Painting & Dusting Gumpaste Flowers

Decorating By MissSuper Updated 8 Jun 2011 , 9:30pm by TexasSugar

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MissSuper Posted 8 Jun 2011 , 11:24am
post #1 of 7

Whats the best technique for enhancing the colours of your gumpaste flowers?
I tried dusting some gumpaste calla lilies using Wiltons petal dust (I believe its Wiltons petal dust) but the bust did not stay it was just falling off.
I mixed the dust with some clear alcohol, not too much as I saw a video on Youtube from Edna where she stated not to add too much as it will be grainy.
Nevertheless, I added a tiny amount (clear alcohol) to the dust and the mixture was in fact grainy.
Therefore, I am not sure if I did something wrong. I tried painting it again it was grainy/sticky and not adhering to the flowers, so I am wondering if this dust from wilton is not of good quality. Is it the brand that counts?

What is the difference between pearl, petal and luster dust, especially when using it for gumpaste flowers?
What brand of petal dust is good, I am not sure if Wiltons brand is good?
I think I saw a few posts where you can mix your chosen type of dust and also gel or paste colours with vodka.
Any suggestions will be appreciated.

6 replies
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bakingatthebeach Posted 8 Jun 2011 , 11:55am
post #2 of 7

luster dust gives a shiny metalic effect ie gold, silver
pearl gives you a (and forgive my spelling) pearlescent effect
petal dust gives you a matte finish

Ive used wilton and they are ok, I had to keep reapplying. If you apply dry, stick the piece over a tea kettle or clothes steamer to steam it, it sets the color.

If you go on some of the supply websites, they have all kinds of petal, luster, pearl dusts that I have used and work well. Like I said the wilton is ok (except the pearl one, it didnt work well at all) but the others are better. If you look at my orchids in my pics, the pink on them is wilton petal dust. I just kept applying til I got where I wanted with it.

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rpaige Posted 8 Jun 2011 , 12:24pm
post #3 of 7

I, too, had a problem with the Wilton products that I tried to use in a rush situation. I needed to make purple callas. I had to use more than half of the small container. Rather than purple - I ended up with a more gray-ish color until dusting over and over. My entire kitchen was covered in floating gray dust. Once I achieved the color I wanted, I did pass them over a steaming kettle to set the colors. I gave up on most of the Wilton dusts and ordered my colors from chef in Seattle and had much better results. Learned completely different lesson - less is more when dealing with better quality. From chef tools, the dust comes in a tiny little plastic container and I nearly went into a panic thinking I should have ordered more and my now project was going to be delayed. Barely touched the brush to the dust on the lid and almost had too much color! Hope this helps.

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TexasSugar Posted 8 Jun 2011 , 3:03pm
post #4 of 7

Did you use the Pearl dust or the shimmer dusts? The shimmer dusts are sold in a package of three and are in short wider jars. They are meant to be put on a wet surface and they will stick to that. They don't dissolve into alcohols.

The pearl dusts come in long skinny tubs. They are very light in color, subtle hints, when you dry dust with them. When you mix them with alcohols they are bolder.

I haven't tried the new color dusts they have yet, so I'm not sure how well they work.

If you are looking for some good dusts that are completely edible, check out Crystal Colors. ( This colors can be used to dust flowers, mixed with alcohol and painted, or mixed into your icings (buttercream, royal and fondant.)

They also have crystallized colors (, which are the pearl/shimmer ones.

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Texas_Rose Posted 8 Jun 2011 , 3:47pm
post #5 of 7

I tried Wilton's new color dusts over the weekend. They work just fine. When applying them dry, you've got to kind of scrub the color into the gumpaste. I painted with them as well and had no problems mixing the color into vodka. I liked them well enough that I went back and bought a couple more colors.

I didn't steam the finished pieces to set the color, because in my experience that makes them shiny, and I didn't want them shiny. The shine disappears after a few days, but I didn't make these far enough in advance for that.

Here's a picture of flowers done with the dust:
The ivy was painted with dark green dust on white gumpaste. The dogwood has a bit of pink dust on the petals, and bright green and brown on the centers (which were pale green to start with). The roses were pale pink gumpaste with pink dust added here and there.

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MissSuper Posted 8 Jun 2011 , 9:01pm
post #6 of 7

@ TexasSugar, actually upon seing you metion shimmer dust in your post, I checked it out and yes it is actually Wilton's shimmer dust and not the pearl dust, oh my.
I have yellow and orange. I tried the orange. I purchased the individual containers, so I was unable to see what type of dust it was and was thinking it was petal dust.
Anyway with questions and practise comes experience, because I don not experience in this area.
Texas rose, your work is lovely.
Thanks everyone for your assistance.

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TexasSugar Posted 8 Jun 2011 , 9:30pm
post #7 of 7

By your description that is what it sounded like. The shimmers can be nice, I used them on my yellow and orange cake in my photos and for flower centers, but they don't work like other dusts do.

Hope the pearl dusts work better for you.

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