I'd already painted the house and covered it in the brick compound from Bromley Craft Products. (Blog post Here.)
But the compound had dried with seams and varying gaps between the bricks! (This was due to the stencil getting clogged up with the re-positionable spray mount… annoying.)
So today I went over a few bits with the left over brick compound to fill in some of the gaps and also finished off some of the trickier bits without the stencil - using a trusty cocktail stick instead to create the outlines of the bricks to show the mortar beneath.
Next job was painting! I think I'd been putting this off as I was a bit apprehensive to start and get it wrong - then the paint's stuck there forever! So, I started on a fairly inconspicuous bit: the corner of the back of the house. It was a bit dodgy, but I then did the chimneys which I was pleased with; making the bricks look sooty and old.
I used acrylic paints in green, brown, black, white and a bit of red and yellow to create effects such as soot, moss, dirt, paint and general wear and tear.
Then the boyfriend came home and took over! Being an artist, he couldn't help himself and he actually made it look a lot more realistic. So together, we brushed on some more 'moss' and made the bricks dirty using an almost dry brush and dry-ish paint so as not to spread it on too thickly. By almost stippling the paint, we created what looks like moss and by brushing over a colour the same as the brick compound (apparently, one of the boy's strengths is mixing paint to match a colour!), the bricks look more realistically dirty instead of just splodged with black paint.
We then sanded down some of the paint work to make it look more distressed and weather-worn - another of the boy's ideas which, again, worked really well!
Here's what the house looked like after the painting and sanding.
I love these bricks, here! They really look like moss and lichen!
To varnish, I used Windsor and Newton's All Purpose Matt Varnish bought from Bromley Craft Products. It HAS to be Matt… houses aren't shiny! This was just a little can and I pretty much used up the whole thing with a good first coat and a thinner second coat of the whole house.
I'm really pleased with how the house looks now! As you can see, I've painted the sides of the roof black which I think looks more realistic and much more dramatic. You can see the moss stippling here and the sooty, dirty look of the bricks.
It is recommended that you use acrylic paint as its thick and goes on well, its blendable and works with the brick compound too. However, I found that the paint does have to be thick to dry: not watered down much at all as the compound is very absorbent and if too thin, the paint will find its way across bricks and seep into all the little gaps!
I'm so pleased I've finally finished the exterior of my house! I can now get going on the inside which is the fun(ner) bit! I shall be going upstairs just to admire my house periodically from now on :)