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Need help painting with luster dust!

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I am trying to paint swirls on buttercream using luster dust (silver and pearl mixed). I mixed the vodka with the dust, and can paint just fine on a plate, LOL, but when I try to paint on the buttercream, it isn't working well.

The effect I'm trying for is similar to what boween did on this cake:

http://www.cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=coppermine&file=displayimage&meta=favpics&cat=0&pos=-18845

I'm guessing my brush is too stiff, but don't know for sure if that's the problem. It seems to be making a groove in the icing, and not leaving much of the color behind. I went to Michael's and got some brushes in the art brush department, and got the softest feeling ones I could find, with synthetic bristles.

Luckily, this is just a practice weekend, and I have two weeks before I have to do the "real" cake, but I would appreciate any advice from those who have done it before. Specifically about what type of brush to use, but also anything else you think I need to know!

THanks!
Laura.
post #2 of 4
I was unable to get the picture up but I would say you just need to
1. use a soft bristle brush
2. let you buttercream dry well before you paint it.
This is what decorators I know do. Haven't had the occasion to do myself but have been there when they did it. Hope this helps.
"Variety is the Spice of Life"
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"Variety is the Spice of Life"
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post #3 of 4
You'll have much better flow and color adherence if you use lemon extract rather than just vodka. The extract has a higher alcohol content--84% or 168 Proof--than the vodka and the oil helps hold the color on the brush better. No flavor is left behind.

If you're painting on buttercream, you need to use a hard crusting recipe--generally, the all Crisco one--and it should be super dry. If you're painting on fondant, it also helps if the fondant has set up a bit. If either icing is too soft, you'll get grooves.

I prefer natural brushes because natural hairs taper to a finer point, equalling a softer application. Only the very expensive synthetic bristle brushes can achieve this.

Good luck!
Rae
I love you, but your emergency is not my crisis!

They say that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.--Terry Pratchett (b.194
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I love you, but your emergency is not my crisis!

They say that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.--Terry Pratchett (b.194
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post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the tips!

I went back and got a couple of natural brushes, and let the buttercream harden more, and had much better luck today. icon_biggrin.gif

So far I've just been painting on cookies with a thin coat of buttercream on them, for practice. I had the cookies left over from our last project and wanted to use them instead of doing too many practice cakes.

I used the lemon extract instead of vodka, and it was much easier to paint and get an even coat, although when I ate one of the cookies I could taste a faint lemon flavor. Maybe I'll use lemon filling in the cake when I do the real one!

THanks again!~
Laura.
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