Monday, October 24, 2011


This article explains a method I use to simulate wattle and daub between the timbers of Medieval buildings. It’s much easier to do than you think.

Our example when completely done and painted.

The building’s shell, 1/8” MDF with 1/16” balsa timber strips, primed a black-brown (with green interior). Blue tape shows where the windows and door will be.
First, with a popsicle stick I scooped some spackle/wall filler into a small cup, then added a very small squirt of black-brown paint, which makes it stickier and easier to apply as well as giving it a nice neutral gray color all the way through. Mixed it until the consistency of very thick frosting.
Working one end or side at a time I plaster the stuff on (except at the top where a wood insert is or at window/door openings)…

…then scraped off the excess with a large paint scraper held at a 45 degree angle. A mini-scraper (Xacto with blade reversed), a small frayed brush, and an awl/nail will be used to clean out window/door openings and timber cracks.

I carefully ran an old Xacto blade around the edges for separation. You’ll notice the blade causes the spackle to lift slightly where it was used. Not to worry, this gets corrected in a bit. For now it’s spackle, scrape and edge the next end/wall.

The gooey spackle set up until it was like soft clay (15-20 minutes?). I used my finger to GENTLY pat the raised edges towards the center of each section (this side view shows it best). I patted the centers as well. I got some spackle gunk in an area but not a problem, I just gently pressed them in as they add texture and character. I reran the Xacto around the edges and repatted as needed, cleaned out any timbering knotholes and cracks that bothered me, then let the entire building dry overnight.

The finished end ready for painting. You can see I added a crack above the door when I was running the Xacto blade around the edges.

NEXT: The chimney.

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