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Topic: Painting on craft foam
Message: Posted by: flourish dude (Aug 2, 2006 06:30PM)
Has anyone painted craft foam? If so what paint worked best and how did you glue it?
Message: Posted by: George Ledo (Aug 3, 2006 04:16PM)
There are different types of sheet foam out there, but they pretty much share a common problem: the solvent in spray paint melts them.

To paint sheet foam, the best bet is a water-based (aka acrylic or latex) paint. Besides being thicker than spray paint and therefore filling the holes better, it gives you a nice hard surface. If necessary, you can apply two or more coats. An old trick in theater, when using carved-foam elements, is to cover them with cheesecloth (applied with a diluted white glue) and then paint over it. It provides a durable surface.

Nowadays Krylon makes a water-based spray paint. I haven't used it, but I suspect it's just as thin as the older types.

I've also painted foam pieces with a water-based paint as a base coat, and then sprayed over it. It worked fine, and then I sprayed urethane over it to give it a nice hard glossy surface.

Off the subject, but if you want to create a texture on the foam, standard spackle works fine: just put it on and do whatever you want with it. I recently made a couple of Styrofoam cheesecakes for a musical, using spackle to define the outside and top surfaces, and the darn thing looked good enough to eat.

As far as gluing the stuff, good ol' Elmer's will do it. Put the glue on, spread it out, and then put some pressure on it for a couple of hours. For very large surfaces, 3M Spray 77 is great.
Message: Posted by: ClintonMagus (Aug 4, 2006 06:17AM)
In the hardware store the other day I noticed that Krylon now makes a latex spray paint. This might work.

Amos McCormick
Message: Posted by: EsnRedshirt (Aug 4, 2006 11:10AM)
Amosmc, it's usually the chemicals in the spray itself rather than the paint. Unless the can is specifically labelled "Safe for use on foam", you better test it on scrap first (in a well ventilated area- melting foam can release toxic gases.)

George is right, prime it with a water-based brush-on first. Alternatively (and I've done this when building model terrain, so I know it works) you can brush on white (Elmer's) glue diluted with water (about 1:1 more or less). At that ratio it won't clump up, but will make a nice sealing coat which you can apply spray paint on top of.

George, remember wheat-paste? Good ol' wheat paste and horse glue, applied to old cloth. Great for covering flats, platforms, and props... once you get used to the smell, that is.
Message: Posted by: flourish dude (Aug 4, 2006 03:15PM)
I used an airbursh with acrylic and it worked great. It filled in the foam and did not make it hard.
Message: Posted by: cardsharpist (Aug 14, 2006 04:55PM)
Tester paint and Krylon H2o paints work very well and do not melt the foam.
Message: Posted by: Son of a Beat (Aug 19, 2006 03:14PM)
I recommand non-solvant base CONTACT glue. The white one. It's great for gluing and as a pre-paint cover. It will fill the holes and reduce the "grain" effect on white foam sheets.