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Discussion Starter #1
This year I have decided to hard coat all my tombstones and repaint them. I am trying to decide if I should go lighter off white/ grayish or medium greyish for my base color. They are currently a darker grey with the typical aged look. I don't want to deviate too much from what I have. I was just wondering what color everyone uses for their base color. I'm looking for specific paint colors which are shown on the swatches at paint and home improvement stores. So... What colors have you used????
 

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I haven't painted tombstones, but from an Artist's point of view, base should be the darkest color(s). You can apply top coatings so
that the dark colors show through as much or as little as you like.
 

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I buy mistints of paint from hardware and big box stores in tones of gray, charcoal, green, red, orange.....at more than 50% off then I mix my own!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm not really looking for "technical" definition of base coat. I am looking for the main color of the tombstone. I am well versed in how to apply darker colors first and many other painting techniques. I'm just looking fior specific colors that everyone uses as the "main" color of a tombstone. Sorry if I used an incorrect term.
 

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It's pronounced "Fronkensteen."
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I used to do a base of dark gray to black and then did the letters/designs in white, gray and fluorescent. This really made the the design standout, but in the dark the shape of the tombstone was lost. This year I switched to a light gray, more along the lines of the actual color of the marble and granite you usually see on tombstones. I've even redone the base on some older tombstones and I much prefer the lighter base. I feel it gives a more realistic look to them.
Here you can see them side by side. It's really a matter of personal taste.
IMG_20151011_183604.jpg
 

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I like to start with Bullseye primer which is white and mix a little black till I get a light grey. Like ThereWolf, I agree that by going light it helps the black lettering and ageing process stand out.
 

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check out google images for "graveyard" or "cemetery" and you will tend to see a mix of shades in grays and browns. I'm guessing that lighter shades with darker lettering will be easier to read than the reverse.
 

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I have been using a light gray then of course going over it with washes of black, green, tan, etc.......but my base coats have been light gray
 

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Here's what I've been doing. Foam board based tombstones. Get the shape right, and carve out the epitaph/ patterns/ designs/ what have you. Use a non acetone based spray paint, and paint them flat black.
20150924_000410.jpg
Then use grey primer and use a dry brush technique.
barry d alive.jpg
 

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I was very happy with the gray Drylock. I mixed in some flat black latex for some of my stones so they weren't all the exact same base color.
 

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The Big Kahuna of Fright
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I go for realism when it comes to tombstones. I've always used a cement wash. Basically, cement powder mixed to a watery paste. You can blend in various types of sand to vary the colours. We've even sprinkled some glitter onto the surface to give it a creepy shine. Even construction guys, who should know better, have mistaken these styrofoam graves for the real thing. And I've found that storing them outside in the elements gets moss and mildew growing on them, an even better touch.
 

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I've never thought of adding cement to the paint, that's a really cool idea!

As far as painting the tombstones IMO you start light and then get darker as you add 'aging'. Start with a nice light gray base, paint your engraved details with a very dark color, tea stain the crap out of it using many different colors, then a nice bright drybrush.
 
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