How Do You Use Luster Dust Effectively?

Decorating By jcfenner Updated 8 Dec 2012 , 5:15pm by msalloy1

jcfenner Posted 27 Jun 2006 , 5:30am
post #1 of 42

I just recently bought some luster dust (after seeing the wedding cake competition on the Food Network). I painted a fondant bow with it, but it clearly looks like I painted it. Is there a trick to using the luster dust? I heard to use vodka so I did, but I was really guessing about the consistency. I don't know. Any help would be appreciated.


41 replies
nicksmom Posted 27 Jun 2006 , 5:41am
post #2 of 42

well I wish I could help you but I'm having quite a time with luster dust...I have tried to use it 4 times nowand did exactly what was suggeted to me from a post on here....1/4 tsp dust and 1 tsp pure lemon extract or voldka to cover a medium sized cake...tried this last night and followed it to a tee,and ran out really fast and you could barely tell I painted the fondant icon_mad.gif

SarahJane Posted 27 Jun 2006 , 5:55am
post #3 of 42

I add the powder first and then put in a tiny bit of vodka, you want it to be pretty thick, kind of paste like. If it's runny/watery you wont get a nice color. If you look in my pictures, I used this technique to color my hibiscus made of fondant and also the little sandles made of fondant. These things were both completely white until I painted them.

rlm5150 Posted 27 Jun 2006 , 1:38pm
post #4 of 42

I'm in the same position as nicksmom and jc. I have tried using it several times and have not gotten the results that I see on most of these cakes. I have mixed it with clear vanilla and regular vanilla and each time it just looks icky. My DH said it was from the dark vanilla but I got the same result from the clear. Considering how expensive this stuff is, I would really like to learn how to properly use it.

Loucinda Posted 27 Jun 2006 , 1:46pm
post #5 of 42

I have only used it a couple of times, but both times it took several "layers" of it to completely cover what I was using it on. I would do one layer, let it dry, then do another. Is this how everyone else gets things covered or I am doing something the wrong way?

missyek Posted 27 Jun 2006 , 1:54pm
post #6 of 42

Using alcohol (vodka, gin or even everclear if you can get your hands on it) seems to work the best. Others use lemon extract, but I have never tried it. It is not to say that vanilla is bad, but I get way better results using vodka. As for mixing, if you make it too pasty, it will get clumpy and be a pain to work with. If you make it too runny, you may have to put on a ton of layers to acheive the look you are looking for. Also using the correct size brush for the area you are painting really helps--you don't want to paint a big bow with a little brush because it will look really streaky. HTH

cakes47 Posted 27 Jun 2006 , 1:55pm
post #7 of 42

Hi ~ sarahjane is right. It needs to be ''thick'' like paint. If thin, it goes on very streaky. I know it is expensive, but experiment and you will get the correct consistancy. Good luck and have fun!!

Somethin-Sweet Posted 27 Jun 2006 , 2:00pm
post #8 of 42

Has anyone ever tried to put some in a very small spray bottle and mist it on? Just wondering if this will work........I've got a wedding cake to do this weekend, and the entire thing has to be painted- Maybe I'll try it and see-

TamiAZ Posted 27 Jun 2006 , 2:07pm
post #9 of 42

I either spray it on using my airbrush (mixed with alcohol..It has to be a thin consistency to go through the airbrush) or I brush it on dry.

Molly2 Posted 27 Jun 2006 , 2:09pm
post #10 of 42

I was told you can use it in your airbrush. I've ever done it but I'm told it can be done.


nicksmom Posted 27 Jun 2006 , 8:32pm
post #11 of 42 you still use the thin consistency to brush on dry?

aggiecakes Posted 27 Jun 2006 , 9:26pm
post #12 of 42

I was just at my local cake supply store looking at luster dust and the lady told me to mix it with everclear and then brush it on. She said she had the most luck with that. She had also tried vodka, but it did not go on as well. I have not tried it yet. Good luck!

Misdawn Posted 27 Jun 2006 , 9:35pm
post #13 of 42

I used lustre dust this weekend. I mixed it with vodka. However, I di it a little differently. I dipped my brush into the vodka first, then dipped it into the lustre dust (kinda like how a nailtech does it with the liquid and powder when she does fake nails). It worked perfectly! no streaks - no problems!! I was amazed. And it didn't really use all that much of the lustre dust either. This was my first time using lustre dust by the way.

moydear77 Posted 27 Jun 2006 , 9:38pm
post #14 of 42

I airbrush mine on mainly. If you air brush it needs to be cleaned out right away or it will clog the air brush.

