Trouble Shooting Guide for Magic-Glos (tm)
Magic-Glos (tm) is the ideal coating and sealer for polymer clay and other waterproof surfaces. The product is not suitable for all applications. If you are experiencing challenges in working with the product, please consult the answers below.
Problem: The product won’t cure (harden).
The product is not exposed to direct (outdoor) sunlight or true (long wave) UV light rays.
Do not cure on an indoor windowsill.
When using black-light bulbs, these must be fluorescent and not incandescent (the type found in novelty stores with a purple coating).
Baking or exposure to heat will not cure the product, but baking can be done at temperatures up to 200° degrees Fahrenheit (135° Celsius) with cured Magic-Glos. Note that some yellowing or darkening of the resin may occur.
Magic-Glos is coming into contact with a chemical substance (such as ink, paint, glue, decoupage fluid, etc.) and a chemical reaction is occurring preventing the resin from curing properly.
Make sure that true UV light is being used. Also, any surface that is not waterproof has to be sealed beforehand. When in doubt, seal the surface by coating with liquid clay and baking according to the manufacturer’s directions before applying Magic-Glos. Alternative methods of sealing include clear packing tape, laminating film, or clear contact paper. In many cases, it is advisable to seal the front and back of the material being coated. Polymer clay and other non-permeable surfaces shouldn’t require sealing.
Problem: Product appears to cure, but clouding appears in days/weeks.
This is likely due to a chemical reaction as described above. This can occur when the substance that isn’t waterproof (ink, paper coatings, Modge Podge, etc.) is liquefied by coming into contact with another liquid (in this case Magic-Glos), only the surface cures while the chemical reaction between the item being coated and the Magic-Glos, occurs more slowly.
Seal all items requiring coating properly before applying Magic-Glos.
Problem: Magic-Glos doesn’t appear smooth and glass-like:
This occurs when an insufficient amount of product is used. Pouring the product on thick enough to self-level will fix this. Brushing the product on will not result in a smooth, glass-like finish.
Pour a thicker layer on or add additional layers after the initial curing, making sure there is enough to self-level.
Problem: There are air bubbles in my cured Magic-Glos
While air bubbles seldom occur with the product, they are easy to fix when the proper methods are followed. Fortunately, when air bubbles occur, typically they are few.
When air bubbles occur even after following product directions that call for exposure to a flash of intense heat (such as from a butane torch), this is an indication that not all air bubbles were near the surface. This can sometimes occur when applying very thick layers of the resin, especially when using a bezel setting.
Apply a few (3-4) seconds of intense, direct heat with a butane torch over the quickly with a back and forth motion. Make sure that all flammable materials are removed from this area beforehand. Allow the product to sit for several minutes (5-10) so that bubbles lying deeper away from the surface have a chance to rise. Repeat the heat application. For especially deep or thick applications, this step may need to be repeated an additional time or two.
Drill through the bubble with a pointed, cone shape Dremel bit (just enough to open the surface of the bubble) once the Magic-Glos has cured. Clean away any dust or debris that result from drilling. Wipe away any fingerprints from the surface of the cured resin. Apply another layer over the entire surface, using enough to fill the hole and still self-level. Cure the Magic-Glos as directed.
Drill the hole open as above and glue a pointed-back (“chaton”) crystal that is slightly larger than the diameter of the bubble opening as an eye-catching accent. Embellish over the top by gluing another decorative accent over the hole.
Depending on what you’ve created, consider that art glass often has naturally occurring bubbles in it. The bubble may be too small to be concerned with, or it may actually enhance the appearance that your creation is made from glass.
Problem: Magic-Glos pulls away from the edge while curing or beads-up resulting in uneven coverage.
There is a very slight amount of shrinkage with this product. Most pulling away from the edge of a surface occurs on open work (without a bezel setting or walls to contain it). This can be the result of too little product being applied. Another reason this occurs is due to the product’s doming property. It is designed so that it can form a gently rounded surface like a cabochon.
Add additional layers, curing between applications. Cover the entire surface with each layer. When enough product has been applied, gravity will hold a layer down over the exposed edges during curing and fill these in.
When covering open-sided surfaces, textured surfaces work best. Pulling and shrinkage occur more frequently on smooth surfaces, even when a generous amount of Magic-Glos is applied. Again, repeat applications will remedy exposed edges.
