The Varnish Debacle

Lola thinks about..

Today I am going to talk about a topic that has been on my mind for a long time. Before it was just a thing I didn’t think about it. Until it became a sudden problematic. 

But let’s start at the beginning. 

When I started working with polymer clay I used the varnish in the picture above. I was happy with it. For a time. Then I started trying out different kinds of nail varnish, and at first that seemed to work perfectly fine. 

What was my problem with the original Varnish you might ask. 

If you’ve been doing clay work you might have in countered this problem, but if you’re still new, let me explain. 

Fimo varnish isn’t super shiny. That’s not a huge problem right? But there is another one. A bigger one. 

It seems to disappear after some time. A long time I have to admit, but my old clay creations look horrible. The varnish just chips off. Some of them even seem to be sticky?! 

So giving your creations as a present could be a problem.

But my original reason for looking for more options was the shininess.

Nail varnish seemed like a good option ( clear one of course) but over a longer time the varnish dried out faster, and therefore was more expensive in the long run.

I stopped using clear nail varnish, but I still used matte-varnish to mattify some of my pieces. Unfortunately those pieces lost their matteness at some point as well.

Later, when I started buying bigger batches of clay at once, I found out about a site where you can buy clay for cheaper. It is my favorite site so far!

On there I found out about sculpy. I had heard about it before, but was never able to find it in local stores. I bought some packs of sculpy clay, and also the varnish. 

No let me say. I was so happy with this varnish. It was super glossy and it looked to good !

But then my charms started getting sticky. So So sticky. 

I am still upset about the charms I gave as present that were coated in this horrible Varnish. Seriously don’t use this varnish.. 

After this horrible experience I did some research which I should have done earlier to be honest. And I found some videos on this topic. 

Most of the bigger Clay-Artist on the web recommend a wood-work-varnish named Varathane. 

Now the thing is this varnish has the best reviews. THE BEST. I was so happy to have finally found the holy grail . And then I went to amazon and found out that the varnish cost 50 bucks in my country since it has to be shipped here (shipping cost +50).

My dreams were shattered. I started looking for Clay-artists in my own country, to find their tips but there seems to be a cloak of secrets covering the whole community. Because I will not believe that all of them trust in Fimo Varnish. That’s just a lie. So a secret agreement is the only possibility.

So in my extreme sad- and unhappiness I did more research and found out that Varnish that can be used for clay needs to be acryl and water-based. 

That why you can’t use Mod Podge for example. Even though Mod Podge  is the holy grail of crafting it sadly isn’t for clay.

But I refuse to give up. Currently I am back to Fimo Varnish, but I will go out and start to use Varnish for wood that has the criteria that I mentioned above. Because there has to be a dupe for Varathane.  

I will keep you updated. 

But for now. Keep away from sculpy varnish. 

Best wishes

∼Lola Who

P.S. there are other more professional options to varathane, but I am unable to get those as well. 

peace out. 


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