Monday, May 18, 2009

How to paint soaps with micas and pigments.

How to paint soaps with mica and pigments. (For instructions on molding Melt and Pour soap, please see the how to on Melt & Mold Soapmaking... coming soon).

I thought I'd use this blog for recipes and a how-to section for those of you that want to know how something was done, or recipes to make certain products we have at Creations from Eden.

So, number one on the list and my latest passion: Painted soap.

Materials needed:

  • Melt and Pour Soap Base - equivalent to the size of mold you are planning to use, or CP soap in the shape you desire. It can be fragranced in the scent you choose. I personally do not work with CP because of my kids and the danger of lye, but whatever you have on hand will work. I generally use a natural white M&P base, plus it is faster and I am impatient.

  • Clear Melt and Pour soap base- equivalent to about 40-50% of your soap above. So if you are painting a 4oz soap, have another 1.6oz-2oz of clear base available for the overlay.

  • Micas and other powdered colourants - I love micas because of their shine, but any powdered colourant will do the trick (including mineral makeup). I use micas, oxides and ultramarines, although be aware that ultramarines have a funny smell to them that will go away after some time.

  • Distilled water- enough to wet your brush...a vailable at grocery stores.

  • Paint brushes- the higher quality the better. I use professional artist brushes, but I realize that is not in everyones budget. Wal-mart sells an inexpensive kit with several types of brushes for around $3.50. These will work to start.

  • One small container - For your water.

  • Soap mold- any mold of choice, I prefer more elaborate designs, but if you are starting out, stick to the less extravagant. We are bringing in Chase Creative Molds soon and that is where I got the Keeshond in the picture.

  • Paper towel - to clean up spills, and clean your brush

  • Q-Tips to touch up your work

  • (Optional) Arrowroot Powder


  1. Mold your soap of choice.

  2. Have your colourants ready (I take a little out and place in 2"x3" Zipper bags so as not to contaminate the rest of my colourant jar).

  3. Wet your brush.

  4. Use a paper towel and wipe off the excess water so it is just barely damp.

  5. Start with the darkest shade you plan on using and dip your brush into the bag. (In the case of both the Schnauzer and the Keeshond, it was black oxide).

  6. Stroke your brush across the area you want that colour, it should stick. Blow off any excess, don't worry about getting it on the background or other places on the soap as we will clean it up later.

  7. To clean your brush, wipe off excess colourant, then dip again in the water. Repeat steps 4-6 until the image looks how you want it.

  8. Take your Q-tip and dip into the water. Carefully clean up any areas you do not want colourant on.

  9. Melt your clear soap base until just melted. You don't want it too hot or you'll melt the soap you just painted. Too cool and you'll fight air bubbles. A nice runny consistency that has not started to gel yet, is perfect.

  10. Pour the clear soap into the same soap mold you used to make the painted soap (about 30-40% full. You have to work pretty fast here. Spray with Witch hazel or Isopropyl alcohol to remove the bubbles and get the clear soap to adhere to the painted soap.

  11. Take your painted soap and carefully place it in the mold starting at an angle, go slowly so as to not introduce air bubbles between the two layers.

  12. Press down firmly. Look underneath at the image if you are working with a clear mold to ensure that the air bubbles have escaped around the sides. Pour more clear base over the back of the soap for a uniform appearance.

  13. Spray with Witch Hazel again.

  14. Let set until cool. 15-20 minutes or so.

  15. Unmold.

  16. You now have a painted soap with a clear soap overlay. This is why I use the crystal clear for the overlay. It does not distort the image.

  17. (Optional) Brush with very little arrowroot powder before packaging, to keep the soap from sticking to the plastic.

I hope this was helpful. For any questions please email me at

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