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Hello everyone!

I‘m a hobby modeller from Switzerland and occasionally helping a friend with some light prop restauration.

I need some advice on how to handle and preserve foam props:

1. what glue to use to fix teared foam?
2. what to use for filling material to build up missing spots on foam?
3. is there something that helps reinforce/seal the surface of foam props like some kind of translucent lacquer coat without damaging the paint?

Thanks and happy Holidays!
 

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Welcome to the forum! 😎

Some of your questions I think depend on usage. Sometimes specific situation can change the best approach. By your 3rd question, I assume the foam props will be used outdoors, but that's an important question. I've found that Great Stuff works as a great filler for foam, but you have to be careful with it because it expands a lot after application. Depending on how it's used, it could potentially break up existing weak foam as it expands. After it dries though, it can be cut, sanded, and fashioned in a way to blend very well with existing foam. I've successfully used it may, many times for repairs.
I've also used actual separate pieces of styrofoam to repair larger broken areas of foam. Cut a spare piece the proper size to fill, and then again... cut and sand it down to blend.

As for adhesive, Great Stuff works as a great adhesion even though it's not glue. I've also used wood glue with great success and it doesn't eat into the foam. Wood glue is tricky though because if you overuse it, you can't really sand it down because it dries too hard.

Regarding sealing the surface afterwards, I'm not familiar with any translucent or transparent sealant that works well on foam. My suggestion is to use Drylok to seal it first, and then paint over the Drylok to blend it with the rest of the foam. Maybe someone else will have a better suggestion. I'd be interested to learn about that myself.
 

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Something we need to know to give you good advice. What kind of foam is it? There are many great adhesives out there, but some may eat the foam, or not adhere at all, depending upon what the foam is made of.
The more you can tell us or show us the better.
 
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