Using Stencil and Joint Compound to Make Stone Walls

Paying for stone walls in the interior of the house can prove a very expensive task. It is also hard to do, as the stones aren’t exactly easy to carry and they are difficult to install. You carry the stones, you put on the backer board and you spread the thin set, which is messy. Next you lay out the stones and you grout them. As far as weekend projects go, this is a tough one.

The answer to this problem is to make it seem like it’s a stone wall, with the help of the stencil. You will need a raised plaster stone stencil, which can be found online easily, or you can create your own if you can’t find one you like. Next, get some joint compound (a bucket or more, depending on the size of the wall). You will also need a 3 inch plastic scraper, a masking tape, clear polyurethane sealer, a sea sponge and a mixing bucket.

Use pigment tint on the joint compound to give it some color. This color will be the stone’s base color. The paints should be created next and you will use these to give the stones some accents.

After you decide what stone pattern you want to use, start working on your stencil. You should have some experience with paper and pencil, so keep practicing until you get it right, making stones of different sizes and patterns. Or, an idea would be to use a magazine or book and copy a pattern from it. Designs that are rectangles or squares are indicated as they are easy to replicate when you start working.

You can use a wide variety of materials to create a stencil. I can recommend durable plastic sheets, which can resist to quite a bit of use.

To create the openings for the stones you can use a stencil burner, or a simple craft knife (it will take you longer).

You can get a heavy duty poster board to make the temporary version of the stencil. Use matt spray on the board to make sure the paper surface seals up, then use the craft knife to make openings in it, in the form of the wall. That design you transfer to the stencil material and you cut out the openings.

Next, use masking tape on the walls, baseboards and ceiling so they are protected from joint compound. The floor should also be protected.

Add joint compound and tint in a clean bucket and mix it until you get the color you want. Use the resulting mixture on the openings and make sure it gets in there. Add a second layer of compound. This one can be bumpy, so don’t smoothen it. Take out the stencil and let the stones dry.

Once the stones are dry, create another mixture and add extra color to the wall, so they look more natural. Single color stones, without spots, aren’t that believable. At the end, use polyurethane on the end result, so it’s protected and sealed.

Article provided by Martin, webmaster of CDL practice test and CDL Training

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