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Hi all - long time lurker :)

Looking for budget friendly ways to create some textures for some trees and other items, with a similar Great Stuff effect, but the stuff is expensive for the amount I may need. I've seen suggestions of using contractor bags with a heat gun, anyone have pictures of the end result? Is it paint-able?

Thanks in advance!
 

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His name is Roger Clyne
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Someone here does expanding foam but it's like what professional insulation folks use, it's 2 parts & you mix it.
 

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You might try that texture spray that's made for textured ceilings. I know the popcorn texture is one of them, but they make others. That'll go further than a can of Great Stuff.

A couple of things about foam though. Walmart is selling a different version of the foam (I think it's made by 3M). You get more in a can and the price is lower. Also, if all you need is texture and not fill, you can spray Great Stuff on something, then immediately spread it around with a knife or putty scraper to put a thin coat over a large area. We didn't like the open cell foam look on the wings of our Creeper, that appeared everywhere we cut portions of the foam off, so we spread a thin layer of Great Stuff over the wing arms and it dried with a hard surface and a nice texture.
 

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You can also watch for sales on great stuff. Earlier in the year is was around $2.99 or less at Ace hardware for any version of great stuff. But wiping it on as surface finish is good advice and much cheaper.
 

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I've used expanding urethane foam, if thats what you're after. I'm not entirely sure if its cheaper than Great Stuff but it looks smoother, can pick up details and is much easier to use. Just look for liquid urethane foam. If you don't need strong stuff, stick with the lower lbs / foot. It expands much more than the higher lbs per foot stuff. If you can't find it hit me up .
 

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Bruzilla; with what did you use to spread the great stuff (or like) around? I'm thinking about using it on a few of my skeletons but want to understand better how to use it in a less expanding manner.

Also for those of you who use great stuff, it is great stuff. However, if you don't use it all at once, for those who do not have experience using it, it seems to clog up and you have to throw it away.

What I found out is to use a nail or something like the end of a coat hanger to gently unclog the hole. When you've pulled out the clog it works fine again.

You all probably already knew that.
 
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Another possibility is ask at your local hardware store if they'll sell you cans of the Great Stuff that have lost their straws cheaper. One year we were doing a couple of BIG projects for a non-profit that required lots of Great Stuff and we asked the manager at the local Home Depot if they'd donate some cans. The answer was no but he would sell us the strawless cans very cheap so he didn't have to deal with sending them back. We just reused straws. Occasionally we'd run into an older depressurized can, we discovered if we poked a hole in the can, pointed it in the general direction of what you want to coat it sort of worked, in a blob-y, messy way.
 

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Papa K, we used disposable plastic knives to spread it. We would lay down a bead of foam, then start using the knives to spread it around the same way you would spread jelly around a piece of bread. :) Once the foam is spread around, it'll expand but only a little bit, mainly it'll look like blistered skin with small bubbles here and there. The smoother you get it the fewer bulges there will be, but we wanted the bulges to give the look of a rough, tumored-looking surface. The best thing is the surface will be 100% closed foam so you don't get that foam look you get when you cut into the expanded foam.

Another trick you can do with foam is get a small amount coming out, and when you let off the trigger it continues to come out in a thin string for a few minutes. I use this "string" foam for making arteries and veins, and for ridges on smooth surfaces when I need them. I just give the trigger enough of a squeeze to get the foam started, then put the end of the tube on the surface and ease it along as the foam oozes out. The foam will expand, but just a very tiny bit. This worked great when I had to lengthen the neck area of my Jeepers Creepers Creeper mask, and wanted to add veins to tie the old and new areas together.

If you've ever seen the movie Warm Bodies, they have monsters called Bonies that are essentially a skin-covered skeleton with very little muscle. Great looking bad guys, and we're going to be making three for our Halloween display. We're planning on using three Walgreens skeletons, running heavy wire through them to pose them, then spraying Great Stuff between the bones and in the abdomen and chest areas to add musculature, then cut away all the excess foam about halfway down the sides of each bone, so the bones will be showing through the foam. Then we're going to spray the whole "body" with Rustoleum Flex Seal spray rubber to form the skin. This stuff works GREAT! We used it to form the skin on our Dog Soldiers werewolf and you can't tell what's fiberglass, foam, vinyl, clay, etc. It all has the same surface and a nice skin-like texture.

As for the clog issue, I just let the foam ooze out and form a blob at the end of the tube to seal it. Then when I use the can again, I just pull off the blob. If there's a clog I just cut away the clogged part of the tube. i usually don't use a can more than two or three times so this works well for me.
 

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FYI
If you unscrew the top of a great stuff can when done, and use a tiny amount of acetone (about a teaspoon) to pour into the large end, then about half a teaspoon into the can nozzle it will dissolve the wet foam and allow you to reuse the can multiple times. Shake them out after you pour the acetone through.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
have you thought about using dollar store pool noodles?
Yes, am using them for another project :)

Bruzilla; with what did you use to spread the great stuff (or like) around? I'm thinking about using it on a few of my skeletons but want to understand better how to use it in a less expanding manner.

Also for those of you who use great stuff, it is great stuff. However, if you don't use it all at once, for those who do not have experience using it, it seems to clog up and you have to throw it away.

What I found out is to use a nail or something like the end of a coat hanger to gently unclog the hole. When you've pulled out the clog it works fine again.

You all probably already knew that.
Eh, that doesn't work all the time... maybe next day use but not long term.. air always still gets in lol.
 

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Yes, am using them for another project :)



Eh, that doesn't work all the time... maybe next day use but not long term.. air always still gets in lol.

Actually I had a can of the stuff around for about a year before I tried this. You have to be very careful but it worked fine and I used the whole can a year later.
 
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