If you, like me, love vivid and bright colours, then maybe you have a question about how to paint wafer paper in saturated clear tones. Below I will describe all of the methods, which I use in my work. And in the second part of the article, you will also find recommendations from other talented masters. After you will learn how to colour wafer paper :
- how to use petal dust correctly to color wafer paper
- how to color wafer paper in metallic colors
- how to color wafer paper using colored moisturizer
- how to color wafer paper in deep, vibrant, and clean colors – a full technique
- how to make interesting visual effects, including different techniques for stripe painting and crackle effect
- how to use an airbrush for coloring wafer paper sheets and finished flower
- how to use oil and petal dusts to color wafer paper for artistic projects
- how to fix the colored petals and prevent some colors from dropping off
Let’s get started!
How to paint wafer paper with moisturising liquid
If you want to make pastel-colored wafer flowers, the most practical, fastest, and simplest technique is to tint the moisturising liquid with a few gel color drops. For example, a delicate shade of champagne will only need to add a few drops of cream or skin tone color to the moisturising liquid. For this, you can try the following cake decorating brand colors:
Even if the tone does not appear to alter, you will be able to detect a subtle change in tone when comparing the completed flower with white wafer paper. If you want the petals to have a satin sheen, after wetting them down, add some dust paints. Try to experiment with Sugar flair dust, they have a great choice of different shades.
The formed wafer paper flower or individual petals can be tinted with petal dust powder colors. Brands to use Wilton or Sugarflair
You can also color wafer paper petals in vivid colors utilizing the same technique, but it’s not the simplest approach. I still advocate using an airbrush for bright, deep hues, and this method will be covered later in this post.
If you don’t have an airbrush but must color your wafer flowers in vivid hues, try this approach. Gel food coloring is used for this technique. Add as much color to the moisturizing liquid as desired, and the petal will be as brightly colored as possible. As shown in the example below, I use the red color to paint the Silk Poppy petals and form them immediately after they are moisturized.
The working process is the same for both methods. With a more complex method using deep dark colors, you have to learn to work as quickly as possible. As moistened/colored petals cant be dampened with potato or corn starch for an easier handle, starches will lighten the color.
Tips for coloring wafer paper with tinted moisturise
- Prepare petals for shaping
- Prepare the moisturising liquid by adding color
- With a sponge, moistened in a coloured moisturiser, moisten the petal on both sides. Move the sponge over the entire petal as quickly as possible!
- The moistened-colored petal is further formed and placed for drying.
If the petal is a pastel color, potato starch or luster dust may be used to lightly powder it. However, it should be noted that because the petal will be matte, creating a vein will be more difficult. It will look a bit like the fabric structure. Although such a petal is easier to “control”, it will still be very flexible, will not hold so well, and will dry longer.
If the petal is colored in intense shades, it should be noted that the petal will dry much longer. Its surface may be slightly sticky. It may need to be covered with food varnish to fix the paint and prevent stickiness. However, this should only be done when the petal is completely dry!
How to color wafer paper with powdered petal dust
As previously said, I don’t pre-color wafer paper with powdered colors. However, it is a personal preference, and you may find yourself needing this approach and the resulting visual effect in a work project. The white sheet looks mottled and streaked if it’s colored with powder color, creating a dirty aesthetic impact. It may, however, be utilized for artistic purposes, such as making withered flowers with brown and gray tones.
Only petal dust is used to color the paper with powder paint! Do not use concentrated water-soluble colors for dry coloring! The composition of petal dust is different from concentrated water- or fat-soluble powder paints!
Apply petal dust on finished flowers or shaped petals. You can easily create different shades in one petal or interesting contrasting stripes. The petal dust can be used in a concentrated form and also can be “diluted” with corn or potato starch to give a lighter color.
- prepare powdered color in the shade you need
- apply color to finished flower petals with a flat brush ( medium-hard)
- fix the color with food varnish or vodka airbrush
- let it dry before assembling
How to paint gold or silver wafer paper
Metallic gloss is a hue that I use often on the edges of leaves or petals, rather than painting the whole flower. To make gold leaves, for example, I mixed metallic sheen with a tiny quantity of alcohol (vodka or similar) and applied it to the prepared petal or leaf. When tinted in this way, it should be done in quick movements without hesitation to prevent excessive wetting of wafer paper, further, the leave must be formed and left to dry. When drying, the paint can crumble and be slightly brushed off by touching it. To fix the paint I use food varnish. Food varnish can be purchased in an aerosol or prepared by yourself using Gum arabic mixed with alcohol.
Powder application with a brush is not recommended for metallic paints since only a tiny amount of sheen will adhere to the petal and the sheen will not be evident.
Tips for coloring wafer paper in metallic shades
- Dilute powdered metallic color with vodka to a creamy consistency
- apply it to the petals with a sponge or brush
- let it dry and spray with food varnish
- dry again before assembling
Note: If the varnish is not applied, then when the metallic paint dries, it will come off, because the vodka will evaporate, but the powder color will remain and some will fall off.
How to paint wafer paper in clear saturated and bright shades
The greatest approach to painting wafer paper in clear and bright hues, in my opinion, is to utilize an airbrush. It’s enjoyable and the end result is stunning. The airbrush will be a valuable tool in your cake decoration arsenal if you do cake decoration on a regular basis.
