As Fall settles over Northern Illinois, it’s time for me to button up layout work that needs to happen in the garage and move the layout section inside for the winter and for work that I want to do “at the bench” so to speak.
A couple of weeks ago I started test-painting some ties, but decided that it would be easier to paint the ties if I had the track lower and in better light than I typically get in the garage. That left one task and that was painting the fascia.
When I applied the mud to the layout, I slopped some over the edge and down the fascia. I wasn’t thinking at the time about protecting that area, and I should have. Going forward when I am adding mud, I’ll tape off and cover any fascia materials. This time around, though, I broke out the orbital sander and a couple of minutes later had smoother sides to work with. The mud wasn’t really an issue, I knew I could and it down. The biggest problem there was covering the now sanded area with paint as all the materials there are ‘thirsty’ and as it turned out required several applications of the final paint color to cover.
It doesn’t take long to paint the fascia on this layout section. It’s only 6’ long and 4” tall. That said, I took my time applying the “forrest black” paint. I picked this color with my wife’s assistance. It’s intended to not be completely black (like the layout legs) but also not to draw the eye. I used a standard soft bristled paint brush and listened to some music while painting.
It took about 4 coats to absorb and cover everything. I kept finding spots especially around the screws and washers that were getting missed, and finally resorted to closing the garage door to darken the room, getting a powerful flashlight and a small brush, and lighting just the area I wanted to check for missed spots. That worked really well and finally the paint was on.
I like the overall effect. Standing right next to the layout, your eye is drawn to the lighter browns on top and not to the darker fascia or below. I don’t intend to add skirting of any kind to the layout, so this is closing in on the final look.
I’m going to let the paint cure completely. It’s been very rainy here so a couple of days at least to make sure the surface is hard and set. Then I’ll remove the legs and bring the section inside where I’ll be able to paint the ties and get the ground cover on.
It’s amazing how “complete” things look when the fascia is painted.
Stay tuned, tie painting and weathering is coming along.