Preparing for the overhaul...

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Finishing the Bricks--Part I

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.


Daydreamer said...

Aw, poor baby! I hate it when they get sick! I hope he perks back up quickly!
Your bricks look Fantastic! Thank you for showing all your steps. The grout does change the overall color appearance a huge amount... which makes it really tricky to judge the right color pre-grout! I think this house is going to look amazingly realistic!

otterine said...

Looks great! :D The color will change a lot when you grout, but I think the more layers, the more realistic it looks. Bravo on a great project!

C.J. said...

I'm anticipating a color change, which is one of the reasons I made it so bright. Hopefully, the color change will be the one I anticipate otherwise this project could end up looking very strange!!!

Debora said...

It looks great so far. I'm interested to see how the color evolves :D

Elizabeth S said...

Hi C J! What a remarkable difference color makes. I agree that the general tints and tones of brick can generate a feeling of a "happy house" or otherwise. Nevertheless, there is a feeling of permanence when one looks at a brick house. Just like the 3 little pigs, huffing and puffing will not blow it down! :))


p s Your little guy looks like a little angel! :)

Giac said...

Hello CJ,
Every time I see your beautiful son I completely forget what lese is in your post!
The bricks are looking terrific. I like the color and I look forward to seeing it grouted. I must admit I do not have any interest in using your technique because my manor is just too big and I think I would go crazy, but I think your bricks are amongst the best I have seen. They look so realistic and beautiful! Terrific!
Big hug,

Susan Korman said...

Hi C.J.,

I hope your little guy is feeling better now. He looks so angelic lying there :-) I hope your color works out the way you want it to. It's really looking good so far. I really can't wait to see how it looks when you're finished!


Rudder Heineken said...

This is really amazing! Thanks for showing, this is going to really help me on mine.