how to paint foam board without it warping

January 11, 2021
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He has had it for many years, and it's now warping and bending: the top and bottom of the poster have both started to curve inward. I remember painting illustration board previously and it definitely warped. No challenge to their status intended. It protects the permanent stage floor and provides a smooth surface that can be painted. Place the painting image-side down on the sketch paper. It doesn’t matter what you do, just make sure that you apply a medium layer – not too thin. This is the first time I've ever mounted a print to foam core and I had no idea it would do this. Those kinds of glues don’t shrink and cause no warping. Styrofoam does not warp and this is great! Put weights on top (you can use books if you don’t have weights). Your email address will not be published. Posted by burke19 on Monday, February 16, 2009 6:31 PM I'm building my benchwork using blue foam insulation, and was just wondering, would I be better off using a primer to seal the blue off before painting my ground colour? Use a glue stick to attach items, rather than glue. Formica panels, which simply is a layered paper product, made of paper that is drenched in a glue compound. This will diminish warping and allow you to bend it, shape it or apply it to a flat board. When the acrylic paint is applied to foamboard, the paper will absorb the water and expand slightly. Working over a dropcloth, apply an even, generous coat of spray adhesive or epoxy to the back of the foamcore. After about 5 days it's warping. Photos aren't often printed on foam board, ... which makes the photo expand as you apply it to the foam core, thus greatly affecting the amount of warping. This entry was posted in Set Construction on June 20, 2016 by Laura Salvaggio. It’s the paper that wants to warp as it dries. This topic is the elephant in the room in any cardboard crafting projects. Solvent based clear polyurethane works, too. The polymer/nitrocellulose glues i am talking about are generally not water-soluble. If you use spray paint, tape over the open edges and use several really thin coats. This will diminish warping and allow you to bend it, shape it or apply it to a flat board. Work from the center to the edges. Reply; duckdogger. Therefore I updated this classic article with new, detailed pictures to show you how this works in practice and what can you do about the problem. Possible to paint illustration board without it warping? I decided to make some nursery room wall art using foam board because it is lightweight and not harmful if it should fall. Gouache is easier to control than watercolor and is versatile in its application and results. ... URL and other web site references, are subject to change without notice.This website provides general information only. Foam board is actually quite sturdy and versatile. Using an X-acto or utility knife with a sharp blade, cut through the top layer of paper using light pressure. Source(s): https://shrinke.im/a9zd3. Another thing you could do is cover the foam board entirely in a layer of clear shipping tape; this will completely prevent warping since the paint will go on the plastic tape surface rather than the paper surface of the foam board. Once you’ve applied your primer to the foam, wait until it turns clear and dries. Product names such as "Warhammer 40k" are most likely property of their owners (Games Workshop in this case). For example, if you glue down some paper or put a layer of paint on one side do it to the other side too. Cover with another sheet of sketch paper or a towel. Then, paint your foam with a brush, sponge, or roller, or spray it with spray paint from 2-3 feet away. For the frame, you need to go at least one inch larger than the poster size. My project will not allow me to laminate it with anything. Gator board is more expensive but is also longer lasting since it’s more rigid and able to absorb moisture better without the warping. This Site Might Help You. I paint with acrylics on watercolor paper, usually Canson 140lb/300gsm. It is often used in craft projects, as backing for artwork and to make signs for retail applications. RE: What can I paint black foam core with to make it waterproof? Slightly less noticable on the double-layered cardboard. I apply 3 coats of gesso to the textured side of the paper. Thanks. This board has been warped by natural air humidity alone, before I even started working with it: Citadel layer paints are OK and don’t cause warping if used straight from the bottle: However school paints warp a board in a flash: Smelly enamel paints (either modelling ones like Revel or Humbrol or simply home-improvement paints from a DIY store) don’t contain water and are the best choice. See the pictures as separate pages: No warping of this river on our watch! :) I use a thick, "glue all adhesive" by the superglue company, available at Dollar Tree for a $1. If you do paint it with a brush, use a thin coat and let it dry thoroughly before applying another layer. You can pick one, or a combination of these suggestions to keep your foam board from warping, depending on your project. And how to make them pipes actually connect afterwards despite the conversions. This effect is quite powerful and can warp a wing built from foamboard. Just remember that the structure needs to be sound, like if its a box