Frequently Asked Questions

Using FuseFX

Can I add more/less Part A to make the mixture more/less transparent?


NO - you MUST mix the Part A in a 50:50 ratio with the Part B otherwise the product will NOT cure. You can mix these by eye, as long as the ratio is close to 50:50 but other ratios will not work.

To make a colour more transparent you can thin the mixed paint with an appropriate solvent (Toluene, Xylene, or Naptha - see elsewhere in this FAQ for more info) or you can add M/F-110 Clear PART B to the coloured Part B of your choice BEFORE adding enough Part A to equal the two B's _combined_. For example you might mix 1 part M/F-110 Part B to 1 part F-230 Darkest Brown and then add 2 PARTS of Part A to activate the mixture for painting.




There is a "Part A" but where is the "Part B" mentioned in the instructions?


With all our 2-part products (the F, LY, and M-series paints) the "Part B" is the coloured bottle. To activate the product you need to mix it 50:50 with the included Part A.




Can I use FuseFX paints to paint a vinyl/latex/unidentified "rubber" _______?


No, FuseFX paints are for painting platinum* silicone pieces ONLY**. They either will NOT cure if applied on other surfaces (like latex) or if they do cure then they will peel off.


** FuseFX CAN be used to paint tin silicone but ONLY if the piece is first primed with FuseFX's BondFX primer.




What solvents can I use to thin FuseFX?


FuseFX paints (the F, M, and LY series) can be thinned with Toluene, Xylene, or Naptha. These solvents are not always sold under these names (often they are sold as odorless paint thinner). It is recommended to do a test before using a new brand or type of odorless paint thinner to make sure it contains the correct solvent and does not contain other fillers which may inhibit the FuseFX paints. Alternately you can get a dedicated silicone solvent such as Smooth-On's NOVOCS Glossy or NOVOCS Matte thinner.




Can I airbrush FuseFX paints?


Yes! You will need an appropriate silicone solvent (such as Toluene, Xylene, or Naptha - see next FAQ question for more information).

Mix the FuseFX paint as normal (50:50 Part A and the coloured Part B) then dilute the mixture with 1.5-2 parts of solvent and continue to mix until smooth.

Spray at approximately 15 PSI.




What is the difference between your pigments/"intrinsic" colours and your paints/"extrinsic" colours?


Our pigment/"intrinsic" colours include our S, SFX, and BC series colours. These products come in a single bottle and are meant to be mixed into a batch of uncured silicone to tint the entire batch a uniform colour.

Our paint/"extrinsic" colours include our M, F, and LY-colours. These products come in 2-part "kits" - an uncoloured, 'Part A', catalyst, and the coloured 'Part B'. They are meant to be mixed 50:50 and then applied to the surface of a cured, cleaned, silicone piece to paint it.

In other words our pigments tint an entire piece inside (instrinsically) and outside while our paints only cover the outside (extrinsic) part of a piece.




Can I custom mix my own colours?


YES! Any FuseFX colours can be mixed PRIOR to activating with Part A. You must add enough Part A to equal the two B's _combined_. For example to get a custom green you might mix 1 part F-203 Smooth Blue Part B (ie the coloured part) to 1 part F-204 Smooth Yellow and then add 2 PARTS of Part A to activate the mixture for painting.




Are FuseFX products skin safe?


Yes ... and No.

For FuseFX paints and pigments the products are skin safe once they have cured. While the products are in an uncured state, however, you should wear vinyl or nitrile gloves (NOT latex) while handling the product.

Smoothie and Royal Jel-E should be used while wearing vinyl or nitrile gloves.




Do FuseFX products expire?


It depends on the product.

Our S and BC-series pigments do not generally expire.

Because they are essentially platinum silicone our 2-part products, such as our F, M, and LY-series paints DO eventually expire. We recommend using our paints within 2-3 years of purchase.

