Today was a gloomy-skied Saturday, so I decided to spend it painting the egg-carton-stone fireplace.
Immediately I realized that a sunny day would have been better, as it was difficult to really see my colours as they would appear in regular daylight. So next time: wait for a sunny day.
A good reading light would probably be just as good, but my eco-friendly husband does not believe in those. :-( Like someone a century ago, I do most of my reading with the natural light from the window.
All in all, I was pleasantly surprised by how the fireplace turned out, though I definitely did make a few mistakes. The next one will be better. (You knew there would be a next one, didn't you?)
This one was probably obvious to everyone else a long time ago, but using a green egg-carton was really making things a lot harder than they needed to be. Covering up the green without saturating the stones (and losing their " stony" contours in the process) was probably the most fiddly part of the whole operation. So next time -- a more neutral tone of egg carton, please!
Secondly, I think I should have first given the styrofoam backing a coat of some masonry-coloured paint. Grey or even ivory would have looked better than the stark white I had. (And which again presented me with challenges in coverage.)
But you know, painting the fireplace was a lot of fun! I approached it as a learning experience and hence felt free to just play. I experimented with painting technique, starting first on the side of the fireplace that would not really be "seen" once it was installed. What I finally decided worked best was to begin with a mid-tone and middle consistency to lightly cover up the egg-carton. Then, when the paint was no longer wet, I dry-brushed a darker colour (in my case, a dark grey) on the contours of the stones, to bring them out visually. I finished by adding accents in lighter, brighter colours (in my case a kind of pale sandstone and a medium umber). And yes, there were still some greenish tinges, which will just have to represent a dusting of moss, I guess. I wanted to hate it, but somehow I couldn't. It is probably more suitable to a family of mice than a family of Tudors, but it's rather sweet, and I like it.
Next time I think I may try using artist's pastel crayons instead of paint, to eliminate some of the "muddiness" of the colours. This time out I used only colours of acrylic paint that I had on hand. They were: Soft Sand, Burnt Umber and True Grey by Aleene's and Rain Grey by Delta Ceramcoat (imported for me from Canada by Jeff!)