There are quite a few different ways to seal EVA Foam but depending on your specific project the way, that you want to seal EVA Foam may change quite a bit. So after reading this article, you will know how to seal your EVA Foam and how to decide which method to use.
So how do you seal EVA Foam? There are a lot of different ways to seal EVA Foam the two most well-known and widely used methods are using either Plasti Dip, White Crafts glue, or Flexbond to Seal EVA Foam. The White Crafts glue and Flexbond can simply be applied directly to the Foam. Plast Dip is best for sealing projects with intricate designs but it´s also more complicated to apply.
Before painting EVA foam, it is necessary to seal it. This step ensures proper adhesion of the paint to the surface and it ensures an even appearance of the applied paint. Let´s have a look at how to do just that.
How to Seal EVA Foam with Flexbond?
Flexbond is my favorite way to seal EVA foam. It is easy to use, non-toxic, and can be used for low-density EVA foam (LED foam) because it dries transparent.
|Easy to use||Can leave some brush strokes on the prop|
|Easy to apply||You will lose some very fine detail|
|Can be applied with a brush or sponge|
|Can be thinned with water|
|Can be mixed with acrylic paint for an instant base coat|
How to Use Flexbond?
- Combine Flexbond with a few drops of water until it reaches a milk-like consistency. The mixture should neither drip upon application nor leave brush marks unless you intend to introduce texture by applying a thick layer of Flexbond with a torn-up sponge.
- (Optional) Incorporate acrylic paint into the Flexbond mixture for an instant base coat.
- Apply the Flexbond mixture to your prop using a brush or sponge, aiming for an even application.
- Allow the Flexbond to dry, periodically checking for drips and drops. Remove any if detected before the Flexbond sets.
- If certain areas were missed or not covered properly in the initial layer, apply a second layer as needed.
If the prop is bent after it was sealed with Flexbond, some wrinkles may show. They can, however, easily be fixed by heating the area with a heat gun.
Below you can see a piece of EVA foam that was sealed with Flexbond and painted. Then it was stress tested by bending the foam and scratching over it with my nail. No paint came off and the wrinkles could be removed with a heat gun.
How to use White Crafts Glue (PVA Glue) to Seal EVA Foam?
White glue is quite similar to Flexbond, but it can be a bit more challenging to apply evenly. ModPodge, PVA glue, and white craft glue fall under the category of White Glue, suitable for sealing EVA foam. I achieved the best outcomes with ModPodge.
|Easy to use||Some very fine detail can get lost|
|Easy to apply|
|Can be applied with a brush or a sponge|
|Can be thinned with water|
How to Use White Crafts Glue?
- Mix some white glue with some water until it has the consistency of milk. The mixture should not run when applied.
- Apply the mixture with a brush or a sponge to the foam. Make sure that you get into any nook and cranny.
- Let the mixture dry. You can see that the mixture has fully dried when the white glue has become transparent.
- If the first layer hasn´t covered properly or you missed a spot then simply apply a second layer in the same way.
The only big drawback when using this method is that the foam can wrinkle when it is being deformed in any way. So if the Foam is being bent or twisted then wrinkles can appear on the surface of the foam but this can be fixed by heating the surface with a heat gun.
Below you can see an image of a piece of foam that was sealed with white glue and painted. After that, it was stress tested by bending it and scratching over the surface. It held up fine, however, some paint was scratched off.
How to Use Plasti Dip on EVA Foam?
Plasti Dip is most suitable for intricately detailed props. It is available exclusively in cans and should be applied in a well-ventilated area while wearing a protective mask.
|No details will be lost||Must be applied with a spray can|
|It can be applied with great precision and won´t leave any brush marks||It´s toxic during application but harmless once it has dried|
How to Use Plasti Dip
- Put the Plasti Dip can in some warm water. Leave it in the water for one minute. Then take it out, shake it and put it back into the water for another two minutes.
- Shake the can well for at least one minute. Then apply the Plasti Dip in multiple thin coats to the prop. Keep a distance of at least 4 inches (10 cm) between the can and the prop. This will ensure that the Plasti Dip is applied evenly.
- Let the Plasti Dip dry and apply a second coat if necessary.
The Prop might get wrinkles on its surface if you bend it. This can easily be fixed by applying some heat to the area with a heat gun. The wrinkles will disappear if the prop is sealed with Plasti Dip.
Below is an image of a piece of EVA foam that was sealed with Plasti Dip and painted. After that, the piece of foam was bent and the surface was scratched. No paint came off and the wrinkles could be removed by applying some heat to the area. The chipped paint is an effect. You can read more about how the chipping paint effect was done right here.
Gesso is not recommended for sealing EVA foam. It will work initially but the gesso does not adhere well to the foam and if the foam piece bends then the gesso layer underneath will separate.
Below you can see a piece of EVA foam that was sealed with Gesso and painted. After bending it the paint started separating and scratching the surface further removed some of the paint.
Primer has the same issues as Gesso. The primer is not flexible enough for EVA foam and once the foam is bent the primer will separate from the foam.
Below is an image of a piece of EVA foam that was sealed with a Primer and painted. Bending leads to wrinkles appearing on the surface and paint easily comes off after scratching over the surface.
Do You Need to Seal EVA Foam?
If you intent on painting EVA foam then you have to seal the foam first. This will ensure that the paint will adhere properly to the surface of the foam and it ensures a uniform look of the paint.
How Do You Seal EVA Foam After Painting?
In short, if the EVA Foam was sealed with Plasti Dip, Flexbond, or White Glue before it was painted, then it does not have to be sealed afterward. The paint will stay on pretty well. But if the Foam was not sealed before it was painted then it should be sealed with a clear coat. A clear matt acrylic sealer or matt varnish will be more than enough to protect the paint job.
Sealing EVA Foam is quite important so you should seal it one way or the other.
I personally either seal the Foam with Plasti Dip before painting it. This will let the paint stick very well to the Prop and it will protect the foam from almost everything, that you can throw at it.
Or I paint the Foam directly and then I seal it after painting with a layer of clear matt coat or with a layer of matt varnish.
Matt varnish will make the prob water-resistant but it will also make the prop quite rigid. That is why varnish is only good when the Foam Prop is not being bent or deformed.
Can EVA Foam Be Sealed With ModPodge?
ModPodge can be used to seal EVA foam. ModPodge is very similar to other white crafts glue. Just mix some ModPodge with a little bit of water and apply it directly to the foam. Once dry, the foam can be painted directly. EVA foam sealed with ModPodge can not be bent without permanently wrinkling.
It’s just like with white crafts glue. This method of sealing should only be used on props that will not be bent.
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.