Painting a Paper Mache Costume in Bad Weather
September 29, 2015 8:02 AM   Subscribe

I've created a paper mache Darth Vader helmet for my son, and it needs only painting...but the weather's supposed to be rainy for the next few days, and he needs it for Friday.

In the past, I've used spray paint, and if it has been too humid for it to cure well, I've baked it in my lab oven. This one has a lot of hot glue holding padding together on the inside, though, so I'm hesitant to go that route.

Are there any other options that would dry well even on a humid day and not have too many lingering fumes, since this is a helmet that will be covering his face?

Alternately, is there a temperature range that would cure the spray paint but not melt the hot glue?
posted by Dr.Enormous to Grab Bag (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Do you have the space to store the head in a large box? I'd do very thin layers spaced out about 4 hours apart (if not longer). Even in full on humidity it should dry if you keep the layers super thin.
posted by larthegreat at 8:07 AM on September 29, 2015

Artist's acrylic paint, brushed on? Hair dryer to speed it up? It will be a matte finish unless you add something to it or coat it afterwards.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 8:11 AM on September 29, 2015 [1 favorite]

A (kitchen) oven that's turned off, but with the oven light on (an incandescent bulb) usually runs about 110F or so. It's great for things like raising yeast dough and culturing yogurt, because it doesn't get hotter than yeasts can handle. That would be an excellent warm dry space. If it were my oven, I'd run a self-clean cycle afterwards.
posted by aimedwander at 8:18 AM on September 29, 2015

A note on temperatures: low-temp hot glue is about 250F and high-temp about 375F (Wikipedia), but that's the gun setting, the glue does soften such that it could release or slide/droop at cooler temperatures. If you want to test the lab oven, stick two things together, put it in the oven on the lowest setting for half an hour, then try to pull or slide them apart. If it has appropriate temperatures, the lab oven would be preferable to home oven just because of the ick factor and imagining possible chemical residue from the paint in your next casserole.
posted by aimedwander at 8:25 AM on September 29, 2015

Thin coats of water resistant mod podge maybe?
posted by Crystalinne at 1:35 PM on September 29, 2015

Of course spray paint would be easiest and fastest, but if that's out, could you brush on black craft acrylic paint and let it sit overnight in front of a fan?
posted by sarajane at 2:22 PM on September 29, 2015

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