Tar Paper Roofs

Discussion in 'Photos & Videos' started by steamhead, Jun 14, 2005.

  1. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    I'm just finishing a Muir Models single-stall engine house which I roofed with what I thought would look like a tar-paper roof (used 400 grit emery sand paper (the dark gray kind..)), and want to weather it to look like it's been exposed to sun, rain, dust, smoke, etc., for a looooong time. How do you propose I do this? I've tried using diluted craft light-gray paint and dusted it with pastels, but it's still way too dark for the look I want. Any info would be gratly appreciated.
  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    I have used the dry brush technique with a light grey or off-white to achieve this look. Even really old tarpaper (at least around here) seems to stay relatively black - just the edges get tattered and curled up, and of course there are stains and patches as you note.

    Here's a link to a tar paper roof I did recently. It looks a bit lighter (but not much) in the pictures than it really is. http://www.the-gauge.com/thread13587-backwoods-engine-house.html

  3. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Great looking engine house. I hope mine comes out half as good. I've been looking at some of the older houses in the older part of town and I do see that the roofs do stay quite dark. Maybe I'll just give it a light dusting and call it good. I'll post some pics when I have it finished (soon I hope). Thanks.
  4. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Looking forward to seeing them Gus. I really don't think you can go wrong since there is no set "look" to a tar paper roof. If it looks good to you, it's got to be right.
  5. RailRon

    RailRon Active Member

    Andrew, your enginehouse looks excellent!

    Here is a different technique for tar paper roofs. I must confess that I don't like working with sand paper, for me it is somehow too stiff.

    So I use Kleenex tissue handkerchiefs. First I cut away the embossed outside margins, then I take the layers apart. Finally I cut the smooth portion in the center of the hanky into strips like... well... like tarpaper rolls. :D

    Now to fix the strips to the roof: I 'glue' them on with PAINT. In this case I used Floquil Grimy Black, which I brushed onto the roof. Then I laid out the paper strips into the wet paint, Afterwards I soaked them with a second application of paint. The Kleenex paper is so thin that you almost always get some wrinkles. You can straighten them out with the paint brush, but I think, for an old roof some warping of the 'tar paper' is just what I want. (Be prepared to have also quite a lot of paint at your fingers - this is a bit messy!)

    When the Floquil paint is dry, I apply some washes in lighter colors: Dust, sand, grime, light browns (depending on the general colors of your landscape). And in this case I also added a tiny amount of a brownish green to suggest some algae and moss growing on the roof.


    Attached Files:

  6. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Hi Ron,

    That's a good looking roof-the wrinkles do give the appearance of curling tar-paper! I hadn't thought of that mossy look, although, since I model the sunny Southwest, I don't think moss would survive a hot summer day!
  7. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way


    That is a good looking roof, thanks for the step by step.:thumb::thumb: It's worth trying. :wave:

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