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Styrofoam Safe for Wall Reproduction?

Discussion in 'Water Dragons' started by Justinsane8000, Aug 16, 2008.

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  1. Justinsane8000

    Justinsane8000 Active Member

    Hey, I got a 2x3 piece of pretty hardy styrofoam from work, and I'm hoping to turn it into a wall for my WD to chill hard on. I need to know, what can I do to give the foam a climbable, and more importantly, safe place for the lizard to climb. If I remember back from a high school class I took, normal spray-paint will almost eat away the foam. I don't know which way to approach this. I know zetec7 has something around what I'm looking for. Thanks!
     
  2. cs900

    cs900 Elite Member

    You could cover it with the GEII silicone caulking, it's non-toxic.
     
  3. zetec7

    zetec7 Active Member

    The spray paint I found is an imitation-rock paint, latex-based, and vanilla-scented (?!?).
    There is another fellow on the 'net who has a series of videos out about making lizard habitats using foam, and he uses a brush-on sealant after painting to ensure there's nothing toxic that the lizards can get to (IIRC, he uses a watered-down wall plaster-type product as a sealant). He also uses a non-bead type polystyrene foam, as is used for board-type insulation in home building (it's usually blue or pink in color, and available in 4'X8' sheets, quite cheaply).

    In my new tank, the ready-made foam backdrop is, in contrast, made of expanded polystyrene (beaded, like in a foam coffee cup) foam. It's black in color (so the lizard claws don't reveal a white background when they claw into it), contoured, and painted various shades of brown & gray to resemble rock. Unfortunately, I don't know what kind of paint they use, but I'm sure that any paint store could advise what types of flat (non-shiny) spray paint they carry that are safe for children when dry (as we all know, toddlers mouth everything!), and the same ones should be very safe, and inert, for lizards.
    I was going to try using the imitation-rock paint (it has tiny black, brown and gray lumps in it when sprayed, and gives a pretty good imitation of granite when dry) with a child-safe, inert, clear matte spray-sealant on top. Even though I have a ready-made one now, I'm going to give my idea a try for making a false-rock cave for my WD...
     
  4. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    You need to toughen it up so it's his claws won't rip it up. You don't want pieces coming off and ingested. Plus doing all that work you also don't want to see it ripped to shreds.
    I suggest making a few ledges for him to lay on. It's a great way to increase the usable surface area of your habitat.
    Many people have used products such as tile grout and epoxy to toughen it up.
    Like suggested use a child-safe paint for coloring it.
    Rustoleum makes one called Painters Touch. They have a Khaki color which I've used that looks a lot like sand.
     
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