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FlyFish84

Paint for foam poppers

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i very new new at fly tying and just got a kit for my birthday for making foam poppers, it come with hooks and the foam heads un painted, and was wondering what is a good paint to use for the foam, some people told me to use spray paint but i really dont want to cuz i have a toddler in the house and im sure the wife would get a little upset, plus she told me that she would help me paint them, it would make for a great time togther, also is there a special base i need to put down before paint??? and what about a top coat for protection and shine???

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go a head and use acrilic paints or fingernail polish to make the popper durable after painting use epoxy to coat the out side.

 

i use just that 5 min rosin and hardener mix abit together with a toothpick and spread it on if you get the epoxy in the hook eye get it out before it dries or youll hate yourself.

 

if you end up doing alot of popper bodies at one time think about going with 30min epoxy and a drier ( rotisserie engine with a foam disk) so that the epoxy doesnt run to one side or the other.

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If you use to use a water based acrylic paint, it often takes several coats to achieve a full clean color except for White on White or with the Black. You may want to lightly sand the hard foam bodies. I don't find it necessary to apply a base other than the acrylic paint. The paint isn't absorbed into the body that I can detect.

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FF84, I use acrylic paints from Michael's(2 coats usually does the trick). I apply a few coats of gloss varnish after the acrylic paint has dried. I lightly sand hard foam poppers to get rid of the ridge that usually circles the foam. If you're going to push a sewing needle with rubber legs through the sides do it before you paint the body otherwise you might damage the paint/finish.

 

Have fun.

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Thanks everyone for all the info. It was very very helpful. So on my way home today from work I stopped at the craft store and got paint brushes, paint, clear cost, and a block of foam to hang them in while they dry. Now I just have to Brain storm some styles. And not really sure on what to use for the back of the fly. But again thank u all for the help.

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I have been making balsa and cork bodied poppers for over 20 years and use 30 minute epoxy diluted with 70% Isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol for my top coat. I dilute by 50%, which is the same as a 1:1:1 mix. This makes a near water-thin mix that is readily applied with disposable brushes and that dries hard, clear, and shiny. There is no reason why it won't work on foam bodies, as there should be no chemical reaction of the mix with the foam. The mix will turn milky while being mixed, but does turn clear shortly after being applied, if not before. One word of caution. Thinning the epoxy with alcohol typically does not extend the working time. Thus. it will begin to thicken as the 30 minute working time is approached. It does, however slow the drying (complete curing) time a little, but not much, in my experience. I also make foam 'bugs', but I use the Fun Foam and do not paint them, as the color is already in the foam.

 

Welcome to the 'addiction'!

 

Cheers,

perchjerker

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What about coating the acrylic with water based poly ? Easy to use spray can quick drying time ? 

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Keep it simple. 2 dollar bottles of craft store water based acrylic paint with a single coat of Sally Hansons hard as nails as a top coat. The water based paint will dry in less then a minute with a low setting heat gun, if your in a rush. That's how I paint all of my premade popper bodies. Sally Hanson dries in minutes. 

 

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14 hours ago, 173south said:

What about coating the acrylic with water based poly ? Easy to use spray can quick drying time ? 

Polyurethane is very adequate for coating poppers if you are going to be using them for the current season.  In my experience, over the short run it can last better than 30 minute epoxy.  If you don't keep a bunch around for long periods before using them as I have, it should be fine.   Note the crack through the eye of this popper that sat inside  in one of my boxes for several years before I added the dressing this year to finally fish it.  The poly and the paint came off before long when I fished it for Bluegill.

 

Cracked.jpg

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Thanks for your reply. The town I live in SW Texas does not have 30 minute epoxy on the shelves ay Lowes, Home depot or Ace so I was just wondering about the water based poly . 

Good looking popper you have there! Do you find the bright colors, yellow, white  ,orange  or maybe tan to work better for blue gills than a red or green ? 

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A bunch of good answers given.

i’ve been tying for about 50 years been doing poppers for about 30... Not that that means anything in this day and age with the Internet and YouTube anybody could be an expert in a week.

if you’re using the soft squishy type foam I always hit it with some 600 grit to get rid of the fuzzies. Then I use liquid fusion as a base. Then paint my body with paint, cheap acrylics from Michael’s or hobby lobby.  Then another base coat of liquid fusion thinned with water,

this is to help getting that nice smooth body and protect your underlying  paint when you make mistakes at the next steps(you will)so you can just wipe the paint off without smearing the coat underneath...Every time you put a new color on such as making dots or eyes put a coat of liquid fusion over it and if you mess up you can wipe that off immediately without disturbing the other colors.

in my personal experience all epoxies eventually end up cracking if your poppers last along time. Liquid fusion will not give you that super high shine glassy look like Epoxy does But it seems to last longer than Epoxy does to me without all the hassle and mess.

If you want to use epoxy go to Michael’s or hobby lobby you’ll find 30 min - 2hr epoxy there.

or go online to BSI(Bob Smith industries) They make the best CA glues and Epoxy there is.

They make epoxy just for foam that stays flexible....I haven’t personally used that epoxy though.

Come back and show us how you did plenty of YouTube videos on it and the Stippled Popper has some really good tutorials and information how to do it right.

 

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2 hours ago, 173south said:

Thanks for your reply. The town I live in SW Texas does not have 30 minute epoxy on the shelves ay Lowes, Home depot or Ace so I was just wondering about the water based poly . 

Good looking popper you have there! Do you find the bright colors, yellow, white  ,orange  or maybe tan to work better for blue gills than a red or green ? 

Those colors all work at different times as well as black , brown, blue and chartreuse.  

StippledPoppers2012.pdf

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I work mainly with craft foam, soft foam cylinders and  pre-formed soft foam popper bodies.  Eh, I'm lazy.  Never had the patience or skill set to work with cork or balsa.  I don't know what type of kit you have, whether it's hard foam or soft foam.   If it's soft foam then you might consider permanent markers.   My favorite ones are either sharpies or Prismacolor brands.  I like these because it's easier to blend/fade colors on the bodies.  I also have Copic pens and another brand which I also use.    Unless you have a rotary dryer to turn your poppers while the epoxy sets I wouldn't recommend 30 minute epoxy and working with 5 minute epoxy can be a bit dicey depending on the size of the popper body.  Water based poly will work as long as you use thin coats of it.   As I said I'm lazy, so I use UV resin.  I plan to use a flexible use UV resin.   I'm up in PA,  the colors I have the best luck with for bluegills and other sunfish are white, yellow and chartreuse.  I also do fire tiger, perch and shad colors. 

P1150114.JPG

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