amateursweets Posted 23 Jan 2012 , 9:13pm
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hello everyone... i am completely new on here and new to cake decorating as a whole... i am attempting a very ambitious cake design for my portfolio... not for an order... just for me... it's my first attempt at modeling chocolate figures... i love how they came out... but being a nube, i didn't try painting them until EVERYTHING was done!! i do not want to start over... like desperately do not want to start over... i am trying to paint the colors on using gel color and vodka... i was told this before i started so you know i'm not altogether dumb... but it's beading and not going on clean and you can see the brush marks... i am at my wits end and do not know what to do... someone please help me... my house is a mess with tables and tables of figures and i want this cake to be over already... is there anything you can all in your infinite wisdom tell me?? icon_smile.gif any help at all would be appreciated... thanks!!

7 replies
bobwonderbuns Posted 23 Jan 2012 , 9:34pm
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Oh sweetie, I see what your problem is -- you are using a vodka/lustre dust mixture on CHOCOLATE. That is causing the beading!! You have to drydust the chocolate, you can only paint (wet paint -- vodka/lustre dust mixture) on dried fondant, dried gumpaste or a 50/50 gumpaste/fondant mixture which has dried. If you want to "wet paint" chocolate, you can only do it with a melted cocoa butter mixture. Hope that helps some!

tarabara Posted 23 Jan 2012 , 9:34pm
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I can't see a water-soluble paint medium working very well on chocolate. One of the books I have recommends using powder dyes (oil candy coloring would work too) to tint cocoa butter and painting with that. Maybe you'd have more luck that way?

amateursweets Posted 23 Jan 2012 , 11:44pm
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thank you both for your quick response... and bobwonderbuns i can tell you are sympathetic and that certainly makes me feel better... haha. icon_smile.gif while i was waiting for a reply, i figured out where i got the idea to paint with gel color and alcohol after the fact... it was actually another thread on this site!! they said that what worked for them is a mix of malibu and gel food coloring... however they don't mention the quantities of either or if they refrigerated the modeling chocolate beforehand or what the process was entirely... i figured i could figure it out when the time came... seeing someone say i could color after sculpting made me think since it was possible, it may be hard but i could still do it... it's actually an angry birds cake and literally everything is done including the full size castle i built to put the pigs on... icon_sad.gif so is the consensus that everything i've done is trash now? that there's no way to do this with "wet paint"? because with luster dust i would get a shine that i don't want on there... just want to double check before i pull my hair out and waste another week on a project i'm not even getting paid for... icon_sad.gif in the meantime i also tried to paint with it and then wipe with a paper towel and it gave the wood a cool effect but i don't think it would work for the figures i made... just want to be as descriptive as possible... thanks again for the responses... they really are a help... icon_smile.gif

IvyCakes Posted 24 Jan 2012 , 12:11am
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I don't know if this will help, but hopefully you can manage to be inspired and find a way to save your figures. :3 This is from Karen Portaleo's Blog:


But my point was to talk about painting on modeling chocolate. I used my airbrush and regular airbrush colors. You have to apply the color in very thin layers, letting each layer dry. You are using a water based medium on fat, so it doesn't go on like it does on fondant. As for the detail, I used powder colors with grain alcohol. Again, it's a slow, gentle application.

Her Blog:

It's under her "Getting My Paint On..." entry, near the end. You can see she was able to get some vibrant colors on the cougar lady...head...thing. Lol! Although I think her blog is what led me to believe I can paint on fondant without any brush strokes...

amateursweets Posted 24 Jan 2012 , 1:47pm
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wow... thanks so much for the posts... icon_smile.gif and ivycakes, that is a great idea about the airbrush... hobby lobby has an airbrush gun for cheap so i'm going to check that out today... icon_smile.gif and karen's work is amazing!!! kind of intimidating for a beginner to look at but i think that's what keeps us all going right? being motivated and intimidated into being more ambitious in our own work... i actually ended up going to hobby lobby last night and getting some powder color dust and mixing it with vodka to paint the figures.. so far, aside from minor color issues, it's going ok... i'm not sure how it's going to dry... i may have to do some touch ups once i place the figures on the cake, and they will look like they're painted, but at least it's better than scrapping the project altogether... i'll post pics here once it's done and you guys can tell me what you think... icon_smile.gif thanks again for all the help!!! i've got my excitement back about this and it's all thanks to you guys... icon_smile.gif have a great one everyone!!

bobwonderbuns Posted 24 Jan 2012 , 1:50pm
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Originally Posted by amateursweets

wow... thanks so much for the posts... icon_smile.gif and ivycakes, that is a great idea about the airbrush... hobby lobby has an airbrush gun for cheap so i'm going to check that out today... icon_smile.gif

Just be careful when purchasing an airbrush that isn't specifically made for cakes -- they have a lot more pressure and tend to blow holes in icing.

jgifford Posted 24 Jan 2012 , 2:35pm
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Just remember for future reference that modelling chocolate, almond bark and melting wafers are oil based products. Any moisture is like a death blow. Use only oil based flavors - like Lorann - and oil based colors. If you're going to paint on them, I would suggest using a paint made of a clear Lorann flavoring (like coconut) mixed with petal dusts - which aren't shiny - or cocoa. However, Lorann oils will change the flavor although if you're painting figures they're probably not going to be eaten. Good Luck and be sure and post pictures. thumbs_up.gif

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