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Having recently caught the PM bug, I've got about 12 items (bowls, vases, barnacles and more to follow) currently in the hopper, drying, gessoed or ready to be painted. I just purchased a set of acrylics but wonder what others think about tempera and latex (house) paint for PM.
Since I'm on the topic of paint, has anyone ever used an airbrush to paint a project. I've never used one but I'd like to paint some of my bowls where the color fades from top to bottom or visa versa. I'm also looking at using a spray can of paint until I purchase an airbrush (if at all). If you have any recommendations on brands (airbrushes & spray paint) and/or technique that would be a great.
Since my "PM studio" is my apartment's dining nook, I plan on using a large cardboard box, open on one side to act as a surround, keeping sprayed paint from messing things up. I'm also looking into some type of lazy susan/turntable device to prop up a piece and slowly turn it as I paint. Any ideas, (commercial sources or homemade devices) on either of these things would be appreciated.
You can use just about any kind of paint on Papier mâché. The most commonly used is acrylic but water based paints work well too. You can make the paint as runny as you like, to get rainbow effects and smudging. Just make sure that you don't use a water based varnish on top of poster paint!
As for a turntable, this is my most valued piece of kit for my work. I use it while I'm actually making something, as well as painting. It enables you to observe the object from all sides without constantly picking it up and risking damaging it.
I know someone who only uses spray car paints on their work and it gives a very professional looking finish. Just be careful of the fumes, especially inside a box. Make sure the windows are open for ventilation, or better still do it outside.
Jackie is right, any kind of paint can be used, but make sure that the sealer is compatible. Do your homework.
Turntable: the simplest is a plastic one used in cabinets to make smaller items easy to reach, about $12USD.
I've never used an airbrush, but I'm sure you could get some great effects. The poor man's airbrush is a rough (natural or torn synthetic) sponge. Gently daub different colors for a variegated effect. Depending on the paint, you may have to let one color dry before applying the next one.
I use latex house paints as my base (typically black) and my drybrush coat (some shade of oops white) -- which lets me highlight the slightly stone-like texture of the surface. Then I use craft store acrylics that I dapple or sponge on to create some more color variations.
The latex gives a bit of water resistance. (Note resistance, not waterproofing). And is cheap for a solid basecoat.
In lieu of spray paint or airbrush, for a faded color (or any other color change technique) I do a wet on wet technique where I mix in a bit more of the other color (or white if it's a fade) as I paint up the piece. For most acrylics you'll need to add an extender, however, that will prevent it from drying too quickly ...
It takes some practice, but for me, still way cheaper / easier than purchasing / learning to air brush. : )
An UPDATE to my own query about what paint to use.
After sitting with several semi-completed (gessoed) bowls and plates, I finally determine how I wanted to paint one of them. Up to then, and now, I'm approaching each piece like an artist approaches a blank canvas or a sculptor with a block of marble, waiting for the canvas or marble to reveal what it wants.
I used a combo of latex house paint (from Mythic - low VOC and great color range) and a little bit of acrylic. I like the finish of the latex and found the cost per volume, compared to acrylics, to be far more reasonable. The latex drys quickly but not as fast as the acrylics. I have not given up on using acrylics and want to try them with an extender to increase volume and drying time.