It started out so small and innocent

It was just a simple post on my blog that has turned into a nightmare (the good kind.)

Welcome to SpiderFest 2010.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Since it is raining outside

right now, and it will likely be raining at least once or twice in October.  I thought this would be a good time to cover "weatherproofing your spider"

Some of the stuff I type these days just baffles me....never in my life would I have thought "weatherproofing your spider" would appear from my keyboard.....anyway....

Here is what i know.

We use foam for a reason, it is naturally water resistant and lightweight.  Our larger spider is a foam body and friendly plastic legs.  Both water resistant on their own.  A little paint and we are good to go.

We paint almost all our props with a complete coat of black exterior house paint, using a sprayer.  This way we are sure that the paint has gotten into all the nooks an crannies and is creating a waterproof seal.

Interior house paint will wear off in the rain and provides no rain barrier.  Regular exterior house paint on the prop and we are golden.   No other weathering needed.

Monster mud - well, since it is partly paint, it is fairly waterproof, but we paint all those props with a couple coats of exterior house paint anyway.   Since mud props are not foam, you can also use spray paint on them, which is even a better waterproof coating.

In the case of the mud men, where we use burlap, I also put a coat of polyurethane on them each year.  They get a bit soggy, but they stay in tact.

Electronics, prop controllers and power supplies.  They go in those sealed sprinkler boxes.  You know the ones that have the door that opens and the rubber gasket seal?  They come in various sizes and they usually have a key lock.  We use those for the controllers for props like the preacher and coachman.  Just remember to close them when you are done....otherwise they are worthless.  (Speaking from experience :D)

Clay - we have used a bit of Crayola Magic Modeling clay, it seems to hold up okay, but I would paint the sh*t out of it. :D  The bigger problem with clay is that the pieces separate, more from temperature fluctuation than water damage.

Papier-mâché- I am little help here.  I don't create with it  for the yard because of the rain and we leave our props up for so long; our display is out for just over a month.  That can be a lot of rain.  I imagine with a few good coats of varnish it should last the season.  I am going to invest in a few cans of matte and semigloss varnish and spray the spiders with an extra coat on dry days.  If a spider looks particularly delicate, I will try to cover it in a "cocoon" of plastic when I know it is going to really rain.

We are resourceful crew and if we see that any spider is having difficulties we will bring it in the shop and do our best to bring it back to life.  When I say "we" I mean the crew....cause I am not touching them :D

Big thanks to Ghoul Friday for letting me know that I really needed to share this information.  She is the best - and if you have not read her interview over at Zombos Closet of Horror blog...get yourself on over and check it out.

Any specific questions?  Ask away!

1 comment:

  1. This is a great post.
    As a mache man, I find that my technique is similar...with two heavy base coats of rustoleum flat black spraypaint. Then acrylic paints with a brush, then a silicon sealer sold for camping equipment and fabric. The mache still breathes, and actually goes soft in a lot of rain, but it'll dry up in the sun with no damage. I have my fears with the spider that all those thin long legs mixed with rain water weight will become way too heavy and end up looking like a squid...though I'm thinking of this guy as having a one-season life expectancy. So if he still looks 50% like a spider on Halloween night, I'll be happy.