Cruise the Hardware Store

You make a trip to the hardware store. Maybe you need some ceramic tiles for curing surfaces, or some wet/dry sandpaper. Take your time. Cruise the aisles. You may find more very useful polymer clay supplies.

Dremel Tool and 4″ Drill Press Vise Truth to tell, I owned a dremel tool for a very long time before I learned to love it. Two things caused my change of heart: 1) I bought buffing pads from 2GoodClaymates. 2) I bought a 4″ drill press vise. Now I can get a gorgeous glossy finish on polymer clay by sanding and buffing, just like the gurus do.

Varathane Polyurethane Interior Finish OK, sometimes you want a glossy finish on a piece that doesn’t lend itself to sanding and buffing. Or you just hate sanding and buffing. In the polymer clay world, Varathane is the preferred varnish for its clarity and durability. It won’t yellow over time unlike Pledge with Future Shine floor wax, an old polymer clay world favorite. You may have to search a bit for the 8 oz. container as many stores tend to carry just the 32 oz. size.

Threaded metal rods When I want a texture of parallel lines on polymer clay, I use a threaded metal rod. I have several, ranging from small- to large-width threads. I can also make a convincing rope effect by rolling a metal rod at an angle over a skinny polymer clay snake.

Wet/dry sandpaper & sanding block Sanding polymer clay should be done with wet sandpaper so it doesn’t raise dust. You don’t want to be inhaling polymer clay dust. Always add a drop of dish soap to the water to keep your sandpaper from getting clogged. You can get by with sandpaper grits from 320 to 600, but for a glossy finish you’ll want to go all the way to 2000. Don’t skip grit sizes when you sand, e.g., start with 320, then 400, 600, 800, etc. The sanding block makes the job a bit easier.

ArmorAll I am a big fan of ArmorAll. Where other people use water as a release, I prefer ArmorAll. I spritz texture sheets with it and sometimes use it on my polymer clay blade to reduce drag. Also I apply it to finished pieces I’ve embellished with Perfect Pearls Pigment Powders to get rid of the gritty feel. Just don’t use ArmorAll on Fimo brand clay.

Ceramic tiles for work surface & curing My work surface is a 12″ x 12″ ceramic tile. I cure polymer clay on tiles that range from 4″ x 4″ to 12″ x 12″. I tape clean scrap paper to the tile to prevent shiny spots and freckles on the back of the piece I’m curing.

Storage shelves, drawers, pegboard, etc. Organization isn’t my strong suit. But having my supplies reasonably organized is so satisfying. See “Fish or Cut Bait.”




1 Comment on Cruise the Hardware Store

  1. Leanna
    April 8, 2015 at 9:57 pm (3 years ago)

    2 more items: Pick up safety goggles to use with the Dremel tool. And disposable dust masks if you plan to apply powders aggressively.


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