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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys-
I was playing around with this tonight- I need some grout lines, as well as a couple plaques w/ carved lettering. I tried a number of different methods, but not completely convinced I like ANY of them.

The spray paint method, I just don't get. I taped off grout lines, then tested the spray paint at different distances from the foam. The further away, the more shallow the grout line is. HOWEVER- no matter how close/far, it didn't leave CLEAN lines at all. The paint eats away at the edges, leaving a very rough line.

I took an exacto and cut the lines into the foam, then tried the spray paint- same results, essentially. It did help pull the cut edges away from the non-painted edges, but it still wasn't clean.

I tried using a wood burner- and unless you have PERFECT hand writing, it won't look like a professional carving job on any lettering/plaques/signs/tombstones.

I also tried using the Dremel for grout lines. That leaves very clean edges, as you would expect from a router. Almost TOO clean. It looked too perfect.

I then tried spray paint into the bottom of the dremel grout lines- this actually looked half decent to me. It gave a realistic grout texture, but with a cleaner line.

How do you guys letter your tombstones/plaques and get them to look soo dang good? How close are you spraying the spray paint to the foam?

Thoughts??? Ideas???
 

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Use less spray paint. I've only used this method on one "practice" stone, just to experiment, and I found that the lighter the coat of spray paint, the crisper the lines.

Go look at old tombstones in a real cemetery. The lines aren't as surgically straight as you're imagining they are.

In my practice experiment, where I put paint too heavy, it really distorted the edges. But where I sprayed very, very, VERY lightly, the lines were very crisp.

You can always apply more paint later, but you can't replace melted foam. Go as light as you can bear, then add more and more and more as needed.
 

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I print out my lettering, cover the are on my tmbstone where the lettering is going with blues painter's tape, glue lettering down with spray adhesive, trace the lettering with an exacto knife or an exacto knife wood burning tip, i then dremel out the design. To give it a rough look i then use my wood burner again and very slowly and carefully deatial each letter. Its a lot of work and takes a long to do so i usually don't do this for my lettering.

In all honesty, nothing about halloween decorations is suppose to look perfect. Its suppose to look rundown and old and aged. Just my opinion. If it looks perfect it looks to fake.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Ahhh- ok, I"ll give that a shot and see how it turns out. I also think that maybe just going with a more shallow engraving is the way to go- especially when you're going to paint the lettering black anyways... maybe it doesn't have to be carved as deep?

Tried it- it takes longer, but you're right- definitely a much better effect. Do you do the same thing with your grout lines, too?
 
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