Plastidip not all it's cracked up to be.

sandbagger

Master Member
I was under the impression that plastidip was a rubberised product that would stay flexible and rubbery.

I painted my foam Iron Man gauntlet with it - three coats red - and after a few weeks it is brittle, inflexible, lifting off the foam and cracking/flaking badly.

Have I done something wrong or it there a better product to use? Red latex perhaps?
 

stopmoclay

Active Member
Personally I have never used Plastidip but I've used Flexbond as a foam sealant for a long time and its incredible, $60 for a huge bottle that has lasted me well over a year, 2-3 layers on something applied with a damp brush and it stays flexible and smooth
 

Vox

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
My experience with PlastiDip: For pieces that will experience a high amount of movement (for example, any piece on or near a commonly used joint), 1-2 light coats is enough to seal the foam so that you can paint it. The thicker you apply it, the more of a "shell" it creates which, under a high amount of stress and flexing (like on a hand), will crack. I have also noticed that it has more of a tendency to crack when covered with any kind of gloss paint versus when covered with matte/flat paint.

Generally, I liberally heat treat any foam I am working with before applying plastidip, which is usually enough to seal most if not all the cells. I then carefully, lightly, and slowly apply one coat of plastidip to finish sealing the foam and give the paint a smooth surface to which to bond. Finally, 1-2 coats of carefully, lightly, and slowly applied paint. Next time, try something like that, and I hope you have far less, if any, cracking.
 

JayM

New Member
Vox, when you heat the foam, how can you tell when the cells are sealed? I've used a variety of sealers, including plastidip, and have always had trouble with parts that must remain flexible. I'd like to try the heat approach next.

Thanks.
 

IronManiac

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
You should see a general change in the look and feel of the foam once it's sealed. Generally, craft foam has a dull finish and soft, almost fuzzy texture. Once you have sealed it with a heat gun, it should take on a very slight sheen, and feel a little smoother to the touch than before.

Obviously you can easily melt it, so be careful, but after a few passes with a heat gun, it should start to seal. This will help the plasti-dip adhere better.
 

DRG

Active Member
I've had okay results with it, but it's far from a perfect solution. I've never had it go brittle or flake off, though, so I'm not sure what you did there. For me, I just found it to be sort of expensive for covering large builds and the results (for me) weren't any better from the comparatively cheaper PVA glue method. Neither really made my paint jobs 'flex proof', at least in terms of pieces that were supposed to have perfect surfaces, so in the end I'm probably just going to stick with the cheaper choice.
 

sandbagger

Master Member
I think I'll have to go with a coloured latex instead. Thinking of doing a mold of my hand, then clay sculpting, then a rubber/latex cast.
 
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