When beading occurs on both open and walled surfaces, this indicates that not enough product has been poured on.
Problem: The surface is cured, but the underlying layer is still soft.
The surface of Magic-Glos will cure first. On deeper applications or those with lots of inclusions, the product will take longer to cure all the way through. Magic-Glos will “shadow cure.” This means that once exposed to UV light for several minutes, it will continue to cure in the absence of light on it’s own. This happens more slowly than when curing under UV light. If Magic-Glos doesn’t cure on the lower layers or blooms (crystallizes or clouds, this is a sign that there is a chemical reaction between the resin and the surface of what is being coated that prevents the Magic-Glos from properly curing.
Avoid placing pressure on freshly cured pieces. Pieces are generally completely hard all the way through within an hour.
Problem: I’ve poured on too much Magic-Glos.
While working with a bezel setting or other object with sidewalls, this is seldom a problem. Practice from working with the product, especially with open sided surfaces will help minimalize or prevent the risk of over-application.
Clean up excess before curing if possible. This can be difficult or impossible to do without creating more problems.
Even thought some waste is involved, usually the best fix is to remove any excess material after curing. File or sand away excess Magic-Glos. When an overflow occurs, some resin may seep under the setting/piece. Simply wipe away with a baby wipe or damp paper towel. Another layer may need to be applied to smooth any surface deviations.
Problem: Magic-Glos is yellowing.
While Magic-Glos can be baked with polymer clay at temperatures up to 275° degrees Fahrenheit (135° Celsius), it may yellow or darken slightly. When white or light clays/inclusions are seen through the cured gloss, these may appear yellow or sepia toned. The yellowing effect tends to intensify darker colors such with use of Lisa Pavelka colored foils. Yellowing/darkening over white/lightly colored clays/paper is not necessarily unattractive in your finished piece, but it helps to be aware that this may occur.
Curing in direct sunlight for prolonged periods of time under the sun may result in some yellowing of the gloss. Also, continual or long-term exposure to direct sunlight can cause some darkening/yellowing over time.
UV lamp curing is recommended to avoid this problem. When curing in direct sunlight, cure only long enough to set the product. Avoid storing or placing cured Magic-Glos in direct sunlight.
Problem: Paper coated by Magic-Glos is discoloring/yellowing.
This can be a reaction caused by the type of paper that is being coated. Whether Magic-Glos is being applieddirectly (not recommended) or onto a paper surface or a sealed surface (as recommended) this may occur. Some papers are chemically sensitive or have coatings that can react to Magic-Glos or the recommended materials for sealing (clear adhesives or liquid polymer clay).
When using liquid polymer clay as a sealer and heating/baking according to manufacture’s directions doesn’t typically discolor paper. Paper has a burn or flashpoint of 411° degrees Fahrenheit (135° Celsius). Some but not all papers may discolor when exposed to heats up to 275° degrees Fahrenheit (211° Celsius).
Test papers first by using either direct Magic-Glos or recommended sealing applications.
Problem: Magic-Glos is getting too thick to use.
Magic-Glos has a one-year shelf life. When properly stored (tightly capped in a dark location) the product may remain pour-able a bit longer. Thicken Magic-Glos can be used thinned with fresh Magic-Glos. If the material reaches this state, it is ideal to create formulas of custom viscosity (thickness).
Lisa Pavelka actually stores away Magic-Glos to age it (like fine wine). Cut off the top of the container and use the handle of a disposable plastic utensil or a wooden skewer to scoop the product into a capped, opaque container (that won’t allow light to penetrate. This container must be clean of all other materials/contaminants.
Scoop out small amounts and mix with fresh Magic-Glos in a clean, dry disposable cup to create thicker formulas. Stir thoroughly until blended with a disposable utensil or wooden skewer. The Magic-Glos will become cloudy. This it thousands of tiny air bubbles forming while mixing. Cover and store over-night in a dark location. By morning, the tiny bubbles will have disappeared. Keep in mind that air bubbles that may form while applying the thicker formula will take longer to rise to the surface. Allow applied product to rest for 10-15 minutes before popping surface bubbles with heat. This step may need to be repeated one or two more time with very thick applications to allow all bubbles to rise to the surface.