Is polymer clay waterproof before baking?

Polymer clay is a versatile and popular crafting material known for its ability to be molded, sculpted, and baked to create various projects. One common question that arises is whether polymer clay is waterproof in its raw, unbaked state. In this article, we’ll delve into the water resistance of raw polymer clay and explore how its properties change after baking.

1. Initial Water Resistance

Minimal Water Absorption:

Non-porous nature of raw polymer clay:

Raw polymer clay has a non-porous nature, which means that it has minimal water absorption capabilities. In its unbaked state, polymer clay is relatively resistant to water, and short-term exposure to moisture is unlikely to cause significant damage or changes to the clay’s composition.

2. Vulnerability to Damage

Sensitivity to Handling:

Risk of smudging and distortion:

While raw polymer clay may have some level of water resistance, it is still delicate and vulnerable to damage, particularly during handling. Water can cause the clay to become soft and malleable, making it prone to smudging, distortion, or even tearing. It’s important to handle raw polymer clay with care and avoid exposing it to excessive moisture.

3. Changes After Baking

Transformation Through Baking:

Enhanced water resistance after curing:

During the baking process, polymer clay undergoes a chemical reaction that leads to its curing and solidification. Baking removes any remaining plasticizers and strengthens the clay’s structure, resulting in a more durable and water-resistant material. Once baked, polymer clay becomes significantly more resistant to water and moisture compared to its raw state.

4. Applying a Protective Finish

Sealing for Added Protection:

Using sealers and finishes:

To further enhance the water resistance of polymer clay projects, crafters often apply sealers or finishes after baking. These products create a protective barrier on the surface of the clay, helping to repel water and prevent color bleeding or fading. Using a sealer designed for polymer clay can extend the longevity and appearance of your creations.


While raw polymer clay does possess some level of water resistance due to its non-porous nature, it is not fully waterproof and remains vulnerable to damage. Baking polymer clay is essential not only for achieving its characteristic hardness and durability but also for enhancing its water resistance. To create long-lasting and water-resistant polymer clay projects, it’s advisable to handle raw clay with care, bake it according to manufacturer instructions, and consider applying a protective sealer or finish for added protection.

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