Pearl Ex pigments -Tips & Techniques

Pearl Ex powdered pigments

Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments


Pearl Ex is extremely easy to use. Its incredible flexibility lends itself to a vast array of techniques. Your biggest problem may be deciding which technique to use. Here are some ideas to get you started:

artist: Barbara McGuire

  1. Mix Pearl Ex with a clear embossing powder for rubber stamp embossing. Pearl Ex in itself is not an embossing powder.
  2. Interference colors work best over dark surfaces.
  3. Mix 4 parts Pearl Ex to 1 part Gum Arabic and add water to desired consistency for a watercolor paint. If mixing in a plastic well palette, this mixture can dry out and become reconstituted with water.
  4. Dust Pearl Ex Powders onto shrink plastic before shrinking. The powder will become embedded in the surface when the plastic shrinks.
  5. Dust a polymer clay rubber mold with Pearl Ex before pressing in the clay. This is a great way to color the clay. It also makes the clay easier to release from the mold.
  6. >Mix Pearl Ex with the Jacquard Colorless Extender for use on fabrics. Heat set as directed on bottle.
  7. Mix Pearl Ex with any clear medium to use over any surface. For example, you can mix Pearl Ex with a varnish, acrylic or solvent-based, as a coating over clay, wood, or paper.
  8. Dust Pearl Ex onto any surface and then seal with a spray lacquer. Spray the lacquer out over the surface and let the mist fall onto the surface rather than spraying the lacquer at the surface. This will give you a more even coat of lacquer without spray marks as well as preventing the spray from blowing off the Pearl Ex.
  9. Knead dry Pearl Ex powder into polymer clay to color it.
  10. Pearl Ex can be mixed into glycerin soaps in soapmaking and wax for candlemaking.
  11. Pearl Ex can be mixed into a medium and airbrushed. Some testing will be necessary to ensure that the particle size will fit through the airbrush opening

Ornaments with Pearl Ex

  1. Choose your adhesive. Craft glue may take a little longer, but you can get some nice effects. If time is an issue, you'll love how fast these can be done with spray adhesive.

  2. If using craft glue: Mix one part water with two parts glue and pour mixture into ball. Cover opening with finger or paper towel and turn to coat inside completely. Pour out excess. Let dry until glue mixture is no longer runny.

  3. If using spray adhesive: Place nozzle of spray adhesive close to opening of ornament and, in two short sprays, coat inside.

  4. Try one of these techniques

  5. Iridescent finish: Put approximately 1/2 tsp. of Pearl Ex into ornament. Narrow craft sticks work nicely to get the Pearl Ex inside of the ornament. Hold fingertip or paper towel over opening. Turn and tap ball to coat inside. Pour out excess. Repeat with glue or adhesive and other colors if you like.

  6. Speckled Faux finish: Load a dry artist's brush with Pearl Ex. Place in ball, being careful not to touch sides and flick. Repeat with several colors.

  7. Antique Keepsakes: This technique works best on the larger ornaments and/or with smaller pictures. With artist's paint brush, white glue the fronts of magazine or Xerox pictures. Using tweezers, place these in the ornament. With a pencil eraser, firmly attach while removing creases and air bubbles, especially around the edges of the picture. Brush a coat of white glue to back of pictures. Let dry until glue is completely clear. Coat the inside of an ornament with one of the above finishes. As an alternative, try glueing the picture to the outside of the ornament.

  8. Optional: Make any of these finishes opaque by pouring Jacquard Textile Paints or Lumiere Metallics into the opening of the ornament. Pour slowly around the rim while turning the ornament to get the paint to run down the sides of the ornament. Cover opening and turn ball to coat inside. Use one or more colors. Pour out excess, set with dryer or air dry, turning occasionally to prevent puddles.

Caution: When setting glue mixture or paints with hair dryer, be very careful not to overheat the ornament causing it to break.

artist: Marie Segal

Polymer Clay with Pearl Ex

  • Pearl Ex pigments of choice
  • Black Polymer Clay
  • Glass to cover
  • Cyanoacrylate glue (gels best)
  1. Knead & condition the polymer clay
  2. Roll out in a thin sheet about 1/4" thick. Make sure it is long enough to go around your glass. Attach to glass around the surface. Trim leading edge clean. Wrap the rest of the polymer around glass and butt and smooth edges. Trim off excess.
  3. Texture the surface.
  4. Apply Pearl Ex pigments (put small amounts of pigment on paper plate and apply with finger). Apply this to the surface of the Polymer in circular motion (as if applying make-up to skin). Coat the surface completely.
  5. When adding another piece of polymer as embellishment or lips or feet to glass, put a small bead of cyanacrylate glue onto the primary surface. This will help bond one surface to the other.
  6. Bake as per Polymer manufacturer's specification.
  7. Seal final project with waterbased brush on lacquer.

Pearl Ex pigments can be blended on the surface for different color combinations. Applying water-based lacquers keeps the pigment from rubbing off. Glass and metal make the best surfaces to cover!

Rubber Stamping with Pearl Ex

Pearl Ex & Rubber Stamping is a match made in heaven. Use Pearl Ex to emboss, highlight, & metallicise your cards, name tags, letters, scrapbooking, and more.

General Supplies: color card stocks, metallic card stocks, webbing sprays, Pearl Ex powders, embossing powders, stamps, stamp pads, white glue, paper cups, clear spray sealant, embossing heat tool, or clear acrylic medium or gum arabic, flat art brush, assorted color markers, comb.


Visit the manufacturer's website to see other Pearl Ex projects