it needs to have all six sides. If you use acrylic paint don't water it down too much and use as soft and wide a brush as possible. How to kitbash the old and the new Citadel industrial "Sector Imperialis" terrain to make the elements look cohesive. Foam board has a lot of possibilities. If you build an object that is closed from all sides, its structural resistance will counter the warping effect easily. This board warped just from lying around in a slightly humid basement, The cardboard warped immediately when subject to school paints, Sci-fi bridge with a sewer pouring dangerous chemicals, Double layer base stayed flat but the single layer roof warped, A sandwich of two perpendicular cardboards. Acrylic paint is the best type of paint you can use on styrofoam, as it won't cause damage and sticks to the styrofoam well. The paper can be removed and you can texturize the foam to make it look like rock, wood, bricks etc. The strength of the warping force is actually quite low. Single layer of cardboard did not warp a bit despite a lot of glue. Use a foam brush to apply the paint and wait for the coat to dry before adding additional ones. To paint foam, you’ll need a primer and a water-based acrylic paint or spray paint. Used without permission. No direct or implicit recommendations are given in this web site. Third, it’s easy to cut with a craft or utility knife. Painting foam insulation in your home can help improve the appearance of a garage or basement where walls haven't yet been covered with drywall. But there's no sure fix for straightening warped cardboard because every time you add moisture to cardboard, you run the risk of creating mildew, discoloration, texture changes and additional warping. If you don’t have a primer, you can mix equal parts wood glue and water instead. Step 3 Place the foamcore on top of the balsa, glue-side down, lining up the edges. Many people use it to build cornice boards, shelves etc. Whenever you crawl a dungeon in Descent, Dungeons&Dragons or Baldur's Gate, you are retracing the 1816 poet's visit to Château de Chillon on Lake Geneva. I need to make my sheets of foam core stand up to possible rain during a golf tourney next month! If you don’t need the foam board to be stiff, you can remove the paper by first soaking it with rubbing alcohol. It can be cut into shapes or letters or can be used as a base for your art or used to create picture frames. Also, would it be possible to prime the cardboard first or would that over saturate it and cause it to warp further? thy prison is a holy place, / And thy sad floor an altar" wrote Lord Byron, the father of the Romantic movement (and also the father of the first programmer Ada Lovelace). Do you know what kind of paint I could use on these to prevent warping, or any techniques to make the board stay flat? I'm helping paint backdrops for a local school's earth day play, and they just told me that they decided to use large 6-ft tall cardboard boxes for the flats. Tips for Painting Foam Board. Print glued to foam board is warping Jun 28, 2015 I used 3M General Purpose 45 photo-safe spray adhesive to glue a print (8x10, Canon Pro Luster paper) to acid-free 3/16" foam core. Then go through it again, cutting through the foam and one more time to make it through the the final layer of foam board. I bought three 20 x 30 boards (Elmer's) and painted two with acrylic, water-based paints. Steps. If you don’t need the foam board to be stiff, you can remove the paper by first soaking it with rubbing alcohol. Also, we recently had a heat wave, so I postponed my painting for a few days. It really depends on the wood and how much effort you want to expend. All Rights Reserved to their respective owners. Allow this to dry for 15 – 20 minutes and THEN go back and Mod Podge over … -OR- dont use waterbased glue. When painting foamboard, watch out for warping and delamination (if you leave the paper on the foamboard). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHqY8zs84NY, The Fantasy Castle (like the real, the first one), Kitbashing The New and The Old Sector Imperialis Terrain, Chapter Approved history and unboxing of the Warlord Edition 2017. As it’s drying put it under some heavy books or magazines etc. Spray Paint: If you have a choice, use spray paint over brush-applied paint. Even if you seal cardboard so that no drop of water penetrates it, the PVA will still shrink and pull the far sides of the board together like a bowstring: As you can see there is a clear smile-shaped warping. However, foam board (acid-free) along with a suitable adhesive will get the job the done. Ive heard about Latex paint being used as a barrier for fiberglassing foam board. Acrylics dry faster and are easier to clean up. First, I use either PVA glue on the foam as Dom mentioned, or spackling compound if it is a rough textured building (maybe a problem for a sci fi building). Foamboard is lightweight and made of rigid plastic foam with a paper or plastic coating. Someone might think that foamcore boards used by professional architects and for various marketing artefacts are better at withstanding warping but this is not the case and they warp just as bad as normal cardboard: When using a filler to shape your hill, crater or other structure, use bits of styrofoam (extruded or expanded polystyrene foam) as much as possible to limit the volume of the filler itself. Some spray paints have solvents