How to spray paint Styrofoam balls

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Styrofoam balls are frequently used for craft projects, including science, holiday, preschool and home decorating crafts. Spray painting a Styrofoam ball is tricky, however, as a Styrofoam ball that is directly spray painted can melt under a heavy coating of certain paints. You must take precautions to paint the ball safely.

Things You'll Need

  • Styrofoam ball
  • Fabric
  • Aluminum foil
  • Push pins
  • Wooden skewers
  • Cover a Styrofoam ball in aluminum foil or fabric. Wrap aluminum foil around the ball in a single layer. It may take some work to get the surface flat, and fabric may make for a more rounded look if you need the Styrofoam to look smooth. If using fabric, wrap in a single layer and place push pins in the places the fabric does not lay down or is overlapping and creating a raised area. You won’t need push pins for aluminum foil.

  • Stick a wooden skewer in the Styrofoam ball. Use skewers with a pointed end that will go through the fabric or aluminum foil.

  • Hold the Styrofoam ball up by the wooden skewer and begin spraying with spray paint. Hold the can at least 8 inches away to avoid pools of paint and dripping. The first layer may not cover the entire ball completely.

  • Allow the ball to dry. Set it upright by placing the skewer in a foam block or other holder to keep it stationary while drying.

  • Apply another layer of paint as in Step 3. Allow to dry and then continue with craft project as planned.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use fabric scraps, the thinner the better, to wrap the Styrofoam ball. The fabric will not show after it is spray painted.
  • Styrofoam balls can be painted without covering by using acrylic paint and a paintbrush. This difference is a smoother surface, but it takes more time.

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