In many cases you CAN continue to use the paints past the 3 year mark, however we cannot guarantee they will continue to work. FuseFX paints that are beginning to expire will become very thick and be very hard or impossible to squeeze from the bottle. In the case of colours in a jar you may notice a wrinkled or curdled appearance on the surface. As the paints begin to reach their expiry date their cure time will actually speed up to the point of being almost unusable. After they have expired the paints will not cure at all.
Royal Jel-E will be good for many years but will eventually become less effective. If, after applying 2 coats as per the instructions, you still find it difficult to remove your silicone piece from the mold, you may want to get a fresh supply of Royal Jel-E. Smoothie concentrate will not expire. Once mixed with hot water the Smoothie is still good as long as no mold develops.




I have an older silicone piece - can I still paint it with FuseFX?


Possibly. A lot depends on how the piece has been stored. In our instructions we recommend painting a piece as soon as possible after demolding. This is because the longer a piece is out of the mold the more chance there is for it to collect a layer of microscopic dust on the surface. Even if the piece doesn't look dusty or dirty to the naked eye, this micro-layer can still interfere with subsequent layers of silicone (including silicone paint) from bonding completely to the piece. The result is usually peeling paint, known as delamination.

If you know you will not have a chance to paint your piece right away after demolding it is best to either place your piece in a sealed plastic bag, plastic tote, or wrap it securely in plastic wrap. This will protect your piece from collecting dust and you should be able to paint the piece at a later date with no problem.

If you are trying to paint an older piece that has been used or been on display it is best to wash it thoroughly with soap and water, scrubbing gently or even wet sanding with 400 grit sandpaper, then wipe it down with a lint free tissue or cloth and isopropyl alcohol or a silicone appropriate solvent (see the Solvent question in this FAQ for some suggestions). You may wish to apply a thin layer of BondFX as a primer before painting.

Be warned however that with a well-used piece even a thorough cleaning may not work and delamination might still occur. The piece may have come in contact with some sort of inhibitor, or the dirt be just too ground in to be removed.




How should I prepare a silicone piece for painting?


You will have the best result by painting a silicone piece fresh out of its mold. In this case simply wash the piece thoroughly with soap and warm water to remove any mold release residue then dry the piece with a lint free cloth or lint free tisues. If you are trying to paint an older piece that has been used or been on display it is best to wash it thoroughly with soap and water, scrubbing gently or even wet sanding with 400 grit sandpaper, then wipe it down with a lint free tissue or cloth and isopropyl alcohol or a silicone appropriate solvent (see the Solvent question in this FAQ for some suggestions). You may wish to apply a thin layer of BondFX as a primer before painting. Older pieces are prone to paint delamination (see previous FAQ question on "I have an older silicone piece - can I still paint it with FuseFX?" for more information). If you know you will not have a chance to paint your piece right away after demolding it is best to either place your piece in a sealed plastic bag, plastic tote, or wrap it securely in plastic wrap. This will protect your piece from collecting dust and you should be able to paint the piece at a later date with no problem.




How much FuseFX paint do I need for my project?


30g of catalyzed F-series paint can cover approximately 12sq ft if stippled in a thin layer. Our M and LY-series paints will go even further as they are typically painted sparingly to create a realistic skin look instead of applied as a continous layer. For the S and BC pigments one 30g bottle can tint over 3,300g of catalyzed silicone (or approx. 7.2 pounds or 116.4 oz). The 500g bottle can tint over 100,000g or 100 kilos (approx. 27 gallons or 220 pounds) or more depending on the softness of the silicone. See our video below on using our S-series pigments for tips on calculating the amount of pigment needed for a project.




If I make a mistake while painting can I fix it?


YES! As long as the paint has not yet cured you can simply wipe it off with a lint free tissue and a bit of isopropyl alcohol.

Once the paint has cured however, it permanently bonds to the piece and will have to be cut off to be removed.




Should I wash the Royal Jel-E off my molds before storing them?


Yes. It is best to wash all Royal Jel-E residue from your molds before long term storage. Prolonged exposure to Royal Jel-E residue can shorten the shelf life of your molds.




