Monday, October 25, 2010

Tombstone tutorial: Part 4

So if you've been following this tutorial and are still with me, Congratulations!  Thanks for hanging in there.  Last time we finally saw a real monument coming together and it is now caulked and sanded and primed.  Now we're ready to foam coat!

The foam coat is tricky and time consuming.  You can only mix a small amount at a time or else it will harden before you can get it on.  I used Hot Wire Foam Factory's Foam Coat plus Bounce on all of the soft foam pieces like the top trim.  I used Foam Coat by itself for the middle and Foam Coat plus Boost for the bottom and top.  It took me one entire day from top to bottom.

Once that was over it was on to paint!  Fortunately this was the fast and fun part.  The first layer I used was stucco paint in a matte finish from Home Depot.  It came white and I didn't change anything.  This paint was thick and easy to apply.

Pretty and white:

Next I added marbling around the whole monument.  For inspiration take a photo of real marble and see how the lines run and change.  There are many marbling techniques shown online as well.  Remember that this is a prop, not a piece in your home, so you want it to be on the "overdone" side so it will stand out.

Then I started aging and weathering it by adding "water stains", "dirt" and so on.  I used multiple shades of grey and a hint of black for these.  Since this was an actual tombstone I mainly followed the photos I had.  However if you are going from your imagination, visualize how this piece would stand out in the rain, collecting airborne particles and being exposed to the elements.  Nooks and crannies will either get a lot of deposits, or few, depending on where they are located. 
Make sure you are consistent and it will turn out well.

This will be mainly seen at night, so make sure you over emphasize the weathering so it will show up under event lighting.

Next I tackled the verdigris on the bronze.  I used several shades of turquoise craft acrylic paint.  I wanted it to show up, but not be overboard.  On the original it runs down onto the marble, so I copied that as well.

For my final step I used Thompsons Water Sealer over the whole thing. 

And finally, we're done!!!

Thanks for walking through this project with me.  Even if you don't build this one I hope it gives you ideas for something else with these techniques.

Let me know what you try!


  1. AMAZING!!! Such great ideas you have :0) My sweetie and I simply adore Halloween and have been having a blast decorating our house too. You should stop by and and check out some of our stuff!! Im your newest follower :0)

  2. That turned out awesome! What a lot of work, but it certainly paid off. Great job.


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