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Discussion Starter #1
After carving styrofoam, is there something that can be placed or painted on it to create a hard surface?
 

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You're talking styrofoam, right?
Big clumps of foam...

I've had "some" luck at sanding it with a fine grit sandpaper, but it can only get "so" smooth - however, with some primer and a couple coats of paint, it does okay.

Drywall joint compound or spackle will give a wonderfully hard, sandable, carve-able surface, but it MUST be covered thoroughly with a durable paint if it's going to be exposed to any kind of elements.

I've also seen some foam painting paints at JoAnns and Michaels that claim to give a smooth surface on styrofoam, but they're kind of expensive - I haven't tried them yet for that reason.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Just to make sure everyone is on the same page I'm talking about extruded styrofoam...the pink or blue sheets.

I'm carving a head for a prop, but I want it to have a hard surface so it doesn't get dinged.
 

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There was a thread in another forum back in January that covered this topic.

Here's what they ended up doing to strengthen foam.

hauntedportraits.com said:
It looks like the solution I'm going to end up going with after some experimenting is a mixture of wood glue, Durham Water Putty and cheese cloth. 2 parts wood glue, 1 part Durhams and 1 part water over a layer of cheese cloth. The water putty by it's self is very hard and fills well but is brittle. So by adding wood glue and spreading a mixture over a layer of cheese cloth you get a very hard, non-brittle coating. It's cheap, I can get everything I need at Lowes, it's non-toxic and no fumes...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Has anyone used hauntedportrait's recipe? I'd be very interested to know if it worked.

The rock is too expensive at this juncture for me. Thanks though!
 

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Hellrazor said:
wouldnt the Epoxy melt the foam?
I have coated foam before with 5 Min epoxy. As well as epoxy resin (I think the polyester stuff will melt the foam).

The trouble is that it goes in really thin and takes many coats to get any kind of thickness.

Here is another product

http://alt.xmission.com/~spl_efx/vanillacryl/vanillacryl.html

And a future product.

http://alt.xmission.com/~spl_efx/materials/foamcoat.html

I haven't tried either of these they are expensive. But the look ok.
 

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Another idea, which I've used on more than one occasion, is to add fiberglass resin (with or without the cloth) to the finished product.

NOTE!!! Be CERTAIN to cover ALL exposed foam with paint (latex is fine) before applying any of the resin - otherwise, say goodbye to your hard work...


I used fiberglass resin over my Vilethings-esque skeleton marionette - I carved it from the extruded foam (not styrofoam), and once complete, to make it durable, I primed all the foam parts, and applied fiberglass resin to them...

I does obliterate fine details, but it gives a good, hard surface that can be sanded smooth, and carved (carefully...with a Dremel) and/or painted as you see fit. Additonally, the color of the cured resin is an amber-ish color, not too dissimilar to bone (eh...it's a stretch).


Finally...it's a lot cheaper than most other options. Walmart carries fiberglass resin for a good price.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Gothikim: there is no price on that stuff.

Thanks guys! It still looks as though most stuff is expensive...I wonder if wood glue would do it?
 

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Sickie Ickie said:
Gothikim: there is no price on that stuff.

Thanks guys! It still looks as though most stuff is expensive...I wonder if wood glue would do it?
Took a bit to find but here

https://mmm1935.dulles19-verio.com/sculp4/orderform.html#soc

The order button was not working. If you plan to order this stuff I'd call to
place the order. I don't trust a site when parts of it don't work.
Tells me the site is not maintained and the company could be out of business.
 
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