Monday, March 11, 2019

Craft Time: Cheap and Easy Stone Effect

In Scotland, rough stone barns, buildings, and walls are a common sight. My props and accessories tend to reflect my current location, so things have become rather stony in the Horse Room.

I started this building several years ago with the idea of it being a barn which had been converted into a tack and feed shop. Somewhere along the line it turned into an antique store instead. While I had built the structure, plastered the walls, and put in a stone floor, I never finished the interior or even started the exterior.

I thought it was time to finally finish this project and I thought others might enjoy seeing my process, and possibly trying it for themselves. The barn was built with wood from the scrap bin at B&Q with balsa wood accents, and put together with hot glue. My husband has a very rude term for my carpentry skills, but they work well enough for my purposes. To paraphrase my sculpture professor, wood putty will hide a world of sins.

 Supplies for this project are pretty basic. You'll need a couple of stiff, coarse paint brushes, a scraper kind of tool like a dead pen, stick, or something similar, and a pot of all-purpose filler or wood putty. I used the Tesco store brand this time, but I find the cheap stuff you get at B&M to be more durable. I usually pay less than £5 for a container. (my pot is upside down because I dropped the brand new, unopened container and shattered the bottom, naturally).

If you're doing something which cannot lay flat, prop the side you're working on up a bit so you can easily reach the bottom edge. I usually toss a roll of tape under there as it's about the right height, stable, and strong.

To start, just scoop up a brush-full of filler and start rubbing it on the wall. Just a thin coat and kind of scrub it in. This will help it stick. Work quickly as you don't want it to dry before you're finished, really, the whole process needs to be done pretty quickly, so just do one wall at a time and try to work somewhere cool.

 Once you have a thin coating, apply another, thicker layer, like icing a cake. You don't want massive clumps, but a nice, mostly even layer, a just a bit thicker than the first.

Once you have your wall covered, take the stiffer of your brushes and start stippling the wall. This seems to take forever, but this wall took less than five minutes.

Take your scraper thing, mine this time is a little chisel, and start drawing your lines. In the left hand picture I am drawing guidance lines to make sure my bricks line up with the stones on the front wall. For a rough stone wall, the lines can be fairly irregular. You can create any type of pattern, brick, stone, cobbles, etc.

You'll very quickly accumulate filler build-up on your tool. Make sure you wipe frequently so as not to leave boogers on your wall. I usually have to wipe after each stone.

In a surprisingly short time you will fill your wall. Just let it set for a few hours until the wall is try and is no longer cool to the touch.

For areas where different textures meet, use a line of masking tape to give you a nice clean edge. All the little edges and sections have been treated as this will give the piece a more finished look. The floor was done the same way as the walls, but with a cobble pattern.

This is an incredibly versatile technique which can be used effectively to make roughly plastered walls and even wood floors, as well as the stone I've demonstrated here.

In the next post I'll be adding colour.

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