Materials & Tools
Vinegar and water (2 teaspoons per cup)
Methylcellulose solution (in shallow pan)
Liquid acrylic paints (from one to four colors)
Skewers (or dowels)
Polystyrene block (or similar)
1. Dip blown-out eggs in a vinegar solution. This etches the surface and allows it to accept the paint. If you pre-dye the eggs, make sure that the concentration of vinegar in the dye is equal to 2 teaspoons per cup of liquid. Most common egg-dye recipes call for some amount of vinegar. Goose and duck eggs need a longer bath than chicken eggs (which need about 20 seconds). An egg that isn't fully prepared will not hold the painted pattern and the colors will slowly run. If this happens, the egg may be wiped clean with a sponge. Resoak it in the vinegar solution before attempting to repaint.
2. Whisk 1/4 cup of methylcellulose into 2 quarts of water. Mix well and let sit for an hour, whisking every 15 minutes.
3. Dilute liquid acrylic colors with water (approximately 2 parts water to 1 part paint).
4. Set eggs on skewers (through the blow holes). Using a small wad of floral clay at the base and top, affix eggs to skewers to prevent eggs from spinning when dipped. The egg and skewer (or dowel) must be completely dry for the clay to stick.
5. In a pail, prepare a half-gallon water bath.
6. Flick paint onto surface of methylcellulose. Use a skewer to create swirls.
7. Hold the egg by the skewer; in one easy motion, dip the egg in the painted methylcellulose and roll it once. Overlap the paint as little as possible. Overlapping occurs when the egg is turned beyond one rotation. Less than one rotation will result in a gap in the pattern.
8. Still holding the skewer, dunk the egg into the bath. Gently turn and swirl the egg to remove excess methylcellulose.
9. Set the egg to dry by standing the skewer in polystyrene block.
10. Spray-dry the egg with an aerosol sealer. They are available in different finishes; gloss, matte, satin, and semigloss.
11. Let the egg dry (according to product instructions) and recoat.
Methylcellulose can be purchased at www.talasonline.com.