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A few people have asked me about the techniques I used to create my foam boarded-up windows. First I must thank creeeepycathy for her inspiration and also to Juggernaut for his instructions for creating foam boards detailed on his site.

I’m afraid I didn’t take any progress pics while I was creating the boards so this will be more of a general guide than a step-by-step. Feel free to ask any questions if something isn’t clear.




I used 1” thick extruded polystyrene foam insulation (the pink stuff) cut into boards 4½” wide. Each board has a base coat of flat beige paint that I had mixed in Home Depot’s paint department. Actually, I went to the lumber section and picked up a small cutoff of wood I found on the floor and had them scan it with their paint computer and mix up a pint of paint to match (but beige will do :) ) While there I picked up some Behr Faux Glaze then went next door to Ben Franklin Crafts to pick up several of those cheap bottles of acrylic paint to use as tints. I bought a bunch of paints with “brown” in their name as well as raw umber. You’ll also need a wide paintbrush—the older the better since the bristles of a beat-up brush will do a better job texturing than a new brush’s. Lastly, you’ll need a piece of thin cardboard with “teeth” cut on one edge. Cut the teeth with varying widths and with varying distance between them.




Once the base coat of beige has dried, mix up a small amount of the glaze with a squirt or two of one of the tint colors (the amounts aren’t critical) and brush the entire board with this mixture. While it’s still wet, rake the toothed side of the piece of cardboard down the length of the board giving it a wiggle every so often to give it a realistic grain. Alternatively you can use the dry, wide brush to create a finer grain, again giving it a wiggle here and there. The pic below shows examples of each technique. The nails are, in fact, real nails that I cut short and stuck in the foam with Gorilla Glue. The rust on the nails is also real and is a product from Sculpt Nouveau (Iron B coating with Tiffany Green patina). I used it because I had it lying around but you can certainly just paint the nails with shades of brown and orange or simply paint faux nails on the boards like Juggernaut.




The boards are cut into various lengths and glued together with Gorilla Glue. I didn’t bother removing the paint at the glued areas and the joints have since proven to stay stuck together even within strong winds. Use a thin layer of glue and weight the joints as the glue tends to foam and wants to push the boards apart. To secure the finished section of boards to my windows I used short lengths of dollar store dog leashes glued at each corner. I first hollowed out the foam so the leash pieces would sit flush to the surface and glued them in place with Gorilla Glue. I then glued a small piece of luan (thin plywood) over the glued section of leash to further secure it. The square piece you see in the close-up pic is a piece of the same 1” thick foam glued at each corner and rests against the windowsill. This will become clearer in a later pic. If I had to do it again I would use a thinner material than dog leashes (such as canvas straps) as the leashes have proven to be a bit hard to close in the window sashes. Also the square piece of foam pictured is painted with the beige paint and gives you a better idea of the base color I used.




The finished sections looked too new so I mixed a very watered-down black acrylic paint and used it as a wash to age the boards.




The boards are installed by closing the upper and lower sashes on the dog leash straps at each corner (you’ll need a helper inside while you hold the boards against the windows from the outside). The square pieces of foam described earlier rest up against the sills and give the corners support so the boards don’t flex when the straps are pulled tight. The horizontal boards rest directly on the window frames.




Here’s another section in place. The arrows show where the straps are held in place by the sashes. I know there are no nails “holding” the boards to the sides of the windows but I decided to wait for them to be in place to serve as a guide for adding the nails and I never got around to it :)




Here I will leave you with a pic showing how I store the boards to prevent damage in the off-season. I use two storage hangers with cheap paint rollers slipped over them.

 

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Disney Inspired
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Love it!!! I am going to redo mine this year, using this technique. I used a Dremel to create the grain, although it looked good, it took forever to create each board (hence I only got 2 of 6 windows completed).
 

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Great tutorial, your painting is fantastic!

I'm a bit confused on the straps though. Do your windows open from both the top and bottom? Mine open on one side from left to right or vice versa. I think I'd have to figure something else out to secure them.

Thank you for posting this! :D
 

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Disney Inspired
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Great tutorial, your painting is fantastic!

I'm a bit confused on the straps though. Do your windows open from both the top and bottom? Mine open on one side from left to right or vice versa. I think I'd have to figure something else out to secure them.

Thank you for posting this! :D
Do your windows slide or open out? Mine open out (also called Casement Windows). Last year we used heavy duty velcro directly on the window. It worked, however, it was a pain to get off and my concern is scratching the window when removing the velcro (I had to use Goof Off and a razor blade). This year I was thinking about doing something similar to the dog leash idea, but use fishing line. The fishing line would attach to either corner of my boards (outside of window), go over the top of the window and triangulate to the middle of the window on the inside. The tip of the triangle will attach to the latch on the inside of the windows. Hope this helps. If you don't have this type of window I probably totally confused you…:eek:

I will try to illustrate in a drawing.
 

