Kiln Wash Not Sticking

Having problems with your kiln wash not sticking to your shelf or mold? It just seems to stick in a couple of places, but there are other places where it won't stay.

It can be very frustrating and the situation can have you scratching your head trying to figure out what is wrong with this picture. You are not alone.

I have had this occur from time to time and did some research for how I could solve this problem. There are a couple of things you can try to help a good even coating on the kiln shelf.

Dip It

Dip your shelf or mold into water before you coat it with kiln wash. This method will cause your shelf or mold to dry more slowly and take more time for the moisture to evaporate. You will also need more coats of the wash to obtain a good coating.

Change your mixture

If you are making your own wash, try changing the blend. Play around with the mixture of silica and kaolin. Instead of mixing 50/50, try adding less clay and a little more silica. Too much clay can cause it to chip and peel off more quickly, because the clay shrinks.


I have read that if you are purchasing your kiln wash, try adding some 200 or 325 mesh supersil. Add about 10% mesh supersil to 90% shelf primer mix.

Elmer's glue

Another method would be to mix white Elmer’s glue to your mixture. This should be mixed as follows:

  • 3 parts water
  • 1 part Elmer’s glue
  • 4 parts dry kiln wash or shelf primer

    This mixture should allow your wash to not only flow smoothly, dry hard and also be easily removable after firing.

    Remember that thick kiln wash can cause peeling problems, so keep it to just a few layers.

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