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Peeling paint

Q: I’m building a diorama and I’m trying to come up with a different way to represent peeling paint – I mean really peeling paint that’s flaking off in large sheets. I’ve tried paper but it ends up just looking like peeling wallpaper.  Have any suggestions, Ken?

-Mark Stolin
via email

Ken: Actually, Mark, I do and it came about by accident! I use plastic lids from food containers like yogurt and cottage cheese when I’m painting with artist’s acrylics.

Invariably, the paint builds up on the lids, at which time I just throw them out – until one time when I noticed by flexing the lid the dried paint would lift and could be peeling off in a sheet. That prompted me to try applying a uniform layer of paint to see what would happen.

One coat wasn’t thick enough to peel, but two or three heavy coats did the trick. Pick the color of your choice, apply several thick coats, let it dry thoroughly and peel it off the lid.

From there, you can cut or tear it to suit your needs and apply it to your weather-beaten diorama. Make sure to apply your “real peel” paint with the side that was against the lid facing out for a smoother surface.


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