The stone has been used in construction since time immemorial. The material is durable and durable, thanks to which the buildings were erected for centuries. A couple of hundred years ago, only rich people could afford a house of stone, while the rest were content with wood or clay-based compounds. Although there are now new technologies for processing the material, the prices for it have not significantly decreased. For this reason, granite, marble and sandstone in the interior are considered to be a sign of elite design, which only secured home owners can afford. For those who appreciate the excellent aesthetic properties of the material, but can not afford it for one reason or another, the construction industry offers a number of imitations that by their appearance are indistinguishable from the original. On strength, they certainly are much inferior to this stone, but their main function is decorative, and not protective, as in the old days. Therefore, such a minus can be considered a relative list. Those who do not trust imitation manufacturers and have free time for manual labor, we propose to make a decorative stone with our own hands. The process is conventionally divided into three stages:
- For exterior decoration. He must endure all the vagaries of nature and be strong, as the climate on the street is more aggressive: rain, frost, heat, snow, hail.
- For interior decoration. "Stone" decor in recent years has become in demand in connection with the popularization of styles that are actively used (loft, chalet, fusion, art deco).
Another classification is based on the type of material from which the decorative stone is made:
- Concrete. The basis of the mixture is cement, pigments, sand, various fillers and reinforcing compounds. The material is strong and is used to decorate walls inside the house, exterior decoration of facades and even as a paving slab on garden paths.
- Conglomerate. This type of imitation is stronger than concrete, because of what it costs more than other analogues. At the heart of the material is a crumb of real granite and marble with the addition of sand, limestone and coloring pigments. The conglomerate takes precedence over the natural stone: it is much easier. Externally, the material does not differ from the original, does not burn out in the sun, is not afraid of moisture, therefore in the rating of imitations takes first place. Used to decorate the walls of the house outside and inside. From it, the table tops and decorative tiles are made - the lining material for finishing the kitchen aprons, fireplaces, and the floor.
- Porcelain tiles. In its manufacture, several types of clay, coloring agents, feldspar and minerals are used. The material is durable, not exposed to sun and moisture, but sensitive to household chemicals (abrasive compounds), so it is not recommended to use it when decorating the lower part of the wall (the brand itself), aprons in the kitchen and other places that require regular cleaning. Visually porcelain is more like a tiled tile with a "stone" pattern.
- Stone from acrylic. Practical and inexpensive material, which is used only for interior decoration. Manufacturers offer a wide range of shades. Acrylic stone does not accumulate dirt and is easily cleaned with a damp cloth.
- Quartz. Finishing materials are made from natural mineral, therefore it would be wrong to attribute it to artificial imitations. However, it is used in decoration, so quartz stone - an interior element that performs the role of decoration.
- Gypsum. This stone is used only for interior decoration. Fragments of gypsum can be made by hand. The material is cheap, but with a strong impact it cracks and crumbles. To moisture, gypsum is not sensitive only in cases when it is reliably protected by a special coating, otherwise it will begin to soften.
In a separate category, you can include the cheapest options. They are sold in the form of solid panels, which if necessary cut when fitting to pieces of the right size. Manufacture of such decorative panels of plasterboard, foam and plastics. Polyurethane and plastic plates reliably imitate the outlines of each wild stone, but can easily be damaged by mechanical impact (impact), so they can not be called durable.
One of the most original options is an artificial stone, imitating the texture of the tree. Surprisingly, two so different in the characteristics of the material can create an organic duo, which is not ashamed to decorate even the luxurious interior.
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Necessary materials and tools
Doing an artificial stone at home is not so difficult as it might seem at first glance. The scale of the work depends on the amount of material that is needed to decorate the house. For some interiors it is enough to make a couple of samples that will cover the wall defects, while in other rooms the stone dominates the accent walls, almost completely replacing the usual plaster. For work you will need:
- Molds (molds). They can be bought already ready or made independently.
- The main material (gypsum, acrylic, cement).
- Screwdriver with a nozzle "mixer" for mixing the composition.
