Halloween Forum banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
291 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
For some reason I cant find any Extruded Polystyrene (XPS) (Pink) foam in my local area. Well I did find some small thin squares that where just cost way to much. I just ended up getting some of the closed cell, polyisocyanurate (white) foam. Just wondering if I will notice any major differences between the two?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
414 Posts
Are you in a warm weather area? I've heard it's difficult to find polystyrene in areas that don't really get colder temperatures.

As to the difference, I just heard that the XPS is far easier to work with and to get to resemble stone. I'm canadian, so getting rigid insulation foam sheets is pretty easy for me, so I've never tried it with teh closed cell.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
629 Posts
The pink or blue foam is definitely easier to work with than the white stuff. I can't get the pink or blue stuff around here either. I went on vacation a couple of years ago and ended up bringing 2 four by eight sheets back from 2500 miles away. I probably could have gotten it closer but I didn't want to take a chance on not finding any.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
291 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Yeah AZ gets hot as heck!

I was able to make this out of it. Not a big fan of how the cracks came out.

20161113_200040.jpg

You can see the foam cells after hitting it with a heat gun but it helps with the stone look.

For some reason the photo makes it look twisted. Not too bad for my first try.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
717 Posts
We have the Pink and Green foam at our local Lowes.... easy to work with. Easy to shape and reacts very well to the heat gun.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
291 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I haven't checked Lowes yet, thanks for the tip. The main problem I've found with the white foam is the cells like to pop out. This makes sanding harder. It also forces me to cut my lettering with a exactot before going in with a dermel. When I try to trace my letters the foam cells will crush or pop out making it hard to follow later. Other than that it's not so bad.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
291 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Also, I've found that small scroll work is best done with a hot wire. This stops the cells from popping out when you try to cut thin lines. I'll post a pic of my current project later.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
291 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
So I just made this. The epitaph was at my daughters request.

15127564_10211343506851422_99236039_o.jpg

15127522_10211343484370860_881255445_o.jpg

The hot wire worked well but left lots of strings in my lettering.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
291 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Thanks! I've also found that White foam is harder to paint! The foam cells creates lots of small pits at are very hard to get paint into. I probably wont use white foam again if I can help it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
340 Posts
DB, I'm impressed with how well that detailed epitaph turned out on the white foam! I think you'll find the pink foam and a dremel much easier for those kind of tiny details. A few years ago I used white foam on my first round of tombstones and did what Godcrusher said - spray painted first to eat away the foam for a stone look. I think they look better as they aged and some white spots show through kind of like lichens. But you won't be able to keep the kind of detail you achieved with the spray paint method.

2 Bela.jpg

The next year I used pink foam covered in drylock. I personally like this kind better.

4 Daisy.jpg

Show us more of the tombstone you come up with. They are looking good!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
720 Posts
Some tips for white foam:

You cannot get very detailed with the hot knife method. White foam tends to shrink a LOT from heat. Pink foam is more resilient to heat. So, use an Xacto blade and/or chisels to do your lettering and detailing.

Creating proper looking cracks in white foam is difficult. So, BREAK your stone! Actually snap the stone and create a few REAL cracks! Then, glue em back together. If you need, use a particle board as a backing and glue everything to that. This gives the best looking fractures, because of the natural way white foam breaks apart. My favorite stones are still the ones I busted up using white foam.

Use black or gray primer as a basecoat to etch and decay the foam. Let it deform the stone a bunch. This works best with large fat lettering. After the surface gets destroyed, larger letters will still be legible.

Even though the white foam gives good stone texture, you still can benefit by mixing play sand into your paint. If you use a water-based latex paint, you can water it down to get it to flow into all the small pores and crevices. So basecoat your white foam stones, with black latex paint mixed with play sand. Then all your coloring layers of paint can be exterior grade enamels from the clearance shelf.

If you still want to do your lettering and detailing with heat, then I recommend this guy:

http://a.co/bsV1AHc

Soldering station.jpg

This is a variable-temperature soldering station. You can turn the temperature down and slowly melt the foam without burning it and without shrinking too harshly. Also the tip on this is very sharp and pointy, so it works well for fine details.

Last but not least, I like chipping away the corners and edges of white foam more than on pink foam. It looks more realistic. But the problem is, it's very easy to chip it when putting away in storage! BUT... if you heat-gun the whole thing, the melted surface is stiffer and more resilient than raw foam. So heat-gun all your edges after your work is done to help add durability.

Okay that's enough from me WHERE'S MY BEER
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
291 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Here's a pic a finished one.

20161116_200834.jpg

Well with painted in mostly black and gray the white unpainted parts don't really show up. I did water down my paints a good bit so it was able to soak it some.

Yeah the white foam did melt very quickly! I just picked up cheap hot wire so I probaly wont pick up another one till I get some more use out of this one.

https://www.amazon.com/FloraCraft-Styrofoam-Accessories-Cutter-Electric/dp/B003ADDTG6/ref=sr_1_16?ie=UTF8&qid=1479352972&sr=8-16&keywords=hot+wire

This is what I'm looking at doing for my next one.

Sally stone 2.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
291 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Oh, and real fast here is a pic of the other stone with just a bit of paint on it. I did't do such a good of a job base coating this one so you can see a bit more white on it.

20161116_214010.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
291 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Here's where I've gotten with my most recent project.

20161120_192746.jpg

It'll look better once I get some paint on it. White foam really Isn't that hard to work with once you get the hang of it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
I also do not like how easily the white foam breaks, we get high wind and it just does not hold up. I live in Reno we get cold, but no pink or blue foam just white now. My awesome husband ordered some of the blue for me from a builder. lol I'm now very picky what I use it for. Who would have guessed foam would end up being a precious thing!
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top