View Full Version : Wafer Board VS. Outdoors

03-02-2009, 01:36 AM
Hey everyone, I am back. I just about gave up on my dream of doing a haunt because of the economy. My other business is not doing so great so I couldn't put in money to start my haunt and keep up the fight. Also, a new addition to the family and too much work has kept my mind too busy for the haunted, sick, twisted, demented portion of my life.

But I think I just about got something resurrected. Now, Here is my question....... I built several sets for an indoor haunt out of Wafer Board or just old regular OSB plywood. It has a protective coating to not show the ugly grain that I put on as part of the set design.... But the venue that I could possibly be getting into will be an outdoor venue. Now I am not going to rebuild these sets. But would like to know if there is some type of coating or CHEAP medium to make these work for my needs. If they are not cheap then I may just let them get ruined and only use them for two years or so but if they can be protected then great. So Any ideas?


03-02-2009, 03:17 AM
To me, it seems like wafer board no matter what you coat it with; with the exception of some layers of hard coat like you'd use on foam, it would soak up and hold water like crazy. I would just use normal plywood and 2x3 framing... paint the whole thing with a base of latex paint. Now, I'm not a scientist so I don't know exactly how much water latex paint would keep out... but, by my thinking this should work! -Tyler

Matt Marich
03-02-2009, 06:04 AM
Regular CDX plywood is the most cost effective solution. But you must find a way to seal the edges to avoid water from penetrating. You can do this by capping them with stick lumber, altering your design, keep them off the ground with pressure treated baseplates, or coating the edges with a waterproofing. There is a product called UGL water lock, check Ace of True Value, they stock it.

03-02-2009, 07:54 AM
I'm telling you this from experience. Take your OSB keep them. You got an addition to the family so save all of your money. Use the OSB or the other type and go to the 99 cent store or whatever equivalence is near you. Buy as many 80 gallon trash bags as you like. Go to a hardware store. Buy as many gallon sized buckets of Heavy Duty Liquid Nails glue as you NEED. If you have a spachela(don't know how to spell that) then spread a liberal layer of the glue up a foot on the panel on the very bottom, sides, and faces. Then use the trash bags however you see fit to place over the glue. Use some finece(don't know how to spell that one either) to make it look as best as possible. Then you've got a panel that is sealed at the botom. That should keep as much water as possible out of the bottom. Hope I helped. Vincent This Time!

03-02-2009, 08:53 AM
I use OSB in my outdoor scenes. I make sure it is not touching dirt and then I cover the entire scene with tarp or some other form of roof. Of course the OSB is painted which help, but mainly keeping rain and water away from the edges prevents damamge.

Of course my preference would be to only use Plywood, but at $18 per sheet, I will live with OSB for now.

Glad to here you are still trying and congratulations on the new addition. Are you going tp Transworld this year?

Jim Warfield
03-02-2009, 11:26 AM
in half, makes a good rain cap for the vulnerable top edge, 11/2" covered my outdoor walls.
I don't like osb because of how it doesn't last but I also hate it because of all those wood chips it would slam against my pretty little face when sawing it.
(now you know why I'm no longer pretty! I have a perminant woody)

Allen H
03-02-2009, 11:38 AM
I will not ignore your post and tell you to buy plywood, we all know plywood is ideal but lets work with what you have. I have a few OSB wall panels in my outdoor trail, the three months they are out they are of course painted with at least two coats and they hold up fine. do not store them uncovered outside, tarp them and put them up on 4x4's so the bottoms do not get wet. Storage is more damaging than the exposure during the season. I bet you get at least 4 years out of the OSB. Im sure a few sprayed on coats of polyurethane would not hurt either.
Allen H

Ken Spriggs
03-02-2009, 02:55 PM
OAKS?...........Plastic bags? You kidding?
Dude, nevermind............

Allen.....Matt gave him a suggestion....he didn't ignore him or not read what the guy was asking.
That was Tyler (I am going to slap you when i see you) who didn't read before he answered!!!

Tyler dude......slow down oh haunt wizard...lol

Allen H
03-02-2009, 03:07 PM
I just thought it was odd that someone helpfully replied but missed the meat of the question, I never said who it was....Im discreet. When I was typing my reply it was on a non refreshed screen and Matt's post was not up yet, I pop on and off and reply as I do shop work, between starting and finishing my post all the other replies came in. Did not meant to offend anyone.
and I do not think Oak was kidding.
Allen H

03-02-2009, 03:13 PM
I started to build my haunt several years ago and built several scenes that needed a stone and concrete look. So I took the great advice of Cydney Neil with Rocky Point Haunted House and used a product called Senergy. This item is a stucco type material and it looks just like concrete and is waterproof and heavy. So, I have that on one side which means it looks fine but trying to put up with the other side is my curiousity. I will try a few of these suggestions but I have a lot of things to do and not sure if I really have the time to try to save them when I plan to rebuild scenes in the haunt every few years anyway. But just painting them and keeping them off the ground might be sufficient to last me 2 to 3 years. For all the other projects I will have to decide whether the scene that I need will need to survive more years. But paying double to close to triple for plywood that could easily warp and ruin is something that I will have to weigh. I just wasn't sure if there was some type of water sealer that I can just spray on and have it work for 3-5 years. And possibly re-spraying every few years.