- Bucket and measuring cup, scales.
- Sanitary silicone for sealing gaps, plywood and wafers for making molds.
- Pallets with sand for protection of molds using gypsum and cement composition.
- A wide spatula.
- Drying cabinet.
- Paints, brushes, trowels, airbrush.
- Separation formulations.
- Special glue or cement to fix the stone on the wall.
The list of tools can be supplemented depending on the complexity of the work: additional painting, giving a special relief to the surface of the stone (porosity).
When working with brittle foam, you will need a respirator, a stationery knife and a soldering iron. However, we will consider the procedures for manufacturing more complex and durable products that will last for more than one year.
From the form for the decorative stone depends on its appearance. To obtain a variety, you can prepare several different templates at once, the samples of which will alternate when stacked. Usually, tray models are used, consisting of at least ten cells. Large shapes will accelerate the process of making a stone, if it needs a lot. With regard to materials, it is usually used silicone or plastic. Unfortunately, the lifetime of such molds is limited to a certain number of fillings. As a more expensive option is suitable polyurethane. These molds can be used repeatedly as many as desired, while the form will retain its original appearance. As a sample for the matrix, any stone you like is suitable.
Some use molds, made of boards. Moreover, the more roughness and roughness on their surfaces, the better. The composition after pouring will repeat these defects, which will give it a resemblance to a wild stone. A sample with this technique is not needed.
Form of silicone
The simplest and cheapest option is a silicone sealant. Its significant disadvantage is that it dries for a long time. Such a material requires careful handling, as it quickly stretches and the mold loses its original shape. In general, silicone is distinguished by the degree of viscosity. Of the liquid formulations, forms are produced with a high level of detail, which is not required when creating a stone. A thick silicone is ideal for repeating a coarse, rough surface of a natural sample. Stones are laid in orderly rows on plywood or chipboard sheet. It is desirable to pre-glue them. Then each stone is smeared with a release agent, which will prevent it from sticking to the mold. After that, MDF or plywood is built formwork, which is attached to a flat base. All joints are carefully sealed. Then the form is filled with silicone. Now you need to leave the mold to dry out (about a day). After this, the formwork is disassembled, and the mold is carefully separated from the samples. If Moldov does not give up somewhere, then he can be cautiously helped with a clerical knife.
To avoid the formation of voids, the silicone is carefully leveled and slightly tampered with a spatula. To prevent the tool from being tied up in a solidifying liquid, it is lubricated with a solidol or any dishwashing detergent.
Compound - polymer mixture in the composition of which there are two main components:
- Viscous substance.
- A catalyst that, under certain conditions, starts the hardening process.
Forms from the compound are made in the same way as silicone. By the way, in most of the formulations, he too is present. In the kit of the main substance is attached a bottle with a catalyst. In a separate container, the two components are gently mixed. Strongly beat the compound is not recommended, since in this case bubbles form, due to which, then, ugly cavities in artificial pebbles may turn out. Then the mixture is filled with samples, fixed on a piece of plywood and surrounded by a formwork. If the matrix is small, then it can be made in a large bucket or bowl. After solidification, the forms are washed with running water, as the smell of the compound is not pleasant.
Compound is often used in creating molds for soap, wax candles and even repeating elements of bas-reliefs, sculptures.
Stone Making and Filling Technology
After the molds are ready, you can start casting a decorative stone. The principle of work with any of the materials is the same:
- First mix the composition.
- Then the molds are lubricated with a separator to prevent the stones from adhering to the matrix.
- Then the composition is poured into the molds.
- Periodically, the surface is compacted with a spatula to eliminate voids.
- Then the pebbles are given a time to "rest", that is, to freeze.
After partial hardening, the stones are removed from the molds and subjected to final drying.
By the way, there are also more simple, budgetary options. For example, on a cardboard basis, paste pieces of egg trays are pasted. Then they are covered with a thin layer of papier-mache (soaked paper) and clerical glue. Finishes the final painting. Such decorative pebbles are ideal if you need a "quick decor". For example, it took a New Year's decoration of the fireplace on the eve of the holiday or urgently needed to close an ugly corner in the room.
