JennyWren2120 Posted 20 Jun 2013 , 2:25am
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I made these ballet slippers out of gum paste.  They dried completely- about 4 days- and today I brushed Wilton's pink pearl dust over them.  It did not go on consistently- some spots are darker and others are lighter, even though I tried to go over the lighter spots several times.  This gives them a real blotchy look.  I'm regretting attempting the pearl dust.  Is there any way to correct this without starting over?  Is there a way to get a more consistent look or to remove it and try again?  

 

This is my first time working with both gum paste and pearl dust.  Any suggestions would be so greatly appreciated!

 

Thanks!

28 replies
JennyWren2120 Posted 20 Jun 2013 , 2:28am
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JennyWren2120 Posted 20 Jun 2013 , 2:43am
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Baking Sis Posted 20 Jun 2013 , 2:48am
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I don't know that answer for you since I have never done that either.  I just wanted to tell you that the slippers are very cute!

 

Hope someone jumps on and shares some experienced information.  There are so many talented cakers on here!

bct806 Posted 20 Jun 2013 , 2:51am
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They look great to me. Is the pink not suppose to be so dark? It just looks like you meant to do it that way. As far as saving it, I really am not sure. In the future, mix it in with some vodka. It makes it go on more evenly and the alcohol will evaporate.

JennyWren2120 Posted 21 Jun 2013 , 5:18am
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Thank you for your ideas.  BCT, do you think if I did the vodka/ pearl dust now it would create an even bigger mess, or might it cover the unevenness?  I was happy with the slippers until I ruined them with the pearl dust :(

bct806 Posted 21 Jun 2013 , 5:25am
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I wish I could say but I would hate to tell you to do it and it not work. You could try it in an inconspicuous spot to test. I have never had to fix it before. Sorry! But honestly, I think you notice it more because you know what it was supposed to look like. It just looks like it is supposed to be two toned. Even asked the hubs and he said he didn't notice the color wasn't suppose to be like that.

kaylawaylalayla Posted 21 Jun 2013 , 5:30am
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AYou could take a clean brush and go over the darker areas, and it *MIGHT* help. Or maybe you could just apply more petal dust until you get the same pink all over? I just had this same issue with petal dust. They look beautiful right now. Good luck

maybenot Posted 21 Jun 2013 , 7:18pm
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It sounds like you dry dusted the slippers (very cute, by the way).  Several things could have caused the uneven color:

 

If you had crisco, or any other fat or oil, on the surface--as the result of rolling or handling the gum paste--those areas will take the dry dust differently.

 

If you got any areas of the slippers damp--even with just sweat from your hands--that can cause uneven dry color because those spots dry shiny.

 

If areas of the slippers were a bit thicker than others--and therefore not quite as dry--the color can be uneven.

 

That said, you may be able to even out the color by painting the slippers.  I suggest wiping them with a clear alcohol (Everclear, gin, or vodka) and letting them dry for at least several hours.  This should help degrease any surface spots.  If you then mix up a paint (not too thick) with the dust using lemon extract (a very high alcohol brand) and paint it on in long strokes--it will likely take 2 coats to eliminate brush lines and streaks. 

Goreti Posted 21 Jun 2013 , 7:26pm

To be honest with you, I actually like them that way.  They look so cute

kaylawaylalayla Posted 21 Jun 2013 , 9:53pm

ACould she steam it?

costumeczar Posted 21 Jun 2013 , 10:55pm

I was going to post that it was probably having crisco on the surface too...If that's the case those spots will grab the dust differently and be darker. You could go over the whole thing with a thick paint made out of luster dust and vodka, but I don't know how Wilton dusts work so I would test that ahead of time. I do know that Wilton dusts are less than excellent compared to other brands, so maybe you could try it on a separate piece of gumpaste to see if that would work.

 

But I agree that they look cute anyway, so you might just want to say forget it and leave them alone!

JennyWren2120 Posted 23 Jun 2013 , 7:58pm

Thanks for all the great suggestions and for saying they're cute despite the uneven color!  Since they're not how I envisioned them, the blotchy spots are bothering me.  But I'm nervous to try to fix them for fear of making it worse.  I did dry dust them... didn't use Crisco- I used corn starch to keep it from sticking when I rolled them. I tried to put more where it was lighter, but no more sticks.  I did use water to attach the bow and the think roll around the opening, so maybe I got some errant water in other places that caused it to color differently.  I also stuffed them with plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray when I initially formed them to hold their shape, so some of that could have inadvertently gotten on the outside as well... 

 

Maybenot, you suggested wiping them with vodka first and then painting them on with dust mixed with lemon extract.  Costumeczar, you recommended a paint of dust plus vodka.  Can either of your share the specific amounts to make this paint and why you recommend the lemon extract vs the vodka for the paint?

 

Thanks for putting up with me!  I'm totally new to this ;)  I can't tell you how much I appreciate your help and comments!!!

ttumlin Posted 23 Jun 2013 , 10:13pm

Funny, I had the same problem on the bow of may cake (see "is this good enough" post earlier today... I think I used the same color dust as you did. Hmmm... I dusted the bow with starch before applying the luster dust and it was blotchy, then I tried mixing it with vodka. Still blotchy! Oh well.

costumeczar Posted 24 Jun 2013 , 12:10am

AWell, quite frankly , I bought some of the wilton dusts once and they sucked. That's why I said I wasn't sure how they'd work compared to other brands, I have no idea if they would dissolve.

