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Hi everyone. This is probably a stupid question but some prop tutorials I have seen have listed latex paint as a requirement. I am not sure what this is. I live in Uk so maybe it is called something else over here? Could anyone recommend a type of paint if its not against the rules? Thanks
 

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If they are referring to the type of paint to use on foam, they are simply saying that spray paint will eat away at the foam.(which is not always a bad thing, can add a distressed look which is always cool.) "Latex" paint is simply paint you would use to paint your walls or your house. Cheapest your local store has. I have used "Drylock" brand also which will weather seal whatever you paint. I also use polyurethane spray to seal the project upon completion. Hope this helps and remember, the best way to learn, is to simply try. Good luck!
 

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Greetings. First, there are no stupid questions... only stupid people who ask questions. :) And this is a question that should be asked. Many folks think latex paints are paints with latex in them, which isn't the case. No "latex" paints have any natural latex, just synthetic polymers (vinyl) that act the same way natural latex does. I believe these paints are referred to as "emulsion" paints in the UK.

Basically, there are three types of paints that we use: Latex, Acrylic, and Oil-Based. Latex and Acrylic are water-soluble and Oil-Based paints require the use of paint thinner, turpentine, or other chemicals. The reason you see "latex" paints called for in prop plans is they do not react negatively with most surfaces. You can use latex (and acrylics) on wood, paper, plastic, rubber, real latex, glass, and just about anything and it will dry and look good. Oil-based paints have solvents in them that can react negatively with vinyls, rubbers, and some plastics, resulting in them feeling sticky for months or longer. There is also the benefit of being able to clean up or thin acrylic/latex paint using plain water instead of paint thinner. The only real downside is if you need a finish that is super glossy. Oil-Based paints offer much more gloss than latex or acrylics.

As for latex and acrylics, the vinyl polymers are much cheaper than acrylics, so "latex" paint tends to be about 20% acrylics and 80% or so vinyl, which is why buying a gallon of house paint is much cheaper than buying a gallon of acrylic paint. Latex paints are usually the way to go if you have a lot of area to cover and you're looking for a flat or semi-gloss finish.
 

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Yes the guys are right - latex paint in the US is the same as emulsion paint in the UK (found that out by asking on the forum myself by the way so don't feel embarrassed!).

It depends as to what you want it for - to mix up monster mud I've used the cheap white indoor emulsion and coloured it for what ever base colour I need. If you use masonry paint it may change the texture but unless it has some extra additives it may be OK.

What are you wanting to do exactly?
 

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Some awesome info here. I would never have even realized “latex paint” would be referenced differently in the UK.

To add to the great info Bruzilla shared, you could always add a gloss finishing coat to your props (if desired) using a glossy spray paint clear coat.

I have had great luck with that on corpsed props and other things that either remained slightly tacky days later or simply needed a “wet” or shiny look.

clearcoat.jpg
(This guy is totally dry to the touch and not at all tacky, but still looks wet.)

The only drawback is you'll obviously get less coverage than say a gallon of latex/emulsion paint. However being a spray paint you can always dust it on and don't need as much as you would if you were going for color coverage over a surface.

Just keep in mind it's pretty stinky stuff, so use it in a well ventilated area like the garage or driveway. I always wear my face mask also when using it. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yes the guys are right - latex paint in the US is the same as emulsion paint in the UK (found that out by asking on the forum myself by the way so don't feel embarrassed!).

It depends as to what you want it for - to mix up monster mud I've used the cheap white indoor emulsion and coloured it for what ever base colour I need. If you use masonry paint it may change the texture but unless it has some extra additives it may be OK.

What are you wanting to do exactly?
I want to try and make a couple of paper mache pumpkins to start then see where that takes me. There is so much on this site and I want to do everything yesterday but alas I also have a life...
 

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There are a lot of posts and tutorials around and about about paper mache pumpkins. I think that there is an online tutorial for that very thing starting here in January. Lizzy Borden is the one who came up with the idea and lots of people seem interested. Check out the thread and see is it's something that could help you with your project.
Can't remember the exact title - something like "is anyone interested in a beginners level paper mache tutorial".
 
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