A dear friend donated a bunch of haunt stuff to us this past summer. Some of it was in need of a little TLC, but I’m pretty good at fixing foam props, and I’ve been pretty eager to get started. So when Bones said, “This room needs a fireplace!” we started pawing through the piles of stuff.
These pieces have been out of production for quite some time, and are meant to go together to form an archway of sorts. We decided to save the skeletons for later and just use the pillars. What’s hard to see is that one pillar – the second from the right – was broken into two pieces and needed some repair. There’s also sun damage and two sizable holes through each pillar.
Bones glued the broken bits together – yay gorilla glue! – and I went to work fixing the rest of the damage.
When you use gorilla glue, it expands into a sort of foam that can be filed down. So that was the first order of business…taking Bones’ repair and prettifying it. Then there was the problem of those holes and the sun damage, which you can’t really see and was fairly mild, but had caused some damage along the edges of some of the skull details, and happens when you leave things outside for a few years. Surprisingly, one of the easiest fixes for that is caulk. Which means I got to run around making obnoxious caulk comments until Bones was ready to strangle me.
…I have no regrets.
Both pillars got a new coat of paint to cover up the fixes. I went ahead and attached a pillar to the wall, only to realize I probably should have put the grate into place first. Only then to realize that I should put something that looked like fire up on the wall first before I attached the grate and the pillars. Working with Bones, I’ve taken on the title of psuedo-scenic painter. I’m no Jedi and I miss my friend (and amaaazing scenic) Mookie more than I can say. But the internet lives in my pocket, so I used this tutorial as a guide and scrounged up some paint from our work room…only to find out two of the three cans were pretty much solid goo. I traced a rough pattern of where I wanted the fire to be placed, and, because I am stubborn, I mostly made it work, painting something that is admittedly cartoony but…ehh, it’s ok. Then I went back and added the grate, which is something I bought years ago because I thought it would make for a fun accent piece in a haunt room. And it’s sat in storage until Bones saw it and had the same vision I did.
Because of space limitations. the sides of the grate thingala were tucked behind the pillars, which is…ok. Next time we use it, all of its glory shall be exposed. 🙂
By this point, the grey paint on the pillars had dried, so I could start trying to paint the accent pieces. Drybrushing was….eh. We decided instead to use something that would complement the Very Gaudy Grate, and I added a bit of blow mold skull trim to bridge the top gap between the pillars. Then, I cut some pink insulation foam to make a top mantle piece and screwed those into place. (Part of the challenge in making something that has to come back down in a few months is doing it in a way that you’re hiding your attachment points from the public…but not from yourself.)
And..voila! At least for now. There’s maybe another layer to add to the top. We’ve not entirely decided how to make the next step to this project work…still. Yay, fireplace!