Adding color to Cold Porcelain Paste

Bunny by Mary in Oregon following a tutorial
seen in Porcelana Fria magazine

Your homemade cold porcelain paste can be tinted with a variety of products or the finished, cured figure can be painted.  Acrylic paints can be added to raw paste for tinting.   Craft acrylics will give you softer color, while artists acrylics, which have more pigment, will give you a stronger color.     Oil paints may also be used.

Colorants used for cake decorating work well to tint the raw paste also.  To get a really delicate color, dust with a product called 'Petal Dust' (which is powdered food coloring) using a soft dry brush and then hold in the steam of a kettle. The porcelain will absorb the color.

Pastel chalks can also be used.   Use a razor to scrape powder from a pastel stick and use to tint raw clay or use the pastel chalks to 'paint' cured figure.   Many artists will use the powders or pastels for shading and highlighting, such as that done for the bear shown above.    Powdered make-up, eye shadows, etc, can also be used in a manner similar to pastels and powders.

Colored pencils and fine-line paint markers can also be used to draw thin lines, such as eyebrows and eyelashes.      Use your imagination and do some sample tests.   As you can see, you can paint or tint the paste with almost any kind of coloring medium.   Use some scrap clay to test color tints....some will dry darker, some will dry lighter.

Remember, all air-dry clay and cold porcelain figures need to be sealed with a clear top coat.    A layer or two of varnish will seal the colors and help protect against dirt and moisture.   Any type of sealer found in the craft department (usually for tole painting) would probably work just fine.    I like to use a spray Krylon matte finish.  Whether to use brush-on or spray-on is a personal choice, however, if you have painted details on your finished figure, use a spray sealer to fix the paint or it may smudge.   You can use a brush-on sealer on top of that, if desired.


  1. I just wanted to thank you for all the wonderful information. I use to work with PC but I can't bake the clay due to by birds lungs. I've never tried anything different before and there is so much misinformation on the web. After I read everything and start my first project I'm sure I'll have questions. Which homemade ADC recipe would you would recommend for a beginner? Thank you in advance. You have a new follower and fan. =>

    1. Welcome to the world of no-bake clay! I'd recommend Sangerta's basic recipe #1 (microwave recipe) to start....although recipe #3 sounds pretty darn easy. The no cooking needed recipe is something I recently found and I haven't tried it yet. See Recipes page. http://coldporcelaintutorials.blogspot.com/p/cold-porcelain-cp-recipes.html

  2. Thank you! This page is very helpful to me ^^

  3. Thank u! This is the most comprehensive answer to colouring clay.

  4. Please tell me how to contact you for a few questions I want to ask about colouring clay. Thank you in advance. Please contact me at


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