Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sandstone modelling dust and starting the brickwork for the front

So yesterday afternoon I started playing with the sandstone modelling dust from Richard Stacey. It's actual stone dust, which you mix with PVA glue and water. The instructions suggest mixing equal parts of water and glue and then experimenting with the amount of dust you add to the mixture.

I found if I added too much dust it got weirdly gloopy -- too little and there's not enough texture. I ended up putting on many fairly thin layers and building up the texture on my window frames and the door surround. There are still places where things glooped but by and large I'm pleased with the results especially after I sanded down some rough places.

My door surround used to look like this, back in the day when I was going to have grey stone trim:

Since I'm changing all my trim to sandstone, I reworked the door finish. I used coats of the modelling dust and PVA/water mixture, but because this was being applied over the dark grey, it wasn't matching the window surrounds, which had their sandstone applied over the raw wood. So I cheated a bit, and touched up the colour with paint :) Now it looks like this:

 I also made a start on the kitchen front, having applied my quoins. I started with the bricks, and really love how warm this is looking!


  1. I've been using Richard Stacey's modelling dusts for a few years now and like you I found its best to mix up to your own requirements. I do intermittently stir my mixture though, as the dust tends to settle to the bottom after a while.

    It also keeps for a while (made up) in a sealed container, make sure you add extra water in case it dries out slightly. ;o)

    I too prefer to apply a couple of thinner layers rather than one gloopy layer. However, it does depend on what you want to cover and the overall look. I also age and add dirt to my covered pieces.

    Michelle xx

  2. Thank you so much for the pointers, Michelle! I've got my mixture in a sealed container, and, yes, the dust definitely does settle, doesn't it? I'd like to get a perfectly smooth effect, but I'm not there yet. Going to persevere -- it really helps hearing from someone else working with the same treatment!

  3. I like the idea of making the trim on the doors and windows match the quoining. Looking forward to your progress.

  4. Thanks, Troy. I've been looking at so many reference photos of early 18th century houses that my brain is a little fogged, but I really did want all the stonework to match :)

  5. Very impressive. You're back with a vengence now!

  6. The sandstone is much warmer, the grey I would have expected to find on a haunted house!

  7. Thank you, Kim! Yes, the sandstone is nice and warm, which is what I decided I wanted :)


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