What is the difference between using Matting Powder and Liquid Sheen?


Matting Powder creates a completely matt surface to the silicone whereas Liquid Sheen leaves a satin or "eggshell" finish.

Liquid Sheen can sometimes work better for skin tones than Matting Powder as it creates a healthly looking "glow" to the skin without looking sweaty or wet.




What are the best brushes to use with FuseFX? And how do I clean them?


For painting realistic skin tones we recommend a natural bristle fan brush. It is also helpful to have a piece of tweezers on hand for removing any dropped bristles.

Detailed areas can be painted with a nylon bristle brush.
Although Isopropyl alcohol cannot be used to thin FuseFX paint it CAN be used to clean brushes. Swish brushes thoroughly in alcohol or solvent and wipe thoroughly. A wire bristle brush is useful for removing globs of cured or uncured silicone from the bristles of both types of brushes.





Troubleshooting

How do I know if my paint is expired?


First, check the lot number on the side of the bottle or jar. The last two digits indicate the year the product was bottled. There is a strong chance that any product older than 3 years old could be expired.

FuseFX paints that are beginning to expire will become very thick and be very hard or impossible to squeeze from the bottle. In the case of colours in a jar you may notice a wrinkled or curdled appearance on the surface. As the paints begin to reach their expiry date their cure time will actually speed up to the point of being almost unusable. After they have expired the paints will not cure at all.




Help! The paint is not setting!


There are a few things that may have caused your FuseFX paint not to set properly:

1) Are you sure you combined Part A and Part B (the coloured part) in the proper 50:50 ration and mixed thoroughly? FuseFX colours will NOT set unless mixed with Part A.
2) Are you sure your paints are not expired? We cannot guarantee that paints will work once they are over 3 years old. Check the lot number on the side of the bottle - the last 2 digits indicate the year the product was bottled. 3) Is there a possibility your products were exposed to too cold a temperature? Platinum silicones are sensitive to cold and if they become too cold they will stop curing.

Excess humidity can also leave pieces mostly cured but still slightly sticky to the touch. If possible leave in a warm, dry spot to cure further. 4) Are you working with any tools or products that could be causing inhibition? Are you sure you are using nitrile or vinyl gloves (NOT latex), know that the solvent you are using is platinum silicone compatible, as well as any soap you have used? (see our other FAQ questions on the Number One Rule of Silicone, and inhibition for more on how to eliminate inhibitors).




The number one rule of working with silicone!


Test, Test, TEST!!! Platinum silicone* is a wonderful, amazing, versatile material. You can cast it in a mold, you can thicken it and build it up over a form, you can thin it to let it flow into a smooth, glass-like surface. It's relatively inert and non-toxic, wonderfully translucent, and a little tends to go a long way. But aside from being a bit messy it has one major flaw... ... inhibition. No, your silicone is not shy. Silicone is normally comprised of a liquid A part and a liquid B part. When mixed together a chemical reaction occurs which solidifies the viscous fluid into the stretchy, rubbery silicone we know and love. Inhibition then, is when something (usually a foreign chemical in the mix) prevents the proper reaction between the A & B parts and keeps the silicone from solidifying. In other words - a big goopy mess. The extremely frustrating thing about inhibition is it seems to be caused by extremely random things! Something as simple as wearing latex rubber gloves (latex and silicone are mortal enemies!) while handling and mixing your silicone will cause inhibition. Which is why it's extremely important to ALWAYS DO A TEST FIRST! Need to wash off your silicone pieces before painting/adding further detail etc? Test that soap first! Aloe inhibits silicone (see? Told you it was random) and guess what? A lot of soaps have aloe in them. How do you do a test? While wearing vinyl or nitrile gloves (which don't cause inhibition) wash out a small mixing cup with the soap you are thinking of using. Rinse well. Then mix a small batch of silicone in the cup. It doesn't have to be big at all - less that a teaspoon in total will more than suffice. Leave it for the recommended curing time (which will vary depending on the brand and type of silicone you are using). When you return, give it a poke. Has it solidified? Yes? Great - go ahead and use that soap! No? Then something in the soap is causing inhibition and you need to switch brands. You need to do a test every time you add an untested substance into your process. Just because one type of soap works doesn't mean all of them will. Ditto with glues, if you are attaching foam pieces together before you coat them in silicone. T'is a far, FAR better thing to sacrifice a teaspoon or two of silicone then forge on ahead and potentially ruin ALL your expensive silicone and all the time and effort you have put into your piece. If you learn nothing else about silicone your mantra** should always be - TEST! TEST! TEST! * This article talks mainly about Platinum-based silicones. Tin-based silicones are less prone to inhibition but have their own unique challenges. ** A mantra which, by the way, will serve you very well for a lot of non-silicone stuff too! Scientist-like habits can lead you to great artistic triumphs!