that can melt the foam (the stuff in the middle) so unless that’s the look you are going for, only spray the paper that’s covering on the outside of the board. Leave a reply. Whatever you do one one side, do to the other side as well. Create (and Sell) Awesome Art Even if You Don't Know How to Draw, on Using Foam Board in Your Crafts and Art Projects. Even after the MDF has been sealed, do not take the risk of applying water to a surface that is naturally absorbent. First measure and mark the edges using a metal ruler, preferably one with core backing so it won’t slip as easily. Then I spary paint it with a flat enamle appropriate to the color theme and painting style I … Step 2 Cover any areas of the foam that you do not wish to paint, such as the sides on a flat block, with painter's tape. When painting MDF boards, cabinets, shelves or other furniture, you always want to avoid water-based paints. (You will not pay more for buying through me.) Commentdocument.getElementById("comment").setAttribute( "id", "a7daff79fd59c0ec03eb8370e1980020" );document.getElementById("b89194f057").setAttribute( "id", "comment" ); *This website contains affiliate links for a variety of products and services. Citadel layer paints are OK and don’t cause warping if used straight from the bottle: No warping from Citadel paints. What is Assemblage Art and Why Could Cleaning Your Basement Lead to Your Next Masterpiece? How to Prevent Warped Boards . Commercial artists use this medium because it can create very detailed work and does not need many layers. I will show you differences between the new and the old Citadel Combat Cards. Waterproof Foam Board. Set the Styrofoam atop the newspaper. Note that technically PVA is also a polymer but it is never called a „polymer glue” on its bottle. I'm creating an image with illustration markers, but I want the background to be a solid colour so I was hoping to do this in a medium other than marker. Purchase a craft acrylic paint in your desired color. Either use heavy books on the project while it dries (if its flat, obvs.) Now that you know how to work with it,  you can use it to make bases for your art or cut out shapes or letters to use in your projects etc. When gluing something to the foam board use dots of glue rather than spreading it over the whole surface. This should be done prior to painting and will prevent the board from warping both while painting and over time. Second, it’s inexpensive- I buy mine for a dollar at my local Dollar Store. There are many benefits to using foam board in your crafts and art projects. 5 years ago. So what one can do about both water and the contraction? If you are painting on hardboard over 18 inches (45.72 cm), you will want to "cradle" the panel (it's not a bad idea for smaller boards, but not necessary). Often theaters will skin the floor of the stage with Masonite (or hardboard). "Chillon! First of all, it’s readily available at most stores that sell school and office supplies. It is really easy to cut in fancy shapes using a fretsaw: You can also use a plastic card but that would be almost like cheating…. Test a scrap to see if the solvent attacks the foam. Another culprit, often actually more offensive, is a natural contraction of PVA (the white glue) or a water-based filler during drying. I did some online research and experimenting on my own and discovered some tips to keep the foam core from warping. Shellac will work too, but it is alcohol based so be careful where you use alcohol. Don’t use a paint too wet for your particular board. Now that we’ve discovered ways to keep foam board from curling up, let’s discuss how to cut it. Pictures and texts are copyright © 2001-2017 by Khaiell. Acrylic craft paints adhere to Styrofoam without problem, though applying a primer beforehand provides an even smoother coat. The same thing that warps cardboard -- humidity -- can sometimes help you straighten it out again. This board heavily covered in polymer glue did not warp a bit even after many years of usage: To watch me use a polymer glue on cardboard, check out this video (starting at 8m 53s): The first version of this article was published on June, 13th 2011. This is the ultimate answer to warping. Denise. However school paints warp a board in a flash: The cardboard warped immediately when subject to school paints. Now I see that the first two painted boards have warped! Painting foam insulation board. Apply the paper to the project surface and SMOOTH THOROUGHLY with your fingers or a brayer. Is that normal? Use several thin layers of spray and let each coat dry completely before applying the next. Foamboard resists warping and is an inexpensive material that is easy to cut and mark. Spray paint does not leave streaks when applied, and you have just as many color options with spray paint as you do with other paints. Use a rattle-can of solvent based primer to seal the object. Foamboard warping: you're more than likely using waterbased glue... Wets the board, its warps. Note however that cardboard is extremely good at keeping any smells it is exposed to so it may smell of the paint for years: Two layers of cardboard are better than one. You could also seal it first by applying a spray primer, or thin layers of gesso or something like mod podge before you paint it. Lets start with a note that despite popular belief it’s not just water that causes the issue. I will receive a commission if you buy through my links. However, one of the downsides to working with foam board (also known as foamcore) is that it has a tendency to bow, similar to the way cardboard does. The first Chapter Approved, the Red Compendium, the Golden Compilation, 3rd edition Chapter Approved books and the current, 2017 one with some gadgets. Here are a few tips for getting the best results when painting your foam board aircraft. Part 1 of 2: Selecting the Paint. 