Colour our products

There are many ways that you can colour our ITLA laser cut wood products...

1) Basic "Rattle Can" Spray Painting:

Our wood product easily takes on colour using basic "rattle can" spray paints as shown below (note that airbrushing solvent or water based paints works well too!).

In the example pictured below we lightly sprayed the raw wood walls with Flat Black followed by automotive Red Oxide Primer to represent a red brick wall. Light spray effectively colours the brickwork with a flat / matte finish and won't hide the fine details we've etched in for you.  Choose any other flat / matte base colour to represent various colours of brick (grey, buff, brown, etc) can even use our wood colour to represent "yellow" brick.

Next we "dusted" the red brick wall with even lighter coats of Flat Black and Earth spray paints to provide some basic brick colour variation. At this point you are done with the basic wall colour.

Now you can optionally clear seal the parts and continue to add layers of hand-brushed water based acrylics, chalks / pigment powders as weathering features.

See this step by step example below ...


 Adding colour tones to the brick...


Water based acrylics from Michael's Arts & Craft store are what we use to brush paint on layers of tone and colour variation to our products. 

You can wet the brick surface with water, then bring a wash of browns, oranges, reds or greys to the surface in random patterns.

Allow for drying time between colours, optionally you can clear seal between tones also.


2) Basic "Rattle Can" Spray Painting with Weathering Powders for more colour variation:

Following the same basic colour process above, you can add more surface colour variation by "washing" with weathring powders / pigments and alcohol.  In the pictures below we've dusted the walls of our O scale Lion's Head model with Black and two shades of Rust coloured weathering powders, then blended the random effect with rubbing alcohol on a paint brush.  Spray seal the wall surfaces to lock in the final colours.


3) Using dry pigment powders to colour our products

In the photo below, Dennis Murphy demonstrates how he coloured the steelwork on his N scale Elevated Superkit model using dry pigments in place of traditional paints. Again, keep the application of colour in light layers to let all that great laser etched detail to show through.  An oxide red was used on the staircase & station roof panels.


See Dennis' video here.


4) Airbrushing with thinned paints to colour our products

These models were airbrushed with a 50/50 mix of simple water based acrylic craft store paint.  I applied thin coats of paint, allowing a few minutes of drying time in between.  This technique builds up layers of colour and allows our laser etched detail to show through.  Optionally you can clear seal before, in between, or after colour coats (I didn't have to below).  You can use this technique on any of our product!









 5) Adding "mortar" to our brick walls:

Some people like to see prevalent mortar on their brick walls.  If you added weathing powders as in item #2 above, spray seal the wall surfaces to lock in the final colours before applying mortar. We create a mortar mix with a "50 / 50% wash" of Grey paint and water (water based acrylic craft paint).  Test this on a non-show surface first ... if you find the wash is not opaque enough, simply add more paint to the mix.

Using a wide brush we applied this mix heavily over the finished brick surfaces...see our pictures below. While that wash is still wet, take an alcohol soaked paper towel / cloth (note: baby wipes work well for this) and wipe the brick surface down. This should remove most of the mortar paint on the brick surface, leaving the remaining paint in the joints as shown.  A variation of mortar "intensity" across the brick surface looks most realistic in our opinion.




Here's an assembly arcticle demonstrating some of the above painting techniques, and some neat build tips as well...

Here is one of many methods to paint and assemble our structures ... written by Ron Pare (Modeler's Guild) - Ron uses a basic red oxide automotive spray paint for the red brick colour, and adds variation in colours using hand-brushed acrylic paints.

"Painting an ITLA building can be a very easy task to take on. Like with all wood model kits, parts can warp with too much moisture. I will also show you techniques to quickly and easily build this ITLA HO scale Lion's Head building kit.

Note that you should always use thin coats of paint, keep them translucent and build up the colour layers allowing them to dry in between." 


"To start off we need to remove the window sills from the walls to prepare them for "concrete" coloured paint, set them to the side for later. Using painters tape, mask the top and bottom of the main walls where the brick etching ends and the "concrete" foyer and upper wall cornice areas begin." 


"I like to always add some kind of colour variation to a model's surface. So my first step is to add some raw umber to the brick portions. Add small dabs of the acrylic paint colour here and there, don't worry about messing things up. The next step will cover this nicely, leaving subtle raw umber colours to show through the subsequent layers." 


"A next step and a good paint selection for this type of wood is one that dries fast and applies thin. One answer...spray paint. I am building a red brick building so I will use Red Oxide Primer right out of the rattle can. Make you coats really thin, almost dusting the surface to get your brick colour. Paint the foyer area of the building with a mixture of concrete paint and white. We want a colour that will be lighter then a sidewalk or road.

Paint the window sills on the visible sides (Top and front) so they view nicely when you fit them in the building wall. "


"To make really nice brown window frames I used another product that will dry fast and applies thin. I found that coloured Sharpie markers do the trick very fast and well, just draw the marker across the window frames while they are still in the carrier sheet.

Install your window frames so they are flush with the inside of the walls. Trim the glazing material in strips and adhere this to the inner wall covering the back of the window frames." 


"Assemble the walls using Weldbond or similar wood glue. I run glue along the inside corner edges and fit the three panels in for the roof, and two floors to "square" the walls."

Black out parts of the interior with black construction paper to avoid an entirely hollow looking structure.

For the roof, cut out some brown paper bag, glue it down with white glue allowing it to lightly crinkle. After it dries paint it grimy black. 

Now you have completed an ITLA Scale Model building... simple and fast to paint and assemble. Add weathering chalks for more character, like rain water dirt streaks under the windows. Add any other details like signs, vines, awnings, etc. "


 There are many methods and materials which can be used. Please contact us with any questions regarding our products or assembly / colouring techniques.