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Hello all, I am in the process of making some foam walls and pillars for my home haunt this year that have the look of old stone. I want to hard coat the foam to protect it from all the elements so I have it for a long long time. Has anyone did this procedure with their foam or know a product or how I can do it myself? I first saw the idea on the discovery channel a few years back when they had a show called monster house and started my brain going. Any help would be greatly appreciated Thanks all. :jol:
 

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What kind of foam are you using Bob?
Im guessing that pink stuff?
If so cover it all with a latex paint..(I have not used this type so do not know if or what paint would melt that) then do your coloring of stone and mortar.
I saw theres a new clear coat called polycryllic ( I think it is made by Behr) not sure though...that may help seal and give it the hard effect you want.
 

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Yeah I am using the pink/blue stuff. I know this topic has been brought up before but I'm not sure which forum I saw it on. There is a product that was discussed that will give the foam almost a hard plastic coat while still sealing in all the detail.
 

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Bob C.
That would probably Sculpt or Coat from sculpturalarts.com. I haven't personally used it, but have just ordered some this weekend. It's supposed to be some awesome stuff.....
 

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One of the mache'ers on here swears by that stuff... is it Krough I think?
 

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Synthetic stucco products like Dryvit or Parex are rather pricey but they're really just glorified heavy-duty exterior latex paint with a lot of silica sand mixed in them. The real strength comes from the base coat that's applied underneath them. But you're building a Halloween decoration, not a Walgreens or a Taco Bell, so you really don't need the basecoat. I haven't tried this yet, but I'm going to when my next check comes in; you should be able to get some exterior latex and mix in a bunch of white sand and trowel it on thinly over the foam & texture to your heart's content. It might help to prime the foam with Kilz first, but that should be all the real prepwork you need to do. I'll let you know how it works, hopefully by next week I will have tried it.
 

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I've used Dry-Loc on some of my props, including foam. It works pretty well- gives a nice hard coat, and has some sandy texture. It's expensive at around 25 bucks a gallon, but to me it's worth it to have stuff waterproofed as well as sturdier.
 

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I have used Vinyl concrete patch as a foam coating when you want a plaster or cement look. It's also good for tombstones. It adheres really well and is much cheaper than the dry-loc. I have not used my props outdoors so I am not certain how weather proof it is. You can get it at any Home Depot or Lowes in the building materials section. I sometimes use mesh under the cement for added strength. I am not sure if you can get that at a hardware store or home center. It is not a must. You can use the mesh drywall tape for added strength in the corners and for seams.
Here is what it looks like. http://www.quikrete.com/ProductLines/VinylConcretePatcher.asp

Here are a couple of projects I did using it.
Gate Pillars http://wny-haunters.markshauntedgarage.com/photos/thumbnails.php?album=11
And some tombstones.
JaneEyre :: tombstones.jpg picture by Brckee1 - Photobucket
 
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Here's the info on foam coating I had mentioned a few weeks ago.

Rosco Foam Coat-
FoamCoat FOAMCOAT is a non-toxic, water based coating for styrofoam and polystyrene foam, as well as other surfaces. It provides a hard, durable finish that resists chipping and cracking, yet can be sanded smooth or carved to add detailing. FOAMCOAT can be used on a wide variety of surfaces including foam, primed wood, concrete block, primed fiberglass, paper maché, muslin and many other materials. FOAMCOAT is fully compatible with all Roscopaints used either as tints or as surface coatings. FOAMCOAT is inherently flame retardant and water resistant.
APPLICATION: Apply by brush, roller, or hopper spray gun depending on the desired finish. The thickness of the coating is determined by the application. When coating over fine details, use successive thin coats to build up a protective layer without obscuring the details. For an extra smooth finish without sanding, smooth the coated surface with a wet sponge just before the FOAMCOAT has set completely.
SUGGESTED USE: Excellent for use as a protective coating for all types of foam projects. Especially useful on foam scenery or props that receive physical abuse or need to last for extended tours. It can also be used as a texturing agent that is much more durable than plaster or joint compound.
SURFACE PREPARATION:
  • Foam: All surfaces should be clean and dry before application.
  • Wood & Plastic: Prime surface with Rosco Tough Prime before applying FOAMCOAT.
  • For particularly difficult materials, lightly sand surface to give it more "tooth" before applying FOAMCOAT.
COMPATIBILITY: Foamcoat is compatible with all water based coatings and is easily painted or tinted. Tint Foamcoat using Supersaturated Roscopaint or Universal Tints. It is not necessary to prime Foamcoat before painting.
MIXING: Stir well. Due to the weight of the solids in Foamcoat settling may occur. Use a power mixing blade for best results.
DILUTION: Use Foamcoat undiluted for most durable single coat application. Foamcoat may be diluted with water if desired. Thinner mixtures will flow and level more than an undiluted application and will dry to a thinner coating.
COLOR: Off-white, matte finish.
COVERAGE: Varies with application. Approximately 150 sq. ft per gallon.
FILM THICKNESS: Varies with application. 1/16" - 3/16" per application.
DRY TIME: Varies with thickness of coating. Approximately 2-8 hours. Allow 24 hours for full cure.
CLEAN-UP: Soap and water.
SHELF LIFE: Minimum 24 months.
PACKAGING: 1 Gallon and 5 Gallon.