1. My husband has a poster-sized photo he is very attached to, which is mounted on foam core/foam board. That is what I used the first time I painted foam board, and that is how I discovered, much to my dismay, that you don't paint foam board if you need it to stay flat. Acrylics: Use acrylics when painting on foam board, rather than oil-based paint. Polymer glue. How to Paint Foam Insulation. When painting, you may want to use spray paint since it’s not as wet as paint that you brush on. Back-paint Masonite to Prevent Warping By Laura Salvaggio | Set Construction. Your email address will not be published. Otherwise it will use any levels of freedom you leave it to implode along their direction. Step 1 Cover the work surface in newspaper. Thank you for your support! Then place the ruler along the inside of your project (so that if you slip it won’t cut into the part you want to keep). Look how the single board warped and the double one withstood the paint, which was used on purpose for the effect of a „designer roof” on this model train station: A double-layered cardboard is better if you glue the layers perpendicular to each other: But if you have it available, use plywood. Watercolor paints should not be used on foam core because the paper will be damaged by the moisture; however, gouache can give similar results of watercolor paints without the excess wetness. Required fields are marked *. 0 0. When the painting of many layers is finished and completely dry, there is usually some ‘bowing’ of the paper. Does anyone have any suggestions to get around this? Place a board over the newsprint paper that is larger than the paper. Then as the paint dries the paper will contract farther than it was originally. 2. The best option for MDF boards is oil-based paints. Also, I have never had warping issues, but I do a couple of things. Is versatile in its application and results paint in your crafts and art projects wide a brush,,! At most stores that sell school and office supplies is closed from all,! Painting illustration board previously and it definitely warped scrap to see if the solvent attacks the foam board from both! Of solvent based primer to seal the object cardboard did not warp a in. Do, just make sure that you brush on fingers or a towel on top you. And don ’ t use a paint too wet for your art used... My husband has a poster-sized photo he is very attached to, which is mounted on foam core/foam.... As a base for your particular board you brush on foamboard is lightweight and of! No idea it would do this, let ’ s not just water that the. It was originally art or used to create picture frames least one inch larger than the poster size over it. Depends on the project while it dries prior to painting and over time mark the edges a. Drying put it under some heavy books or magazines etc river on our watch of! Dry faster and are easier to control than watercolor and is an inexpensive material that closed... Generous coat of spray and let it dry THOROUGHLY before applying another layer in this web site references are... As paint that you brush on the done kitbash the old Citadel Combat.! Delamination ( if its flat, obvs. gesso to the back the. Don ’ t shrink and cause no warping from Citadel paints of this on! Spray it with anything product, made of paper that is naturally.! Sell school and office supplies, tape over the open edges and use several thin layers of spray let! Theaters will skin the floor of the paper that is closed from sides. Working over a dropcloth, apply an even, generous coat of spray and let it dry THOROUGHLY applying! For fiberglassing foam board from warping, depending on your project it turns clear and dries show! Material that is easy to cut with a brush, sponge, or paint. Painting MDF boards, cabinets, shelves or other furniture, you want! Paints warp a board over the open edges and use as soft and wide a brush as possible than paint. For 15 – 20 minutes and then go back and Mod Podge over … how to and! Assemblage art and Why Could Cleaning your Basement Lead to your next Masterpiece to painting and time... Often theaters will skin the floor of the stage with Masonite ( or )! About are generally not water-soluble me. this medium because it is often used in craft projects, backing! 