Poppy Paint Beginner’s Tutorial




  • Poppy Paint
  • Paint Pallete
  • Cling Wrap
  • High Proof Alcohol – See Below
  • Shot Glass or Similar Size Cup
  • Paper Towels


  • Paint brushes (assorted)
  • Paint daubers
  • Small ball-tip tool
  • Stamps
  • Make up sponge
Prep your paint palette by covering it in cling wrap. I prefer Press and Seal, which sticks well to the palette. Use enough so that there is excess cling wrap hanging over each side of the palette.

Press the plastic wrap down into each reservoir, then wrap the overhanging plastic around the edges and under the bottom.

Fill a shot glass with approximately ¾ inch of high proof alcohol. We generally use 91% isopropyl since it is more cost efficient, but other options are 180+ proof grain alcohol (Everclear) and lemon extract. The latter two options are better since they are food safe, but they are quite a bit more expensive. Isopropyl works very well, but you’ll have an extra step of cleaning the isopropyl out of your brushes before each use. We’ll be resting our paint brushes in this alcohol for cleaning and to ensure they don’t dry out. Be careful not to overfill the glass – if your paint brush handles are submerged in the alcohol, they may become damaged. We only want the bristles and metal tip in the alcohol.

Set up your workspace with any tools you plan on using. We’ll be using a fine tip brush, a flat tip brush, a pointed round tip brush, circle paint daubers, a small ball-tip tool, and a stamp. We’ll also be using a small makeup sponge to apply the paint to the stamp.
Find a smooth, non-porous surface to work on. I generally use Poppy Paint on top of a silicone mat. Spills are much easier to clean on surfaces like this. Additionally, always have paper towels handy. I generally place whatever I am painting on top of a paper towel, to catch any paint mess that gets brushed over the edge.
(TIP: When looking for brushes, select those used for acrylic painting. Most brushes can be found at any arts and crafts store.)

Preparing Your Paint

Before using Poppy Paint, you will need to ensure it’s well-mixed. You’ll be able to see how the paint has settled on most colors, but a few (especially white and black) may appear to be well mixed even when not. For the colors in which the separation is clearly visible, shake vigorously until the color appears uniform from top to bottom. For colors like black and white where you cannot see the separation, shake even longer than the others just to be sure.

(TIP: If your paint has set for a very long time, there may be some sediment that doesn’t want to come loose from the bottom of the bottle. If this happens, gently squeezing the bottom of the bottle can help to loosen the sediment before shaking.)

Squeeze a small amount of paint into one of the reservoirs in your palette. If using a new bottle of Poppy Paint, dispose of the tamper-evident ring before pouring your paint so that it doesn’t fall in and make a mess.

Wipe the paint off your bottle tip before replacing the lid so that the lid doesn’t stick when the paint dries.


For extra small details or very thin lines, a fine tip brush works best.

(TIP: When painting with Poppy Paint, less is more. Start with a small amount of paint on your brush, and if you find it isn’t enough then work your way up from there.)

Whenever you finish using a brush, place it tip-down in the glass of alcohol. Use this alcohol and a paper towel to clean your brush between uses. If using isopropyl, be sure to clean your brush thoroughly with soap and water before each use. You’ll want all traces of the rubbing alcohol gone from your brush, as that type of alcohol is not food safe.

Paint daubers make circles easy. The sponge on the end will absorb enough Poppy Paint so that you can make several dots in a row before re-dipping the dauber. Make sure when you press down, that you are holding the dauber straight up and down with gentle, uniform pressure. Practice on a piece of paper until you are able to make multiple dots of the same size.
For straight stripes, use a flat tip brush. The size of the brush head will determine the width of the stripe.

If painting in multiple coats, let the first coat dry before applying the next. You can tell the paint is dry when it appears matte.

Pointed round tip brushes are great for detail and lines. This is the brush I choose for calligraphy.

Note: The orange dots are made with a small dauber in the same way as the red dots from the previous step.

Small ball-tip tools can be used for extra small dots. They come in assorted sizes and some of the tips are the same size as the tip of a toothpick. Use them the same way as the daubers, pressing straight up and down and practicing on paper until you get the hang of it.
Practice with these various tools and you’ll soon learn which work best for you!


For stamping, apply paint directly onto the stamp with a brush or a sponge – I prefer using a makeup sponge. If using a sponge, dip that sponge into your paint and gently apply the paint to the stamp. Be careful not to push too hard when applying to the stamp or you will fill all the crevices with paint and the details may not show up.
To use the stamp, press straight down, firmly, and lift straight back up. This may take some practice. I like to practice once or twice on paper before each time I use one.
If you would like to paint inside your stamp design, allow the design a little time to dry first. Remember, the paint is dry when it looks matte. Feel free to test it by rubbing lightly with your fingertip – when dry, Poppy Paint will not smear!


Super shine is our glossy top coat. One coat gives a glossy finish, and two coats makes that super glossy. Super Shine can be used on any surface that Poppy Paint is used on (except for royal icing), and can also be used to paint over Poppy Paint.

When painting Super Shine over Poppy Paint, be sure to use light brush strokes and do not brush over the same area more than once until the first coat is completely dry. Super Shine will rehydrate the Poppy Paint, and if you brush over an area multiple times you will smear your previously painted designs. Once the first layer of Super Shine dries, you may add a second layer if an even glossier finish is desired.

Super shine takes much longer to dry than Poppy Paint – between 5-10 minutes. This will depend on the local temperature and humidity, and the thickness of application.


To create a watercolor effect, thin out Poppy Paint in your palette by mixing it with Poppy Thinner. I like to start with 10 drops Thinner to 1 drop Poppy Paint, then adjust from there. To increase opacity, add 1 drop of color at a time until it reaches the thickness you like. For increasing transparency, add 5 drops of Thinner at a time.
Round tip brushes are my favorite for watercolor. I like to apply the paint in random places and let the colors mix together. You’ll find that you can’t really go wrong with watercolor. The messier the better, and mistakes are easily covered. Play around to find what works best for you!


Pearlescent Poppy Paints settle much harder than standard Poppy Paints. Give the bottom of the bottle a little squeeze to loosen the color, then shake vigorously until well mixed.

I like to store my pearlescent paints horizontally so that the color settles on the side of the bottle, making it much easier to shake up.

Pearlescent Poppy Paints settle much harder than standard Poppy Paints. Give the bottom of the bottle a little squeeze to loosen the color, then shake vigorously until well mixed.

I like to store my pearlescent paints horizontally so that the color settles on the side of the bottle, making it much easier to shake up.


Now that we are done painting, time to clean up! Simply pull the plastic wrap off of your palette and toss in the trash. Clean your brushes with the high proof alcohol. Rub the brush tips against the bottom of your alcohol filled shot glass, then replace the alcohol and repeat. Do this a few times if need be. Check to see that the tips are clear of paint by wiping them across a paper towel. When there is no more color wiping off the brush, it’s clean. The alcohol can be hard on your bristles. To keep your bristles soft and pliable, wash your paint brushes with soapy water and rinse thoroughly until all of the soap is washed out.
If any Poppy Paint has spilled onto your work surface or finger nails, don’t worry – it will come off! Use a small amount of rubbing alcohol on a paper towel to wipe it off. If you have spilled on a wooden surface, use lemon extract – it isn’t as harsh as the rubbing alcohol and much more gentle on the wood. Poppy Paint will come off your skin by washing with soap and water, or by using a little rubbing alcohol for more stubborn spots.