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Can Foam Insulation Be Painted In Fort Collins?

image of painting spray foam insulation

Foam insulation is highly functional, but a bare wall isn’t the most attractive surface. A coat of paint can make a big difference. Cover its natural hue with something that fits the interiors, such as earth tones or pastel shades. Go light or dark, depending on your preferences. Just remember that it is a delicate material that requires careful handling. Let a professional contractor deal with the finishing for impressive results. In this article, we discuss what you need to know when you want to paint foam insulation.

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Why You Might Want to Paint Your Colorado Foam Insulation

It is not necessary to paint spray foam insulation. If you don’t mind the appearance, you can leave it alone. However, there are advantages to painting the foam surface that may persuade you to exert more effort.

Protect Spray Foam from UV Rays

The sun’s ultraviolet rays can inflict damage with repeated exposure. Foam insulation is not immune to its effects. Exterior insulation is particularly vulnerable, but interior insulation is not safe either. Paint can shield the material and minimize UV damage.

Prevent Discoloration Of Foam Insulation

Without paint, spray foam can change color over time. It will gradually take on an unsightly yellowish tint. The walls will look old and worn, even if the material is in good shape. Use paint to dictate your preferred house colors and enjoy more pleasant views.

Prolong Spray Foam Insulation Lifespan

The coat of paint can protect spray foam from potential damage due to moisture and heat. If you live in an area that gets a lot of rain, use multiple layers of waterproof materials. By using light-colored paint, you can make light bounce off the surface and reduce surface temperature.

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Things to Consider When Painting Foam Insulation

Spray foam insulation has a high R-value, remarkable durability, decent soundproofing, and excellent moisture resistance. Its exceptional performance makes it worth every penny. You can paint over it without negatively affecting function, but you should make wise choices for safety and convenience. It is not a straightforward process. This list goes through the considerations when painting foam insulation. At this point, it is important to note that you re better off working with a professional patiner if you are considering painting your spray foam. This will help prevent damage and preserve your foam installation.

Timing Is Key

image of a stop watch depicting timing of painting spray foam insulation

You cannot paint over freshly installed spray foam insulation right away. Let it dry and cure before adding your finishes. The material needs time to expand to its full size and harden into a solid mass. If you paint too quickly, you could reduce its performance as an insulator. You might even damage the foam while painting on a soft surface.

Experts recommend waiting at least 24 hours after installation before touching the foam. Talk to your insulation contractor about it. The exact time will depend on the thickness of the foam and the current environmental conditions. It is better to exercise patience than to redo the entire installation because of a rushed job.

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Safety Precautions

Keep in mind that spray foam insulation releases gasses after installation. The amount is much lower in modern formulations, but it is still a good idea to leave the house and let the process finish before re-entry. Keep the windows open for natural ventilation. Use large fans to move air faster and enjoy a nearly odor-free home upon your return.

You should also check the fire rating of the foam insulation. Do the same thing with the paint. Choose nonflammable products for your safety and remove fire hazards in every room. You need to be extra careful if there is a heater, fireplace, radiator, or lighting fixture in the area. Consult an insulation contractor about additional safety precautions.

Surface Prep

image of a painter sanding spray foam after it has cured

Some types of spray foam insulation have bumps on the surface upon drying. These will make painting difficult because it is hard to apply a uniform coat. Before painting can begin, the surface will need to be prepared through sanding. This is when an expert should step in. They will create a smoother surface on the top layer of the spray foam. This process will push small particles into the air, so they will wear protective eyewear, face mask, and clothing to prevent irritation.

Pick the Right Tools

The two main methods of painting are spraying and brushing. The ideal choice depends on the situation. Closed-cell spray foam has a stiff surface that is more suitable for brush strokes. Direct pressure will not put a dent in the material. The painter may use a paint sprayer for greater efficiency.

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Apply Proper Techniques

When using spray paint, the patiner will make it a point to maintain a considerable distance between the nozzle and the surface. One and a half feet should be sufficient, but they may want to experiment to see what works best. Getting too close will result in an excessively thick coat and high pressure. If painting an open-cell spray foam, they will need to check the ingredients. They will need to choose a product with minimal harsh solvents that could damage the material. Before painting, get recommendations from your insulation installation contractor.

Protect with Elastomeric Paint

painter removes masking tape and creates a sharp border between colors on spray foam insulation painting

Use elastomeric paint for protection. It is much thicker than regular paints. It can form an airtight and watertight seal around surfaces. It can also stretch and contract along with the underlying material, allowing it to hide hairline cracks and other flaws. Elastomeric paint works best for exterior surfaces. For interior walls, use water-based acrylic or latex paint.

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Get Professional Help

It may seem easy, but painting over spray foam insulation is hard. You will need to consider multiple factors and proceed with caution. Stay safe, protect your spray foam, and get great results with the help of a professional painter.


You can paint insulation for as long as you understand the risks. Tackle each one with the help of your contractor ahead of time and marvel at the difference once you see the finished work. You are also bound to learn a lot of valuable information from these experts.

Paint Foam Insulation Fort Collins, CO

When it concerns insulation, consulting with a professional insulation company is the best option. There are a lot of factors to consider when determining what type of insulation works best for your home. Ascend Construction specializes in insulation removal and installation, energy conservation, energy audits, whole house fan installations, and more in Fort Collins, Colorado, and the neighboring areas.

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Contact Ascend Construction for a free consultation today. We can provide you with practical solutions to address the problem areas in your Fort Collins home. All of our services are affordable, and our work is guaranteed. Click here to contact us, or click the button below to give Ascend Construction a call. We offer free, no-obligation, in-home consultations.

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Ascend Construction
301 S Howes St #1241
Fort Collins CO, 80521
(970) 420-5495