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No, no, I understand. Mine slide. Casement windows would make it much easier. :D I would really only have one vertical side of the windows (and some don't open at all). I've seen people use velcro, magnets, double stick tape, and hooks and eyes. I think magnets would work the best, but the strong ones are expensive.

Thanks for clearing that up! :D

I think fishing line would work very well. Much thinner and cheaper too!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks, everyone! :eek:

Katie,
My windows are the double hung type with upper and lower sashes that both move up and down like the window in the attached image. Fishing line should work fine and I believe that's what creeeepycathy uses for her windows.
 

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Wee bit Wicked
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fantastic tutorial!!! I love the way you painted your boards. :) And I'm stealing your storage idea!!! :)

btw- I started hanging mine with velcro on a frame that goes over the window. (thanx WyattFurr for that idea. :) )
 

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Thanks for the tutorial. I was going to do the same thing this year but inside for my Zombie theme Halloween party. Now I have a great reference.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks, again :eek: Glad to help!

Creeeepycathy, steal away ;)
Terra, your tutorials have always been an inspiration!
 

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Funeral Crasher
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Excellent looking boards!
I made some similar to yours several years ago. I had the nail heads sticking out of mine, too!
Unfortunately, my boards are too small to use in this newer house we moved into.
Your tutorial will help a lot if I ever make some new ones.
Thanks!
 

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Those look great. My window open only from the bottom. May have to try this if I can find some magnets. Someone in the neighborhood tried Velcro stuck to their house for their boards over the window but it fell off after a few days.
 

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Those look great. My window open only from the bottom. May have to try this if I can find some magnets. Someone in the neighborhood tried Velcro stuck to their house for their boards over the window but it fell off after a few days.
Hmmm my windows also only open at the bottom. I was also thinking velco. Walmart sells these little circle Velcro partches that might work ok if you use a lot of them.


Great tutorial. Adding this to my list
 

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Ur boards look great. I lov the nails u have in urs too. I made my boards look really old like barn wood. I took a hammer to the ends of my boards & also smashed places along the edges of the board. It gave it a more weathered look. & some nice whacks for the center of knots in the boards too. You can really get out ur agressions that way I found out!!! I used a tip of a nail for the wood grooves & a knife to cut off pieces in the ends of the boards to make them looks old/splintered/weathered. I also used a nail to put nail holes in the ends of the board & painted them darker. It looks like nail heads.

I had a #$#$ of a time getting mine boards to stay on. They stayed on until the temp got colder at nite, then I could hear them peeling off of the sutters one at a time. Grrrr. The boards were too big for the windows & covered about 3" of shutters on each side. I tried mult tapes. Duct tape worked the best but it will take the paint off of ur shutters - found out :( Although they stayed on a 1-3days then peeled off. So I ended up using 3M poster strips tape. One side goes on shutter (no paint removal) YEAH! other side onto back of board. That worked great & was easy to remove, but its expensive. It can hold the weight of mult boards too. Got to find another way to attach them. Think I might use some gorilla glue & attach a couple of boards together, then use the poster tape to attach to shutters. Or try to make some small hooks that fit into the shutters. Ur way looks interesting tho. Fantastic job on the boards urs look soooo real too !!!
 

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Ur boards look great. I lov the nails u have in urs too. I made my boards look really old like barn wood. I took a hammer to the ends of my boards & also smashed places along the edges of the board. It gave it a more weathered look. & some nice whacks for the center of knots in the boards too. You can really get out ur agressions that way I found out!!! I used a tip of a nail for the wood grooves & a knife to cut off pieces in the ends of the boards to make them looks old/splintered/weathered. I also used a nail to put nail holes in the ends of the board & painted them darker. It looks like nail heads.

I had a #$#$ of a time getting mine boards to stay on. They stayed on until the temp got colder, then I could hear them coming off one at a time. Grrrr. The boards were too big for the windows & covered about 3" of shutters on both sides. I tried mult tapes. Duct tape will take off the paint off of ur shutters - found out the hard way:( Although they stayed on a day or 2 then peeled all off. So I ended up using 3M poster strips tape. One side goes on shutter (no paint removal) other side onto back of board. That worked great & was easy to remove, but its expensive. Got to find another way to attach them. Ur way looks interesting tho. Fantastic job!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks, guys! If your windows only open at the bottom could you possibly replace the top straps with hooks or something that can be secured by sliding behind the trim or on brads that are nailed in from the top? You could then secure the bottoms using the straps held by the sashes.
 
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