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Old 10th July 2010, 06:05   #21
Roy Buchanan
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Default Re: Cheap ground cover

Picked mine up at a garage sale for $2.00 Cdn.
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Old 12th July 2010, 04:15   #22
Santa Fe SDA
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Default A Problem With Cheap Ground Cover

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Originally Posted by hockey_rocks View Post
Alright so here's the how-to on coloring the ground covering.

1. First you need a spray bottle of which I used a vim cleaning bottle as is pictured.



2. Next get a can or jar and fill with water along with mixing in some arcylic paint I have only tried green paint so far but will try out some browns and so on. Once you have your paint mixed together well pour it into your spray bottle.



3. Now you begin spraying in this case I suggest you have a larger box or bucket to keep from making a mess, spray the surface of the foam, mix it up a little and continue doing this until it is the color you want. The nice part is, is that you don't need to let it dry for long at all, it will only be slightly damp. Here's how it turned out for me, on the right is what it used to look like and the left is how it turned out.




Hope you like it! If you happen to try my method I would like to hear how it turned out.
I like it, hockey_rocks. Those were some great ideas, and I decided to use most of them. Here's my ground cover adventure.

I went to Wal-Mart and bought some foam blocks, green and yellow acrylic paint, a strainer, a package of small spongy paintbrushes and a spray bottle, all for about ten bucks.

I then began breaking the foam blocks into tiny pieces. I discovered that I was quickly getting covered in a fine green dust, so I put the chunks in a plastic Ziploc bag and continued crushing. This worked well until I got the pieces down to about 1 cm/0.5 inches in diameter. It was hard to crush them any smaller than that because the foam is a bit spongy. I tried using a can as a rolling pin and even stepping on the bag, but the foam just smashed like a sponge and sprang back. The only way to get the pieces as small as I wanted was to pull the foam apart through the plastic bag with my fingers. It reminded me of popping bubble wrap. (There's got to be a better way.)

I applied a coat of brown paint to use as glue, then poured the crumbled foam into the wire mesh strainer. That worked to give me an even layer of uniform-sized particles and all was well.

That was about four or five hours ago and the foam still isn't sticking to the paint. The paint doesn't seem to be drying with the layer of foam on it. I may have to abandon the paint-as-glue idea, which was very attractive to me since I have most of a gallon of paint left over from painting the base board.
Does anyone have any suggestions for an easier way to break down the green blocks into artificial turf (without ruining a blender)? How about telling me why my ground foam isn't sticking to the paint?

Thanks everyone. You've been very helpful so far.
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Old 12th July 2010, 17:53   #23
Roy Buchanan
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Default Re: A Problem With Cheap Ground Cover

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Originally Posted by Santa Fe SDA View Post
I like it, hockey_rocks. Those were some great ideas, and I decided to use most of them. Here's my ground cover adventure.

I went to Wal-Mart and bought some foam blocks, green and yellow acrylic paint, a strainer, a package of small spongy paintbrushes and a spray bottle, all for about ten bucks.

I then began breaking the foam blocks into tiny pieces. I discovered that I was quickly getting covered in a fine green dust, so I put the chunks in a plastic Ziploc bag and continued crushing. This worked well until I got the pieces down to about 1 cm/0.5 inches in diameter. It was hard to crush them any smaller than that because the foam is a bit spongy. I tried using a can as a rolling pin and even stepping on the bag, but the foam just smashed like a sponge and sprang back. The only way to get the pieces as small as I wanted was to pull the foam apart through the plastic bag with my fingers. It reminded me of popping bubble wrap. (There's got to be a better way.)

I applied a coat of brown paint to use as glue, then poured the crumbled foam into the wire mesh strainer. That worked to give me an even layer of uniform-sized particles and all was well.

That was about four or five hours ago and the foam still isn't sticking to the paint. The paint doesn't seem to be drying with the layer of foam on it. I may have to abandon the paint-as-glue idea, which was very attractive to me since I have most of a gallon of paint left over from painting the base board.
Does anyone have any suggestions for an easier way to break down the green blocks into artificial turf (without ruining a blender)? How about telling me why my ground foam isn't sticking to the paint?

Thanks everyone. You've been very helpful so far.
Try forcing the foam through a small strainer with a teaspoon or your fingers.
I assume you're using acrylic paint. It dries exceptioanally fast so the foam just won't adhere. If you're using latex paint only the bottom layer of foam might adhere. Paint won't capillary, it stays where it is put. You need to use a gluing agent like a 50/50 mix of white glue/matte medium and water with a drop of soap in the mix as well. For larger chunks I just put a dab of white glue on the underside and place the foam in its new home.

Hope this helps.

Roy
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Old 13th July 2010, 18:58   #24
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Default Re: A Problem With Cheap Ground Cover

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Try forcing the foam through a small strainer with a teaspoon or your fingers.
I assume you're using acrylic paint. It dries exceptioanally fast so the foam just won't adhere. If you're using latex paint only the bottom layer of foam might adhere. Paint won't capillary, it stays where it is put. You need to use a gluing agent like a 50/50 mix of white glue/matte medium and water with a drop of soap in the mix as well. For larger chunks I just put a dab of white glue on the underside and place the foam in its new home.

Hope this helps.

Roy
When you say "a 50/50 mix of white glue/matte medium and water with a drop of soap" you mean white glue OR matte medium, right? Not both? One more question. What's the soap for?
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Old 14th July 2010, 00:02   #25
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Default Re: A Problem With Cheap Ground Cover

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What's the soap for?
It aids with the capilliary attraction, breaking the surface tension of the 50/50 water/glue mix helping the glue to soak into the medium that is being glued down. A time honoured tradition with us layout builders. This mix is used to glue down almost everything from flock groundcover to rail ballast.

Doug.
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Old 14th July 2010, 00:04   #26
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Default Re: Cheap ground cover

When we say "soap" that means washing up liquid. The kind that comes in a squeezy bottle.

Doug.
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Old 14th July 2010, 05:37   #27
Roy Buchanan
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Default Re: Cheap ground cover

Yup, glue or matte medium. Sorry, should have been clearer.

Roy
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Old 16th July 2010, 02:52   #28
mysterd429
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Default Re: Cheap ground cover

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When we say "soap" that means washing up liquid. The kind that comes in a squeezy bottle.

Doug.
The club I was in when we were living in Allentown uses dish soap. The sort for use with sponges, not the sort for use with dish washing machines.
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Old 22nd July 2010, 18:57   #29
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Default Re: A Problem With Cheap Ground Cover

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It aids with the capilliary attraction, breaking the surface tension of the 50/50 water/glue mix helping the glue to soak into the medium that is being glued down. A time honoured tradition with us layout builders. This mix is used to glue down almost everything from flock groundcover to rail ballast.

Doug.
Okay, that sounds great.
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Old 20th August 2010, 05:33   #30
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Default Re: Cheap ground cover

Update:

After sprinkling the crushed foam over the paint, I used the paint brush to gently push the foam particles into the paint, and then I'd spray hair spray on the top. That glues the foam into place pretty well. I didn't use a big spray can because that would have been too powerful. Instead I got a trial size bottle with a pump action rather than a spray, and is seems to work well. Once the hairspray had dried, I used a clean, dry paint brush to gently sweep away the loose particles and re-used them.
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