Choosing the Right Foam Board

People use foam boards for all types of projects. So, what are the properties of a foam board that makes it a versatile material to use?

Foam boards have a lightweight property and also possess a strong durability. They are economical when compared to other materials. This easy to cut and shape material is extensively used by artists for creating exquisite artwork and also by students to make DIY presentations. In addition, they are an ideal material for mounting posters and pictures, and also as a backing material for photo frames as well as for making architectural models. But how will you choose which foam board type is suitable for your project? The following are some tips that will help you clear all your doubts regarding which foam board to select for your project:

Picking up the right board

Foam boards can easily be made into complex shapes that can be put to a variety of uses. Foam board is usually made of a sturdy material that consists of three sections, including an inner layer of polystyrene foam sandwiched between two thin layers of bleached, semi-gloss white clay coated paper. Self-adhesive foam boards are a great choice for cold mounting pictures, while pressure sensitive Gatorfoam is preferred for mounting exhibits where strength and rigidity matter the most. A foam board substrate that is commonly used for photo mounting purposes is Sintra PVC board. So, depending on your requirement, you can easily pick from the wide variety of foam boards available at 

Foam board size and thickness

PVC products are available in a variety of thicknesses including 1 mm, 2 mm, 3 mm, 6 mm, and 13 mm. Recently, foam boards have become a popular backing material in photo and poster framing.  Many having archival-quality variants These and many other products can be purchased from  and is ideal for mounting, die cutting, and screen printing. It is available in many sizes as per your specific requirements as well. However, you can easily find all the basic foam boards that include Foamboard, self-adhesive foam board, acid-free foam board, and many others. For mounting purposes, you can either choose self-adhesive or heat-activated coating foam board. 

How to apply adhesives

Although most of the foam boards are easy to work with, a common problem with them is the clay coated foam core which doesn’t take certain types of glue or paint (solvent based products) and isn’t suitable for bonding purpose. Avoid such products, as the glue may dissolve the foam center causing weakness and will eventually breakdown the structural integrity of the foam board. 

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Over saturated water-based glues can warp the fiber of the outer layer upon drying. This can be addressed by attaching a layer to the opposite side. You should preferably use a double-sided adhesive sheet or pre-coated self-adhesive foam board if you want to dry mount your photographs and prints. After you have mounted the photograph on the self-adhesive board, make sure you keep it aside to set up for some time so that it doesn’t warp before you assemble the pictures in a frame. 

Whatever the purpose, foam boards are always your best bet, as they help make your project look great and last for a longer time.

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