any do a DIY foam background in their enclosures?

xxaprilrose

Established Member
I guess this could go for your chameleon or any other reptile, but has anyone done a DIY foam background for their enclosure? If so, can you supply pics for inspiration? I am a little stuck. Additionally, I think I want to paint over the foam in a dark gray almost black.... But, do you think this would affect the chameleons coloring? Would it be too dark? I will be having the enclosure be bioactive and will of course be adding in a TON of plants so will be colorful except for the background. I think the wood I bought is going to be light in color as well (I bought branches online so havent received it yet). What I bought is a glass 32x18x32 and will be getting a second chameleon who will only be 3 months I assume when I get him. I do plan on adding a screen enclosure to the top of the glass enclosure when he grows a bit to expand the height. Glass enclosure would be most ideal in my house with our weather, and I did a lot of research on this so we should be good in that department. I have a 2x2x4 screen enclosure in an add on room of my house that my current male chameleon lives in, in which screen would be best in that room as the room is not exposed to my house a/c (which sucks ALL moisture out of the air). Just wanted to provide my current setup incase any one was curious. But all in all, if you have any enclosure pics with this please help lol. Also I could note that I bought another enclosure for a gargoyle gecko that I will also be setting up so if anyone even has a gecko enclosure for inspo I would love that!
 

BryanP

Avid Member
This is what I am working on. Trying to decide what paint to use but I used 3in styrofoam and a blow torch to sculpt it. I'm not a fan of the great stuff foam/carve/coat with eco earth.
20210917_105157.jpg
 

xxaprilrose

Established Member
This is what I am working on. Trying to decide what paint to use but I used 3in styrofoam and a blow torch to sculpt it. I'm not a fan of the great stuff foam/carve/coat with eco earth. View attachment 310221
Oh I love that! As for the coating in eco earth I totally agree!! I hate it and definitely don’t want to do that. I’m thinking of painting it with drylock. Or at least that’s what all the you tubers use and recommend so I just went with it 😂
 

BryanP

Avid Member
I too was going to go with drylok but its $35/gal and it's just latex paint so I am going to go to the hobby lobby and buy some browns, blacks, and greys latex paint and just paint it. The styrofoam is waterproof as it is and is not open cell like carved expanded foam so as long as I can fill the holes with enough coats of paint I'm not worried.

May even check lowes oops paint section for a gallon of latex paint and see if they can just add some brown tint.
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
Additionally, I think I want to paint over the foam in a dark gray almost black.... But, do you think this would affect the chameleons coloring? Would it be too dark?
If you do decide to go dark, you may have to bump up plant lighting. Dark colors absorb light, vs. light colors that reflect it.

Also, depending on the foam (I've seen some folks use up to 3-4" thick) it may reduce the usable space inside. 3" of foam on the back of a 32x18x32 enclosure represents almost 17% of the volume of the enclosure. Just something to consider.
 

Camiezone

Established Member
Hi, I'm abit over the extreme side of everything ( just to warn you lol) I've built all my enclosures. Both in and outdoors. Absolutely love making them, if you have any questions I can try to assist you with answers. I'll attach a few pics of some different ones.
 

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MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi, I'm abit over the extreme side of everything ( just to warn you lol) I've built all my enclosures. Both in and outdoors. Absolutely love making them, if you have any questions I can try to assist you with answers. I'll attach a few pics of some different ones.
What do you keep in that big corner enclosure?
 

Connorology

Avid Member
I did a hybrid foam background/photo backdrop (both DIY)

I have a couple videos I made about it, here is the first one:

If you don't want what is basically a complicated foam sculpture you could always do foam with silicone + orchid bark and cocofiber and then just let plants like Ficus pumila and Pothos cover the whole backdrop. Then you end up with a plant wall, basically.
 

Camiezone

Established Member
What do you keep in that big corner enclosure?
Dining room area has my veiled cham, Groot.
Room w multiple enclosures has my sambava panther, Leif. Ambilobe male, Flip, female ambilobe, Ivy and female Jackson, Floki
The room has been modified to now being 4 semi-free ranging areas. [Meaning mesh on the back, 2 ft glass panels on the fronts from bottom to hold feeders inside, but then nothing above it. Its alot of work both to create, find plants and then the upkeep,, but I think it's all worth it,, financially and timewise.
What do you keep in that big corner enclosure?
 

Big.D86

Member
Hi, I'm abit over the extreme side of everything ( just to warn you lol) I've built all my enclosures. Both in and outdoors. Absolutely love making them, if you have any questions I can try to assist you with answers. I'll attach a few pics of some different ones.
This is absolutely beautiful!!!! You are a true master🙌🙌 how long did it take you to build that big corner piece?
 
I feel to have a rock 🪨 background is totally ridiculous. But if you will be using a a foam background for mounting live plants 🪴 that would eventually cover the background then that’s a great idea like @Pickle-cham enclosure go for it. But to have a plain rock looking background think 🤔 to yourself what chameleon lives in a cave cause this is the look you will get.
 

Camiezone

Established Member
This is absolutely beautiful!!!! You are a true master🙌🙌 how long did it take you to build that big corner piece?
Which one of them? The one that's up on a platform with the 3d foam background in the middle took longest, and alot of products ie weather treated wood, expanding foam (alot) , stains, sealer, waterproof membrane, the trickiest was to get the pitch of slope correct, so the water will drain out. But that goes for all my enclosures. Long story short, I'd say about 2 weeks.
 

Casket_Case

Avid Member
I feel to have a rock 🪨 background is totally ridiculous. But if you will be using a a foam background for mounting live plants 🪴 that would eventually cover the background then that’s a great idea like @Pickle-cham enclosure go for it. But to have a plain rock looking background think 🤔 to yourself what chameleon lives in a cave cause this is the look you will get.
I think it’d be so cool to do a rock background but like white rock and make it look like a Mediterranean island and have a Mediterranean Chameleon in there
 

Pickle-cham

Chameleon Enthusiast
The 3d foam can look aesthetically appealing if done correctly. The main problem is the loss of space can be considerable so if starting with a reptibteeze xl you'll technically make it smaller than the minimum requirements of veiled or panther. Also the draining needs a lot of thought as if not planned well causes stagnant swampy plants rotting or difficulty with maintaining hygiene.
Also chameleons are most comfortable up in the canopy or in bushes climbing branches geckos though definitely would utilize the foam creation
 

Camiezone

Established Member
Thank you so much. I really appreciate that alot. The question is am I ever truly done with the enclosures??? Lol. No!!! there is always something to improve or replant or change up. i only have live plants in there, But the initial build and creating, I'd say about 2 - 3 weeks. Getting the drainage in right angle was the toughest, took some trial n error, but eventually got it correctly so it drains into a bucket under the enclosure.my misting and fogging setup is connected directly to my fridge filtration on timers. The 3d foam background is alot of fun to create. My chameleon seems to really enjoy the openness and no mesh restrictions. I really love that I can interact with him alot easier. His my special big boy. He weighs 209 grams. 1.7 yrs old sambava panther.
 
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