||Dollhouse Tile and
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||I went to the local
hobby shop, not my
fave place, but they had the mini lumber I
was needing. While there,
I chatted up the model train expert re the
grout situation. He pointed
me at a 1/2 gallon milk carton size of a
product called Extra Light
HydroCal. This stuff is used to lay streets,
etc. on the
train boards, as it is
shrink, doesn't get hot when hardening, can be
carved or sanded when hard,
can be colored.
It is pretty cheap,
considering. It cost
about $8.00 for a 2 lb. carton, enough to grout
all the tile I will ever
do, or for lightweight plaster-type molds,
etc. And it air hardens
with about a 45 minute working time, and a
45 minute "cure" time.
Initial cleanup is with soap and water, and was
purported to be very easy.
I brought it home,
mixed half acrylic
craft paint and half water with a dab of powder,
and smeared it around
on my test strip. The strip was simply
cardboard with bits of the
shingle cardstock leftovers glued down
fairly close together. It
seemed to mix up smoothly, colored well, went down
nicely, could be removed
with water where unwanted, hardened fairly
quickly, didn't shrink, didn't
resist sanding or putzing with when hard.
I heaved a big sigh of
resolve, and did
the kitchen floor with it. It came out great, and
went so quickly! It cleaned
right up and reminded me of working with real
grout. I got things as tidy
as I could with a wet cloth, then went off to work
on other things.
In about an hour I was
able to wipe things
down with a dry soft cloth to get the
"bloom" off. Then I noticed
a tiny spot I didn't like really well, so
dug the container of "leftovers"
out of the garbage (the label warns not to
wash any down the drain),
and fixed the little spot with some of the
still-soft goop left at
the very bottom (the top was pretty solid by
I went back to look
this a.m. with an
eye to shooting some digi photos and it looks
fabulous! Doesn't come out
of the cracks with some rubbing, etc. No
shrink, no cracks. So success!