View Full Version : Painting gatorboard

05-18-2008, 09:37 PM
I have a bunch of letters I cut from 3/16" gatorboard that need to be painted a dark green. I purchased a can of matte green paint from local hardware store and painted a few to see how they would look. The finish is OK, but the foam has started to 'shrink' around the edges where the paint has come in contact.

My question is: Is there a specific paint for foam boards like gatorboard? Apparently, the solvents used in ordinary spray cans attack the foam and causing it to 'vaporize'.

Any info on painting foam would be helpful.

05-18-2008, 09:46 PM
Mike, Gatorboard is a polystyrene which means that it must be coated with a water base primer or epoxy to avoid the chemical attack. I use Bullseye 123 primer.

05-18-2008, 09:49 PM

Any quality exterior latex will work.

If these are to be placed outside and will get any sun at all, they will curl up like a potatoe chip unless you paint the backs in the same way as the front. Two coats on front, two coats on back.

To adhere to wall: Put a few pieces of foam take on back to hold in place while the adhesive, silicone or polyeurthand is drying.

05-18-2008, 10:27 PM
Bryson & Joe,

Thanks for your quick response. Even though I have had my bot for a couple of years I only cut signs that I have printed on PVC, acrylic or gatorboard. I don't cut letters or rout signs.

But that is changing since I was just awarded 6 large projects involving alot of routing. I'll be using this resource alot in the coming months which is why folks like you make this forum an invaluable tool.