How to texture concrete or plaster walls and rocks

2014-08-20 Khaiell

These are the most common types of walls. Should you paint them with a textured paint? Use a texture paste? Or maybe just paint the surface using stippling?

Picture described below
Emulating concrete and rock: texture paste vs. stippling
Tombstone in Konin (Poland), Terminus Nulli CedoBunker fragmentCityfight terrain

An old way of modelling these kinds of walls was to use a home-made textured paint, ie. a standard acrylic paint mixed with sand. The effect was quite coarse and the walls looked like a sandpaper rather than a plasterwork.

You can compare this with other texturing methods I reviewed and decide which one suits you best for a given project.

For many years I have been using stippling

1. Paint the wall uniformly dark grey

2. Prepare a brush with light grey paint as if for drybrushing

3. Poke the wall gently with the brush until a texture is formed

This technique ruins normal brushes but you can either use an old, cheap brush or better get a special stippling brush.

But then I've head of the adventages of the texture paste

Texture paste is a kind of plaster/stucco that keeps texture of a tool used on it better then a normal one does. It is also easier to put as a thin film on any surface.

So I made an experiment. I built a new bunker and processed each of its four walls in a different way. I used a fine (ie. not coarse) texture paste. All walls were primed first with an enamel paint to prevent warping.

  • One wall was painted the usual way with stippling over undercoat
  • Another one had texture paste applied with a spatula to form a flat surface and then stippling was used.

Note that stippling on the paste looks better then the one on flat undercoat as the brush bristles do not slide on it as much.

  • Yet another wall was covered with the paste using a foam roller and then the surface was painted and drybrushed
  • The last remaining wall had texture paste applied with a kitchen sponge

Judge the results for yourself. For my next plasterwork modelling project I am going to use the roller-texture-paste technique. And the sponge-texture-paste technique looks great for rocks and similar natural structures.

However I must say that I feel the stippling-over-flat-paste technique gives the most realistic effect in this scale.

See the pictures as separate pages: Emulating concrete and rock: texture paste vs. stippling * A real thing * Bunker fragment * Home-made texture paint with sand

You may also find these interesting:
As with rivers I love the puzzle-laying aspect of this project. Designing and setting it up is like playing a boardgame on it's own
How to build terrain 12-06-2011 Khaiell
One of the problems with the Dwarves is their lack of mobility. I like all the contraptions miniature designers come up with to fix this problem -- usually with something completely loco
Reviews 10-05-2014 Khaiell
Picturesque sludge canals or deadly streams are easy to make if you have the right glue. Designing their shapes and placing them is a captivating puzzle game on its own as a bonus
How to build terrain 12-06-2011 Khaiell