How To

Posted by Scott Ollig on

How to Apply Craft Flocking & Flitter

 The application of Flocking is a simple process.  Remember, you should wear a dusk mask, do not skimp on the adhesive (any oil base or paint in the color you are flocking will work except spray paint), don’t skimp on the fibers, and resist the temptation to touch the surface before the finish has dried.  Flocked finish allows you to create professional looking suede like lining or finish with no previous experience.

  1. SEAL THE SURFACE TO BE COATED

The purpose of sealing is to prevent the absorption of the undercoat adhesive.  If the adhesive is absorbed, the fibers will have nothing to adhere to and the finish will have thin spots.  Even surfaces that appear solid can be porous (e.g. Masonite) and will absorb the adhesive.  Sealing /may be done with lacquer, shellac, sanding sealer, polyurethane, etc.—anything that will prevent the surface from soaking up the adhesive.  If the sealer leaves a very slick finish, rough it up slightly with sandpaper.  (Metal, glass and most plastics do not require sealing, but may need a sanding to rough up the surface.)

2. APPLICATION PREPARATION

Line the inside of a cardboard box with a large plastic bag or use a plastic bowl or container to be used as a spraying area.  Fill the applicator up to ½ with flocking fibers, this will allow space for the air to circulate the fibers within the applicator.  Set aside for later use.

3. BRUSH ON THE UNDERCOAT ADHESIVE

It is not necessary to mask areas of your project that will not be coated if the surface is sealed and IF YOU BRUSH CAREFULLY.  This means using the flat side of a brush, with a drawing motion toward the edge of the project.  If you should get a small amount of adhesive on the edge, simply wipe it off.  This should be done before the fibers are applied.  (Some people prefer masking to guarantee clean lines.)

 Apply a wet coat of adhesive—that is, enough for the fibers to dip into when applied.  This coat of adhesive should be smooth and not dripping wet.  The undercoat adhesive remains open to the fibers for 10 to 15 minutes—this is your working time.  If you are working on a larger object, use a larger brush or apply the adhesive with a paint roller.

 CAUTION:  If you are working on one continuous piece, DO NOT work in sections as the lines between the sections may show.  If you are working on a project that has many small sections (compartments), requiring a more detailed application, finish a few at a time.  If you cover the uncoated section(s) with a piece of cardboard and then move the cardboard as needed, you will not have to wait for each compartment to dry before applying the fibers to the next section(s).