Foam boards are great as you can pretty much do anything with them. You can use them for signage, but also for decorative art like for Halloween or masks and decorations. Foam board is perfect for any occasion as you can buy it in a range of colors and grades, which makes it great for cutting, printing, painting, mounting and laminating. If you want a versatile material great for multiple purposes, foam board is the best choice. In this blog, we will talk about how to cut foam board, how to paint it and additional useful information. Without further ado, let’s get creative!
How to cut foam board
You will need to remember to cut away from you and take care when using a blade, always cut away from your person.
Before you get started, always make sure your space is clear and you place something underneath the foam board to reduce the chances of the blade cutting into your table. Some thick cardboard or a large slab of wood will be appropriate.
Always remember to change your x-acto blade regularly. There’s no point in using an old blade, after all, what’s the point in spending all that time creating something beautiful and the jagged edges ruin the aesthetic!? If you are planning on cutting foam boards on a regular basis, buy a few blades to last you and change it as needed.
When you start to cut the board up, it is best to make sure you are running the blade all the way through. This will mean that punching out the foam board will be easier.
One of the actions that prove difficult is getting the blade at the right angle. You may find it easiest to lay down on the floor to line your eye up with the blade so you know it’s at the perfect 90 degree angle. Some people also find it handy to use a similar principle but instead of lying on the floor, position your head over the x-acto knife so you can see straight down the knife, again, making sure that it’s at a 90-degree angle. Using a 90-degree angle is useful for the majority of occasions. Using a 90-degree angle allows you to easily place the foam board next to your other desired piece and glue them together with ease. If you ever did need to cut your foam board at a diagonal angle, you can hold your x-acto knife like a pen… easy peasy!
How to paint foam board
Spray paint and acrylic paints work great on foam boards but there are a few things that you should look out for. One problem that can occur happens when you apply too much paint to the foam board. Applying too much paint at once can cause the outer layer will get saturated with water or oils caused by the paint. As the paint dries, the paper will shrink but the foam inside it doesn’t. When this happens, the outer layer of paper causes the edges to curl up, sometimes even detaching from the foam interior as it dries. If you are using spray paint, you can avoid this problem by not applying the paint too heavily. If you need to build up your masterpiece, this is okay, just make sure that you apply a first coat and wait till it dries before applying the next coat. The same principle applies to any other appropriate paint, the thinner you apply the layer- the better.
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