What is "inhibition"?


"Inhibition" means that your silicone has and will not cure properly. Instead of curing to a solid state it remains whole or partially liquid, despite the components being mixed in the proper ratio - in other words a goopy mess. Inhibition can be a problem with platinum-based silicones (tin silicones are much more forgiving) and can be caused by a variety of factors - everything from the type of gloves you are wearing (latex rubber gloves cause inhibition - vinyl and nitrile gloves do not), to the type of clay you may be trying to cast (a model sculpted from clays with sulfur in them cannot be molded in platinum-based silicone). Tin-silicones will even inhibit platinum-silicones! If you piece is only slightly inhibited (for instance it has turned solid but retains a tacky feel) it may complete curing over time, or if exposed to heat - but there are no guarantees. If your silicone won't cure at all unfortunately there is nothing to be done but to start over. If you are molding a piece, clean it off as thoroughly as possible - including wiping it down with solvents - and try again (but ONLY once you have tested to see if you can find the source of the inhibition). If you are adding a further layer of silicone to a previously cured piece, do the same - remove all the uncured silicone, and wash the piece down thoroughly with a solvent such as acetone before trying again. Inhibition is the reason it is important to do a TEST (See our FAQ question "What Is The Number ONE Rule Of Silicone?" question) every time you begin a new silicone project, use a new solvent or otherwise change any aspect of your process.




I used M/F-110 Clear and my piece is still sticky!


We get this question a lot. The main culprit is usually that the customer has forgotten to mix the M/F-110 with Part A.

Although it is uncoloured M/F-110 still works the same as any other FuseFX paint colour. It MUST be mixed 50:50 with the included Part A or else it will not set.

If you HAVE mixed the M/F-110 Clear with Part A in the proper ratio, check out the other suggestions under our "Help! The paint is not setting!" FAQ question.





Ordering FuseFX

I can't find an order page on your site - how to I buy FuseFX?


We do not sell directly to the public from our website. BUT we DO have distributors all over the world who would be happy to sell you FuseFX. You can find them on our Distributors page.




_______ distributor doesn't have the item I am looking for - what can I do?


You can ask any of our distributors if they will special order the item for you. ALL our distributors have access to our entire catelogue - we do not limit some distributors to carrying only certain items.




I need a LARGE amount of ______ product. Do you offer quantity discounts?


We actually have larger sizes of most of our products available for special order through your nearest FuseFX distributor. These larger sizes are already marked down considerably from purchasing the equivalent amount of product in our "regular" sizes.

S & BC-series pigments are available in 250g (8oz), 500g (16oz), and 4 Kilo (4 L) amounts.
F, M. LY-series colours, as well as Bond-FX are available in 60g (2oz), 250g (8oz), 500g (16oz), and 4 Kilo (4 L) kits. For example a 250g kit of M-102 would contain 125g of Part A and 125g of M-102.

Again speak to your nearest distributor about placing a special order - we also will do our best to accomodate requests for other sizes and quantities.




There is no FuseFX distributor in my country, what can I do?


Many of our distributors have online stores and will ship internationally. Check our Distributor page for the country closest to you.