How to Cover Foam with Brown Paper - RC Groups
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Feb 08, 2002, 06:30 PM
Space Coast USA
hoppy's Avatar

How to Cover Foam with Brown Paper

(NOTE: The method described below has been replaced by the method found on page 2.)

After struggling with the technique for awhile, having gosh awful problems with the paper wrinkling, I ran across an article where the author said to use a spray bottle and mist the paper prior to application. THAT's the secret.

1 - Sand foam with 80 grit and than 150 grit paper.
2- Clean foam with damp rag.
3. - Apply a 50/50 mix of PVA (White glue) and water to the foam.
4. - Mist the paper.
5 - Apply a coat of 50/50 to the matte side of paper.
6 - Lay the paper on the foam and smooth/press out the excess glue with a rag.
7 - Attach some weights to the overhanging paper to keep the edges from peeling up when it dries.
8 - Apply a final coat of 50/50 to the outside of the paper.
9 - Let dry 24 hours.
10 - Sand and paint.

Last edited by hoppy; Apr 09, 2002 at 08:59 AM.
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Feb 08, 2002, 09:44 PM
Spaulding's Avatar
sorry, what kind of paper? Sounds great!
Feb 08, 2002, 10:05 PM
Always looking UP
FANMAN's Avatar


Its called poly coated Kraft paper, and you can get it in a roll, its the same as grocery store brown paper bags, with a coating on one side, most office supply companies have it, go to!

My experience has shown 60/40 mix, more glue, also when doing wings, try to do one side, then the other right away. As the water evaporates and the glue dries, serious warping can and will occur. Pratice on a scrap sheet, before you commit....

Feb 08, 2002, 10:05 PM
Registered User
buckeyes1997's Avatar

kind of paper

i used to use brown grocery paper bags, but now i found you can buy it on rolls at the post office or most office stores. its in the shipping department and looks like thick brown paper bag material.
it works so well because the fibers in the bag are multidirectional and so it has great strength when you put the glue on it.
i agree spraying the water on it before attaching works great. it needs to be "wetted out" or it wont shrink up a little. that is what makes it nice and tight without wrinkles.
Feb 08, 2002, 11:07 PM
Registered User
mtayl's Avatar
Graham did a great review on this located at
Pictures and everything.
Feb 09, 2002, 12:09 AM
Registered User

What about?

Do you think water based polyurathane would work just as well?
Maybe the paper would have to be uncoated.....Hmmmm...
Feb 09, 2002, 02:27 AM
Long-Time Member
James Frolik's Avatar
Yes, water-based polyurathane will work just fine and, depending what kind you use, it will sand more easily than diluted white glue. It is also lighter.

I have coverd various foam models with either of two water-based polyurathanes, one from HSB and the other from Rödel Models, both made in Germany. It's excellent stuff, albeit both I listed are prepared specifically for the model hobby, primarily for foam application.

I also used silkspan on my models, and I didn't coat the surface first. Rather, I applied the material directly and then applied the sealer on top. It easily soaked through and the finish is just fine.
Feb 09, 2002, 03:34 AM
rpage53's Avatar

Re: What about?

Originally posted by Squidley
Do you think water based polyurathane would work just as well?
Ken Manuel's instructions for fibreglass and PU.
Feb 09, 2002, 09:51 PM
Real Men Fly Pink Planes...
kepople's Avatar
Fiberglass cloth??? Where and what kind or weight?

All I have seen would add tons of weight.

Feb 10, 2002, 02:36 PM
Space Coast USA
hoppy's Avatar
Fiberglass cloth can be found at most hobby stores.... 0.5 to 0.75 oz material. It doesn't in my opinion, make a stiff a structure as brown paper, but it gives a nice surface to work with. It is also easier to work with.
Feb 12, 2002, 02:01 PM
Space Coast USA
hoppy's Avatar
Can I change my mind?

After messing with the 50/50 glue, wetting the paper, brushing it on, putting another coat on the outside, and getting glue all over me, the table and the floor, I've come to the conclusion that 3M77 is a better method. A light coat on each surface, wait 30 seconds, and than CAREFULLY, postion the paper on the foam. The things I like are:
1. It wraps around sharp corners without a problem.
2. It's permament (Doesn't peel off easily like the PVA glue job).
3. The piece is dry and ready to go.
4. Goes on very smooth.
4. Doesn't weigh any more.
5. Doesn't warp the wing.
And now, what are the dissadvantages??

No bend in this wing with soup can on end. This is Walmart sturdy board too.

Last edited by hoppy; Feb 12, 2002 at 09:40 PM.
Feb 12, 2002, 05:57 PM
Dude, where's My Plane?
JasonJ's Avatar
How much dose the bag covering weigh? I tried it once and felt it was not worth the weight. Might as well just leave the cardboard on the sturdy board.
I have used tissue paper and 50 50 mix and found that very light and fairly strong after drying and being painted. The brown paper bag stuff was very hard to get wetted through out as well.
Feb 12, 2002, 09:38 PM
Space Coast USA
hoppy's Avatar
I'm figuring a 1.75 times weight gain. If the wing weighs 2oz bare, the covered wing will be about 3.5oz. I tried to tear up a 3M77 paper covered wing and it is very tough. Maybe much stronger than it needs to be. Much stronger than the 50/50 PVA glued paper wing cover. It must be the tighter adhesion of the 3M77 glued paper to the foam that increases the strength so much. Is it worth the weight to cover with brown paper?? I guess it depends on the crash worthiness one wants. Maybe 20# paper or tissue is worth a try....
Feb 12, 2002, 09:49 PM
Registered User
To get the paper all wet, one might consider a pan like is used in putting up wall paper. I believe they are about 4x4x20. Just roll it up and soak it.

Feb 13, 2002, 12:59 AM
Big Goof

77 disadvantages

77 releases with heat. So, the paper could delaminate in hot weather.

Having said that, I've never actually seen this happen. It has to be pretty hot (like froma heat gun)