View Full Version : Trestle Painting?
01-06-2008, 09:00 PM
How should I paint my trestles? I put some flat black on one and it just doesn't look right. Thoughts or tips? Pictures of your painted and weathered trestle?
01-06-2008, 09:10 PM
If I remember right, I used a brown wash first followed by alcohol diluted India Ink.
01-06-2008, 09:15 PM
Those look great! Newbie question coming: What is a wash? How did you apply it and the diluted india ink?
01-06-2008, 09:43 PM
I added a little diluted Polly Scale D&RGW Bldg Brown over the Grimmy Black to this wooden bridge and I liked the results.
01-06-2008, 09:55 PM
That looks nice too! Here's what I'm thinking: It's already painted black so what if I slap some brown on over it, wait until it's almost dry and then wipe it with a paper towel to take most of the brown off and give it a streaky weathered look? Will that work?
01-06-2008, 10:09 PM
I'm not sure about a paper towel on wood. Some of the towel may stick to the wood. I'd just going easy with a stiff brush a little at a time and see what happens. If it looks good continue on. I think that's what I did with my bridge.
01-06-2008, 11:18 PM
I'd say, now that its black, just paint it an appropriate brownish, and maybe weather it with some other very thin color.
01-06-2008, 11:43 PM
Yeah, I agree with Josh. Just thin your brown paint quite a bit and apply until it dries to the color you like. If you get too much brown, just add the India Ink wash.
A wash is a very diluted paint. A thin wash would almost be colored water.:)
The India Ink solution is diluted to 10 water to 1 Ink for light wash and down to about 5:1 for a more heavy wash. You usually apply a wash by heavy saturation of the brush and let the wash flow freely (slop :D) over the object.
01-07-2008, 05:42 AM
I still don't agree much with the weathering of both shown bridges (without any offence). From my little knowledge about bridges, I think the most maintenance they would have got in the past, was mostly to see if there were any broken parts on them, but not painting or oiling, so wood will start dry up from its natural oil and with sun and water ( rain or river ) beating on it surface, it starts turning greyish with black patches on it ( mostly it would be mould ) and this doesn't take a long time, especially if wood is exposed ( without any varnish, oil or paint ).
I have had 2 experiences in my house of this kind of "weathering". I have a wooden door on the house front, which almost never sees sun light, but exposed to rain. This was varnished but still didn't take much time to end up stripped and dry, it took mostly 3 years . The other item is the wooden flight of steps I have leading down the garden. In Spring 2007 I stripped them from their varnish, sanded them down and brought them back to their new state, they looked as if they were new again, I gave them five ( 5 ) coats of yaucht varnish ( letting them dry in between ), and now some of the steps which are mostly exposed to rain and sun have already stripped off some of the varnish and already turned greyish.
My conclusion is that anytype of wood, in contact with weather turns greyish if not treated, so forget about brownish wood for a bridge unless they just built it :)
01-07-2008, 01:12 PM
In the area I'm modeling (and probably most of the US) they wood used on trestles was heavily soaked with creosote which is dark black. My layout is more modern meaning these trestles are old and some of the creosote has probably washed away over the years. Mold is not an issue in the dry western US.
01-07-2008, 08:38 PM
Max all wooden trestles use creosote pressure treated bents and ties. Creosote is almost blackish in color when new, but does lighten over the years to a more brownish color. The wood would have to be very old or not pressure treated to turn gray.
This trestle, here in Tuscaloosa, is over 100 years old.
01-07-2008, 08:52 PM
01-07-2008, 11:24 PM
I have spent a fair bit of time walking over, under, and through timber trestles. If they are well maintained, and not neglected after, say, 25 years or more, they should be a deep tan colour, almost black when the timbers are first installed. In fact, every trestle that I have encountered has parts of the same length of timber lighter in patches, and then other areas are coated with a treacle-like pitch.
Cedar weathers nicely naturally if it is left untreated, and it does indeed turn a silvery feathered appearance by the end of the second summer. It then takes many years to decay to the point where it is unsafe for a load. Its natural oils protect it from decay and water penetration. Burns smokey.
I take joy in letting folks know that I actually used real creosote oil on my one scale trestle. It took surprisingly little for the stuff to penetrate the wood I used. Under the lights, it looks great, but it is much lighter in images...don't know why. The abuttment cribs are not creosoted, but stained with a heavy wash of burnt umber and some grey. Yet, in most images, it almost looks like natural wood untreated, or else splotchy. Oh, well...
01-07-2008, 11:54 PM
Great looking bridge. That engine is what make again? I forgot. Does it run and sound well?
01-08-2008, 04:08 AM
Wolfgang, great job on the waves. ;)
Selector, that's ok...mine looks darker in photos.:D :D
01-08-2008, 04:01 PM
Where'd you get the creosote oil? Is there a heavy smell? I don't much mind the smell of creosote, but it could get old if it's bad.
01-08-2008, 06:59 PM
Some great looking trestles here!. Here's my addition. I bashed it from a plastic kit. I scraped all the sides of each brown plastic timbers with a razor saw blade to give them some texture, assembled the trestle and then painted the whole thing with a light coat of flat white spraypaint. I then used many varying applications of heavy and light india ink washes to achieve a weatherd gray look. It looks much better in person than the pictures show.
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