link to the site * http://www.rosco.com/uk/scenic/foamcoat.asp
 

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I mentioned a coupla weeks ago that I'd try making inexpensive synthetic stucco and that I'd let you know the results. Well, punctuality isn't my strong point, but I finally got around to experimenting.

Synthetic stuccos like I mentioned are glorified heavy latex exterior paint with a lot of sand mixed in (and various hardeners, etc). I mixed some exterior paint with silica sand and a little tint to make it show in a picture better, and it worked pretty well. I just spread some on an old Styrofoam cooler for the pics. Click the pics for the larger versions.

http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e31/pjhawke/revenant/StoneCap0001.jpg http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e31/pjhawke/revenant/StoneCap0003.jpg

Mixing the stuff is easy. You know the consistency of sand-finish paint? That's not what you want. You want to keep mixing sand in so that it's no longer fully liquid anymore; you want it real thick and slushy like wet cement or thick oatmeal.
The right-hand side was my first try. I didn't trowel it on or use a putty or taping knife, I just sort of spread it around with a wooden stick. As you can see, it was too thick a coat, and it sagged and drooped a bit. Which might be an effect to go for if you want a poorly done cement job look. Or the Incredible Melting Gargoyle or something. The latex paint just doesn't have the viscosity that the syn-stucco stuff has to hold the weight of the sand. The side on the left was much better; I used a trowel and putty knife to apply the stuff very thin so it wouldn't sag. Nice flat surface; could be cement stucco or concrete, could be unpolished cut granite or limestone.

http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e31/pjhawke/revenant/StoneCap0002.jpg http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e31/pjhawke/revenant/StoneCap0004.jpg

You see above the nice sandy surface, flat but still not smooth. At a fraction of the cost of the stucco stuff. Light will diffuse over the surface and soften the shadows just like on stone. When the paint dries, it shrinks a bit and pulls back, exposing the sand grains more. You can enhance that by taking a damp sponge and LIGHTLY patting it over the surface, it removes the extra surface paint and exposes more sand. To eliminate trowel lines, just give it 15-30 minutes to set some, and lightly scrape a putty knife along the lines to flatten them down. Be careful to keep the edge of the blade completely parallel to the surface or you'll just gouge new lines. Rounded corners are tricky, you'll probably have to go over them a few times; the damp sponge trick helps with that too. And you're better off with silica sand than brown sand; silica sand is colorless (ranging from white to light grey), other sand will add its own color, appearing brown or even pinkish. If you want something to look like limstone it would blow the illusion.

I'd probably do this at least twice on my faux stonework so I know it has a nice thick protective coating; obviously, you needn't be so precise with your surfacing on the undercoats. It keeps water out, and adds impact and abrasion resistance. Go to the drywall section of your hardware store and get several widths of taping knives for your spreading; several from 1" to 6" are nice to have. They usually have disposable plastic ones for a fraction of the cost of the real ones, so if you're just going to use them for your tombstones or whatever and not real construction work you could have a full set for the cost of one good one. If you plan on doing something big, like a mausoleum, do yourself a favor and buy a real plasterers trowel, it will save you tons of time.

Hope this helps somebody.
 

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Wonderful Rev! Thanks for the info. I'm just starting my tombstones and want to make the Mausoleum, I think this will be GREAT! Even for my pillars to the cemetery entrance! Ooooooohhhh, off to Home Depot I goooooooooo!!!!!
 

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Great info Revenant!
I've been looking for something like this to use on the tops and bottoms of my cemetery pillars...
I've been using monster mud to make it look like stone/cement but I've been having to replace it every year!
Thanks again for the great info!
:).
 
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