Coloring Not Sticking to Cookies When Painting?

Hello, all! I am new here but very happy to have found you. I was inspired to start painting cookies after seeing Julia's videos but I'm having some trouble! As I am painting cookies, it's almost as if the surface of the royal icing is repelling the color. It doesn't seem to happen more with one color than another. This has been incredibly frustrating because I can barely get an even coat of color because it starts separating and almost beading up. I use a meringue powder-based royal icing, totally dry, and Wilton gel paste colors. I've tried using both water and alcohol to wet the brush. Is there something I could try, or this normal and I am just being picky? Thank you!

Original Post

@Econlady thank you for the reply.  It's entirely possible it could be due to too much added liquid however I seem to get similar or unsatisfactory results when I've tried using straight gel, no water, no alcohol, a little, a lot, etc.  Also, I found that when using straight gel and a damp brush I ended up getting tacky patterns that never dried, they looked awesome but no way of transporting them and forget about eating them.  Honestly if someone replies "That's just the way it is" I'll be just as happy as if there is a solution!

I wonder if your icing surface is too slick and shiny? (I've sometimes had airbrush coloring bead up on shinier cookies that I dehydrated in order to dry.) How do you dry your cookies?

Hoping others will chime in here with advice too. 

Hello Julia!  Thank you very much for the reply!  That could be it.  In my original post I mentioned that I used meringue powder just in case the royal icing base could be the issue.  I never thought about the surface being too slick but I think you may be right.  I usually air dry my cookies however recently after seeing your videos I started using a barely warm oven to dehydrate them a little.  To be perfectly honest I'm not 100% sure if I have only painted on oven dried cookies, I don't think so but I will certainly keep it in mind when I'm experimenting.  I also have an airbrush although I haven't fired it up for the first time yet, it will be interesting to see how well it works.

When you have had the airbrush coloring bead up on cookies how did you trouble shoot it?

 

The Rustic Tart posted:

Hello Julia!  Thank you very much for the reply!  That could be it.  In my original post I mentioned that I used meringue powder just in case the royal icing base could be the issue.  I never thought about the surface being too slick but I think you may be right.  I usually air dry my cookies however recently after seeing your videos I started using a barely warm oven to dehydrate them a little.  To be perfectly honest I'm not 100% sure if I have only painted on oven dried cookies, I don't think so but I will certainly keep it in mind when I'm experimenting.  I also have an airbrush although I haven't fired it up for the first time yet, it will be interesting to see how well it works.

When you have had the airbrush coloring bead up on cookies how did you trouble shoot it?

 

I was careful not to spray too heavily and to apply coloring gradually, but I prefer to use air-dried cookies when airbrushing.

Hello @The Rustic Tart   I've yet to paint a cookie, but am looking forward to it.    

Julia's video is excellent and covers anything a cookier'd want to know abt painting cookies.  There are also many youtube tutorials on the topic.  @The Painted Box almost exclusively paints her cookies and they're incredible. She has an excellent video tutorial that shows her method.   

Don't give up.  Keep working on it.  You'll find a solution that works for you.  Decorating cookies is just like any art form, everybody has a different way to reach the outcome they're looking for based on a common technique.   You'll succeed.  You will.  Glad you're here  

Pip

 

 

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