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Thread: Styrofoam sculpting

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  1. Default Styrofoam sculpting 
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Warsaw, IN
    Can someone go through the steps involved in sculting styrofoam?

    What tools do you use or need? What types of spray coatings do you use? What kind of paint?

    Can a spray coat go on anything, or just styrofoam?

  2. Default  
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Wow this is a loaded question...Ill see if I can help..

    As far as sculpting the foam (and im assuming youre talking about expanded polystyrene, the white stuff) you can used just about anything you can get your hands on. Some examples:

    Hot wire
    Hot knife
    Electric carving knife (yes the kind you used on the turkey you burnt last thanksgiving)
    Dremel, for the fine details
    Grinder, either wire brush wheel or stone wheels
    Dual-action sanders
    Electric chainsaw for the big rough cuts, be careful with this one!

    If you need to glue multiple pieces of this stuff together, theres quite a number of adhesives that can do this, but the best I have personally used is 3M Scotch-Weld 78. It's sold in a tank that resembles your standard propane tank on your gas grill, and it sprays out thru a gun attachment that comes separate. The adhesive bond is actually stronger than the foam itself, good stuff.

    I havent had much experience with hard coating the foam, but I know its generally a 2 part urethane spray coating. (Do a search on the boards for 'spookywoods castle' and there should be plenty of information on one particular product ive been accustomed to)

    Another option to coat your foam is to do it like EIFS (Google it). This involves a gypsum based compound like plaster thats applied to the foam, it will give you a sandy texture, good for brick/stone textures. Senergy is an example of an EIFS product, and it can be tinted or painted. (www.senergy.cc)

    Ill let some of the other guys give you some ideas as well, good luck with it!

    Oh yeah and wear a respirator when youre grinding or sanding that foam, it doesnt do much good for your lungs!
    Nate Mitchell|creative consultant
    [n8 creative studios]

  3. Default  
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    St. Louis, MO
    We are going to do an article on that in the next Hauntword Magazine. So do you want me to give away all of our secrets now or save them for the magazine... LOL

    One tool we use a lot is a weed eater believe it or not! That was something not mentioned before! It works quick!

    Don't forget about the chainsaw you can do some quick damage with that tool!!!!


  4. Default  
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Mesquite, TX
    wood rasps are excellent tools for smoothing out the styrofoam. The electric turkey carving knife also works pretty well. A Heat gun is a must have tool, you will have to play with it to learn how and what it does, but its very useful.
    On the foam as a coating I use different things depending on where it will be displayed. Indoors I and out of guest contact I mix up elastomeric roof coating, joint compound, and plaster powder and spray it on through a stucco hopper. It builds up a quick thinckness that way.
    On exterior surfaces (like my castle www.huntmonsters.com) I use spray on acrylic stucco. You can add a little cement to it if you would rather trowel it on, but I like to spray, even though holding a full hopper is quite a workout. If Im it on I leave the surface very rough so it gets a good mechanical bond. troweling
    I have also used elmers glue and a polyfiber (a thickener from BITY mold supply) to coat foam and it works great too but takes forever to dry. Paint is up to you really as long as the foam is sealed, I normally stick to latex or acrylic as the wont react with the foam even though there may be pin holes in your barrier coat. Oil based paints will eat foam slightly and Im assuming that you know 99% of all spray paint eats styrofoam (even fleckstone) unless they are painted first with a barrier.
    I like the acrylic stucco because it comes in about 30 colors, so I can normally get my base color knocked out right off of the bat. Im about to do a few big foam projects so I will try to get pics and post them.
    Good luck Boni foam has lots of purposes and haunt applications.
    Allen Hopps

  5. Default  
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Warsaw, IN
    Thanks for the info. I'm and gearing up to start delving into this once it gets a little warmer, our building is not heated.

  6. Default  
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    One of my most usefull tools is a wire brush. Different sizes remove different amounts of material . I prefer the wide ones .

    Just received a sample of a brush on coating that is as hard as polyures but without the spray set up. It is $54 per gal. and is available from a company called Industrial Polymers
    Last edited by michaeldavy; 05-30-2009 at 06:56 PM.

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