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Reader Tip: An easy way to paint a gravel-textured roof

By Steven Otte associate editor | August 12, 2021

Stone-textured spray paint gives a bumpy, speckled finish that looks great

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A model of a concrete building features a flat roof with a painted gravel texture.
 A model of a concrete building features a flat roof with a painted gravel texture.
Richard Nelson attained the gravel-roof appearance on this HO scale building by spraying it with a gray stone-textured spray paint. Model Railroader staff photo

I have a tip that I think other modelers might like: a fast and easy way to make a terrific roof covering. The gravel roof in the accompanying photo was painted with Rustoleum American Accents Stone textured finish. It went on in one coat and looks even better in person than in the photo. This paint should be available just about anywhere spray paints are sold (I got mine at Ace Hardware). It even has the nubbly texture feel you’d expect from the real roof. It comes in a wide variety of colors, too.

I sprayed it directly on the styrene roof of this Walthers kit. It should be noted that this paint will not go on this smoothly on all plastics. For example, it will bead up and look awful if applied directly on ABS, used in some Plastruct products. However, a coat of plastic-compatible primer fixes the problem. Since Rustoleum isn’t designed for plastic, a coat of primer is probably a good idea no matter what. – Richard Nelson

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Do you have a question about model railroading you’d like to see answered in Ask MR? Send it to associate editor Steven Otte at AskMR@MRmag.com

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