For those of you who have not worked with the Magic Systems products before, here's how they work...
1. Paint the area you are going to cover with what you want to be your grout color. Let dry.
3. Mix your mortar with enough water to achieve an oatmeal type consistency. If it's too dry add more water in tiny increments. If it's too wet you're screwed........ nope, just kidding. Just add a little more mortar mix a bit at a time until it thickens.
***Side note - the Magic Systems kits come with an assortment of colored powdered mortar mix. It is also sold separately. Don't get tricked into spending a bunch of money on this stuff. Regular powdered sanded or un-sanded grout mix from the hardware store is exactly what this stuff is. It is a fraction of the cost of the stuff sold for miniatures. One box should last you a lifetime of mini projects. Buy a light color - you can always add acrylic paint to the mix to achieve the color you want. Want a rougher surface - add some sand.***
4. Using a rough paintbrush, dab out a fairly thin layer to cover all of the stickered area.
5. Gently peel back the sticker paper and see the pattern left behind. You can gently smooth rough edges or pat down for a smoother look,
6. Let dry. Once dry, you can paint with color washes or sponge on more texture to achieve the look you want. In my case, I wanted my firebox to look as though it had been cleaned and painted for use as decor only. That is why the stones and grout are the same color. If I had been using it for a "real" functioning fireplace the grout and stones would have more contrast.
I like the stuff, it's easy to use and kind of fun. It goes a lot quicker than egg carton stones, but I like doing those as well. In other words, what is six to one is half a dozen to another...
I didn't care for the brownish tone once I'd held it up against the fireplace, so I just coated over it with a lighter grey. I also added some of the ceiling paper scraps to the niche and gave that a couple coats of white. I'm thinking I'd better not attach it to the house just yet. I'll have to fiddle with the roof, and that is not nearly next on the To Do list.
I've also been working on the inside trim - did I mention that there is a lot of fussy work on this project? I certainly need to work on my "fitting molding together nicely" skills. Oh well, in the end it is supposed to be a little shabby. More on the interior transformation later...
One last thing... Do something that makes you really happy today! Sometimes the "have to's" make us forget that life is to be lived and enjoyed!