|Real life house has brick everywhere: even on the front porch!|
|This particular box is for Magic Stōn but we used the red brick for our project|
So the first step is to paint the house the mortar color. Do not use oil based paints (such as KillZ Primer or stencil paints) for this step! It is extremely important that standard interior acrylic paint is used. Interior acrylic paint can be found at home improvement stores, your local miniature shop, or hobby shops. (What happens when you use an oil based paint for this part, you may ask? Well, you cry; because once you get to the final steps of this process and remove the sticker template - the sticker template takes your paint and part of the bricking right along with it. Your are left with a partially bricked project with no mortar anywhere. Sometimes the wood shreds as the sticker is being removed; and sometimes the texture doesn't stick at all to the house and falls off in clumps as you remove the sticker template. What a waste of time, energy, and money. Let's not discuss how I know this. Just use interior acrylic paint!)
Then cover the project with the provided sticker template rows that comes in the Magic System's box. I will admit this step takes a while as all the leftover little brick squares or stones must be removed from the template so that just the template is being adhered to the project. Most of them pop right out, but a few stubborn ones like to stick to the template and must be removed before sticking it on the house. I like to stick the stubborn ones to the edge of my table as seen in the photo below. Overlap the rows! And eventually it gets done!
|Whole house is covered in the sticker template|
|Up close photo of sticker template on house|
Next mix water with the provided powder. I used the red brick product so the color was already determined; but if using Magic Stōn, Blōc, Slāt or Stuccō add paint to the powder to achieve the color you desire as those only come in an off white color.
|Mixing the powder with water|
|Once it's frosting consistency it's ready to go!|
|Frosting the house|
|My special tool: a plastic knife!|
I always use the best tools (I really need a sarcasm font!) and this project is no different: If I want a rougher texture I use a plastic knife to apply the texture; if I need a smoother result, I use an old credit card to apply the compound to the project.
When using the red brick material be advised that the red stains! Do not get it onto any area that is not red as it leaves a red mark you will need to paint over later. At this stage we could have sprayed areas with black or gray spray paint to age the bricks but we did not do that as customer is on a budget and that would have added more materials and labor time to the total.
|Frosting the other side of the house|
|Up close view of the compound on the house|
Once the whole project is "frosted" I wait a bit (about 10 to 30 minutes depending on how long it took to complete the project). I want the mixture to be still squishy/wet so that the template can be removed -- if left overnight the compound would harden completely making it impossible to remove the sticker template. On large projects, such as a dollhouse, where it takes time from start to finish for frosting, if parts I did first are already beginning to dry as I finish the other side, I remove the sticker immediately after finishing frosting.
|Pull the sticker gently to remove it from the house|
|Removing the template|
Once all the template stickers are removed allow the project to sit untouched overnight. The bricks are still squishy and can be easily destroyed/mushed until they have fully hardened.
|Lower level and porch still need to be bricked. That's another day's project.|
|Up close view of corner|
We were busy the day I tried to do this at work so in order to get it all done in a day I did not tape off the lower level or porch floor yet. I will be doing that this week. Yes, the mixture will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for roughly a week; but once you take it out to use it, it will harden fast so make sure you are only doing a small project that you can cover quickly with the leftover mixture. But, for this project, I ran out of mixture and will have to open another box. After the project has been left to dry for 24 hours, I run my hand over it (or lightly use a paper bag) to remove the odd bulges or pimples attached to some of the bricks.
|Other than seeing that daughter needs to paint my nails again, this "sanding" removes bumps from the bricks.|
Once complete, spray the project with a matte sealer to preserve it.
Some tips, hints, and tricks:
If you decide that you want a white wall of bricks with some red bricks showing thru (like the white paint is chipping off from age) . . .
|This patio wall needs a power washing and new coat of paint!|
If using Magic Stōn, after the project has dried for 24 hours, go back and paint the stones with different colors to make a more realistic look. Create paint washes (1 or 2 parts paint to 1 part water). I use about 6 different shades. Then use a small paint brush and dip it in the paint wash. Touch the brush to the center of a stone and the color bleeds out to cover the whole stone. So randomly touch a few stones to create some variation of color. It does not take long because you are not "painting" each stone; you are just touching the center of various stones briefly, like pressing the buttons on a microwave. Coordinate the color paint washes with your project (grays versus browns versus greens/blues, etc.):
|50 shades of gray? I think not. This wizard's house only has about four.|
|This fireplace got some brown to coordinate with the wood floor|
|This porch got touches of blue to coordinate it to the front door|
I have found that typically the manufacturer's recommendation for how much area it covers is an overestimation. If they say 4 square feet, there's enough compound to cover about 3-1/2 square feet. There is enough sticker template to cover the 4 square feet, but the compound mixture just doesn't cover it. Or maybe I am just too messy when applying it or put it too thickly in spots. I seem to find that there's about 15% to 20% more sticker template than compound so if you use all the templates be advised that you will need more powder mixture or else your entire project may not get covered! Basically: buy more than you think you will need to be safe! There's nothing worse than having your house covered in sticker template and partially frosted to discover you are out of compound!
But the end results are completely worth it: realistic looking and feeling bricks, stones, blocks, etc.!
|This Work In Progress Hunting Cabin has an impressive stone chimney and foundation|