This topic has 5 replies, 6 voices, and was last updated 5 years, 11 months ago by EvanWRapp.

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  • #14875
      • Experience: 5-10 years
      • Scenic Status: Full Time Regular

      Hi friends! Our carpenters built this beautiful door that wants to remain smooth and clean. Problem is, part of it is carved styrofoam. Any ideas for a substance that will give me a good painting surface without creating build-up? I have crystal gel, foam coat, Jaxsan, joint compound, and more on hand, or I could buy something new. Thanks![IMG][/IMG]

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        • Experience: 20+ years
        • Scenic Status: Other

        Member Member

        I don’t know if this will solve all your problems on this project, but in the past, I have used contact adhesive (aka green glue) as a prime/base coat for foam. It creates a tooth that the paint sticks to and doesn’t have as much build up as jaxsan or crystal gel.

        You could use crystal gel or jaxsan and then take a brush with just plain water to smooth out the any unwanted texture.

         Angelique Powers
          • Experience: 20+ years
          • Scenic Status: Full Time Regular

          Member Member

          Although Foam Coat is the sand able option of what you have, I tend to prefer to do a layer or two of the the FC and then do a lighter layer of a JC at the end and sand that, because it’s so much easier.

          The water based contact cement idea that Tammy mentioned is my go to primer for the soft foam like ethafoam (pool noodles).

            • Experience: 15-20 years
            • Scenic Status: Full Time Regular

            Smooth On makes a product called epsilon that is both incredibly durable and tends to self level. It’s also sandable once cured.


              Hello Scenic Artists–Please take care when using a 2-part epoxy coating such as epsilon. The instructions are clear about the need for adequate ventilation, (industrial/local exhaust-ventilation to keep exposure below recommended limits), as well as all the necessary PPE:

              Foam-Coat Episilon instructions:

              Preparation – Avoid breathing fumes – use in a well ventilated area at minimum. NIOSH approved respirator is recommended. Wear safety glasses, long sleeves and rubber gloves to minimize skin contact. This material has a high exotherm (generates heat). Do not mix components in glass or foam containers.

              Better to use other than these 2-part epoxy products whenever possible. As usual, be sure to consult the SDS for specifics.

                • Experience: 5-10 years
                • Scenic Status: Full Time Regular

                Epsilon is a great product but as already mentioned, use proper PPE and ventilation. One of our scenics had a bad allergic reaction to it.

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