Beecharmer Posted 27 Jun 2006 , 9:51pm
post #15 of 42

I used this recently to put an edge on some calla lillies. The alcohol dries very quickly. I had to keep adding vodka. I used a syringe to just add a drop at a time.

rlm5150 Posted 28 Jun 2006 , 3:24am
post #16 of 42

Well, I guess I need to pick up one of those little bottles of vodka, like my DH said I should. I just don't have alchohol in the house at all because we don't drink at all. I guess DH knows best....HuH?

SLK Posted 28 Jun 2006 , 3:37am
post #17 of 42

I've experimented with vodka and lemon extract. I prefer to use the lemon extract - I seemed to get less streaking with it that way.

If you are trying to paint on a color - then I agree, it needs to be fairly thick.

But, if you are just puting on pearl luster dust - going for the shiny/sparkly effect, I've made mine pretty thin and brushed it on small and large areas. This has worked best for me with the lemon extract over large areas. (I've done this on my baby shower cake amd on stars/flowers.)

I do agree that it's best to keep playing with it to get the right feel.

cakesbykitty Posted 28 Jun 2006 , 7:27am
post #18 of 42

I TRIED it i on fathers day and had to scrape it all off! i tried silver luster dust and it clumped and wouldn't dry. it was pasty and nasty. totally afraid to try it again.

cakesbykitty Posted 28 Jun 2006 , 7:28am
post #19 of 42

oh...i mixed vodka with the silver luster dust. really horrid. any tips here would be appreciated

missyek Posted 28 Jun 2006 , 10:19am
post #20 of 42
Originally Posted by alaskanmom

I TRIED it i on fathers day and had to scrape it all off! i tried silver luster dust and it clumped and wouldn't dry. it was pasty and nasty. totally afraid to try it again.

Try thinning it down just a tad by adding more vodka. If it is too pasty, it will be a mess.

I wish I could use everclear, but it is a grain alcohol and illegal here. icon_sad.gif

grama_j Posted 28 Jun 2006 , 10:40am
post #21 of 42

So far, I have only used it dry.........Just dip the brush into the powder,shake off excess, and brush the area....... I used the Pearl Dust, and a makeup brush, and had no problems at all....... just gives a beautiful shimmer.

coffeecake Posted 28 Jun 2006 , 7:21pm
post #22 of 42

It is always nice to see a thread on something I am having problems with and know I am not alone inmy difficulties!
Thanks for the helfpul hints - it has given me the strengh to try again with the luster dust!

PennySue Posted 28 Jun 2006 , 9:00pm
post #23 of 42

I usually use it dry. What is everclear?

SLK Posted 29 Jun 2006 , 3:36am
post #24 of 42

I just took a cake class tonight and we used it dry. It looked awsome. I had only used it wet before. It was amazing to me how good it looked.

missyek Posted 29 Jun 2006 , 11:07am
post #25 of 42
Originally Posted by PennySue

I usually use it dry. What is everclear?

It is a drinking alcohol (grain) that is about 190 proof--95% alcohol. It is illegal in many states because of the alchol content. There is a tamer version--only 151 proof, but I don't think I can get that anywhere near me either.

Originally Posted by SLK

I just took a cake class tonight and we used it dry. It looked awsome. I had only used it wet before. It was amazing to me how good it looked.

I do use it dry a lot too--just depends on the look I am going for. icon_smile.gif

Karenelli Posted 29 Jun 2006 , 1:23pm
post #26 of 42

If you use the luster dust dry, do you need to do it right away before the fondant has a chance to dry? Will the luster dust adhere if you wait too long?

Somethin-Sweet Posted 29 Jun 2006 , 1:47pm
post #27 of 42

I emailed Marina Sousa about how she applied the luster dust to her cake on the Wedding Cake Challenge.........she says she airbrushed it- (she responded very quickly to my email and seemed very nice! I was quite impressed!) Anyway, I told her I did not have access to an airbrush, did she think a plant mister would work..........she says probably- so I tried it last night, and it worked great! I have to cover a brown fondant wedding cake this weekend, and did not want to have to brush the entire thing! I'm going to do it this way! I'll be sure and post pictures when I'm done.........wish me luck!

SLK Posted 29 Jun 2006 , 1:56pm
post #28 of 42

redhotmomof3 - so you are basically using the spray bottle to pull off the air brush effect? If that works, I wonder if you could put color in it (to color large areas - not for detail work).

Let us know how it works.

karenelli - We were brushing the luster on before it dried - I don't know if you could do it after it dried - someoen else may have to chime in on that.

missyek Posted 29 Jun 2006 , 2:09pm
post #29 of 42

I have brushed luster dust on both dry and fresh fondant or gumpaste.

sun33082 Posted 29 Jun 2006 , 2:10pm
post #30 of 42

I used luster dust dry on my dry fondant roses. Works well. Gives a different affect and doesn't blow/brush off.

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