Certain projects might necessitate smoothing the surface rather than incorporating texture. Fortunately, there are many ways to smooth EVA foam.
EVA foam can be easily smoothed using a rotary tool, such as a Dremel, equipped with a stone bit. Alternatively, EVA foam can also be smoothed using sandpaper, filler, foam clay, or a hot air gun. It’s important to note that the type of EVA foam used can impact the ease of smoothing the surface. Generally, lower-density EVA foam is easier to sand smooth compared to higher-density counterparts.
In the following, I will go into more detail on how to smooth EVA foam.
Stone Bit on Dremel
If you have a Dremel tool, you can simply use a stone bit to sand the surface of the foam, significantly smoothing it.
It’s important to note that depending on the foam type and density, using a stone bit may not entirely smooth the surface. High-density EVA foam, for instance, might result in a fuzzy surface when a stone bit is used as you can see in the image below.
However, there’s a solution. If you encounter this issue, simply use a heat gun to eliminate the foam residue from the surface, resulting in a perfectly smooth finish.
To achieve a smooth surface on EVA foam, using fine grit sandpaper (220 – 400 grit) is another option. You can make the sanding process easier for yourself by gluing the sandpaper to a piece of wood or a paint mixer stick.
Just like when using a stone bit, sanding high-density EVA foam may result in a fuzzy surface.
However, this issue can be easily fixed by heat sealing the affected area using a Heat Gun. More on this later in this article.
This happens to be one of my preferred techniques for smoothing EVA foam. I specifically recommend using this method in areas where you have to fix seams or gaps.
However, it’s essential to note that this approach isn’t suitable for smoothing larger surfaces due to the significant amount of material needed.
To implement this technique, apply the filler, moisten your fingers with water, and then use them to smooth the filler. Once the filler has dried, you can further refine it with fine-grit sandpaper.
For a detailed guide on utilizing this method, refer to my “How to fill gaps and fix seams” article.
Another option for smoothing the surface of EVA foam is utilizing foam clay. However, like the filler method, this approach is most effective for addressing smaller areas where gaps or seams need to be fixed anyways.
Begin by dampening the area with water, apply the foam clay, and use your fingers to achieve a smooth finish. For additional refinement, moisten your fingers with water again to further smooth the foam clay.
Once the foam clay has dried, it can be sanded. Further details on this technique can be found in my “how to fill gaps and fix seams” article.
Hot Air Gun
Ultimately, a hot air gun can also be used to achieve a smooth surface on EVA foam.
This technique is effective specifically for regions where foam particles are adhered to the surface or where the texture is slightly rough from previous sanding as you can see in the image below.
To use this method, direct the heat from the hot air gun onto the targeted area.
Move the hot air gun in a back-and-forth motion to prevent burning the foam.
As you apply heat, you’ll see the tiny foam particles on the surface melting away, and the foam itself will take on a slight shine. This process, known as heat sealing, results in a surface that is now a bit smoother than previously. All the pores of the foam will close because of the heat which will also smooth the surface further.
Here is an image of the finished project. All the surfaces have been smoothed using the methods described above.
Disclaimer: This article has been written with the assistance of artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance its readability and grammatical accuracy. The content and information presented in this article are entirely original and originated from the author. The AI was used solely to rewrite certain sections of the article for the purpose of improving clarity and coherence, without altering the substance or meaning of the content.