Dark, saturated, and bright shades for flowers can be made by coloring them several times using pre-colored wafer paper, a colored moisturiser, petal dust, and a finish airbrushing color.
- pre-color the entire sheet of wafer paper as close as possible to the desired color, cover the sheet of wafer paper several times if necessary, letting it dry between application of the second layer of the color
- make your flower petals using colored moisturizing liquid ( the same color or different)
- dry the petals
- apply powdered petal dust
Note: Coloring a lighter shade on a darker leaf base will give you a beautiful muted velvety effect. This method and visual effect I often use for Peony flowers.
- After applying the powder paint, the petals – either individually or already assembled – are colored again with an airbrush. The airbrush should be adjusted to a smaller aperture to make it easier to control the amount of paint blown out. Alternatively, you can use a food varnish and fix the color!
And here you go – your flower will be bright, saturated, and clean in color. I find this method the best and love the finished result. Looking at the finished result is hard to believe that the flower is made from wafer paper, it looks so real!
Tips for using an airbrush to colour wafer paper
This type of coloring will be one of the best ways to pre-color wafer paper!
The paper can be painted evenly in one tone, but an interesting effect can be achieved by combining several colors – mixed or striped or painted in one tone with a transient effect from lighter to darker (ombre).
When painting with an airbrush, the specific instructions for use of the airbrush must be followed. Depending on the strength of the jet, care must be taken not to wet the sheet too much. If you wet it too much, it will crumble and it will be difficult to take further action.
Use a gel color or a water-soluble powder paint that is dissolved in vodka. Colour dissolved in water will make it harder to paint the sheet, as fine drops of water will form bubbles, damaging the smoothness of the sheet.
Put a small amount of paint in a container and add a small amount of vodka. Mix thoroughly to remove any undissolved pieces of paint that may block the opening of the airbrush tip. Gradually add more vodka to make the color lighter. in the opposite, if you want to achieve as dark a color as possible, try to airbrush with concentrated liquid.
How to apply color with an airbrush:
Apply color as many times as necessary, keeping your airbrush nozzle about 20 cm apart from the paper. You can create a paint box so that the color does not cover the entire surrounding surface, using a cardboard box.
Place the paper in a paint box and airbrush the first layer of color, try to move the airbrush fast over the surface, do not spray color in one place too much. I use the nozzle 0.3 mm to apply color.
Colour the paper from both sides. If the paper is not too damp, the other side can be colored immediately, if it is slightly damp, leave it to dry.
Papers can be colored in advance, dried, and packed for storage so that they are not exposed to air. But it will be much easier to work with freshly colored sheets because right after coloring sheets are super flexible and will be more flexible and easier to work with.
How to paint interesting color effects
Painting the stripes with a brush:
Once the petal is shaped and dry, it may be stained with some regular or more fine streaks.
Use the gel color to color fine streaks. The gel color may not even be diluted if it has a liquid paste consistency. If the color is thicker, dilute it with vodka to a creamy soft consistency. Paint the stripes with a fine brush.
When the paint dries, fix it with food varnish – by blowing the varnish over each petal, covering the whole area.
Painting the stripes with a sponge:
Irregular stripes that will have a different width can be painted with a sponge, with its sharp edge. Use the same gel color as for the fine stripes.
Dip the sponge into the color of the edges and move quickly over the petal.
When the tinted strips have dried, fix them with food varnish. If the stripes are not deep and only light touches of paint, you can skip the varnish, but allow the paint to dry completely before assembling the flower.
How to paint contrasting color areas:
Contrasting stripes or even different colors on each side of the petal can be achieved using airbrushing.
To color a stripe, adjust the jet of airbrush to the finest, and either with free movement or using the stencil paint an area in the desired color, let it dry!
Different color accents on the pedals can also be tinted with petal dust colors, the effect will be less visible and less pronounced!
How to paint crackle effect on wafer paper
To achieve a crackle effect add titanium dioxide to the previously described type of color mixing.
Titanium dioxide is a color used to color food items in white color. Although it will soon be banned in many EU countries, it can be used for this painting purpose. Because these petals will not be eaten, but will only be in contact with food. That is, the leaf will only touch the surface of the cake.
When adding titanium dioxide to the paint, it should be taken into account that it will remain matte light. However, when the paint dries, the added titanium dioxide will create a crackle effect. I often use this effect when creating Eucalyptus leaves!
METHODS USED BY OTHER CAKE DECORATORS
Searching around on the web I found one more interesting technique described by The Violet Cake Shop Blog the artist is using powdered color mixed with oil. Violet has a detailed post on her blog with pictures about Coloring wafer Paper
Summary from Violets method:
- Choose your powdered color shade
- Mix the powdered color with oil to paint- consistency apply to your petals
- Let the petals dry overnight to oil dissipate
- Use your pre-colored petals to assemble the flower
This method I found to be useful when making some artistic flowers if the goal is not to make a botanically correct flower appearance. Also, the best when working with tchick wafer paper 0.6 grade ( it is as hard as cardboard). The downside of this method is that as the oil doesn’t moisturize the wafer paper, it makes film over it I can’t shape it and make veining with silicone veiners. You can only slightly manipulate with a petal without breakage.
Anyway, this method is a good addition to the whole coloring techniques arsenal.
Learn and practice all of them, and you’ll be astounded at how fantastic wafer flower designs you can create.
Enjoy the process, be creative, and be unique!