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styrofoam vs. paper egg carton - brick preferences?


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Hi friends! Question for y'all. . .when it comes to doing faux brick work (grouted, etc.) do you prefer paper egg carton material, or styrofoam cup material? I've seen really impressive results with both, and have found great tutorials online and on youTube. . . one big question I have is how acrylic paint can be used on the styrofoam. I was under the impression that paint just dissolved it. . . but I watched a lady on youTube make the most incredible mini bricks out of a fast food cup. Is the styrofoam used in fast food cups different than other styrofoam I'm thinking of that can't handle paint? Please share your wisdom on this topic and weigh the pros and cons in your experience. Many thanks! 

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Wow, send us a link for the Styrofoam bricks. I always thought it was paper only. The paper egg carton can be made from other similar material like fast food cup holders, packing material etc...

Also, cork makes some lovely bricks as well.

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Water based paints can be used on foam plastics. A primer coat of gesso would make the perfect surface for painting.

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3 hours ago, Mid-life madness said:

Wow, send us a link for the Styrofoam bricks. I always thought it was paper only. The paper egg carton can be made from other similar material like fast food cup holders, packing material etc...

Also, cork makes some lovely bricks as well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YMU9Y4Nqyo

All of this woman's videos are WONDERFUL! Love her tutorials! 

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I could see styrofoam working for brick, although I've never tried it. I definitely prefer egg cartons for stone, however. It's already perfectly textured, IMO, so that saves a lot of work. I wanted a cut-stone-block of mixed colored stones for a foundation on one of my houses. I'm happy with how it turned out. Here's a close-up picture that shows the texture of egg cartons. I painted, obviously, but did not do any extra texturing.

Egg Carton Foundation.jpg

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I use egg carton packaging material. It’s thicker than a regular egg carton, and heavily textured. You can see it on my Chanticleer build where I used it as stone. I like how light it is, and once it’s grouted (I used a tinted gel medium worked into the gaps and wiped off), and then painted, etc the finish is tough but lightweight. Styrofoam would also be extremely lightweight, but I’ve been concerned it would also damage easily.

 

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2 hours ago, Medieval said:

Do you think it would still be damaged after sealing with acrylic spray?

I don’t know. But a lot of artists use it. I’ve thought it might damage easily exactly because of the ease of carving or crushing it. But those are just my thoughts. I would try a test run on some scrap wood. Glue it, paint it, see how it holds up. :) 
you might want to check out this artist’s blog. https://davidneat.wordpress.com/styrofoam/

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59 minutes ago, LPCullen said:

Spray paint melts Styrofoam. Wanna know how I know? Yup. I did it, so don't use spray paint on Styrofoam...

This happened to me, too. I used contractor's foam board as a backing when I sprayed a piece. The over spray around the piece melted the foam board. :(  Water based paints, like the acrylic that Holly used, should be okay.

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  • 2 months later...

I ended up going with paper egg cartons for the bricks, wall joint compound for the mortar, a wash of stain (wood stain) to add some age and take the edge off of the bright white mortar, and acrylic craft paint to shade things. I sealed it all with matte Modge Podge. This is my final result - the fireplace for the Aster cottage I’m building. 
   

689700D9-2B3B-453D-9B10-CA5D0D74F168.jpeg

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Just now, havanaholly said:

Earth and Tree is where I found my Staffordshire dogs in the pub!

I discovered Earth and Tree through this forum! They have been a dream to work with - great customer service and very helpful when I’ve had questions or needed guidance on a project. 

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I'm trying something different this time. The Brik Magic set that comes with the brick stencil and brick making material. I have SO many bricks to put on this Creatin' piece I couldn't imagine doing it any other way without it taking forever...  I've never tried it before and I couldn't find any youtube videos on it. Just one reference here:

A blog I found (scroll down a ways)

I'll post some pictures if it turns out - I have to do red and white brick work

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That's a gorgeous fireplace! Great work!

I finished my Victorianna's brick chimney foundation while the forum was down. I'm happy with the result but I don't know if I'd do it again -- so many teeny tiny bricks! This is half scale so they're even smaller.

victorianna1720.jpg

victorianna1745.jpg

I painted, applied brown and gray washes, sealed with matte varnish, applied Andi's Mortar Mix, and then sealed again. I posted about the process on my blog here and here.

21 hours ago, Intrinsicat said:

I'm trying something different this time. The Brik Magic set that comes with the brick stencil and brick making material. I have SO many bricks to put on this Creatin' piece I couldn't imagine doing it any other way without it taking forever...  I've never tried it before and I couldn't find any youtube videos on it. Just one reference here:

I used Magic Brick on a roombox last year and had mixed feelings about it. I think it's great for doing a big area quickly, especially compared to egg carton bricks, but it's very uniform and doesn't have the character of bricks that are laid individually.

Make sure you seal them afterward with something like matte varnish or Mod Podge, or the brick material will flake off when you touch it.

I have two posts about Magic Brick (and Stone) with pictures on my blog here and here.

 

 

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I followed the instruction that came with my Majik Brik in my SF555 kit (also Tom Berkner's advice) and mixed an equal amount of Elmer's all-purpose white glue and water to the brick powder and it doesn't flake off.

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9 hours ago, fov said:

That's a gorgeous fireplace! Great work!

I finished my Victorianna's brick chimney foundation while the forum was down. I'm happy with the result but I don't know if I'd do it again -- so many teeny tiny bricks! This is half scale so they're even smaller.

victorianna1720.jpg

victorianna1745.jpg

Gorgeous results! The realism is awesome on this one!!!

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