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Note: This is a repost of an old tutorial whose links to pictures were broken with the software update at HF.

This technique shows how to use latex paint put on by a stencil to block the eating away effects of spray paint. This is good for Celtic designs or other large designs.

Herman Secret has a great tutorial showing how to use stickers to block out part of a stone when you are spray painting it for aging: https://www.halloweenforum.com/threads/easy-tombstones.68179/#post-455023 I had to do a few different things because I had a large area to do.

Close-up of what to expect.

There are many ways to make a stencil. I like the fabric method but I'm sure there are better ways out there.

Prepare the backing: Layout interfacing material onto an ironing board. Then following directions on Heat N' Bond, iron-on the 'glue'. In the second picture you can see the 'glue' now on the interfacing (shiny part). The third picture shows you what to look for at the fabric store.

Pattern: Look for a pattern you like on the web or draw your own. Print it as large as you can using the 'poster' option for printing. Tape the printed pages together and then make the pattern darker with a black Sharpie. The first picture shows the backside of the pattern darkened. Place the inked side onto the glued interfacing. Following directions on the Heat N' Bond, iron it to the interfacing. You've now made your paper much stiffer and resilient to the painting process. In the second picture you see the pattern showing through the interfacing.

Cut out the pattern.

Paint with Latex: Use pins to hold the stencil onto the tombstone. Then dip a rag into the latex paint (any color) and rag on the paint. You don't have to be perfect here. Do two coats of paint and remove the stencil.

Spray Paint: Take your tombstone outside and hit the pattern hard with spray paint. It will start to eat away at the foam and leave the latex painted foam generally alone. It does get in there a bit but that's important to make it look realistic.

Drylok: Paint the whole tombstone with two coats of gray Drylok. Let dry between coats.

After following painting techniques for making tombstones look ancient (tea-staining, drybrushing) you will see it really makes the effect pop.

Obelisk stones are great for being an anchor to the graveyard.


135 Posts
Terra, I'm about to start on my first tombstone ever (your Youtube videos are a big help btw). I bought original Drylok (white). Didn't see a gray variety. Does that matter? Would you suggest I do 50/50 mix with black latex paint to get a neutral gray? Also when do you opt for brushing on acetone vs spray paint to eat away at the foam?
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