Glosses, Varnishes, and Sealers: Where to Buy and Reviews
I’ve been getting asked a lot of what gloss, varnish, and sealers are good to use for clay crafting. Most of my stuff and tutorials use clay in them one way or another, and will most often need a coating of gloss if it’s polymer clay, or sealer if it’s air dry clay. So I’ve decided to make this compilation of easy-to-acquire glosses, varnishes, and sealers in the Philippines–where to get them, how much, and reviews for usage. You can buy most of these from the shops I listed down in my Where to Buy Clay in the Philippines post.
PROS: Cheap for a well-sized bottle, a good sealer for cold porcelain clay, gloss level is good
CONS: Dries tacky on certain surfaces, not suitable for polymer clay
I think this is a good place to start if you want to make air dry clay art and seal them. Mod Podge is cheap at 80-ish for a big bottle and can be used on a variety of surfaces (not just for clay). However, depending on the humidity and the surface, the Glossy variant can get tacky and sticky. It personally doesn’t work well with Polymer Clay and Paper Clay for me, but work’s totally fine with Magic Clay and Cold Porcelain Clay. There are also matte and satin variants of this product, and much more. Will also work splendidly sticking glass cabochons to metal settings! These can be bought at Deovir Art Supplies.
SEMCO VARNISH AND SEALER
PROS: Cheap, more accessible since can be bought at National bookstore, the matte variant is pretty good for polymer clay
CONS: Personally hate the glossy variant, not good for polymer clay or any other surface I tried it on
Semco Varnish and Sealers can be bought at National Bookstore, so they’re more easily accessible than the rest. The glossy variant tends to get tacky as well when applied to certain surfaces (polymer clay), but I really am fond of the matte variant as it helps items retain their color / prevents it from fading and has no sticky residue. I have yet to try these on air-dry-clay though as Mod Podge works well enough for me.
NEW FUTURE GLOSS
PROS: Cheap, good for clay items that need minimum shine
CONS: Not available in physical stores, needs more coats for a really glossy effect, will not work for air dry clay
New Future Gloss is mostly sold repackaged in online stores like Purple Nook Clay Shop. It’s cheaper compared to clay glosses like Sculpey, but it’s formula seems very “watered down” so it’ll take a few coats if you really want to achieve that “as glossy as candy” effect. If your items only need a slight sheer and not all-out-gloss, this is a good and cheap gloss to use. I mostly used it for my polymer clay items that aren’t meant to be really shiny, and have not tried it on air dry clay yet, but even now I doubt it can act as a sealer.
LIQUID CLAY (Kato Liquid Clay, TLS, etc.)
PROS: Clay shops will always have some, already in most crafter’s possession
CONS: Gloss/shine levels vary depending on the brand, must be baked along with clay, may brown / get burnt during baking.
For polymer clay crafters, you probably have a bottle of liquid clay in your arsenal, and it can also double as a gloss! I have this bottle of Kato Liquid Clay in Transparent, and I used to use it for getting a slight gloss on my items. Just brush it onto your unbaked clay creation and then bake. It’s a great way to make use of your Liquid Clay, but as a con it tends to easily burn/brown while being baked in the oven. Watch it carefully. ^^ You should be able to buy some wherever you bought your clay from.
SCULPEY GLOSS GLAZE
PROS: Really glossy effect, a little goes a long way, only one coat needed for super shine
CONS: Expensive for a small bottle
Sculpey Gloss Glaze is specially formulated for use with polymer clay. It’s pretty expensive at almost P250 for a small 1floz bottle, but a little goes a long way with this gloss. I use them for glossing items that should have high shine–like candies, and one coat is usually enough. When I’m impatient, I also brush it on unbaked clay and cure it in the oven with the gloss on–the gloss doesn’t burn/brown and protects the clay from burning or changing color as well. It does not dry sticky either. A must-have if you plan to make clay pieces regularly. Also available in Matte or Satin.
JUDIKINS DIAMOND GLAZE
PROS: Dries clear, has a dimensional raised effect, can be used as adhesive, dries fast. Very good stuff.
CONS: Rather pricey. ^^
My newest find is Judikins Diamond Glaze. My buddy Becky gave me some and I must say, I love it! I’ve been using it now as adhesive and gloss–especially as a gloss if I’m impatient. As a Gloss it dries way quicker than Sculpey and dries shiny and transparent. I also like that it’s “dimensional”–it makes a great raised effect when it dries. If you can afford it over the Sculpey Gloss, buy it. ^^ You may buy it at Deovir Arts.
I hope this post helped you some. Feel free to comment if you have any questions!
*This post is not sponsored. I am not affiliated with any of the shops mentioned. ^^