Based on gypsum solution
Gypsum solution has a big disadvantage - it quickly sets. For this reason, you will have to fill in the forms promptly. If the amount of work is large, then it is better to perform it "portions" or to call someone to help. To slightly slow down the hardening of gypsum, you can add a couple of grams of citric acid. The mixture is poured into molds and gently shakes them or is passed from above with a spatula to fill the voids. After the initial hardening, the pebbles are removed from the molds and allowed to dry for another day.
Based on cement mortar
Stones based on cement are created in several stages. The reason for this is reinforcing mesh, which is necessary to give the product strength.
- Mix dry solution from sand and cement in proportions 1: 3.
- Dye is added to the water and stirred.
- The colored liquid is poured into a dry solution. Measuring can be done "by eye", since the mixture should be similar in consistence to sour cream.
- It is shaken carefully, so that all the voids are filled.
In the next step, a reinforcing mesh is placed in each mold: it is simply "heated" in a solution. Then the same mixture or a new one without the dye (in order to save) the workpiece is poured completely. When the solution slightly dies and becomes more viscous on its surface, which will be attached to the wall, a pair of grooves is nailed to ensure a better coupling.
Cast acrylic stone
This option, perhaps, is the most time consuming. The cast stone is made of four components:
- Acrylic (resin);
- Filler (gravel, granite or marble chips).
First, natural stones are thoroughly washed with any soap solution (even the usual "Fairy" is suitable). Then they are calcined on fire and rinsed with water. After drying, the filler is mixed with the colorant in a separate container. Then, dilute the acrylic resin with the hardener and add the colored pebbles to it. Now you need to quickly fill with mold solution. It is stored for about 15-20 minutes until the acrylic is seized. Dry pebbles very quickly, about 1 hour. Then they are carefully separated from the molds and left to dry for another day.
Под словосочетанием «жидкий камень» подразумевают технологию производства особого покрытия для столешниц, моек, стен, фасадов мебели. Материал продается в строительных магазинах. Liquid stone изготавливают способом литья или же напыления. Нас интересует первый вариант. Из компонентов (отвердитель, полиэфирная смола, наполнитель) замешивают состав, который затем быстро заливают в молд. Чтобы на поверхности камушков образовалась защитная пленка, перед заливкой форму смазывают гелькоутом.
You can paint a stone in two ways:
- Add the pigment to its composition.
- Apply special paint to the surface after manufacturing.
The second method allows creating a unique pattern with darkened and lighter places, which will only increase the resemblance to the original. To color the solution itself, inorganic pigments based on iron oxides are used. They impart a bright shade to the mass, do not have abrasive impurities in their composition and have high dispersity. The decorative stone will not lose its color with time and will not fade from constant contact with the sun's rays.
Separators — особые составы, которыми смазывают молды перед заливкой смеси. С их помощью готовые камушки не прилипнут к стенкам формы и легко отделятся. Для разных смесей используют специальные составы:
- For concrete use solidol or lithol.
- For gypsum products use a mixture of turpentine and wax in a ratio of 7: 1. It is quite easy to make it. Turpentine is heated in a water bath and portions of wax shavings are added to it.
- For acrylic, use a mixture of styrene and stearin in a ratio of 1:10.
Silicone molds when pouring a mixture of gypsum or concrete, which are heated during hardening, must be additionally protected. For this purpose they are placed on 2/3 in a special container with sand.
