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Discussion Starter #1
Last year, I began creating a sign for my haunt (pictured at: http://i161.photobucket.com/albums/t239/hawkshillhaunter/Hawks%20Hill%20Sign/completelycarved.jpg ). I used polystyrene and carved out the design with a dremel tool - which I found to be a pain because it melted the polystyrene and packed onto the bit frequently. I've since painted it with a faux stone spray paint. I'm thinking I need a backing on it of some sorts for structural support - plywood maybe? Any suggestions?
 

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Good looking sign! 1/4 inch plywood is a good idea although if it is going to be in the weather for any length of time plywood would tend to warp unless it is sealed real good, and even then it might warp. Unless thats an effect you want. My wife likes me to start putting stuff out many weeks in advance so they tend to get rained on.

You might consider plexiglass, it will give you support and won't be affected by weather. Cost might be a consideration depending on how big the sign is. Hardware stores sell it, or look for a place that sells only plexi, they usually have a bin you can buy scraps out of, if your sign isnt too big.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
ahhh...never considered the risk of warping. plexiglass may be the answer. living in northern minnesota, ya never know what the weather will be like that time of year...lake superior may even have a say in it! but what would you use to attach the polystyrene to the plexiglass and how well would it adhere?

FRIGHTENERS - the hard coat covering you mentioned, how strong is it?
 

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Sign looks awesome.

Someone might have a better suggestion, but 3M Super 77 spray glue always gives me good results.
 

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I'm about to give away oneof my secret links. heh Even though this may not have an exact match, it still contains great advice for gluing: http://www.thistothat.com/

As far as a hard coating goes, this is in no way as strong as FE's, but if you water down water wood putty, you can paint it on and it will apply some durability...
 

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Discussion Starter #13
wow - the responses, feedback, and advice is awesome!!! and greatly appreciated. Thank you everyone! I at least have some new options to look into.
 

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Don't know if this will work since you've already painted you're great looking sign, but... I made a tree face out of Great Stuff and used Exterior Latex house paint, cement grout, w/a little water added to make it easier to work. Sorry I don't have any exact ratios. I just kinda wingged it (as usual). It dried onto the face real well and has beem outside on the tree year round for about 5yrs w/no sign of deteriation.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
AuntBite - got any pics of that? i'm curious and was wondering if you could elaborate on your project?

Thanks.
 

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Hawk - alas I have no pics and lost my digi camera in Fla.(I sware I was stone cold sober when it happened). The face is on a tree at my Moms house which is about 2hrs away. Will try to get over there soon or have someone there take some pics and send them to me to post here.

Here's my best recolection of the project: Taped a piece of wax paper to a table, drew a rough outline of facial features (2 arches for eyebrows, 2 lg dots for eyes, nose, and mouth...all seperate pieces) sprayed on expanding foam inside outlines. Let set overnight.
Mixed exterior latex oops paing w/some cement grout (don't remember brand) in a plastic butter tub. I put so much grout that it had an almost morter consistancy. Though nice and grainy I realized it was too thick for me to paint on. Thats when I added just enough water to make it paintable. I used one of those cheap chip brushes to apply. After this step dried I did a thin wash of brown craft paint and wiped off the high areas while it was still wet.

When dried the paint-grout coating was just very slightely elastic but would make a clicking sound if you tapped your fingernail on it. It's hard to describe. I think w/the correct ratios and a couple of coats this could be a really tough sealer for styrofoam and cheap to boot.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I'll have to try that, AuntBite...thanks for the how-to.

FrontYardFright - I'm in Duluth, MN. about 3 miles from the icy shores of Lake Superior! Been here for about 8 years now and I absolutely love it! Did you ever go to Duluth?
 
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