Alternative Puppet Coatings?

edited December 2017 in Puppets
Hey Guys Im trying to make a moist looking worm puppet and I have a couple of questions.

1.) Wondering about painting foam with something like UreCoat from smooth on? Should I Still use Super 77 base coat? And would design master spray paint work on top of it? 

2.) Alternatively what about painting on silicone caulk. Is it the same process with 77 base coat and design master on top?

Thanks for you help!


  • Depends on just how much you need your puppet to move and what kind of foam you're talking about.   Assuming you want your little wormy to be as wriggley as foam will allow here are the things I've used with success as well as some fails.

     First off, latex foam you cast and bake yourself in a mold of your work (if it is a sculpt) will flex and bend more than upholstery foam.

    If you are using upholstery foam for a "build up" style puppet,  which is what i suspect, then perhaps try some tests painting with liquid latex.  Try and get your foam surface as smooth as possible first though because the more layers of latex you apply (minimum of 2 or three layers) the less flexi it will become.. But it is pretty bendy stuff all around. Plus, you can tint it with acrylic paint for color and use the same to paint more details later but you have to work quick because it dries pretty fast in thin layers.

    to make it glossier after ( will already be a bit shiny painting with latex) try rubbing glycerin on it perhaps?
     I don't think spray paint is the way to go for a bendable puppet like a work. It's likely to flake off where the puppet creases and moves most.

    Urecoat may work..? I've used it before for other things but it's not nearly as stretchy as latex. Again, i wouldn't recommend spray painting urecoat

     As for silicone caulk, Certainly give it a go, but painting it with any kind of spray paint will DEFINITELY NOT work.  It will just flake right off.  The only thing you can paint silicone with is more silicone  or specialty silicone paints. 

    You can make your own silicone paint out of caulking however. (get the type1 variety,  for faster cure time, type 2 will work as well, just takes longer) you can tint it with acrylic, acrylic inks, (will really speed up drying time if mixed with just straight caulking silicone due to the water content) or, dry pigment (dry pigments are harder to mix in uniformly though) or liquid silicone pigments. ( by far the best option)  You have to add in a solvent to thin it which is pretty smelly.

    The most accessible solvent is coleman camp fuel from your local camping gear section (mostly Naptha), but there are other solvents which will work as well such as acetone.. my preference is the camping fuel though.  Wear a RESPIRATOR and do this outside or in a properly ventilated area if you go this route.. this stuff is super bad for you to touch or breathe especially if you airbrush it.  Clean your gun thoroughly when done for the day if you run this through your airbrush!!

    On the upside, silicone will give you the glossiest surface to be sure.   There are much more flexible silicones available through smooth on such as dragon skin 10 that might be more suitable for movability, but not if you are using latex foam. dragon skin is a platimun cure silicone and won't set up agaisnt latex. may be ok against the urethane based furniture foam.. but i would definitely do a test first.

    Hope that gives you some options to think about!
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