Artificial cobblestone with their own hands
Decorative cobblestones are used in suburban areas to mask manholes or septic tanks that disfigure the landscape. They can also become part of the composition under a waterfall, a fountain or in a garden by the gazebo. The principle of making cobblestone is the same as the technology for creating decorative stones. But the mold will have problems, because the dimensions of the product will require a large amount of silicone composition. With the task you can handle and without form, if the master has the skills of a sculptor. From the reinforcing mesh form a frame, which is filled with foam or other light material.Read also: New Year's curtains and window decoration ideas
This will significantly reduce the weight of the cobblestone, since its surface will be made of concrete. Then knead the cement composition and trowel put it in layers on the frame. In parallel, the cobblestones are shaped and render irregularities, bends, roughness. You can use special brushes. Then the surface is allowed to freeze, after which the cobblestone is turned upside down and a layer of cement is also applied. Then the boulder is finally dried, if necessary, ground and stained. Alternatively, you can make an unusual mold of fabric. In this case, the impression is taken from the original cobblestone. It is wrapped with a piece of cloth impregnated in a cement slurry. After drying, the piece is again thoroughly treated with cement to fix it. Such a mold is disposable, as its surface will be a "facial" part of the cobblestone. Then they act according to the principle described above: the frame, the cementing for bonding, the frozen impression is placed on top. Then follows the processing of the bottom and painting.
How to Dry a Stone
To dry an artificial stone it is necessary in the special unit. If such is not available, then you can make its primitive version yourself. For this purpose, any old wardrobe will do. All of its "insides" are taken out and they make special lattice shelves. It is necessary that the pebbles are dried not only on the top and sides, but also from below, so you can not place them on solid surfaces. If there are only ordinary shelves, then they evenly drill holes for the arrival of warm air. Then the walls and the cabinet door are covered with foam. Close the artificial dryer you need tightly. If there is no door, then the cupboard is draped with the same penofol.
Painting of stone
Depending on the type of material, various compositions are used for painting the stone. For gypsum products, water-based paint, impregnation for concrete, acrylic lacquer or glaze are suitable. To obtain bright colors, the application of the composition must be repeated two to three times. To shade the whiteness of gypsum, one layer of lacquer is enough. Painting can be done "in the old manner" with a brush or use a modern airbrush. Due to the different distances to the surface, the diffuser can give it completely different shades. Concrete is covered with acrylic, silicone, silicate paints or a primer with added pigments. Water-dispersible compounds on an organic base fit well on plastic. Do not recommend to use for decorative stone oil and enamel paints, they are suitable only for wood and metal. If some separate areas need to be highlighted in a different color, then the area around them is sealed with a paint tape. It is also used to protect another surface when the color of the decor is attached already on the wall. Do not recommend the use of "clean" colors, since they are not characteristic of natural stone.
To give the stone the effect of antiquity, an uneven layer of green paint imitating the patina is applied to its surface.
A few words about the laying of an artificial wall stone
Facing is a creative process that completes the entire decorative-stone "epic". Lay the finished fragments on any surface. Concrete or brick directly attached to the decor with special compounds, but the tree will have to be prepared. It is additionally covered with a layer of moisture insulation and forms a crate. Attach the stone with cement mortar or special glue. You can stack fragments with and without seaming. The first option is preferable, as the grout in the gaps gives the decor a more natural look. If joints are planned to be welded, then a space of no more than 2 cm is left between each fragment. Then, after installing the decor, it is filled with a grout. Before fixing it is better to place stones on the floor and try different combinations of their location to find the best option. The stacking starts from the corners and around the window, doorways. Only then do they take hold of the fragments in the horizontal rows. We have a popular partial decoration of walls around a large element (arch, aperture, niche). The "torn" edge gives the composition a careless but stylish look.
In order to create an original decoration for the interior of the house in the form of a decorative brick, you will have to spend a lot of time and energy. Patience is better in advance. The most difficult thing in this work is not even pouring stones into molds, but creating the molds themselves. Of course they can be bought in the store, but samples from such forms will no longer be unique, author's. Durable concrete products are suitable for decorating the facade of a house. With the help of a decorative stone in the interior of the room you can create the illusion of a ramparts or careless decoration. Organically, this element is poured into the loft (instead of brick), eco-style, art deco and some ethnic directions. The stone is universal and is combined with different surfaces: wallpaper, wood, plaster. If desired, you can create a design based on the principle of contrast or analogy with other finishing materials.