Can you use water to smooth polymer clay?

When working with polymer clay, achieving a smooth and flawless surface is essential for creating professional-looking results. While there are various techniques for smoothing polymer clay, using water is a popular and effective approach. In this article, we’ll delve into the practice of using water to smooth polymer clay and explore the benefits and considerations of this technique.

1. Softening and Blending

Water as a Lubricant:

Enhancing malleability:

Water can act as a lubricant, softening the surface of polymer clay and making it more malleable. This enables you to blend and merge different pieces of clay together seamlessly, creating a unified and smooth appearance.

2. Texture Reduction

Minimizing Texture:

Smoothing rough surfaces:

Water can help reduce the texture on polymer clay, especially if you’re working with a clay that tends to show fingerprints or other imperfections. By lightly dampening the clay’s surface and gently smoothing it with your fingers or a soft tool, you can achieve a more polished finish.

3. Surface Polishing

Creating a Glossy Effect:

Enhancing the shine:

Using water to smooth polymer clay can contribute to a glossy and polished appearance, similar to the effect achieved after baking. When the clay is moistened and smoothed, it can temporarily mimic the shiny finish that is characteristic of baked polymer clay.

4. Controlled Application

Applying Water Strategically:

Ensuring controlled results:

When using water to smooth polymer clay, it’s important to apply it strategically and with control. Too much water can oversoften the clay or cause it to become sticky, potentially affecting the structure and shape of your creation.

5. Drying and Baking

Allowing for Drying:

Ensuring thorough drying:

After using water to smooth polymer clay, it’s crucial to allow the clay to dry completely before baking. Excess moisture can lead to cracking or bubbling during the baking process, so ensuring that the clay is fully dried is essential for successful results.


Using water to smooth polymer clay is a versatile technique that offers several benefits, from softening and blending to texture reduction and surface polishing. By applying water strategically and with control, you can achieve a smooth and polished appearance that enhances the overall quality of your polymer clay projects. Whether you’re working on jewelry, sculptures, or decorative items, incorporating water into your smoothing process can help you create visually appealing and professional-looking results that showcase your artistic skills.

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