I finished painting the bricks and sandstone today; tomorrow, after the sealer has had a chance to cure, I'm going to grout. And then, once I've grouted, I'll touch up any areas that still need work--soot up the grout around the chimney crown, etc. But I thought, for anyone who's interested, that I'd show what I've done so far and talk about how I've done it.
I started out by giving the whole project a base coat: Deco Art's Heritage Brick for the brick, and another Deco Art color called, appropriately enough, "Sandstone," for the stone. I tried a number of different base colors for sandstone, and all of them looked too flesh-like. This particular color is suitably cool. I started out by doing the meaningful edges with a detail brush, and then filled in the larger areas with a slightly larger brush. Since the cardboard isn't sealed (at least, not the way I do it), this sucks up a LOT of paint. I also had to do a couple of coats, to make sure I'd caught all the crevices.
The next step was to touch up the "broken" areas with black. It looks a little severe right now, but it won't later with the grout, other finishing, etc. The next step was to (lightly!) sand the entire project, once the paint had dried, using a sanding block and, in some cases, fine sandpaper. This highlighted the more "nubbly" areas and gave the brick some texture.
|My son brought me a foam "O" to help out, while I was sanding. I guess it looks like a sanding sponge? He's been enjoying helping me on this project.|
|Still a little tomato-y, color-wise.|
The next step was to improve the color of the brick. It didn't look quite this bilious in real life (craft lighting isn't fashion lighting), but it was still pretty uni. So my next step was to break out my "dirt" palette from PanPastel--the one I'm always talking about--and start going over the brick with a light, variegated coat of the orange-y color. I concentrated my pigment on the areas I'd sanded most, and worked it into the bricks as much as I could. This step took awhile and shredded several latex makeup wedges. Make sure you have a good supply, if this is what you decide to do! On previous brick projects, I'd wanted more dark, dank, miserable brick, but this is supposed to be a happy house so I wanted, for lack of a better term, "cheerful" brick. The orange gave me exactly what I was looking for.
|Notice the difference.|
After I'd done that (and the sandstone, in the same color), I gave the whole project a good spray with Krylon matte and let it dry. Then I went back over the blackened areas with a shade of pastels that almost matched the brick, dulling and lightening the black. I also worked in gray, for dirt, where needed. I sooted up the chimneys, and will do more of that tomorrow once the grout is in.
It's still a little bright, but I have high hopes for what it'll look like post-grout, and post-touch ups as far as soot, etc.
I'm letting this dry overnight, both because it's good to let spray finish cure (I put on several coats, one between each layer of pastels and then two to finish at the end), and because my son is sick and needs my attention. He's in bed right now, which is why I'm writing this. Hooray for sitting down! He was doing fine this morning, and went to school cheerfully enough (which is when I did this, wrapping up what I'd started last night after I put him to bed), but he had a little bit of a rough afternoon.
He's such a good little egg.
So there you have it, folks.