Plaster of Paris, wooden mouldings (or moldings if you are from the USA) even rubber mouldings. There are many different materials used by different folks to make decorative trims and corbels.We happen to use a plastic resin as it is by far the most durable and practical. Here’s another reason – you can bend them!
So you’ve got your lovely new Chic Mouldings ]and you’re ready to start sticking them onto that piece of furniture that you’ve been itching to get cracking on, only to realise that the piece you’re working on has a curved front! Oh no!
You try to convince the moulding to contort to the shape you need but it’s no use, you’re going to snap it if you bend it any harder, and even if you could press it into shape for a moment, how would you hold it in place while the glue sets? It’s just not as flexible as you hoped.
This is one of the most common issues that we have come up against during our time in business. People want to know ‘How can I bend the mouldings to curve to the shape of my project?’
It’s a great question and I can only apologise for not writing about this topic sooner. Fear not though as the process is very straightforward and quick.
Basically if you do try to bend your moulding straight out of the packaging you will probably end up snapping it. The key is to apply some gentle heat to the appliqué to make it flexible enough to bend into the shape that you need it to be.
Then once it cools down it will retain its shape and you can then attach it to your project as normal.
The Hair Dryer Method:
This is probably the easiest way if you are working with a thin to medium thickness moulding. In a well ventilated space, use a hair dryer and select a high heat setting. Then you want to start heating the moulding with the hairdryer in gentle passes along the length of the moulding. Depending on the shape you are trying to adjust to I would generally recommend starting from the centre of the moulding and working outwards towards the edges.
If it’s not quite there you can apply a little more heat and make some adjustments until you feel you have it just right. Once you’re happy you can go ahead and attach the mouldings with your favourite glue.
I tend to use two part cyanoacrylate glue as it’s instant and bonds like crazy.
The Water Bath Method:
The principal here is much the same as the hair dryer method only instead of applying heat that way we are going to use a bath of boiling water.
Simply get a vessel large enough to contain your moulding, fill it with boiling water, and immerse your moulding in it for as long as it takes for it to become pliable enough to work with. The nice thing about this method is that you can heat all of the moulding at the same time, Obviously, you will need to quickly quickly dry off the back before applying it to you project, especially if you are not using water based glue.
You’ll know when the moulding is ready as it will be easily pliable and you should be able to press it into the shape you need without forcing it. As before just hold it in place and shape with some adhesive tape until it has cooled and it will retain its shape ready to be permanently affixed.
Once the mouldings have set they will be as tough as when they were made and if you want to set them again you will have to apply heat once again.
Needless to say these methods will not work with other mouldings made of other materials such as plaster of Paris (these will snap instantly if you try to bend them) or wooden mouldings.
Safety Note regarding using Microwave / Convection Oven:
It has been suggested by some that you can heat your mouldings in a microwave. Whilst this is possible, it is potentially unsafe if not using correct safety precautions. When heated, the resin will produce fumes, so you must wear a respirator and be working in a well ventilated space. In addition, your microwave will be thereafter contaminated an therefore not suitable for heating food. Please be aware of this. The same goes for heating resin in a conventional oven.
So there you go, hopefully this little post proves useful when you are trying to shape mouldings into curved areas and mirror frame corners etc.
Please let me know what you think in the comments section below and feel free to share any of your own projects as well