I love products that help me use the craft supplies I already have in my arsenal in even more ways. I think it is because I like to sew. Take the same sewing machine, add a zipper foot, a buttonhole foot, or a walking foot, and suddenly your sewing machine can handle new tasks. That’s what Smooth Finish is. It is like a buttonhole foot for your Styrofoam® crafts.
Before I get into all that craziness, let’s start with what FloraCraft® says about Smooth Finish.
Paintable Coating for Make it: Fun® FloraCraft® Foam! Fast Drying, Won’t Shrink or Crack, No Sanding Required.
I agree. Not as exciting as “buttonhole foot for your Styrofoam”, but a whole lot more descriptive. Smooth Finish is like a putty that you put on your Styrofoam to smooth out all the nooks and crannies.
When you first open your Smooth Finish, you’ll notice it has a slight smell. It isn’t unpleasant… it reminds me of smells from my childhood. Hot vinyl seats after the car has been sitting in the sun on a summer day, with a hint of school glue smell. Not front-runner for a budding starlet’s perfume line, but not a gross smell at all.
The warning label says to keep it out of your eyes, and that it contains chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects, and other reproductive harm. So, this isn’t something for pregnant gals, and I’ll be keeping it out of the hands of my children. I will tell you that I have super sensitive skin on my hands, and although I did get some of the product on my hands, it didn’t give me a rash at all, which many products do.
The putty inside is the consistency of marshmallow creme, if marshmallow creme weren’t sticky. It is light and fluffy and moist. I found that it spread easily into the cracks of my foam.
Getting the Smooth Finish absolutely smooth was more difficult.
Here are the instructions on the side of the container:
Stir Smooth Finish completely. If product is too dry and does not hold to a small, flexible spatula or putty knife, stir in a few drops of water (no more than 1/2 tsp per 4 oz of product).
Press the product firmly into the cells of the foam using the spatula or putty knife. For best coverage, run the spatula across the cells in all directions
Spread on small sections at a time until completely covered. Once first coat is dry, apply a second coat if desired. Product may be smoothed out when wet using a damp sponge or sanded smooth when completely dry.
They fit a lot of words on a very small package, but I wish that the packaging said how thick to put on the Smooth Foam, and how long it takes to dry.
I used a damp paper towel, folded into a small square, to smooth out the Smooth Finish, and it worked fairly well.
I let the Smooth Finish dry overnight, and the next morning I used a fine-grit sandpaper to sand it smooth.
So, although you CAN use this product without sandpaper, if you want a truly smooth finish to your Styrofoam, you will want to sand down the surface after the Smooth Finish dries. For my pumpkin project, I didn’t sand down the surface, because I liked the additional texture. For my eyeball project, I wanted a smooth surface, so I chose to sand it down.
Painting was easy. I used multi-surface paints that are widely available. Any acrylic paints will work fine on this surface.
I was able to make fine lines without the paint bleeding at all. The surface reminded me a bit of painting on poster board.
And it was much easier, and smoother, to paint on the Smooth Finish surface than on unfinished Styrofoam. Even on the pumpkin that I chose not to sand.
You can find full tutorials on the Pumpkin Project and Eyeball Tin Project, on my blog, both using Smooth Finish.
Smooth Finish is distributed by FloraCraft, and is made in the USA. For more project ideas using Smooth Finish, check out the Make it Fun Website.
Disclosure: Sample provided for review purposes.
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Caryn S. (Scrapnsing) says
How’s the durability? Is it a really hard finish?
Carolina Moore says
The product itself dries as hard as wall spackle. I used it later on a large (8″x8″) piece of styrofoam for part of a tree trunk. Once it was dry, I could knock on it without worry of it breaking, cracking, or collapsing. I did add a couple coats of Mod Podge to seal in the paint afterwards, and give it extra protection.