Bondo transfers- dehydrating


I’m trying to dehydrate my bondo appliances but keep getting air bubbles during the dehydration process. I first tried Brad Look’s method by starting at 95 degrees for the 1st hour, 105 degrees for the 2nd hour, and then 120 over night for another 10 hours. 

The 2nd attempt I tried just putting the appliance in at 95 degrees for 12 hours and am still having bubbles appear. Also to note for both tries, I did let the bondo appliance reach room temp before placing them in the dehydrator. 

Any advice? Also, is there an alternative way to let these sit without using a dehydrator? 


  • Hi Tyson, We passed along your question to Brad Look and you'll find his guidance below.

    Dear Tyson,
    I received your question concerning issues with dehydration of bondo appliances and the trouble of air bubbles.

    You didn't mention specifically what type of Bondo you're using -- so here are some general observations I can offer. If you are using make-it-yourself Bondo (Pros-Aide combined with Cabosil) -- that process inevitably will trap lots of air bubbles. As an experiment, I used some Bondo made by Frends Beauty Supply, which is made precisely this way. If used straight from the container, it produces such air bubbles that you're experiencing...

    However, when I took that same product and spatulate some onto a wax palette, and began working the material back and forth, the process gave the product a smoother texture and helped to eliminate bubbles. Next, I applied the mixture to a piece of transfer plastic (Christien Tinsley's brand). I then applied a thin layer of MEL GEL Prosthetic Cream alongside the Frends product. The sheet was placed in a dehydrator for approximately two and half hours at 125 degrees. Below is a photo of the results. While time didn't permit me to start at a much lower temperature, you can see that any bubbles were significantly micro in size.

    While using professional Prosthetic Creams, like Christien Tinsely's Prosthetic Transfer Material (PTM) or MEL GEL, etc., will certainly give you better results, it's still possible to trap air while filling a silicone negative mold. Filling a mold is a careful and methodical process. I generally will spatulate small amounts in to cover the walls of the negative first, then add more until it's filled. Any trapped air will want to rise to the surface as the material is being heated.

    In lieu of a dehydrator, some people will simply set their molds in a safe spot where they can dry out for several days. Some people have told me that they set their molds in a window sill while others have mentioned putting them on their car dash on a warm day with the windows up.

    I hope this information helps you out. And thank you so much for taking the Stan Winston Character Makeup -- Tabletop Prosthetic Course! I really enjoy helping budding makeup artists. Thank you again, and please let me know if you should have any other questions.


    Bradley Look

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