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Paint Process for Foam decoys

6048 Views 8 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  wet9500
I know this is an old topic, but it seems to be popular. I just made 3 foam decoys with plastic Herter's heads. I used Zinsser primer. I put on 2 coats in one night. 2 nights later I painted the decoys with Liquitex and Windsor Acrylics. A week later, I sprayed 3 coats each of Krylon Matte finish. One more week later, I brought the 3 decoys out hunting..2 dogris (scaup) and one pintail. I used no weight on the 2 dogris keels; and, on the pintail, I used a full lead strap weight inside the decoy above the wooden keel. After being in and out of the boat, some of the paint on the decoy heads wore off leaving the white primer showing. Plus all 3 decoys bobbed up and down like a fishing cork. I'm sure i'm doing something wrong. SO, what can I do about keeping the paint on better and how much weight do standard sized decoys need on the keel? I bought 30 Herters heads last year and plan to use them up before trying wooden heads. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I am a duck guide in LA, and my customers have already sunk 10 GHG decoys since November with half the season to go. I absolutely must go to foam decoys for next season. 23 seasons and hundreds of dead decoys.
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Not a Zinser fan, prefer Kilz2. Wash heads -> a for plastic spray-on primer for head-> have at it, brush prime everything and paint. Those hard plastic Herter heads can have trouble holding water-based paints/primers at times. Foam heads aren't a bad option, relatively easy and much lighter than wood from a balancing aspect on the overall decoy
Used a basswood sandwich for the bills and apoxy sculpt to blend into the foam/burlap for my first year, minimal detail, attempts at the process. Worked very well, did have concerns on the heads durability but used a urathane spar varnish over the entire decoy (with plenty of drying time prior to applying it) and was very impressed with the toughness. Played, crudely, with shapes and positions, head postures are potentially endless. Numerous sketches done for next year but probably won't be able to start until late winter which is driving me nuts
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