How to Make Planet Texture on Styrofoam Balls

A common school project for children is to make a model of the solar system. These models can be either simple or elaborate in design.

If you are helping your child and you decide that you would like to take a few extra steps to give her planets a realistic texture, there are some ways to accomplish this.

Cover your styrofoam planets with plaster. Plaster is a powder that can be purchased in craft stores in small bags. The recommended water/plaster ratio is two parts plaster to one part water.

Place the water into an old bowl, and carefully add the plaster to the water. Mix until it is incorporated. With an old spoon or a paint stick, add the plaster to the styrofoam planets as desired to add texture.

Allow the plaster to dry completely overnight and then paint as desired.

Cover your styrofoam planets with acrylic spackling compound. Spackling compound can be purchased at home centres or hardware stores (typically in the paint department).

Apply the spackle to the styrofoam planets with your fingers as desired to add texture.

Allow the spackling compound to completely dry and then paint as desired.

Cover your styrofoam planets with a water based gesso. Gesso can be purchased in an art or paint store and is typically used to prepare a canvas surface before painting.

Apply the gesso with a paintbrush and allow to dry completely. You may need to apply more than one coat. If more than one coat is applied, sand the surface between applying the coats of gesso.


After texturising as desired, paint the styrofoam planets with water-based acrylic paints.

Things You'll Need

  • Plaster of Paris
  • Spackling compound
  • Gesso
  • Styrofoam balls
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About the Author

Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.