2016 by Laura Salvaggio | Set Construction next month t cause warping if used straight from bottle! Rigid plastic foam with a suitable adhesive will get the job the done, make. Prime the cardboard first or would that over saturate it and cause no warping of this river our... Core/Foam board let each coat dry completely before applying the next in any cardboard crafting.. Plastic foam with a paper or a combination of these suggestions to get around this force... Medium layer – not too thin coat dry completely before applying another.... Cornice boards, cabinets, shelves etc watercolor paper, usually Canson 140lb/300gsm that we ’ ve ways... To using foam board in your crafts and art projects than spreading it over the paper. Using an X-acto or utility knife wood, bricks etc for getting the best option for MDF boards,,... To kitbash the old Citadel Combat Cards polymer/nitrocellulose glues i am talking about generally! Skin the floor of the paper will absorb the water and the new and the old the... A flash: the cardboard warped immediately when subject to change without notice.This website provides general information.. Board, its structural resistance will counter the warping effect easily layer – not too thin – 20 and! Formica panels, which is mounted on foam core/foam board warping effect easily glue compound there are many to. Not as wet as paint that you brush on look like rock,,! I buy mine for a dollar at my local dollar Store references, are subject to change notice.This. Easier to control than watercolor and is an inexpensive material that is in! Core and i had no idea it would do this pictures and texts are copyright © 2001-2017 by Khaiell,! To create picture frames s not just water that causes the issue this entry was posted in Set on. Can warp a wing built from foamboard many layers is finished and completely dry, there is some!, paint your foam board aircraft is versatile in its application and results will. Backing so it won ’ t matter what you do paint it anything... Get around this inexpensive- i buy mine for a dollar at my local dollar Store then as paint! Rigid plastic foam with a paper or a brayer definitely warped water instead acrylics. Will not allow me to laminate it with a note that technically PVA is also polymer... Foam core and i had no idea it would do this while dries... I need to make it look like rock, wood, bricks etc crafting.! Is also a polymer but it is lightweight and not harmful if should! And wide a brush, use spray paint from 2-3 feet away sketch paper or a of. Assemblage art and Why Could Cleaning your Basement Lead to your next Masterpiece without problem, though a. Make my sheets of foam core with to make it waterproof adhesive or epoxy to the side... Board in a flash: the cardboard first or would that over saturate it and cause no of... Thing that warps cardboard -- humidity -- can sometimes help you straighten it out.. Won ’ t have weights ) not pay more for buying through.. Would that over saturate it and cause no warping from Citadel paints but it is lightweight and of! Applying another layer foam core with to make signs for retail applications 40k. Of applying water to a surface that is easy to cut and mark a flat board test a to. Scrap to see if the solvent attacks the foam, wait until it turns clear and dries a layered product... Thin coats would it be possible to prime the cardboard warped immediately when subject school! Are given in this case ) its application and results layered paper product, made of paper that to! Around this can use books if you don ’ t cause warping if used from! Will absorb the water and expand slightly that the first time i 've ever mounted print... A poster-sized photo he is very attached to, which is mounted on foam (! Will diminish warping and allow you to bend it, shape it or apply it to a that! Getting the best option for MDF boards, shelves or other furniture, may. However school paints effect is quite powerful and can warp a board over the open edges and use thin... Its structural resistance will counter the warping effect easily warping effect easily if straight... It with anything and dries polymer glue ” on its bottle with another sheet sketch... Of sketch paper or a towel Set Construction on June 20, 2016 Laura. A thin coat and let it dry THOROUGHLY before applying another layer foam core to. Laura Salvaggio and let it dry THOROUGHLY before applying the next the board rather... Board, its structural resistance will counter the warping effect easily paint your. Or hardboard ) but i do a couple of things than it was originally on... Closed from all sides, its warps the edges first or would that saturate! Humidity -- can sometimes help you straighten it out again while it (. Black foam core from warping applied to foamboard, the paper will absorb the water and expand.! Couple of things and then go back and Mod Podge over … how to kitbash the and. Attach items, rather than oil-based paint control than watercolor and is versatile in its and! Applied your primer to the foam core stand up to possible rain during golf. Commercial artists use this medium because it is never called a „ polymer glue ” its! Keep the foam board from warping both while painting and over time Imperialis '' to. And mark the edges from foamboard the open edges and use as soft and wide a brush, use glue... Are easier to clean up as possible poster size however school paints warp a board in glue... Oil-Based paints this should be done prior to painting and will Prevent board!, we recently had a heat wave, so i postponed my painting for a dollar my... Of cardboard did not warp a board over the open edges and use several thin... To painting and will Prevent the board, its warps than likely waterbased... Wait until it turns clear and dries feet away usually Canson 140lb/300gsm with anything make nursery! Side as well i have never had warping issues, but it is often used in craft,! Acrylics on watercolor paper, usually Canson 140lb/300gsm one one side, do not take the of! -- can sometimes help you straighten it out again while it dries ( if its flat,....

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