Thursday, 11 August 2016

Getting stoned - a Three Day Event

This is Lauriston Castle, Edinburgh and the building I'm taking as visual inspiration for Marsh Hall.

I'm using a Bromley Crafts stencil and compound for the finish and this is how it looked once dry but before any paint was applied.

Day 1

The house had already received an undercoat of watered down muddy brown emulsion,

then, using various "stone" colours I dotted and dabbed with sponges and brushes until I got an effect I was happy with.    This is the sort of finish you could fiddle about with for days/weeks and perhaps never be 100% happy with so you have to tell yourself it's fine and put the brushes down otherwise you could go on  forever 

Part way through the process I decided I didn't want the window surrounds or stonework around the Porch to have a different finish/colour from the main house.

I felt quite "arty" holding the inspirational postcard in one hand and dabbing away with the brush in the other, standing back to check the effect then moving in with another splodge!

As the house will be viewed directly from the front there isn't any special finish at the back, just plain emulsion.   The left hand side wont really be seen either given where the house is situated in the hobby room but the right hand side is more on view and also, because there is an additional section of house on this side, I decided to give the building a Clock Tower.    The table the Hall is on at the moment is 3' wide, the house is just short of that and the overall space available is just over the 3' mark therefore a full height tower was out of the question as it would overhang the surface so this little add-on was created to give a bit of interest and to take the 'blank wall' look away.   

The finish you see is untreated emulsion paint.    I've definitely stopped dotting and dabbing at it (for now, anyway) and the next thing to do is spray it with matt varnish to seal it all.    I'm working on the chimneys at the moment then the Porch will be fixed and it's on to the windows.

Day 2

Following on from yesterday's efforts I decided, after seeing the gray gables and quoins in the cold light of day, that they appeared to me to look too much like a framework round the building so I had another go with the dabbing and dry brushing to tone them down.

I'm happier with that, it doesn't look boxed in as much.

The chimneys got some stone/dry brushing treatment and I think I'm finally ready to apply two coats of matt varnish to seal it all.

My final "stoning" task of the day was to add gravel to the top of the porch and paving slabs to the base.    I'm pleased with this.

Day 3

This day saw the Clock Tower being finished

The bell and house name plaque was attached

I saw this little lion heads with rings idea while watching Monarch of the Glen (research) and thought it was a nice touch 

And, for a bit of panache, the Coat of Arms

This is the property as it stands at the moment.   There are still one or two tweaks to be made and I've had a further couple of ideas relating to the front but these can wait.


  1. I'm absolutely loving it Irene. Marsh Hall truly looks as grand at its name. Dying to see more updates!!
    All the best

  2. Fantastic Mrs M - wonderful finish. You do see what others don't - like the trims being too contrasty - but when you point it out and then change it - what a difference. Every step you add makes it better and better. It looks so 'solid' and grounded. Love every inch. Marilyn

  3. Wow Irene I love your house the stone work is amazing. The clock tower adds a lot of interest to the side. I am looking forward to seeing more of your wonderful project.
    Hugs Maria

  4. Irene!! You have surpassed yourself with this epic post!! I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it and your progress has en outstanding. Well done. The stone finish, the architectural details you have, the ingenious clock tower (with adapted fence left-overs!), the perfect sign. And more... You should be very proud of what you have achieved.

  5. Hi Irene! Your stonework looks fantastic!!! I have never tried those stone siding techniques, but clearly you have made them look like real stone! I think it was just right to also make the window surrounds look like the same stone. It all looks so realistic! Adding that little clock tower is a wonderful and unique touch! It certainly adds the interest to that blank wall! This house has such wonderful architectural details and you are doing a great job with the finishes! As usual, I can't wait to see more!

  6. Hello Irene,
    I cannot for the life of me understand why I was not following or aware pof this new project of yours. It is absolutely magnificent. I am going to go through every post on this blog, but know that I am enchanted with the incredible work you have done already. The building itself is beautiful, and the stone finish is sensational. I am so happy to be following this blog.
    Big hug

  7. Hello've done an absolutely fab job of the exterior, how on earth did you manage to get a full three days without interuptions?! You've done the time proud, such a fast worker - and is that a tiny thistle finial I spy on the gable? A little nod to The Tenement? As usual, your work is so inspiring, and I love the clock tower, wonderful!


  8. Hi Irene, I have been absent for a time but glad to be back to watch you do your magic. Love the stonework, the clock is a perfect accent. Amazing work. Hugs, lj

  9. Hello, Irene! I'm reading your blogs, and admire the excellent work. Marsh Hall a lovely old house and its wonderful stone walls.

  10. Thank you everyone for your lovely and encouraging comments. Each one is very much appreciated. A little progress has been made but I'm really holding off for Miniature before getting stuck into any serious progress.