Below are suggestions from Icon Poly regarding the maquettes.  Any questions can to directed to Icon Poly - iconpoly@com-ne.com - as they have been extremely helpful in every way throughout the Project and are always happy to be involved during the creative process.

1. Lightly sand entire surface with 100 – 220 grit prior to painting.  This sanding is more to clean the surface, not to remove the prime. Do not oversand.  If primer is flaking, wipe with denatured alcohol or a painters tack cloth.  Re-priming is not necessary unless your paint of choice recommends it.  In that case follow paint manufacture’s instructions.

2. Wear plastic gloves when doing this and when touching the raw sculpture after sanding.  This will keep oils from your hands off the surface which could cause an adhesion problem when painting. Do not wear latex gloves because of the powder residue that would remain on the sculpture.  Icon Poly suggests loose fitting, food handler gloves.  They are available at Sam's and possibly at Walmart. Icon Poly purchases theirs from a food supply company.

3. If any primer flakes off when sanding, sand back to where the primer is stuck, abrading the raw resins.  Then re-prime that area.  They suggest using any brand of Gesso and almost all paint manufactures have a primer.  IMPORTANT - DO NOT USE AN OIL BASED PRIMER  AND MAKE SURE IT IS AN EXTERIOR GRADE PRIMER (i.e. Rustolium, Kilz, Zinner, Krylon).

4. Using acrylic paints is HIGHLY recommended.  Most brands work fine - even the acrylic craft paints from Hobby Lobby.  They recommend staying away from oil paints if you do not have a lot of experience with them.  If you have specific questions please contact Icon Poly. 

5. If a drill is needed for embossing or any other creative reason, Icon Poly suggests a dremel type rotary tool.  They are available at Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Lowes and Menards.

6. If an artist plans to cover the entire surface with materials other than paint, in the case of tile or mosaic work, an artist should request an UNPRIMED sculpture immediately following selection notification.  Artists interested in mosaic surfaces should contact Icon Poly for information for best adhesives, grouts, and sealers.

7. When attaching items with adhesive be sure to sand or rasp down into the material of the sculpture.  Do not glue to the primed surface.

8. If attaching items, they recommend using physical attachment (i.e. screws, bolts) in conjunction with adhesive attachments when possible, using both together to create a much more durable piece. A moldable material called Apoxie Sculpt is available at http://www.sculpturedepot.net/clay-wax-tools/clay.htm which is similar to the look and feel of the fabricated urethane tree. If you intend to change the structure or add to the structure, please contact Icon Poly for Guidance.

9. They highly recommend structural urethane adhesive when bonding things to the sculpture.  Several companies make these such as 3M, U-Pol and Norton.  These are normally found at auto body supply stores.

10. After your Tree is complete, whatever the finish, you must apply an automotive grade clear coat or equivalent product recommended for protection for UV and exterior elements. Three coats encouraged.  Always follow application instructions on the project you select.  Be sure to test for compatibility in an inconspicuous area prior to clear coating the entire sculpture. 

Some materials mentioned above will be available for purchase when artists pick up their 6’ tree or directly through Icon Poly. Pricing and estimated needed quantities are below:

Clear Coat
4’ Student Trees
U-Pol spray - approximately 2 cans per tree @ $15.00 each
Clear Shield brush or spray - 1 quart per tree @ $33.00
 
6’ Professional Artist Trees
U-Pol spray - approximately 4 cans per tree @ $15.00 each
Clear Shield brush or spray - 2 quarts per tree @ $33.00 each

Please note that brush-on clear coat is encouraged to ensure even and complete coverage.
 
Industrial Adhesive
Adhesive $32.00 tube, what you are using it for will depend on how much you need.