I use vodka to make paints because it evaporates quickly. I think that people use lemon extract because it might have some oil in it? Either will work. Jut mix it up so that it's thick enough to paint on and not be streaky...practice on a piece of extra gumpaste before you do it to see how it ooks. If you try to go over it a second time it might get streaky, so try to get it even when it's wet and do it once if you can.

bct806 Posted 24 Jun 2013 , 12:15am

Honestly, I had never really heard of using extract. Vodka is the way I learned to do it on here. As for ratios, I don't really measure it out. Just enough vodka so that it can be painted on instead of dusted.

cakefat Posted 24 Jun 2013 , 1:39am

people around my area use lemon juice instead of alcohol due to religious reasons (no alcohol permitted at all per halal rules)...I haven't tried it but they say it works well..just takes a bit longer to dry than the vodka etc.

maybenot Posted 24 Jun 2013 , 2:44am

I find that I get better, more even coverage using lemon extract with a slightly longer working time because of the oil in it.  I also find that the paint doesn't wipe off as much when the item is handled if I use extract.  This is how I was taught by Colette Peters.

 

As for ratios, no, I have no exact measurements.  I mix it until the paint is free flowing without lumps.  I find that if I put the dust in a small vessel and then add the lemon extract with an eye dropper, I can get it the way I like it.  As it evaporates, I add a few more drops of the extract at a time.

 

As for being halal, I'm not sure that I follow that since good bottled lemon extract is 80+% alcohol--160+ proof.  The alcohol is necessary for quick drying.  If it has a lower alcohol content that usually means that it has water added to it and water is a strict NO when working on sugar items as it causes shiny spots and uneven coverage.

cakefat Posted 24 Jun 2013 , 3:17am
Quote:
Originally Posted by maybenot 

As for being halal, I'm not sure that I follow that since good bottled lemon extract is 80+% alcohol--160+ proof.  The alcohol is necessary for quick drying.  If it has a lower alcohol content that usually means that it has water added to it and water is a strict NO when working on sugar items as it causes shiny spots and uneven coverage.

 

I said Lemon Juice- straight from the lemon.  not lemon extract. Lemon juice is halal. 

bct806 Posted 24 Jun 2013 , 3:22am
Quote:
Originally Posted by maybenot 

I find that I get better, more even coverage using lemon extract with a slightly longer working time because of the oil in it.  I also find that the paint doesn't wipe off as much when the item is handled if I use extract.  This is how I was taught by Colette Peters.

 

As for ratios, no, I have no exact measurements.  I mix it until the paint is free flowing without lumps.  I find that if I put the dust in a small vessel and then add the lemon extract with an eye dropper, I can get it the way I like it.  As it evaporates, I add a few more drops of the extract at a time.

 

As for being halal, I'm not sure that I follow that since good bottled lemon extract is 80+% alcohol--160+ proof.  The alcohol is necessary for quick drying.  If it has a lower alcohol content that usually means that it has water added to it and water is a strict NO when working on sugar items as it causes shiny spots and uneven coverage.

Never heard of it. I may have to try that. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cakefat 

 

I said Lemon Juice- straight from the lemon.  not lemon extract. Lemon juice is halal. 

Whoops. I made the same mistake when reading it. 

maybenot Posted 24 Jun 2013 , 4:56pm

My mistake.  I misread because I was referencing lemon EXTRACT. 

 

Lemon JUICE is primarily water and shouldn't be counted on to create a good paint.  The water melts the sugar surface and can create a variety of problems.  If alcohol content isn't an issue, the extract is a much better option for painting.

JennyWren2120 Posted 1 Jul 2013 , 2:58am

I wanted to post a picture of the finished cake, since so many of you gave me such great advice.  I ended up using the vodka to remove the pearl dust I had dry dusted on.  I mixed up a paint of vodka and pearl dust and painted it on, and it turned out smooth and even, but too dark!  So, the perfectionist in me was not happy and used plain vodka to wipe them clean again.  I made a more diluted paint to try to achieve a lighter pink, but I could absolutely not get it to go on smooth and even.  I tried erasing with vodka, letting them dry, repainting probably 3 more times before I just gave up and let them be blotchy.  The way I left them probably wasn't as bad as when I had dry dusted them, but I really regret even attempting the glitter in the first place- I think they looked better with the original matte finish than the somewhat blotchy glittery finish.  

 

All in all, I was satisfied with the cake.  It was my first time covering cakes in fondant as well as using the gum paste and pearl dust, so I am happy with the opportunity to learn a little more about these things.  

 

I'm sure I'll be tapping into all of your expertise again!  I'm so thankful for this site!

JennyWren2120 Posted 1 Jul 2013 , 3:12am

 

cakefat Posted 1 Jul 2013 , 3:18am

can you try to embed the photo directly into the reply box? maybe try the "Insert Image" box on the tool line?

 

Otherwise we have to download your photo (not good anyway to do this)  and honestly it was taking way too long to download.  Thanks!

JennyWren2120 Posted 1 Jul 2013 , 3:20am

700

Thank you, cakefat, for telling me how to do that!!  It seemed weird that it wasn't showing up right in the feed!

Baking Sis Posted 1 Jul 2013 , 3:21am

Oooh, your cake looks so sweet!! Nice job!

JennyWren2120 Posted 1 Jul 2013 , 3:26am

These were the original blotchy shoes

And the too-dark version!

cakefat Posted 1 Jul 2013 , 3:51am

Your cake is very cute!!! Very girly and pink!!

 

I've had the same issues with luster dust as well. In the US, you can buy 'everclear' which I heard has a higher proof alcohol and I've heard that works better? Probably the higher the proof- the better- for using it with luster dust. Also I've seen "rose alcohol' used before too and that worked better than the vodka (for me anyway). I can't buy everclear or rose alcohol where I am, so I have to use vodka...but the former two have higher proofs so they work better evidently. 

bct806 Posted 1 Jul 2013 , 6:27pm

It turned out so cute! I love that the ballet slippers are standing up as if they had feet in them. 

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