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Discussion Starter #1
I have been watching tons of different tutorial videos on tombstones, most all of them mention using 2 inch thick foam insulation board....


For the following questions it might be helpful to know I am Texas in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex

My question is where do I get it? I have gone to Home Depot and Lowes... the thickest they have in store is 1 inch thick and those run about $15 for a 4x8 sheet




Concerning paint... most say it doesn't matter (exterior vs interior).. (flat vs semi-gloss vs eggshell) ... Just wanted additional opinion.
 

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Yeah, different locations carry different thicknesses.
You could try this link:

http://insulation.owenscorning.com/professionals/distributor-locator/

To find other distributors of the pink foam in your area, besides Lowe's and Home Depot.
Do you have a Menard's in your area? I drive up from Colorado Springs to Cheyenne Wyoming to the Menard's there because they have a much bigger selection than Lowe's or Home Depot.

Anywhere you go, though, the price is a bit daunting for the pink or blue foam.
 

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I found a shipping company on craigslist that sells off styro that fills extra space in shipping containers.
$5 per piece it's low density about 5 feet tall, 16inches wide and about 6 inches thick.

IMG_4875.jpg
 

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For paint, I like to go with gray Drylok. It gives you paint and texture all in one. When you dry brush, I feel like it really enhances the look of the tombstone because of the texture.
 

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The color is sort of a personal preference but I feel like if you look around at what color most stone is in your area it will give you a good place to start. Most building material (particularly from old graveyards) uses the local stone. We have quite a bit of white stone in the area so I went with strictly white drylock. I love the texture and it is easy to age the white background.
Tombstone Milton-1.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Appreciate the feedback everyone... I will have to look into the drylock. I knew some videos made mention of it yet others said pick up mis-mixed paint for cheap and use it.

Abunai ... appreciate the link, sadly I put in my zip code and it lists... home depot, home depot, home depot.... etc :p
 

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Discussion Starter #8
What about if I just glued 2 1 inch boards together, that would make the 2 inch thick.... would have to putty all along the edges so that crease wouldn't show?

thoughts?
 

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What a lot of folks do, and it will work with 1" thick foam, is:
Take two pieces of foam, both cut to the shape of the tombstone.

Cut a couple of grooves in one side of each piece of foam.

These grooves are so that you can embed two pieces of 1/2 inch PVC between the two pieces.

You glue the two pieces together, try using Glidden's Gripper (primer/sealer) as the adhesive, with the PVC pipe in between.

You can clean up the outside edge of both pieces of foam that make up the tombstone to make sure both sides match up.

The seam is not very noticeable, especially if you use UGL Drylok (masonry waterproofer) to paint it with. (Drylok gives it a stone texture, and comes in either white or gray.)

The PVC in-between the two halves is for sliding over a couple of pieces of rebar. The rebar can be driven into the ground, and will hold the tombstone in place during wind and other inclement weather.

Here's one of Terra's pictures that I found on another thread on this forum. (Terra is the queen of foam tombstones BTW).

terra-albums-miscellaneous-pictures-iv-picture47054-how-i-mark-holes-rebar-plywood.jpg
 

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We use the 2" foam for all of our tombstones. If you ask Home Depot or Lowes, they should be able to order it in for you in Texas. It is stronger than the other foam and is easier to carve into either by hand or tool. For paint, we are in Iowa, and in October it can either be sunny, raining, sleeting, or snowing, so we use usually a sating paint sheen and a drylock or for sure a polyurethane spray coating after the painting and detail is done. We also use the rebar to hold up the stones, cemetery fence, and columns. Happy Haunting!
 

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I would say it's up to you and what style you like in tombstones. I had fallen in love with a particular style of stone found in Scotland. They were utterly old, moss covered and had a flat gray sheen to them. From there did the research to get that same effect. Flat gray Drylok worked great for that as a base. Then used other paints and techniques to age the heck out of it. The final bit was to hot glue moss on them.

As for thickness: Those stones in Scotland were far thicker than the ones you see in New England. The New England stones are usually made of thin slate which are very creepy and great for 1" thick foamboard. For those Scottish styles it had to be much thicker plus wanted to try to sandwich the PVC pipes into the center. At Home Depot in Kansas I was looking at the vast selections of foam sizes they carry (yeah, it was awesome) and settled on two pieces of 1 1/2" foamboard which would create a 3" stone.

To underscore what I'm trying to say: find a style of stone YOU like and model after that. It could be a Scottish, New England or even New Orleans. Whatever will work for you and the supplies you can get.

By the way, here's a picture of those Scottish stones that inspired me:

 

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In 2006 I got a couple sheets from either Home Depot or Lowes. You could ask customer service they might be able to transfer from another store. Later that month my tombstones were up the street, on other people's lawns etc. Then I found some old nails, old scrap lumber and made a basic frame for crosses and slab tombstones. Next I picked up some 1/2 inch rebar and quikrete and made a bunch for $25-$30 or so. In the winter i stick em out in the garden and keep them out there during the summer for my graveyard garden. Some of them are not 7 years plus old and are still going strong. They don't blow away. Mine were plain but you can get elaborate by carving into them when the cement is wet or stucco'ing them, special ordering white cement(used for counter tops and decorative sculptures), tinting them with available tints(use old clothes it's permanent). I just wanted the shape so i could cast lighting on them. To me that's good enough.
 

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:) I had the same problem....we don't have a Home Depot, just a Lowes, and the employees there are not very helpful. The Lowes only had the regular one inch foam, so I spent years gluing it together with Liquid Nails or Gorilla Glue. I went on a quest for the 2 inch foam though, and found that if I drove an hour to the North, the Home Depot there carried the two inch foam. I think it has to do with your area, and if it gets really cold there. I guess contractors use whatever the area calls for as far as building insulation. Don't give up, check the Home Depot in neighboring towns, and good luck.
Here is the cut, two inch pink foam.

And here they are after being "aged" with lacquer thinner sprayed on. (If you do this, make sure you wear a respirator)
The lacquer eats away at foam and really is a quick way to add age and wear in about 10 minutes. Use your paint of choice and viola, you have great background stones.

Some I carve and then glue on other items, to give it a one of a kind look. This was a small pumpkin that I split at the seam.


 

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Discussion Starter #16
I appreciate all the feedback and I mean that!!!!! It is great to get thoughts from others that have already done it!

I have been googling images of different tombstones and going to local cemeteries checking out the ones around here.

Originally I was going try and see about getting 2" ordered in because being in TX there is nothing near (even had a friend check a few store in OK). However the more I think about it and look at cost... I can get 1 sheet of 1" for $11-$15 where as the 2" for around $35 (assuming no extra for shipping)... I can get 2 1" for that price so might as well just do that!!

In the meantime I will have to look into this paint business.... when I made my first post it was in my head that it didn't really matter what I used but based off of a lot of your feedback it seems I need to be looking into the Dry-Lock

Thanks again.
 

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Perhaps some one else can chime in but I seem to recall working in a factory and they used to make up styrofoam on the spot. It's a chemical process if I remember right. I'm wondering if the process can be reversed? Can it be melted back down if you will and set into a form? You know like you take some 2x4's or whatever and make a frame? Don't know if it's possible or how toxic it is but I was thinking of a place that has styrofoam for free more than likely and that is a furniture store.
 
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