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How do I paint on fondant/gum paste?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I work with fondant quite a bit and I've decided I want to try painting. I've watched a few tutorials and read up on it, but there are a few things I'm unsure about. I'm just going to dot point them and if you know anything about any questions, please say :)

  • I don't have any vodka to mix in with the gel paste. Will peppermint essence work as it only has peppermint oil, alcohol and a little bit of water?
  • How much do I need on the brush? I don't want to overload it and have it run everywhere.
  • Should I wait for the fondant to dry before I start?
  • Can I store it? If I have leftovers can i just put them in a bottle and get it out later or does it need to be used straight away?

Thanks :)

post #2 of 7

Craftsy is offering a free course on painting on fondant.  

~ Sherri
~ Sherri
post #3 of 7

My "painting" is certainly not the amazing artistic offerings of some, but I do paint fondant/gumpaste surfaces.  I use vodka.  It's my understanding one can also use extracts for the alcohol content; the alcohol being the preference as it's quick drying, won't melt your fondant.  I mix the colors up in glass custard dishes or the little plastic paint trays.  I use a bit of the gel colors (toothpick used for this, just like in coloring buttercream), and then, using an eye dropper, drop in a few drops of the vodka - mixing in enough to thin the gel to a consistency I can work with.  As for saving the leftovers, the paint typically dries up in the trays after sitting, requiring more vodka to bring it back to life.  Since you can work with such small amounts (drops of color at a time), doubtful you'll be worried about "saving".  And in the interest of "food safe", best to start fresh with each new project.  If you've talent as a painter, you're over half way there, swapping the gel color for the  acrylics used on canvas. 

post #4 of 7

I would second Sherri's suggestion of the Craftsy class.  It's free to download and does give a good introduction to the topic.  I found a lot of the middle section to be a bit unneccesarily long, as the gist of the instruction is given first and then its just watching how she does it - but it is still very helpful and has inspired me to try some painting on my next cake.

post #5 of 7

Hi - do you think you could post the link? I've searched Craftsy and couldn't find the free tutorial. Thanks very much -

post #6 of 7

There are various ways of using colour for painting.


1.  Confectioners Glaze and powder colour.  This is the best but you will have to buy a brush cleaner as this does not wash off with water, is expensive and when you have left overs it is not easy to store to use again as it goes hard.  Dries exceptionally fast.


2.  Gel Colours.  Use these with a little boiled water to make it easier to paint.  The only problem with this method is the colour can be pale and you will have to build up the colour in layers.  Let one layer dry and then paint again.  You can store these colours and just add a little more water if needed.  Brushes also are easy to clean.


3.  Powder Colours.   Use these with clear alcohol, Vodka preferably.    This has a similar effect to the confectioners glaze as it dries fairly quickly.  This is the most common used and it gives the best results.  Brushes can be cleaned with water and when the alcohol disperses into the air you are left with the powder residue that can be reused.  And no after taste.


You can use the powdered colours with water, but the structure of water does not allow for a good mix and you can have some disappointing work.


With all the colours, make up a very little at a time. Use a paint mixing tray and a dropper for the liquid.  You will only need a couple of drops of liquid at a time.  A little goes a long way.  Do not overload your brushes and use a size to allow for ease of painting the area.  Fondant does not have to be totally dry before you paint.  I have on more than one occassion painted directly onto the fondant.


As for the peppermint essence, once the liquid has gone you will be left with a really strong flavour of peppermint and this could taint your work.  You could be leaving enough flavour on one painted cookie of peppermint that you would normally need to flavour a whole batch.  Best is to practise with what you have and adjust to what you feel comfortable with.  Dont forget too much water in one go will eat away your fondant.  Hope this helps you.

post #7 of 7

Go to:

and it's third from the bottom.


I know there's some way to get to Craftsy through Cake Central so that they get a referral fee, but I don't know how that works or indeed if they'd get it for a free class.

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