Can you decorate expanded polystyrene?
11th July 2017


Can you decorate expanded polystyrene?


Polystyrene is used for many design, display and merchandising products. You may be dubious of this, polystyrene is, after all, just a big white bulky material. How can this be made into something that could be used as a beautiful display piece?

Polystyrene is an extremely versatile material. Whilst it is an extremely bulky material in block form, it is easily shaped (see our previous advice post “How to Shape Expanded Polystyrene”) and similarly, easily decorated.

Most of our design, display and merchandising products leave us with the natural, white finish. They leave little to the imagination. We’re not too proud to say that some images we receive back from our customers completely outstand us as to how fantastic they look once they are finished. Polystyrene can be made into some truly eye-catching pieces.

giant chase paw patrol   

There are many ways to decorate polystyrene. Here are just a few that we have been involved in over the years:

  • Painted polystyrene
  • Glittered polystyrene
  • Card faced polystyrene
  • Concrete covered polystyrene
  • Material covered polystyrene
  • Glued polystyrene
  • Fondant icing covered polystyrene

You’ll have to believe us on some of those, yes, fondant icing is an extremely popular decorative product for polystyrene!! Read our “Cake Dummies” case study to see it first-hand.

We recommend coating your EPS product with a layer of PVA glue prior to painting to seal the polystyrene so the paint will not be absorbed. Polystyrene doesn’t have a smooth surface, so can in some instances need two layers of paint to give an even finish. Keep an eye out for advice on the best paint products to use for polystyrene. Glitter can be added in a similar way, either with a layer of glue or paint for the glitter to stick on the surface. The glitter gives an exceptional eye-catching finish, but of course, will not last as long!

There are many reasons why polystyrene is not left with its natural finish. For products that may be used on a regular basis, in a challenging environment and need to last, adding some form of coating to the polystyrene can give this the additional strength needed, especially when using products such as jesmonite.

At Molygran, we will always do our best to meet our customers’ needs. We offer a complete service, from design and draw up of the products to finishing the products with paint/glitter. We tend to finish products in full block colour as we do not profess to be artists- but watch this space!

Contact us