View Full Version : Faux Iron Finishes
04-30-2006, 10:21 PM
I am trying to finish some EPS and have been researching on this forum and all around for solutions. I want it to be really convincing.
The obvious choice is LuminOre -- but it requires training and has a high expense involved.
Does anyone know a good method or product to make EPS (expanded polystyrene) look like Iron?
It's a small sculpture, so using a powder would not be too tedious.
05-01-2006, 08:57 AM
I had some good results using paper mache, and then using bondo to smooth it out. Then I primed it, the iron oxide primer is a good start. I applied a few coats of paint, iron oxide, flat black, some pastel greens, and flat white. After each time I would sand through to reveal some of the underneath color, then I took 3M spray adhesive and in places sprayed the surface and then sprinkled iron filings from the cut off wheel on it. Once this was dry I used a ferric nitrate solution to rust the iron filings allowing it to drip as rust would. Once I got the results I wanted I sealed it up with a clear acrylic. This is an interior application but its pretty convincing.
05-01-2006, 11:30 AM
Do you have any photos of the finished result?
Also -- iron oxide primer, do you have a brand name or place I could buy that?
05-01-2006, 05:24 PM
sorry I don't have anything close up but if you go to my website
and go to Matt
and then sculpture and scroll through my pics you will find a submarine sculpture its on the 3rd or 4th set of pics. The sculpture is a spherical form with the sub suspended inside. Iron oxide primer is the standard red rust color primer its called iron oxide but its just that color, brands??? rustoleum, or whatever is cheepest, you arent going to be worried about "priming metal. The only thing is I would test the primer on your styrofoam since some paints eat foam. If this happens you need to get the spray latex which will seal it up and then you can paint it with standard paint.
07-25-2006, 09:51 PM
where are you located?
I'm have Luminore in the St. Louis area. Drop me a line at: email@example.com
07-25-2006, 10:08 PM
Not sure if this will stick to your surface, but this place has liquid coatings that ARE metal, and can be rusted or patinaed. I have several samples in a kit I bought, but haven't tried any yet. They claim their 'type C' coatings cure so hard that you can polish them with a buffing wheel:
07-26-2006, 02:10 AM
A sculptor in my region used to make steel frames and stretch canvas over them to create large volumes and he used acrylic paints and a squirt bottle to paint the surfaces. The colors were beautiful and had the look of rusted steel/iron in reds & browns which made them appear to be extremely heavy.
You can gesso the foam and experiment with similar rust colors and seal with a satin spray & wax for a natural metal look.
07-26-2006, 05:30 AM
Just my 2 cents as I don't have much experience with EPS. I notice coating it with paint depends on what is this EPS. If it is the common white beaded polystyrene foam for packaging, paint would not spread to coat it. This is true for both liquid enamel paint or spray acrylic paint. But if it is the blue builder's insulation styrofoam from Dow Chemicals, it works.
07-26-2006, 11:10 AM
Gesso is a great ground that resolves most paint attachment problems and can be built up with successive applications allowing the surface to be textured or sanded smooth.
07-28-2006, 03:24 PM
Sculpt Nouveau is the way to go. It's not expensive like LuminOre. You can patina it. In fact, Ron Young, (who co-wrote 'Methods for Modern Sculptor' is the one who came up with the formula for it. He's used the copper coating on roofs to make it look like copper plating for the roof. It lasts several years outside. I've played with it a little bit and it's easy to use. The coatings will take cold patinas too. AND they can go over pretty much anything - glass, concrete, plaster, wood, other metals..... Hope this helps.
08-03-2006, 03:31 AM
You can buy very fine iron powder, sold for use with resin. You could try mixing it into shellac, PVA, clear acrylic varnish etc to do samples
From memory, some types of EPS will take resin painted on to them. Resin just painted on to an exposed surface probably needs a (wax) additive to ensure curing.
Added to resin this iron powder can look like iron, but until you go over the surface with wire wool it usually looks shiny and plastic-y and will not rust.
08-03-2006, 03:33 AM
Graphite in PVA will make anything look like lead or iron.
09-24-2006, 12:36 AM
Really make sure you do your homework before you commit to an application for your EPS project. So many products claim to be suitable for use on EPS, only to eat right through it.
Fused's Gesso suggestion could be really promising-- It should be innocuous enough to provide an adequate veneer for whatever faux iron finish you manage to find.
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