I am excited because the site that I am looking at has had a haunt within a corn maze and already has a following but it could use a lot of improvement and has a lot of potential to get a lot more clients to come through. But we are still in negotiations but It feels nice to get the haunt bug in me again.


P.S. Greg-
I am not going to Transworld this year, Since it moved to Saint Louis it wasn't worth the money, Since it was in Vegas last year it only cost me 60.00 bucks to drive there but st. louis is a bit more then I can swallow right now. This economy is tough enough. I don't really buy much there anyway, I like to build my own props. And I am cheap, I can build half the stuff for more then half the price so I choose to let the ones that have the money buy their stuff. Maybe someday I can spend more then I have.

damon carson
03-02-2009, 04:02 PM
Go with Plywood if you can afford it. You can weather treat it or buy it that way. In the long run it will last you much longer. Osb will get you by but it wont last. It might get your through a season or a little more.? Its difficult to paint. It chips afterwards. Its a real pain in the a double s!!!

Allen H
03-02-2009, 10:22 PM
Hmmm, you mentioning how close you are to vegas gets me wondering about the climates effects on the OSB. I bet you will be better of than the bread basket folks due to your climate.
Allen H

Greg Chrise
03-03-2009, 01:01 AM
I have portions of Castle Dragon which are 3/8 inch OSB and had been in a flood 2 foot up, spent many years as a maze with no roof. Some may be circa 1986 or even older 1979.

I bought this stuff originally as a big experiment. I'm going to guess that your wafer board is thicker just by what is more common in recent years. I see many sheds that were never painted that turn grey but, stay together.

After all the damage we repainted everything black with the cheapest black acrylic known to man $70 per 5 gallons at Lowes. 5 years later there have been more problems with the lumber than the sheeting. Clear coats do not have any body to them but, acrylic and latex paints do. That black was more like creating a tar paper shack and the OSB origionally did not have a good exterior grade glue pressing the chips together.

We have so much work into them I would still be upset having them outdoors. Your decision should be as if to totally trash them to make money as all of this remodeling could in fact cost as much and take even more time than making brand new. It is like being so poor you mend a hole in a bucket instead of just getting one from Tiawan at Walmart. Some times you have to patch the holes and hope for the best. Sometimes that feels like you are a genius, other times you feel kind of pathetic.

Using hard coats on wood outside can prove to be bad though. The wood takes moisture and expands and contracts while the coatings do not and pop off. So moving them causes things to fall off. The CDX type plywood does not warp as it has been manufactured with exterior grade glues. For that I have stuck with the 3/8 inch thickness for over all weight to move them easily.

Thicker would simply has more to accept wear and damage from moisture or provides a barrier for coatings on the opposite side.

Jim's method of putting a metal cap on top of the panels is on double sided doors. If they are single sided panels, there is no real protection if they were not painted prior being assembly which means they are getting trashed and hope it makes money to replace them that same year or over maybe two years.

The other consideration being outside is heavier means less likely to be moved with high winds.

I'm playing with some panels that are now 30 years old that had the first 25 years with no special preparation. I still haven't made enough to blatantly replace everything. With the economy being shakey I wouldn't expect the day job to be able to buy new either and understand your concerns. There must be some kind of feeling that everything is being done possible to market your event and everyone involved is fully aware you need to sell lots of tickets to have your investment returned and exceeded. They need to understand straight up the value of these things are not bic lighters.

I'm still feeling by fall the economy will be rebounding and haunts will do as well as ever. It is all still a big gamble if you are opening a totally new location. This year I chose to stay at an indoor location versus set the whole thing outdoors, a known situation versus the totally new possibly even lower turn out first year venue. To me the wall panels have a temendous value even beyond the cost of buying plywood. They over time develop a character, obsorb not only moisture but a bit of the event to the point of having a spirit of their own. All the nooks and crannies and features that have been built into the panels have taken dozens of people to pull off. The whole thing is much more than just ordering a pallet of wood. Of course just after fall is winter and the day job will be in the seasonal lull and not be able to save the day then either.

To trash my haunt I need to feel an almost guarentees pay off of big bucks. It is more like would you sell it and for how much. Or would you rather not have to make yet another one and sell it too, lather rinse repeat of keep the same thing for 30 years? Tweaking it from year to year peice by peice rather than the whole thing having to be reproached every year.