Saturday Masonry on the ARC II

No, I haven’t forgotten about the CC (and you know who you are who’ve asked). In fact, I started installing the bricks and stones (yay!), only to realize that I need to cut out more (boo!). So rather than boring you with entries of the (monotonous) joys of cutting shapes out of egg cartons, I’m only relaying posts on things that I’m actually covering ground. And in this case, it’s the ARC II.

Structure wise, I’m just left with working on two pieces — the roof and the far right wall. For this entry, we’re going to focus on the latter.

If you recalled, I made the unwise decision of doing some kind of masonry for the kitchen and bathroom wall. For the kitchen, I used some of my egg carton bricks for the CC. Whereas the bathroom, I was going for the piddly attempt of a slate-like wall for my “hopefully” modern bathroom.

Tada!

Tada!

I was able to glue those pieces and paint them. Now it’s time to install grout with this standby. So I pulled this out of my storage bin…only to find that it dried up when I opened the lid.

My tool of choice for the day. Along with my fingers.

My tool of choice for the day. Along with my fingers.

Rather than cursing the higher beings above, I poured some warm water over the dried mixture and started stirring the cr^p out of it. Luckily, after 5 minutes, the stuff started to become pliable again.  Which is good, because I was in no mood to drive 1.25 hrs to the nearest local miniature shop to get another canister. I mean, yeah, I probably have an unopened container somewhere in my bathroom mini storage. But again, laziness prevails.

So once the stuff got pliable again, I added a healthy squirt of Titanium White craft acrylic paint (Americana — my local Michaels ran out of Ceramcoat and FolkArt paints. Boo!). The mortar was a really dark grey, so I wanted to lighten it even further just so it’d stand out a little more upon application.

Making the mortar light.

Making the mortar light.

Once the mortar was mixed, I actually sprayed my wall with a thin sheen of Lysol and waited until it was dry.  Mostly because what I had to do next…might run of the risk of forming something not pleasant. Like mold. And if you’re wondering what I’m talking about, hopefully the next steps will explain why.

Once the Lysol layer dried, it was time to get down and dirty. At least my fingers did.

Applying the mortar between the bricks.

Applying the mortar between the bricks.

Again, I relied on Brae’s blog entry how how she applied the grout in between the egg carton bricks. She stressed to work in the grout one small section at a time, in order to make sure the stuff gets between the bricks.  Again, along with laziness, impatience got the best of me so I actually did 1/3 of the wall at a time. Also, I made it made more difficult for myself by applying the stuff using my left index and middle finger. I had cut my left fingers while doing yard work, so I had to rest those digits in order for them to knit the skin together. (That was probably TMI – sorry folks).

What NOT to do. If you're following someone's tutorial, be a respectful reader and follow their instructions.

What NOT to do. If you’re following someone’s tutorial, be a respectful reader and follow their instructions.

Once you apply the layer, you then take a wet paper towel and start wiping out the excess. I ended up having a small bowl of water next to me to dip/squeeze said towel. It seemed like the key was making the paper towel wet enough so you can wipe off the excess grout…but not too wet that you’re causing the egg carton to start separating its papery layers. That would not be a good sign. Also found that warm water worked better in the wiping process. And that you have a DRY paper towel nearby so that when you finished wiping, you take that dry sheet and dab the brick to suck up the excess moisture.

In about 20 minutes…I finished the kitchen wall. Some of the grout/mortar got into the natural crevices in the brick. I ended up leaving it alone since I LOVED the effect it gave.

Kitchen wall complete.

Kitchen wall complete.

Then the process was repeated for the bathroom wall. More of the stuff was applied by hand, then alternated between wiping the stuff off the stones with a wet paper towel, then dabbing the moisture with more paper towels. Guess in a way this is good practice for me — because I have to do this exact same thing on the CC. (Think I heard part of my brain whimper at that).

Sorry for the blurry photos — was a little hard to take a pic with my smartphone while doing this at the same time….

Applying the grout/mortar to the bathroom "slate stones"

Applying the grout/mortar to the bathroom “slate stones”

Saturday-Masonry-9

The layer of grout before it gets wiped off.

In the end, the walls actually didn’t turn out bad at all. I took my time wiping off the stuff off the bathroom wall just to make sure nothing’s on the “stones”.  Luckily it was sunny and hot outside so I put this wall out on the patio to bake in the sun. Plus, I wanted to make sure the wood was completely dry and moisture free. Last thing we want is the ARC II forming mold or something like that. Hence my spaying Lysol on this in the first place.

I put the wall outside to dry around 10:00 am. By the time I brought it inside, it was almost 7 pm (and still bright outside). Suffice to say, the wall was hot to the touch. But at least it meant this should be dried out (in theory I hope). But to be sure, I sprayed the wall with Lysol once more, let it sit outside for a couple of more minutes, then brought it in to rest for another hour. Then I did two layers of Modge Podge (matte) to seal them.

After another hour, I went ahead and installed the wall to the ARC II.

Saturday-Masonry-13

Installed the right wall (finally!)

Am really happy who these turned out — and even more happy to know that short of installing the roof, the ARC II’s interior is pretty much complete!

The finished kitchen wall.

The finished kitchen wall.

 

The finished bathroom wall.

The finished bathroom wall.

So that means, I have two (maybe three) things left to complete: the roof, the exterior, and the front yard. Getting close to the finish line folks! 😀

Oh yeah!

Oh yeah!

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One thought on “Saturday Masonry on the ARC II

  1. Pingback: Some (Late) Weekend Goodies | A Miniature Obsession

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