Metallic Powder Tips & Tricks
Courtesy of Houston Art, Inc.
"Authentic" Metallic Powders
Are metal, simple as that! They take on the characteristics of any medium they are mixed with. This versatile product will give you the true look of metal. Currently available in the following colors:
Characteristics of Metallic Powders
vAuthentic Metal Powders are metal and carry the characteristics of metal and retain the look and feel of metals.
vIf Authentic Metal Powders are left unsealed, Brass, Copper, Bronze, Antique Copper, Antique Brass, Oxidized Copper, and Statuary Bronze will patina or oxidize and give a rich antique look to your artwork.
vMetallic powders can be annealed in the oven. This works on items, which will not burn, at 300 degrees for 5 minutes. This technique lends itself well to polymer clay.
vAuthentic Metal Powders can be blended to create faux finished surfaces and create faux patinas.
vMixing Authentic Metal Powders with liquid mediums creates the consistency and look of metallic paint.
vMetallic powders will take on the characteristics of the medium they are mixed with, whether it is a gloss, flat, frosted, or iridescent finish.
Tips for Using Metallic Powders
vWork in a well ventilated area. (For added protection, wear a dust mask.)
vUse a small scoop or spoon to remove powder versus pouring the powders
from the jar.
vWhen using a brush to apply powders to a surface, use a damp brush. This keep the powder on the brush until application.
vWhen possible, mix metallic powders with liquid to liquefy the powders.
vMix metallic powders using a palette knife and powders a little a time to avoid clumping.
vOnly mix the amount that is going to be used immediately.
vWater in waterbased mediums will cause the metallic powders to tarnish if left in the liquid form.
Techniques with Polymer Clay, Air Dry Clay and Paper Clay
vDampen a soft brush. Dip the brush into metallic powders and brush on to uncured clay. Cure the clay following manufacturer's instructions. Let cool and seal with waterbase sealer.
vCreate custom colors of clay by mixing metallic powders into clay.
vSome terrific blends are Turquois clay with Copper Poweders, Copper clay with Copper Powders, and Turquois clay with Pale Gold metallic powders.
vWhen using Cellulose and other air-dry clays, place clay and metallic powders into a plastic bag and knead until blended.
vEmboss clay with a rubber stamp that has been misted with water. Apply even heavy pressure so the image embosses deeply. Dry clay with a paper towel and brush on metallic powders. Cure according to manufacturer's instructions, then seal with Waterbase Sealer.
Great for highlighting or adding an aged patina to gold leafed projects as well as faux finish painted surfaces. This finish is most effective when one coat of one color metallic powder is applied and left to dry. Then a darker color is applied on top of the first coat and left to dry.
vMix 1 part metallic powders to 12 parts Waterbase Sealer.
Under Metallic Painting Effects
Mix Authentic Metal Powders with matte medium. Coat project surface and let dry. Once dry, use transparent color washes over top and/or acrylic galzes to create metallic effects.
Mix one part metallic powders to one part embossing fluid. Load fluid onto a piece of stamp pad foam. Ink rubberstamp, stamp, and coat with embossing powder. Heat Set.
Creating A Finishing Wax
Mix 1/2 part metallic powders to 1 part neutral shoe polish or finishing wax. The amount of Authentic Metal Powders used varies depending on product base. For use over collages as a final sealer to add a finish to handmade paper, this changes the atmosphere on printed papers and collages. Use brighter Authentic Metal Powders to create great highlights. For an antique finish use oxidized colors.
Creating Metallic Paints or Ink
Mediums to choose from are acrylic paint, sealers flag and gloss, or matte mediums, clear cotes, varnish, shellac, ink, polyurethanes, or gum arabic for watercolors.
vMix one part metallic powder with one part clear medium.
vTest for opaqueness by brushing some on scrap paper.
vAdd more powders for a more opaque finish or add more medium for a more transparent finish.
vRepeat testing the powders on scrap paper until you achieve the desired opacity and thickness.
vUse a measuring spoon and keep track of your favorite formula.
Using Sizing With Metallic Powders
To add a metal design or cover an area of a collage with a metallic finish, use sizing. Paint the sizing onto the area you wish to apply the metallic finish on and let dry. When dry, the sizing is transparent and tacky to touch. Brush the metallic powders onto the sizing, use a clean brush to brush away any excess.
For custom handmade papers, blend metallic powders into paper pulp before casting paper.
Creating A Textured Design or Border
Mix 1 part metallic powders to 4 parts Omni Gel. Lay a stencil down over the surface where the design is desired. Use a palette knife or brush to spread the mixture over the stencil. Lift Stencil straight up. Allow to dry overnight.
Mixing Metallic Powders with Adhesive
Adhesives can be used with metallic powders to tint the adhesive that "glues" objects in artwork. Mix parts metallic powders with parts adhesives. Mix well with a palette knife. This is a great glue to use when tinting a background and gluing down collage pieces. You can prime and glue all at once. Also great when setting flat back rhinestones and achieving a faux bevel around the stone. Just put a small bead on the bottom of the rhinestone and press into place on your project. The excess will ooze out and cover the sides of the stone. Good glues for using this process on paper are clear drying PVA and on fabric you can do this project with Omni Gel.