Color Pigments for Plaster??

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RexHea

RAIL BENDER
I decided to start using a coloring in my plaster for scenery, but I am having a time trying to find some. Lowe's only has coloring for concrete and even it is not an earth color or even brown. Can you help in my search?:confused:
 

grove den

naturally natural trees
Hello Rex

It is just a tip . We use it overhere on the N modulelayout: latexwallpaint in the color you like /chose.
You can choose in the store the color you like on the small "colorsheets" Take this piece of paper with the chosen colors home to compare( for ex. vegetation or other objects)
This wallpaint is "cheap " Today they make the colors by computer...so you can order exactly the same color if you run out of the "old" one..
You have to experiment first to get the right color in combination with the plaster because ,when I am well informed, it dries up a bit lighter than when the mix of plaster and latexwallpaint is wet..
Hope you start soon, soo we can see( the start of ) SCENERY pictures!!

Jos
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
Jos, you can just paint over the plaster with the latex paint, it works well.

As for coloring the plaster I say try tempra paints, they use them for coloring clay, but come in a power form. Joe Fugate uses a plaster/tempra mix for getting the oily base in the middle of tracks.
 

grove den

naturally natural trees
Hi Josh: you wrote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jos, you can just paint over the plaster with the latex paint, it works well.
I presume the plaster is white..so if there is a litlle damage you can see/notice that at once! thats why we mix(ed) it..

Jos
 

RexHea

RAIL BENDER
Josh, Jos is correct in that I want to prevent the tell tale white specks that occur in your scenery when it gets nicked. Mixing the color with the the plaster mix prevents this.

The paint department at one of our Lowes looked at me like I was crazy when I asked for a coloring to add for the plaster mix. Heck, one guy didn't even know what plaster was:D .

I have thought about mixing a latex paint into the mix as I have done with some ground cover goop, but I don't know if it would affect the setting time or strength. Jos/Chip, were there any setting time considerations on the N layout you mentioned? I already have to work fast and in small batches.

I have heard you guys mention tempra/tempera paints and powder hundreds of times, but I haven't a clue as to what it is or where you buy it. If you can buy it at Michaels or Hobby Lobby, is it in a jar, bottle, or can?

Nate, I just went to your link and that's the stuff I am after. I wonder what kind of shop/supply would carry it locally.

Thanks fellows.
 
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RexHea

RAIL BENDER
I have found out that both Quickrete and Sakrete make a liquid cement coloring that I guess would work. The only thing I see close to earth colors are "buff" or "brown". I tried searching Lowes and Home Depot using concrete color. "0" hits. I changed this to cement color and got results. Must be a college boy that did the search engine since it says on the bottle 'for coloring concrete.':eek: :D:D I still would rather try some of your ideas, soon as you get back to me with those few answers about setting time and etc.;) :D
 

sushob

Entrepreneurial Teen
Nate, I just went to your link and that's the stuff I am after. I wonder what kind of shop/supply would carry it locally.
We had Stampcrete (basically colored and patterned sidewalk) put in around our pool and they used a powered coloring agent like that, so you might be able to get it from a local mason, landscape shop, or cement plant. I'm sure any contractor that deals directly with concrete will have access to it. But the easiest thing to do may just be to order it online. Since you're looking for a small quantity (at least relative to most applications) it probably won't get much cheaper than what was listed on eBay anyway, unless you want to buy a five-gallon bucket or 80-lb pound bag of it :rolleyes: .
 

RexHea

RAIL BENDER
Yeah, you are probably right Nate.
I looked up tempura paints and saw a lot of craft work using plaster of paris and tempura paint powders for coloring. Might go by Hobby Lobby and get some for an experiment. This may be the only way to get a color variation for particular areas.
 

grove den

naturally natural trees
Hi Rex,

Just like you:
I don't know if it would affect the setting time or strength.
I don't know either if it affects the strengths, but I do know about the time: it will take a little bit more time to dry than you use "clean" plaster of paris. It is totaly dry after ,lets say 4-5 days( roomtemp.) just like the "clean"plaster.
About the strengths: we only use plaster, in comparing to your big layout, in horizontal parts AND also our layout is(mostly) flat( you know: Holland..) We used it right on the ( primered+ sawdust) surface of the module..alSo it had to bear anything...
If I read the posts overhere correct I would say go for "Sushob's" recommendation because of the variation in colors you want on you layout.

