Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Stamping w/ Pearl Ex Paint

Many people have asked for tips and/or techniques relating to Pearl Ex....  Apparently it's one of those must have products that nobody is quite sure what to do with once they get it home.  Been there done that ;)

Pearl Ex Basics....

What is Pearl Ex?

Pearl Ex is a powdered pigment pure and simple.  It has no binders, or other mediums mixed in making it a highly versatile way to add color and shimmer to virtually any project at hand. 

Pearl Ex can be mixed with virtually any media or any surface.  Since it has no binders or fixatives it will need to be added to a medium with permanent qualities or sprayed with a clear varnish, acrylic sealer or lacquer. It can be added to paints, clear embossing powders, inks (like a re-inker), clays, wood, painted onto plastics, glass, metal, etc.  It really is an excellent way to add a beautiful metallic shimmer to your projects.

A few basic techniques include:

*Mixing Pearl Ex with clear embossing powder to create beautiful shimmery embossed images.

*Mixing  1 part Gum Arabic with 4 parts Pearl Ex and a dab of water to create a smooth creamy watercolor type paint.  You can add more or less water depending on the consistency you are looking for.

*Apply Pearl Ex to polymer clay either by mixing the pigment into the clay before shaping or dusting it on prior to molding and/or baking. 

*You can also apply a coat of Pearl Ex to shrink plastic before it has been shrunk. 

*Use it dry by dusting onto any surface then "Fix it" by spraying with a sealer of some sort (Spray Varnish, Lacquer, Acrylic Sealer, etc).

So today I wanted to start off with something easy...

Stamping with Pearl Ex Paint

Pearl Ex - Stamping 010

We'll be using Pearl Ex and Gum Arabic to create a nice creamy watercolor paint that we will apply directly to the stamp.

**Gum Arabic is a binder.  By mixing the gum arabic, Pearl Ex and water - the pigment is suspended in the gum arabic, when this mixture dries on your project the gum arabic permanently binds the PE to the paper.   Therefore no additional sealing  (lacquer, varnish, spray sealer) is necessary.

Begin by mixing 1 part Gum Arabic with 4 parts Pearl Ex.  This doesn't have to be precise measurements...I just use one of my tiny spoons and eyeball it.  Add water...again, this isn't exact measuring, I usually start off with one or two squirts of water mix and decide at that time if I need to add more. 
Pearl Ex - Stamping 001

Next I paint the Pearl Ex mixture directly onto my stamp with a small paint brush.  Since I didn't have any green Pearl Ex I used Antique Gold.    Immediately stamp onto cardstock once or multiple times.

Pearl Ex - Stamping 004

If you have stamped the image a few times and the paint begins to dry, give it a light mist of water and it will be good for another couple "watercolor" images as shown below...

Pearl Ex - Stamping 005

First stamped image is on the far right (don't ask) then it was good for 3 additional stampings plus two more after misting with water.

Pearl Ex - Stamping 009

For a twist you could first color your stamp using watercolor crayons; apply the Pearl Ex paint as highlights or where desired, mist with water and stamp.

Pearl Ex - Stamping 003

I like to speed drying when using this technique to keep the water/Pearl Ex in place.

Pearl Ex - Stamping 006

And here is the watercolor crayon & Pearl Ex Paint combo...  You can somewhat see from the photo where the Pearl Ex has transferred to the stamped image (darker areas) while the watercolor crayons appear lighter in color.

Pearl Ex - Stamping 007

I hope this has given you a starting point and encouraged you to dig those pigments out and give em a try!


  1. Great technique - thanks for sharing!!!

  2. Beautiful stamping! Thanks for sharing the technique! What does the Gum Arabic do? Just curious... <3 Candy

  3. I have never used Pearl Ex on anything. I don't even have any so I guess I need to get me some to try. Thanks for explaining it all the little deets Roni.

  4. I have all of the ingredients to try this just never got up the courage~ I think I am ready to give it a go. As always, thanks ever so much for sharing!

  5. love the water color effect! I use Pearl Ex all the time but usually as a spray that I make from the powder and water then spray it on ink Ive rubbed onto my craft mat and then put my paper or tag directly into the wet ink. Or I spray it on finished project and heat set. I also use the powder form in melted bees wax and utee.

  6. Who wants to use lacquer or varnish on this stuff. Why not just use perfect pearls?

  7. thanks soooo much for the great tutorial....now to try it out!

  8. Thanks Roni for more ideas on using Pearl Ex. I love how it looks on Black Polymer clay. Gorgeous!

    Elaine Allen

  9. I love to use this stuff! I use it similar to Caroline and love the effects!


Thanks for your thoughts and comments!