4 years ago#1
Audra
Guest

Hello,
a friend just asked me what she should use to preserve a plaster mold of a babies hand prints which has since passed away. I don't work with plaster so I don't know what to tell her and I don't want to give her wrong info since this is a priceless treasure to the parents.

thanks

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4 years ago#2
jade
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She can spray the mold with an acrylic sealer. This should preserve it for at least a few years.

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4 years ago#3
Audra
Guest

thank you!

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4 years ago#4
red46
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Her best bet is to simply keep it dry and away from direct sunlight or extreme heat.

Just sitting on the shelf in the house, it should last 100 years.

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4 years ago#5
Audra
Guest

thank you!

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4 years ago#6
Em
Guest

I am also in the same situation but would like the hand to have a gloss finish and keep as much whiteness as possible. Please help!

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4 years ago#7
jade
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A layer or two of transparent lacquer would make it glossy and keep it almost as white as it is.

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4 years ago#8
red46
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You can put just about anything you want on plaster. Paints, resins or rub ons.

That's the beauty of plaster.All you ever have to worry about is making sure it's good and dry.

Set up plaster has 2 enemies. Constant water dripping, or being left out in the weather, and temps over 200 degrees. Dripping water will wear away, making deep holes or rivers across. Over 200 degrees for a long time, begins to turn your rigid form into a pile of powder.

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4 years ago#9
Audra
Guest

Thank you!

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3 years ago#10
FaithS
Guest

A plaster of paris handprint that my husband when he was in Kindergarten has been dropped, broken and super-glued 3x. (Not lasting a hundred years at our house!)

Hoping an acrylic sealer or transparent lacquer could work to prevent breakage if dropped?

~ Faith

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3 years ago#11
darilatkins
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If you drop it again, it will likely break some more, regardless of any kind of coating. Your best bet is to have it reproduced by an experienced life caster.
Contact: Matt Englebrake <phone> at Kansas, MO

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3 years ago#12
red46
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Reproducing might cost you more than you want to spend. It would require a new rubber mold, then repouring it. How are you at playing with rubber and resins? You can order sample amounts from smooth-on.com. You can get a wet polyurethane rubber or silicone (either one will do) and make a rubber mold of the casting. Then I would use a colored resin to pour a duplicate. Now that would last you that 100 years.

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3 years ago#13
FaithS
Guest

I am an absolute non-crafty person. I don't play with rubber or resin. I don't even know what rubber or resin are. I don't even know what the acrylic sealers or transparent lacquers that I asked about are. I just read about them in someone else's post, and hoped that they might be something I could find at Walmart.

I also know nothing about where to begin to look into having something reproduced.

I am seriously "art-challenged". This site is probably not geared for people like me.

If something simple and inexpensive is not a possiblity, then I suppose nothing will happen, other than crossing my fingers that it does not get dropped again.

~ Faith

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3 years ago#14
red46
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I can do this sort of work but it would cost you around $50 and the postage. A shortcut would be to go to Home Depot and get a quart of boat resin. Be sure to pick up a little bottle of the catalyst (that's what causes the chemical reaction) There should be mixing directions on the can of resin.
It's a sloppy procedure, as resin is about as fluid as water until it starts to set up.
Have you seen wooden table tops with what seems to be a really thick layer of lacquer? That's resin. You would be coating the object with that stuff. You'd need a couple brushes that will be wasted and I think you could do something like setting the piece on a bottle cap or something to keep it off a paper covered surface. There will be drips, you'll have to keep catching and blending, until it starts to set up. If you don't catch those drips, they will become a permanent attachment to your piece.

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3 years ago#15
red46
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Oh yeah...forgot to mention...this won't insure the piece can't break again, it's just a quick 'hold it together' idea.

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3 years ago#16
FaithS
Guest

Thanks. If it does not protect the piece from breakage, Super-glue is a quick hold-it-together idea, and it doesn't cost $50. I can pass a link to this thread on to my husband, whose handprint I'm asking about.

If he wants to follow up on anything, I'll just leave it up to him.

I guess it just wasn't reasonable to expect that there would be a simple solution to my problem. I probably asked for something for which no simple and inexpensive solution exists.

Thanks very much for trying, though.

~ Faith

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3 years ago#17
Emily
Guest

I make baby hand feet imprints and I haven't found anything that will hold it together forever when dropped. My solution would be to put it in a shadowbox frame. You can get cheap.. er ones at micheals and ikea. and hang it on the wall. That way it won't get dropped again.

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3 years ago#18
FaithS
Guest

Thanks, Emily. Now that's a simple and affordable idea that I can pursue.

I cureently have it sitting on a shelf in a product that I purchased in the frame department. But, 3x, when it has been moved to dust it (most recently by our housekeeper, the other 2x by me), it has been dropped and broken. It has multiple cracks that have been glued.

But, a shadow box could work!

~ Faith

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3 years ago#19
Emily
Guest

I put all of mine in shadow boxes, and none broken yet. Look on the upside though, I'm sure every crack tells a story!

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3 years ago#20
FaithS
Guest
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1 year ago#21
Wolff
Gold Member
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Em wrote:
I am also in the same situation but would like the hand to have a gloss finish and keep as much whiteness as possible. Please help!


Anything like a clear spray, lacquer or varnish you apply to the surface will eventually turn yellow or amber, it's a bad idea to apply anything like these to plaster in th e first place, they will all eventually turn color and fail.

Plaster will stay white if you keep dirt and dust off it, keeping it in a little glass display case such as one might use for displaying jewelry or an antique pocketwatch would be ideal.
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1 year ago#22
Kevin
Guest

Best to use an acrylic spray.You can get it in gloss or matt on ebay for about £3 a tin.

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12 months ago#23
boo boo fix
Guest

fill it with hot glue to re make the hand itself then cast a new plaster mold of the hot glue once it is hard of course

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7 months ago#24
Artist Richard
Guest
This post was chosen to be featured as a blog.
How to make a plaster cast more durable

I find casting burlap or various wire mesh and screen material into the mold can add tinsel strength to the final cast object. Wire or mesh - wire combinations add strength to plaster much the way rebar dose for concrete structures.

Here is how I would cast something flat like handprints or foot prints:

- select vessel or build box that will receive the
pour and coat with release agent.

- place spacers at each corner of pour space. Bottle caps, pebbles, pennies or other spacer.

- on top of spacers place stiff wire mesh and burlap each cut to fill the bottom of space.

- mix plaster and pour.

By elevating your mesh and burlap toward the middle of your pour, you create a central flexing point that will add amazing durability to the cast. Of course leave room for hands or feet to imprint in the top layer of the pour.

Create a test object and give it the drop test. I felt like a Roman discovering the arch when I saw it bounce!

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7 months ago#25
jade
Platinum Member
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I think I got it tho I'd probably be sure only when I see it done. I wish there was a video showing how you do that. I know that fabric adds flexibility therefor makes the plaster more durable but for some reason never thought of adding it in.

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