Monday, 21 April 2014

Experiments in Brickwork

In earlier posts, I mentioned that my mother had bought materials for adding a brickwork effect to the exterior of the dolls' house. It's basically a powder that is mixed with water to create a grout-like paste which is then applied over a thin plastic template and allowed to dry, then fixed in place with a spray.

There are two obvious problems with this, looking at our dolls' house:
  • Sections of wall are inset versus the house's framework, making it difficult to fit the template and get an even application of the paste
  • How were we supposed to represent the mortar between the bricks?
There were several solutions to the first, not least my idea of adding Polyfilla to the outside wall to give us a nice, even surface. At this stage, I'm not sure that's likely to happen, but my mother had a go at painting the outside wall panels with a mortar-ish yellow before trying out the brick texture mix for the first time...

The template is a bit of an awkward size and shape, not to mention rather flimsy - it is nothing more than a very thin sheet of plastic with lots of holes in it, after all. We knew it would have to be cut down, one way or another, but for a first attempt, the less cutting, the better - we didn't want to have to order a new one if it went wrong.

As the photos above show, applying the paste to the inset wall panels wasn't easy - around the edges, where the paste had to meet the raised framework, it became incredibly difficult to keep the paste even and accurate and, as the template was pulled away, the excess invariably pulled away with it, leaving the surface very rough and slightly concave.

Thankfully, it all washes off easily enough without the fixer spray applied...
As a first experiment, it was instructive and suggested that, if it was done with a smaller quantity and with the template cut precisely to fit (tricky in this case, because the wall panels are not precisely the same size), the end result should look great.

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