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I’m thinking about getting a airbrush unit for doing tombstones and a few other items. Up to this point I have been using tinted Drilock and washing a paint over that. The problem is all the stones basically look the same. Any good techniques or tips of using a airbrush to add some character to tombstones ?
 

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I don't have any airbrush tips but what I do is use the hose and different colored spray paints. After you put the Drylock on, run the hose on it with a sprinkler type setting and then spray paint the tombstone as the hose is running. The paint will only stick to the areas that are dry giving you a nice random weathered look. Here are a couple of examples but it's hard to see and they certainly look better in person. I usually use several colors on each stone and the weathering is quick and cheap. DSC01509.jpg
 

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I don't recommend using an air brush for painting tombstones as its too precise; use watered-down acrylic paints and a brush / sponge brush. This will give you a more random and natural appearance. If you want variation in tombstone color then ditch the Drylok and switch to exterior latex paint for the base coat. Both will provide a water resistance coating but the latex paint will give you the variation that you’re looking for. Attached are some tombstones that I made using this technique.
 

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I don't recommend using an air brush for painting tombstones as its too precise; use watered-down acrylic paints and a brush / sponge brush. This will give you a more random and natural appearance. If you want variation in tombstone color then ditch the Drylok and switch to exterior latex paint for the base coat. Both will provide a water resistance coating but the latex paint will give you the variation that you’re looking for. Attached are some tombstones that I made using this technique.
Your tombstones look great, The Skeleton Crew. It looks as if your they start off with a great deal more texturing than simple latex paint would give you if you were painting on foam panels. Are you using a paper mache or cement type mix to get your initial texture before you start your painting? It is quite the remarkable look for creating authentic looking stones.
 

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I’m thinking about getting a airbrush unit for doing tombstones and a few other items. Up to this point I have been using tinted Drilock and washing a paint over that. The problem is all the stones basically look the same. Any good techniques or tips of using a airbrush to add some character to tombstones ?
Airbrushes are great for certain techniques, but The Skeleton Crew is right, for the most part they're not very effective when it comes to traditional tombstones. Look at a picture of the Granary Burying Grounds, and you'll notice that that problem you seem to think you have of all your tombstones looking alike is pretty much what you get if you're going for ancient graveyard chic.

Granary Burying Grounds.jpg

Older graves tend to look the same. But if you want to shake it up, you might find uses for your brush that step outside the normal gravestone boundries. I've used them in the past to attempt the look of sandstone. This year, that tombstone is getting a makeover because while it's common to see sandstone markers in the Southwest, few up here in Oregon have any clue why the tombstone looks the way it does.

OMG.jpg

Another chore where it comes in very handy is darkening the lettering on a tombstone. You can find a YouTube video that shows how an airbrush can be used instead of a paint brush at https://youtu.be/y6FzoJ8HsEE?t=552 The airbrushing begins at roughly minute nine.

It can be used to shade in complex detail work and save hours of painting time. Still, you'll notice that just about everyone out there making tombstones uses techniques that don't involve airbrushes to create their tombstones' overall look.

Emily.jpg skullystone.jpg

That said, Just because it isn't being used to create a unique look, doesn't mean it can't be. You may be the one to show off your technique here on the forum in the years to come. I've begun experimenting with my airbrush to create shadows that I want to appear regardless of actual lighting. You may find a new approach that others will be using in the future.

That's the way the forum works. Folks show us what they do, we try to repeat it while adding our own spin to it. Then we share what we did with others. Don't be afraid to try anything you think might make your tombstone look better. I think any of us who make them will be happy to tell you that it's pretty easy to paint over any mistake you might make, and brag about the happy accidents we find along the way.
 

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I would say, go for it. The only wrong way to do crafty projects is, to not to. The great people on this forum inspired me to make tombstones in the first place. I have used their techniques and added my own twist to some to create some pretty cool stones. I remember following this forum to find a good weathering technique and most of them suggested using acetone for cracks and fishers however, I didn't have any at the time so I tried drizzling some purple CPVC primer in spots and the results were amazing. Don't be afraid to try something new
 
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