Recently, Poly-Props has released a new can of sealer called "SEAL - The all in one sealing solution". I've been over to their stand and have seen the demo of what this spray can do and I was excited to try out. This is not a sponsored review. I've seen a few people in the comments ask what this is like and if it's worth trying. I had the chance to try this product out and hopefully it would help you guys decide if this is the product for you.
The official user's guide can be found here.
What I saw on the Demo:
It comes out grey with the texture of primer and is extremely flexible. Tried flexing the demo piece and no cracks were shown. Initially I thought oh, it's just a rebranded plastidip spray but after a bit of touchy and feely, I quickly discovered that it had different qualities and is definitely a competitor and not a rebranding.
SEAL Prime provides an all in one solution to sealing your projects ready to paint.
- Colour: Matt Grey
- Produces a smooth layer that is flexible and smooth
- Acts like a primer which helps spot imperfections
- Helps hold shape to the foam by producing a semi-rigid shell after numerous coats
- Helps prevent paint cracking
- Dries in 10/20 minutes
This has really got me excited so I decided to test this out and share my thoughts on it. From the description and the price of the product, it seems like it's a plastidip competitor but it also acts like a primer.
Can is pretty decent. The ball inside the can shakes well. I've used a lot of spray paints in the last few years and a good ball thingy inside the can does affect the quality of the spray! The better the ball, the less you have to shake to mix the contents of the can well.
Nozzle is good. It is a flat verticle spray that gives a nice and event coat.
Works exactly how normal spray in a can would work. Applying it in layers is key. I would recommend no less than 3 thinish layers. 2 is stretching it a bit.
After 3 layers, the foam is still flexible. I literally bent the foam in half and the SEAL did not crack.
I used the SEAL on the craftfoam Poly-Props sells as well as normal puzzle floor mats and plastazote. It leaves a great smooth finish on smooth surfaces like the puzzle mats and the craftfoam. But on rougher foam like plastazote, as advertised, it does highlight the imperfections.
The SEAL does get soaked into the foam as one would expect. Nothing too surprising. Just a thin layer will do. Make sure you apply it evenly to the whole surface.
The SEAL starts to set on top of the first layer. Sharpie marks are starting to fade and as advertised, imperfections starts to show. The flexibility is still extremely good. No cracks.
Same as the second layer, the SEAL sits on the previous layer and stops sinking into the foam.
By the time I finished the first layer of my Firecracker Jinx's Fishbones, the first part is nearly dried. It goes tacky/dryish in 7-10 minutes and by 20 minutes, it's more or less completely dry. I'd leave it for 30 mins just to be safe.
As you may have discovered, if you were to use a can of normally priced spray paint and hold it in one spot for ever slighly too long, the paint will start to clump up and drip. I tried that with Poly-Props but it reactacted the same way as normal primer would; It took a long time for it to clump up and start to drip.
As advertised, the SEAL really does bend without cracking. I've done a few tests including squishing the barrel of Fishbones like I would when it was not painted and the shape sprung back to how it was. I've also done the flick test and it survived. The flick test is when you flick the coated surface to see what happens. Just to compare the different surfaces; when you flick a PVA coated surface, it will create a spiders web crack sort of like a cracked window.
The product description says it acts like a primer. Well, it's not wrong...
This stuff is perfect for hand painting. It seals the foam well after a few layers. It retains all of the flexibility even when the paint is dried.
Not so sure about using normal spray paints on it. It's a hit and miss for me so far... needs a bit more testing. Halfords spray paint doesn't seem to set as well as Montana Gold paints. To coat the whole of my fishbones in 3 or 4 layers, 2 cans will comfortably do it.
The image on the right shows what I mean about spray vs hand painting. I have hand painted the purple and it is smooth af. Since the spray was not as thick as the hand paint, it left slight textured surface since the paint was not able to cover the pores. (Ignore the rough cut! It will be covered by "battle damage"). After applying the acrylic paint I left it overnight and did another flex test. The results were positive - the paint did not crack.
It comes out in a matt grey/primer like effect. I feel it's better than plastidip as it doesn't have the horrible rubbery effect on the finish and it also does not drip like plastidip does. It retains the flexiblilty of the foam and does not crack when you bend it. You'll need to use acrylic paints to match this quality because if you use normal Halfords sprays (which does not flex) the surfaces will still crack after you apply the SEAL.
It doesn't fill rougher surfaces like PVA/Wood glue does and it's not as cheap. I love the quick dry time and flexibility it offers. It still requires a bit more side by side testing on the spray paints I usually use but I will definitely buy a few more cans to test it out a bit more.
Create a video to test the SEAL in a more controlled environment side by side with other methods
Try PVA 1 or 2 layers then SEAL for 2 - this may smooth out rougher surfaces
Test the SEAL with 4 layers
Foam4Noobs Sealing and Priming foam