Jos
 
I'm using (cheap)artist acrylics for coloring plaster rocks and buildings. A small amount with half a gallon of water mixed in a soda pop bottle is the starting point. All plaster is soaked thru and thru with clean water and then I start painting the rocks with the colored water, using a 2 inch bruss. Because of the soaked plaster very little color sticks to the plaster at first, that way you can add any color variation you want, slowly working your way to the desired color.
The buildings in the background (Downtown deco)are painted using this method.

Regards,

René
 

Trucula

Drum Driver
I used powdered temp in plaster, Powdered temp is a light dust (just like the plaster) that when mixed with water makes a poster paint.. I added black to plaster and it comes comes out gray...only takes a small amount, then brushed it on the ballast between the rails to create a darker look from engine wear and drippings(then sprayed with water to set it in)...A jar cost 3-6 bucks depending where you buy it...Crayola even makes it...Comes in several colors....Takes allot to color plaster to the shade it is because the white plaster lightens it allot. And then the water changes it too, bringing the color out more...So it takes a little experimenting if your funny about an exact color.
 

RexHea

RAIL BENDER
First, let me thank everyone for all the very good inputs to this question.;)

The use of the coloring on this first go-around is not critical, only a brown to dark brown is needed. The structure being built is a sloping hill (from a mountainside) approximately 18" high and about 5 feet long (see photo).
All the plaster-of-paris with coloring will be used for is as a cap on top of plaster gauze providing added strength and ground cover. The ground will be shaded (stained) with various paints, sprinkled with WS foam/stuff, and then the addition of trees. So, the coloring will be mostly to prevent white specks from appearing, (as the always will do) and adding to the overall color of the ground. This particular hill will have few rock formations and I will add them to the top surface.

If this all works, then I would like to use a light gray coloring as a base for my rock formations. There is always the problem of nicking the delicate detail of rocks.

Jos: Did you mean that the working time is extended (which is a plus) or that is just takes longer to dry? I'm not overly concerned with the strength part as the plaster gauze provides most of that. Anyone that has ever broken a bone certainly knows how strong the gauze can be.:D

Trucula: Since it is used for posters and Crayola makes it, I would assume that Hobby Lobby would have it. Also, I would guess that for a finished brown color in the dried plaster I would need a dark brown and maybe even a bit of black coloring to come out Brown?

Rene: Thank you for your input. I am trying to work out a way to have an initial coloring of the plaster mix. What I have ran into in the past is with all the work that has to be done applying different ground covers, holes for trees, and etc., you end up nicking the plaster causing white specs. This is a real pain in the arse to repair after so many things are in place.

This is the area of work with the second photo showing a computer doctored landscape of the same area.
 
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grove den

naturally natural trees
Hi Rex,
Jos: Did you mean that the working time is extended (which is a plus)
Yes but just a litle bit! If you want to extend the time just use some BEER( red this in a German mrrmagazine:eek: :D ), honestly! or some vinager
About the "total" time of drying there is almost no difference!
Did I read it right??
and then the addition of trees
:D

Jos
 

RexHea

RAIL BENDER
Ha! Ha! Ha! Yes...TREES!
Unfortunately there won't be as many like in the photo, but there will be many. Want to make me 500?For free, of course:rolleyes: :D

I do add a jigger of vinegar if the area will take a little extra time for working the plaster.
Beer? Hmmm! That's interesting. I wonder how much they use per batch.

Thanks Jos.;)
 

RexHea

RAIL BENDER
Follow up report:
I used Tempera Paint Powders in my plaster mix and had fair to good results. The mix per batch was 3 cups of plaster, 5 heaping tablespoons of brown powder, 3 heaping tablespoons of black. The brown powder is a dark brown and I thought with the added black that maybe it would come out to a standard to dark brown tint. However, as it dries, it is more towards tan. This will be acceptable since I will be adding other color with paints and ground cover thingys and any nicks or scratches will be tan-ish instead of that blaring WHITE. Thought you would like to know.;) :)
FYI: I had no noticeable change in setting or drying times.

EDIT: Guess I should have posted this thread in the Scenery section. Oh well, maybe Bob can move it. Hey BOB...!
 
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