People who have not seen or used our products before often have many questions. We have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions below. If you have a question which is not covered here please contact us as we will be pleased to help.
Q. How much Realistic Brick Compound will I need for an average dollshouse?
A. Each 750 gram bag covers approximately 0.5 square metre, but this varies depending on how thick it is applied. Two 750 gram bags are usually plenty to cover an average dollshouse.
Q. Can I apply Realistic Brick Compound to my house if it has already been built?
A. Yes, but if any parts protrude from the wall surfaces (window frames / roof eaves etc) you may not be able to position the stencil as required to apply the bricks. Leave these areas until last and cut the stencil to fit into the edges. Alternatively, you can fill in these areas without using the stencil by applying the compound and marking the brick pattern with a straight edge and scribe tool - This method is actually surprisingly easy and effective.
Q. Why do I have to paint the wall before applying the brick compound?
A. The wall will be visible as the cement lines in between the bricks, it should therefore be painted with the desired cement colour prior to bricking (Emulsion or smooth masonry paint).
Q. How can I prevent the compound from bleeding under the stencil?
A. Before application spray the back of the stencil liberally with the stencil adhesive, then allow time for the adhesive to dry - 15 - 20 mins approx. It should feel sticky when you touch it, but the adhesive should not come off on your hands. Apply the stencil to the wall and press all areas down firmly, ensuring all areas are in contact with the wall. Wash the stencil in clean water after each application and then press between two flat towels to dry it. Ensure it is completely dry before proceeding. The adhesive will remain on the stencil as it is not water soluble and it should remain active for several hours of use, but if it starts to feel less sticky or the compound bleeds it should be re-sprayed with adhesive as above.
Q. What if I make a mistake?
A. Don't panic! - It is easy to rectify any mistakes. Simply wet the area you wish to remove, scrape away the compound and wipe clean. Then re-apply to the area concerned. (After the compound has been sealed it can only be removed by sanding with coarse sandpaper).
Q. Is the brick finish tough/permanent?
A. Yes - The compound dries to a tough hard finish. We recommend that it is sealed with a coat of clear matt varnish which prevents the surface from dusting and waterproofs the finish.
Q. How long does the Realistic Brick Compound take to dry?
A. After application normally about an hour, but this varies according to the application thickness and air temperature. Prior to application, the compound remains workable for many hours provided it is kept moist.
Q. How long does the stencil last?
A. Indefinitely. Just keep it clean by rinsing in water and use it over and over again.
Q. Do I need to let the compound dry before removing/repositioning the stencil?
A. No - It can be removed straight away. Rinse the stencil with water and pat dry with a towel, then reposition ready to apply the next section. Align the stencil with the bricks already applied by carefully overlapping at least one course of bricks.
Q. What if the surface of the bricks is rough or uneven?
A. Allow the compound to dry, then carefully remove any uneven areas by rubbing down with coarse sandpaper or a file if necessary.
Q. How thick should the brick compound be applied?
A. The stencil thickness will provide a guide to the minimum thickness of the compound, but it can be applied more thickly if required. Different application thicknesses will produce a different finished effect - you may like to experiment to get the desired effect.
Q. Can I add shading to the finished bricks?
A. Yes - When the compound has dried you can use watercolour of acrylic paints to add shading to the bricks for a more natural or weathered effect. The compound is very absorbent at this stage so a wet paint brush can just be dabbed onto the individual bricks and the colour will disperse automatically. This should be done before sealing the bricks with clear matt varnish.
The compound colour varies during the application process which can be a little misleading. The dry compound powder is quite light in colour before it is mixed with water. When wet, the colour becomes much darker, but as it dries it will become lighter again. The sealing coat of clear matt varnish will darken the compound to it's final finished colour. It is a good idea to make a small test piece before starting your project to see the finished effect (particularly if you are planning to modify the colour or add any shading prior to sealing).
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