Dendroboard banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,985 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Well, I made these really beautiful artificial rock formations for OUTSIDE the tank for the sides and hood. I covered the sides with styrofoam carved into rock, then painted them. Then, I painted Bondo fiberglass resin over this, and threw sand on it. I added another layer of paint and more sand. It came out beautiful, and enough to fool anyone.

But the hood is another story. Instead of painting first, I coated with a thicker layer of bondo resin and threw sand on. Then I painted over it. What I do not like is that I still can smell the resin, even though it has been several days....and I coated it with paint.

I have no idea why you can still smell it, but its strong if you put your nose up to it. You don't smell it on the styrofoam sides.

I don't think it would cause too much harm to a frog, as the ventilation doesn't lead out through the hood, and the resin was painted only on the outside. But I'm more concerned that it will bother ME as this tank will sit in my room.

I haven't coated the bottom panel yet with paint. My dad could smell the resin all the way upstairs, from the furnace in the basement, so I moved it outside.

Is there any I can leach the smell out? I don't know why this smells, but the first time I did it nothing happened.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,548 Posts
I think what you are smelling is uncured resin. Most fiberglass resin products wont (quite) cure on the outside surface if just left in open air...leaving a sticky and ...as you've noticed smelly.

I've never used the stuff for this hobby, so I won't comment on it's safety.
There are several ways around this problem.
One way is to keep air from getting at the resin while it is still curing.
This can be accomplished in a number of ways. You could make and use a mold, use a vacum bag, or there is also a spray-on product that some people use to form a barrier.
The cheapest way is to simply sand off the uncured layer. Probably easier said than done for artificial rock...how would I sand something, and still have it look natural?
When I've used f-glass and bondo for my car-audio projects, I sand the layer off before painting. The smell usually goes down a lot after the piece is sanded and the dust cleaned off.
That being said, If the piece is to be painted, it probably should be sanded first, as I don't know how well the paint will stick to the uncured layer.

http://www.selectproducts.com/ Might have some materials, tools, and info that might be useful to you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,985 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
well, I'll go ahead and try that for the unpainted piece. However, the bondo resin is stiff and not sticky anymore. But what about the rest of the hood? It's already been painted, and it stinks. :shock:

I still have no idea why the first time I did it, it came out really awesome and non-stinky. I am thinking if I should soak the already painted hood in some water, and see if that leaches out the stink.

Or, there's the other option of just cutting all the Great stuff off that was coated with Bondo, and just paint it without sand/ resin mix.

I have noticed, that when you pack sand or peat moss into the paint while it is wet, and then paint another layer, it gets very stiff, and very natural looking.

Once again, I LOVE DIY, so all is not lost. I just don't like the idea of going out and spending money, plus its cold outside, and I want to set this tank up. :D
 
G

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Humidity has a lot to do with how well the resin will dry it was probably dryer out when you did the other piece.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
986 Posts
I found that using a halogen trouble lamp to heat the cured resin eventually took away the smell. It does take a while, however.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,985 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I got so tired of the stink, I decided to take a hacksaw and cut it off. I'm glad I did, because it smelled EVEN WORSE underneath then it did ontop. Some how, the resin got in between the cracks of Great Stuff, and probably would never cure underneath. So, I'm just going to go back to packing peat and sand into latex paint.

I didn't use Great stuff for the walls, just over pink styrofoam, and much thinner coat. It came out beautiful, but the method of just packing peat and sand into the wet paint and doing multiple coats work very well. I just like that it gets stiffer and not as easy to puncture (exposing pink styrofoam).

Yuck! No wonder Jhupp warned long, long ago never to use Bondo, as it will leach styrene for really long periods. Even for outside the tank, better cure it well! :roll:
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top