UGH!! Waterfall Foam!

Discussion in 'Pond Construction & Equipment' started by Terri D., Jul 25, 2017.

  1. Terri D.

    Terri D.

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    Hi Gang!

    So, I've become officially obsessed with my little pond (Some of you told me that would happen!) I look at it before I go to bed and run outside first thing in the AM to see what it's doing - like it's going to change much in 8 hours, right?? Anyway, I'm a total newbie and haven't a CLUE to what I'm doing, so when I got a watercourse it became a much bigger deal than just a simple little 50+ gallon pond. NOW, I had to figure out how to make a waterfall on a teeny tiny wall (no taller than 20"). I decided to use waterfall foam to make small rocks stick together since the surface area wasn't large enough for proper stacking. I've watched lots of youtube DIY vids on how to use dirt, sand, and smaller pebbles to fill in large voids but my small space didn't have that much room. And being a total newbie, I ended up overusing the foam and it seeped out all over the place! Also, I didn't know how to work the foam after it hardened a bit so you could hide it better. I figure, once it's actually painted, it will look a little better too. I've attached a pic of how the waterfall looks as of today.
    Here's my issue: the can says to paint or stain any exposed foam - well, there's a LOT of exposed foam, which means that once painted, the water will fall over the painted surfaces and back into my pond. My concern is what it will do to my fish and frog. I called the foam company (Total Pond) and they said to use ANY outdoor non-toxic paint.
    Does ANYONE have any advice on what paint to use or on exposed waterfall foam?There are so many "outdoor" paints but many of them say not to use in ponds or fountains. I'm at a loss - I was hoping this project would be DONE by now.....
    Thanks,Gang! 20170725_145031.jpg
     
    Terri D., Jul 25, 2017
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  2. Terri D.

    DutchMuch Lord Of The Aquascapes!

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    Neat project.
     
    DutchMuch, Jul 25, 2017
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  3. Terri D.

    Meyer Jordan Tadpole

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    Use a good razor knife (box cutter) to trim off most of the excess foam.
     
    Meyer Jordan, Jul 25, 2017
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  4. Terri D.

    sissy sissy

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    when you use waterfall foam you should use very little and add pebbles to it as you do it so they hide the foam .Shame you did not practice with it first .But if you cut it away the muck will cover some of it .You can even heat it up to help remove it but be prepared for a bad smell .I used a hair dryer on high setting and you can also use a heat gun to soften it .Some of mine was not in the pond or come in contact with the water so I used nail polish remover .I got some on my landscaping rocks and it came right off .
     
    sissy, Jul 25, 2017
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  5. Terri D.

    Tula

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    Tula, Jul 25, 2017
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  6. Terri D.

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    Agree razors / box knifes work!
     
    addy1, Jul 25, 2017
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  7. Terri D.

    Lisak1

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    Yup. Just sculpt away! Or if you really don't like the results, just pull it all apart. It's long lasting, but definitely can be taken apart if you're determined!
     
    Lisak1, Jul 25, 2017
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  8. Terri D.

    Terri D.

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    Terri D., Jul 25, 2017
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  9. Terri D.

    Terri D.

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    Yes, I understand that, but in my post I did say that there is only a very small vertical area and not enough surface area to put small Pebbles. My issue is that exposed foam needs to be painted or stained, as per the instructions on the can. My question closed with what kind of paint would be appropriate for that. Can anyone tell me that?
    PS: the waterfall is built onto the side of a retaining wall - two layer, retaining brick that is only 5 to 6 inches wide Max. So obviously there is not a lot of vertical area or surface to build onto.
     
    Terri D., Jul 25, 2017
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  10. Terri D.

    Lisak1

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    Oh! Right! Sorry - missed the point of the post altogether!

    I don't really have any experience in painting waterfall foam, but would share your concern about toxicity. I would also worry that the paint might peel or flake over time. Were you thinking you would try to match the rock color with paint? I have zero painting skills, so definitely have no advice there! Maybe try googling "pond safe paint" or check with a local paint store? I saw something called marine paint a few weeks ago, but I don't know if that was for boats or pools or what - I just noticed it was over $200 a gallon. That caught my eye!

    I think what people might have been trying to convey is that you can get rid of a lot the excess foam and then, over time, the foam will grow a layer of "pond goodness" and it will become less visible. So perhaps you can skip the painting step altogether. Just a thought...
     
    Lisak1, Jul 26, 2017
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  11. Terri D.

    EricV

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    I've never heard that it NEEDS to be painted. In fact, I've never heard of painting it. I'd cut it back and anything that is in the water flow is going to be covered in algae in short order. You may never notice this boo boo after a few weeks.
     
    EricV, Jul 26, 2017
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  12. Terri D.

    Terri D.

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    Terri D., Jul 26, 2017
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  13. Terri D.

    Terri D.

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    It says on the can that exposed foam needs to be painted or stained. If it means that the sun will eventually make the foam degrade or turn color, then I guess it would need to be finished. My main concern is for my pond and it's safety -
    So, thank you for helping me @Lisak1 & @EricV! I'm going to trim it back as best I can!
     
    Terri D., Jul 26, 2017
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  14. Terri D.

    bagsmom

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    Oh, I didn't read about painting or staining. (Hope I don't have problems down the road because I missed that!) Can't wait to see what yours looks like when you are all done!
    I was going to say that in a fairly short time, it will get greenish and will start to look like part of the pond. I have a few big "bloops" of foam that ballooned out. Now, I have to really look to identify them. They've started to blend in so well, they aren't even noticeable!
     
    bagsmom, Jul 26, 2017
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  15. Terri D.

    Lisak1

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    I have never, ever, ever heard of pond foam NEEDING to be painted. I did see a YouTube video of a guy who used pond foam to sculpt a background for an aquarium and he painted it. But that was for a certain look.

    I'm going to go look it up! Google can help us out here!
     
    Lisak1, Jul 26, 2017
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  16. Terri D.

    Lisak1

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    "Paint or stain the foam if it is exposed to the sun." Yup! Right in the instructions. Weird. I've never seen that before!
     
    Lisak1, Jul 26, 2017
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  17. Terri D.

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    Mine was not painted and it has just aged into a natural looking glob of stuff. Algae covered. Has not really degraded over time.
     
    addy1, Jul 28, 2017
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  18. Terri D.

    Meyer Jordan Tadpole

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    That must be a lower quality foam than what I used for many years. Never needed painting, never bleached out.
    Where did you buy it and what is the brand name?
     
    Meyer Jordan, Jul 28, 2017
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  19. Terri D.

    Lisak1

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    The OP said it was made by Total Pond. I looked it up and sure enough - the instructions say to paint or stain any exposed foam. We mainly used Aquascape Black Waterfall Foam, but we also used some of the Great Stuff waterfall foam for some touch up - on that product is says:
    • Cured foam can be trimmed, shaped, sanded, painted or stained.
     
    Lisak1, Jul 28, 2017
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  20. Terri D.

    Meyer Jordan Tadpole

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    On the Total Pond website, the description of this product has no mention of painting it.
    https://www.totalpond.com/waterfall-foam-sealant/

    Great Stuff is IMO considerably less than 'great' as they use the same formulation as their insulating foam which is high expanding. Better quality foam is low expanding meaning easier to use and less waste.

    Having the option/ability to paint this product after drying is not the same as must be painted.

    The main reason that this expanding foam was formulated in Black was to eliminate any reason to paint it.
     
    Meyer Jordan, Jul 28, 2017
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