Do you have a hobby of making decorations out of plaster? Or maybe you got some as present a long time ago and now want to breathe some new life into them?
Plaster craft items are beautiful works of art with the look of ceramic but without the expense. What’s even better, plaster craft pieces can be completed at home, and unlike ceramics, they do not require firing.
This makes them really safe hobby with the kids and something fun that you can do by yourself even. Also, material costs are on the cheaper side of hobbies.
It is a very affordable hobby that is fun and very addicting. When carefully painted and coated with gloss, plaster craft items are extraordinarily impressive, and the following tips and ideas will help you get started.
Choosing and mixing colors
Choosing the right colors and mixing them is one of the challenges every beginning hobbyist faces. You see lots of beautiful pictures, but can’t quite match them with your effort. There is a reason for that.
One of the biggest mistakes people make when painting anything is taking the color straight from the bottle. Colors straight from the bottle are fine for signs and cartoons, but they are not ideal for recreating realistic colors.
You can check this by going outside. Both grass and leaves are green, but when you compare them are they the same shade of green and how far is it from the color you have bought for your project. So to imitate grass by painting your plaster craft, you have to do something.
When trying to make colors look richer and more realistic, take the time to mix them with other colors. For example, gray down bright red with a touch of black for more realistic roses. Tone done bright green with a touch of brown and a dot of blue for more realistic grass.
Experiment by mixing colors and you will discover how to make them appear richer and far more realistic than anything straight from a bottle. You don’t only have to bend the existing colors, you can create them by mixing two different colors to get a unique look.
Plaster craft items will only look as good as the quality of the craft brushes chosen. For creating details, select high-quality acrylic craft brushes with soft bristles and fine tips.
For larger areas, select larger brushes of the same style and level of quality to efficiently and effectively cover plaster craft pieces. Not only will they be easier to paint if high-quality brushes are used, but it will take less work if the tips are in good condition.
That being said, taking care of your tools is important in every trade and hobby. You don’t see plasterers working with dried-up trowels and painter painting with partially hardened brushes. The same goes for hobbyists, a well-cared brush will be nice to pick up every time.
When painting plaster craft with acrylic paint, mistakes are very easy to hide. Acrylic paint dries very quickly, and once it is dry it can be easily covered with another color.
You do not have to settle for anything less than what you expect when painting plaster craft with acrylic craft paint, and if you take your time the finished pieces will look outstanding.
To create clear borders and shadows, you can take your time and let the paint dry. Then you will do another round with decoration.
Most of the time painting is a patience game. Not everyone can create a masterpiece in one session and I don’t even think that should be a goal. You can come back to it as many times you want until it’s perfect.
Adding special touches
Instead of just using ordinary acrylic arts and crafts paint to cover and color plaster pieces, use acrylic craft paint infused with glitter to embellish flowers, ribbons, and other decorative items that can use a little glitz and eye-catching detail.
After the entire piece is painted, look for ways to add special touches. Cover the centers of flowers with glitter gloss, or use it in other areas for something highly decorative and unique. You will never paint plaster craft again without using gloss with fine glitter on a portion of the project.
The same can be said about other special paints. Don’t want to paint with an ordinary color palette? Try some new kinds of paints and see how they will fit your hobby. These days there are lots of options that can be ordered from all around the world at a relatively cheap price.
The final step after painting the plaster is the addition of a protective acrylic gloss coating. Not only will the gloss help add strength and durability to finished plaster craft pieces, but it will also give it a finished appearance.
A plaster piece is not truly finished until it is coated with an acrylic gloss like a fine ceramic piece that has been fired in a kiln. The finish is most of the time what sets unfinished piece aside from finished, doing it right will add a fine touch.
This is only opening on how to paint plaster crafts. Like with everything else, there are different techniques to paint with. Different textures you can try to create and the list goes on.
As a hobbyist it’s good to have a starting point. You start from the basics and move on to the hard stuff. This is also something that can develop you as a person as a challenging hobby will demand different things from you. Also the path of development is pretty much without an end.
Just remember that you can take your time and every project well finished is a project you will learn something from. This is one thing I’ve learned during my career, where you will put some effort you will get something of value.
Here are guides for making plaster flowers, making your kids plaster handprints, going to hunt some animal tracks and making some bas-reliefs. All of these are quite easy crafts and also fun to combine with painting.