What are mica powders and 6 ways to use them in your art

By Nicole Tinkham

What are mica powders and 6 ways to use them in your art

Let’s talk mica! You may have heard of mica powder before as the mineral has been around forever. It’s a non-toxic mineral that gives off a shimmery and metallic like appearance. You can actually find mica powder in cosmetics, soaps and lotions as well as art supplies. So WHY should you look into using mica powders in your artwork? They basically leave a magical glow on whatever you use it on. They’re also super versatile and can be used for a bunch of different projects. Enough said! Now that you’re already sold on mica powder (which we’re sure you are!), let’s get into how you can use it in your art projects.

1.    Art journal

To get a nice shimmery background for your art journal or scrapbook page, combine water and mica powder in a spray bottle. Simply spray it right on your paper. Have fun! 🙂

2.    Painting

You can mix mica powder right into oil paint, acrylic paint, or mediums to give the painting depth.

3.    Clay

There are two ways you can use mica powder with clay. You can either mix it in with the raw clay to add color or you can brush the pigment on, sealing it with a finish. You can also brush mica powder onto metal and apply a finish.

4.    Glass

Mica powder can be used on glass but you’ll first have to mix it with a clean burning glass glue (or Bullseye Glastac) and rubbing alcohol. Use 2 parts mica, 1 part Glastac, and 1 part rubbing alcohol to paint directly onto your piece. Next you’ll want to put it in the kiln for about 1325° F.

5.    Soap

We mentioned how mica can be used in soap earlier but we thought we’d add it into the list of art projects because it’s really cool what can be done with it.

We recommend using micas in the melt and pour method. All you have to do is add the powder to your melt. If you get any mica bubbles float up to the top, spray them with just a little bit of rubbing alcohol. Once everything is mixed, pour the soap into your mold.

For transparent melt: Use ½ teaspoon per pound of melt

Note: Mica powder works best with transparent melts.

6.    Furniture

Remember we said mica powder can mixed into practically anything? We weren’t lying. You can also mix it with waxes, glazes, varnishes, lacquers, and top coats to apply it to furniture.

Mica powder is really a lot of fun and adds a unique element to your artwork. What’s your favorite way to use it?? Drop a COMMENT below and tell us about your experience!

9 Tricks for painting on glass

By Nicole Tinkham

9 Tricks for painting on glass

Glass painting is huge right now and with the holiday’s right around the corner, they make excellent personalized gifts. But painting on glass can be tricky when you haven’t done it before. There’s a certain type of paint to look for, special tools to fix mistakes, a shortcut for non-artists and many more to keep in mind when starting your next glass painting project. Read on for our best tips and tricks!

1.    Read the label
Not all paint is made to be used on glass. Many types of paint are toxic and not to be used on pieces that you eat or drink out of. Be sure to choose paint specifically for glass. We recommend Pebeo Glass Paint.

2.    Choose your brush wisely
You can use the brush of your choice when painting on glass but note that synthetic brushes will leave brushstrokes and natural hair brushes can pick up more paint resulting in a smoother surface.

3.    Create a guide
You won’t be drawing your design right on the glass. Instead, you’ll be drawing it on paper. To get the correct size of the design, roll a piece of paper so it fits inside your glass. Trace the top edge of the glass onto the paper. Your design shouldn’t be larger than this marked line.

Next, draw your design in pen or marker so it’s easy to see and put back into the glass, using a little tape to hold it in place. This way you’ll be able to see the design through the glass without having to mark up the outside of the glass.

4.    Keep it clean
Clean your glass and work area thoroughly before beginning. It may also be a good idea to wear latex gloves to prevent oily smudges from your fingers to become part of the design.

5.    Don’t apply too much pressure
When you apply a lot of pressure with your brush when painting glass, the paint can easily be wiped off the slippery surface. Apply lighter pressure to avoid this.

6.    Apply thickly
Glass paint tends to take awhile to dry and can crack if painted over too soon. To avoid applying layers, paint one thick coat on the glass.

7.    Fix mistakes with a cotton swab and toothpick
You can dip the cotton swab in alcohol to get rid of any mistakes and use the toothpick to scrape away mistakes that have dried.

8.    Use painter’s tape for clean straight lines
You don’t necessarily have to hand-draw your own design. Use painter’s tape for crisp lines or a stencil if that’s what you prefer.

9.    Set the paint
Setting the paint ensures that it will last a long time. You can do this with the oven method. Place your glass in the cool oven. Heat the oven up to 350 F and bake for 30 minutes. Turn the oven off and let it completely cool down before removing the glass. Note: The glass will break if not heated and cooled gradually.

Painting on glass may be something entirely new to you and could feel a little odd at first. We suggest purchasing an inexpensive glass to experiment on so you get the feel for it. Just practice until you get it! We love the idea of giving a painted glass as a gift or maybe even putting together a glass painting party with a few friends. Just have fun with it!

We want to hear from you! Share your best glass painting tip in the comments below or over on our Facebook page.