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I am building some new props using sheets of the pink foam board. I coated them with vinyl spackle and painted them. But the slightest bump damages the spackle and paint. Is there something better to coat the surface with that gives the props a protective shell? Thanks
 

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Drylock will give it a little more durability but they will always be vulnerable to getting dented. I usually just brush it off as adding character.
 

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I have used Durham's Water Putty with much success. You have to mix it with water to use it, but it dries hard. Mix it fairly thick and brush on a couple of thick layers. I used it on my Alien Autopsey Chip & Dip Set and on a sarcophagus. I hand carved both of these from laminated sheets of extruded foam insulation. It hides imperfections and leaves a nice hard coat and a very paintable surface. I would not leave it out in the weather though, unless it was sealed with drylock or something like that.





Eric
 

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Hotwire Foam Factory makes a bunch of foam hardeners like foam coat and boost that can be painting onto your foam projects to give them more durability.
 

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Hot Wire Foam Factory foam coat with a little of their boost works extremely well. I've made several painted foam props for my wife's school classroom and haven't had any problems at all with chipping or flaking. I've painted over the top of it as well as mixed paint into the foam coat. Both work equally well.
 

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the horror up North ...Eh
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honestly unless you are packing your styrofoam in bubble wrap the only coating that may help is similar to rino lining bedliner ... the foam factory and others will not protect the styrofoam underneith
 

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You can use Bondo filler (no plexiglass in it) to coat the foam but you'll have to put foil on it first to protect the foam from the heat that the filler generates. Hard as a rock!
 

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I don't know if this will work or not?? But I have been wanting to try it. I saw a fairly new product at Lowe's last year called "Restore". It is a wood deck restoration product that goes on like very thick paint and dries to the consistency of Rhino liner.
 

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You could use fiberglass resin but it might be expensive depending on how much you need to cover your prop. I remember seeing a quart size can at my local Ace Hardware for something like $17 or $18.

Good luck!
 

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Oak Lane Cemetery
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I don't know if this will work or not?? But I have been wanting to try it. I saw a fairly new product at Lowe's last year called "Restore". It is a wood deck restoration product that goes on like very thick paint and dries to the consistency of Rhino liner.
It does look promising doesn't it?
 

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What we do is use a heat gun on our foam to slightly melt the surface, which adds an awesome aged look, and it hardens up the foam nicely. Then we use drylock to weather proof, and you should be set. Keep in mind that the foam is always going to need touched up, and to perfect of a prop looks, well, too perfect.
 

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Hello everyone. I have the same question it seems most of your answers. Are for before painting.

My problem is my prop is already painted with interior laytex ( you know the cheep stuff) now I want to coat it with something to protect it from the outside eliments .
Like rain and a little ding dent protection.
 

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would mache help?

Megan- I have been using paper mache to protect my foam creations. A simple water/flour mixture with newspaper helps, but if you want to make is super strong, you could use paper mache clay over your forms and then they are sandable, paintable, you can nail it, staple, drill. I hear its amazing. I'm hoping to try it out this week. you'll have to google the recipe, I'm too new to post links just yet
ultimatepapermache

hope this helps!
 

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just saw your follow up that this is for AFTER your painting.
Outdoor modge podge maybe? Regular modge podge is water based so wouldn't be good outside, but maybe their outdoor one would work.
 

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What ever I use had to be clear and satin in finish Plus water resistant.
My stone walls have latex paint with latex washing or tea staining already done. I just don't want them to
Wash off in the rain.
 

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Last year I was doing some research on this very subject. What I found was some recipes that were recommended by a prop/set builder. I haven't tried any of them but here they are:

Recipe #1
"3 qts flat latex paint < any color, good place to use up all the left over paints from the scenic painters shop>
3 - 5 tubes acrylic latex painters caulk ( often called Alex caulk) 1 cup Joint compound"

Recipe #2
"1 gallon latex paint
2 tubes Latex painters caulk. < not silicon>
1 cup Joint compound
1/2 cup water putty"

Recipe #3
"about 1 quart of latex paint ( this can be pretinted, neutral base, or a "waste" paint, as long as it's latex.
About 4 tubes of Latex caulk. Do not use Silicone caulk. Some Latex caulk are called 'siliconized' and those are ok to use as they are still latex based.
About 2 cups of drywall mud. Adds thickness and aids in setup time and helps leave a harder finish when dope is cured."
 
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