Love it or hate it, this fluffy accessory style is everywhere right now.

By Jessica Bennett
September 11, 2020
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While spending so much time at home over the past several months, many of us have had to get increasingly creative to occupy ourselves. These unprecedented times have given rise to some unexpected trend resurgences (hello, cloud bread and laundry stripping) that, if not for the pandemic, we might never have tried. But the latest decorating craze circulating social media is perhaps the most surprising yet. Designers and DIYers are using spray-foam insulation to decorate furniture and accessories, and the results are quirky, textured, and a bit controversial.

Typically used to seal gaps and cracks around your home, the polyurethane-based foam creates a bubbly raised texture when applied to surfaces. In the interior design world, the coating has most commonly been used to create a foam frame around mirrors, which are often tagged as #cloudmirror or #popcornmirror on Instagram and TikTok. Other items with hard surfaces, such as side tables, benches, and decorative vases, also work well for the treatment.

Depending on how it's applied, the foam can create a fluffy, billowing effect reminiscent of seafoam or a craggy, popcorn-like texture. The foam is often left white to enhance the cloud-like feel, while other designs are painted in bright pastels like pink, lavender, and mint green for a playful retro look.

In homes where most surfaces are smooth and flat, spray-foam furniture offers a bit of wacky, outside-the-box contrast. To recreate the look, purchase some insulating spray foam ($4, The Home Depot) and select an accessory to give a chunky border or all-over coating. Next, set up a workstation in a well-ventilated area (outside in an open space is best).

Spray foam adheres quickly and strongly, so it's important to completely cover any spots where you don't want foam, including yourself. Wear safety glasses or goggles, a mask, gloves, and long sleeves, and cover the surrounding area with a drop cloth. You might also want to protect any areas on the item that you want to keep free of splatters, such as the glass on a mirror.

After shaking the can, spray the foam onto the surface using short, back-and-forth motions to create a zigzagged effect. You can also apply it with curving, figure-8 strokes for a more textured, haphazard look. Once released from the can, the foam will expand and harden, curing completely after about eight hours. If you make a mistake, you can remove the foam with acetone before it cures. Once it has hardened, you'll have to scrape it off using a tool such as a paint scraper ($7, The Home Depot). Leave the spray foam in its natural neutral color, or update your creation with a coat of spray paint.

Whether you love it or hate it, spray-foam furniture is a simple DIY project that lets you customize pieces with a whimsical look. Although spray foam might not have a permanent place in our decor, it's likely one of those looks we'll remember as distinctly 2020.

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