needed to use this product.
7. This product appears to be the best of the dimensional glazes that do not require heat.

Judikins Amazing Glaze instructions include dabbing embossing ink on areas to be glazed. Pour glaze over ink and return excess to jar. Melt with heat gun. For a thicker application, add more before glaze cools.”

I filled the bottle caps until full with the crystals. I used a toaster oven to melt the crystals. I would add more after the first layer melted if I decided that I wanted a thicker glaze. I did not use a Melting Pot for this product. I did not use embossing ink as the ink often damages the images that I use. Without using a heat gun, one does not have to worry about blowing the crystals all over and so the embossing ink is not needed.
These are the results from my tests:
1. This product dries with a slight golden or yellowish tinge. I used a low heat in my toaster oven so I do not believe that is the reason that it yellowed. I continued to turn down the oven until it no longer melted. It still had a slight yellowing. This can be an advantage according to the effect that one wishes.
2. Very few bubbles formed and it was easy to heat and reheat to get rid of bubbles. This product cures quickly and by the time you see a bubble and attempt to remove it, your needle may stick in the glaze. Heating it will release the needle.
3. The higher heats may be too high for embellishments in this glaze. I used plastic pieces and some lost their brilliance although not enough to ruin the pieces. The plastic embellishments did not melt. The watercolor papers turned darker.
4. Hardness is probably about a four on a scale of 1-5.
5. This is a fast project as it hardens or cures as soon as it cools. This can range from 10 minutes to 30 minutes depending on the temperature of the glaze and the room temperature.
6. The crystals in this product are not as evenly sized as the UTEE. I do not know if this is a disadvantage.
7. I did not test this product with the Melting Pot that I used with the UTEE below as I do not have a second pan. I suspect that Amazing Glaze would work very similar to the UTEE if used in a melting pot, but if it is not a very similar melting point, then it may not pour as well or work the same.
8. I tried to add a layer of melted UTEE to the top of Amazing Glaze to see how they worked together. The melting temperatures must be slightly different as they did not want to melt into each other and I could see a line between the two.
9. Since I used hot glue to adhere my images to the inside of the bottle caps, the heat from the oven can cause the hot glue to melt just enough for a corner to raise up. This did not happen with any bottle caps that I had used the holeless glass beads around the rim. It is easy to use a pin and press the image back down while the Amazing Glaze is warm and melted.

Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel or UTEE is similar to Judikins Amazing Glaze, but is finer and has a more consistent size grain. A melting pot is used to melt the UTEE.

I used the Ranger Melting Pot to melt the crystals. I poured the melted glaze into the bottle caps directly from the Melting Pot.

From my experiments, these are my results:
1. The less time in the melting pot and the lower the temperature, the clearer the UTEE will be when cured. This product acquires a warm golden color if left in the melting pot.
2. An advantage of this product is that the pouring of the melted UTEE allows just the right amount of cooling from the pan to the bottle cap so the UTEE builds up to a convex surface. Additional adding of crystals to the top layer is unnecessary and as long as pouring is consistent, this gives a nice rounded surface.
3. Out of 20 bottle caps, I had no bubbles. Pouring at a consistent rate and knowing when to pull back before overflowing the bottle cap requires some skill, but is quickly learned. If the surface is damaged before cooling, the bottle cap can be set into a toaster oven or a heat gun may be used to reheat and to smooth it. Add the crystals to the melting pot in a light dusting and allow to melt with no stirring. Stirring will cause bubbles. I did a test with UTEE that I had stirred and it was full of bubbles. They do not easily pop as UTEE sets up so fast that it has to be remelted to drag a large bubble to the edge.
4. Hardness is very good. I would estimate it the best out of all of the products.
5. This product gives consistent results.
6. This is a fast project as it hardens or cures as soon as it cools. This can range from 10 minutes to 30 minutes depending on the temperature of the glaze and the room temperature.
7. This product may be melted in a toaster oven or with a heat gun, but the Melting Pot gives more consistent results.
8. The images applied with the hot glue do not raise up when pouring the UTEE into the bottlecap. The hot glue probably does not melt enough to allow for it to release the paper when the UTEE is poured from the melting pot.

Fimo Gloss Lacquer
This is one of my favorite gloss finishes for polymer clay. I have used it on other materials and decided to try it for the bottle caps.
Although it is not marketed to use as a dimensional clear finish, it can be used with good results with patience.

When using it as if it were marketed as a dimensional finish (and it is not), these were my results.
1. It is the clearest, most transparent of all of the products. It never clouds from beginning to end.
2. If applied in thin layers, it will cure in a day. If poured into the bottle cap until filled, it may take up to two to three days to fully cure.
3. Once cured it is very hard. It is probably a four on a scale of 1-5.
4. Almost no bubbles and if you get a bubble it is easy to remove.
5. Product does not appear to damage images or change colors.
6. One disadvantage is that it is flammable and it has an odor and should be used in ventilated areas.
7. It is available in only 10ml bottles so one bottle will make only a few (5-6 based on other embellishments) bottle caps.
8. It takes several applications to get a dimensional quality.

I also tested several other products ranging from Future floor polish to Pearl-Ex Varnish to Waterbased Gloss Varnish by Fimo. None of these were marketed as dimensional products so they will not be listed with pros and cons. They did not work well. I tried several brands of two-part resins. I would not recommend them for anyone who does not have proper safety equipment. They are definitely not for children. Preferably they should only be used outdoors or with the best ventilation.

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