Trains.com

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Backdrop on a Textured Wall

664 views
7 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    June 2003
  • From: Ponte Vedra, FL USA
  • 112 posts
Backdrop on a Textured Wall
Posted by mrnimble on Saturday, July 16, 2022 2:35 PM

A section of my new two peninsular shaped layout in a new house will run along a painted, slightly orange peel, textured wall.  Is it generally acceptable to paint a backdrop of sky and clouds directly on the wall or will I need to install some other kind of smooth surface to the drywall first, such as 1/8" tempered hardboard?

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
  • 20,554 posts
Posted by MisterBeasley on Saturday, July 16, 2022 4:07 PM

If it's possible to use a smooth surface, that will look better.  It would also be a better surface for mounting a printed background scene if you decide to do that.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Central Vermont
  • 4,497 posts
Posted by cowman on Saturday, July 16, 2022 7:32 PM

I'm planning to put a 2' piece of hardboard at the back of the shelf for a couple of reasons.  First, it will make it easier for those who follow, not to  have to paint over everything when no longer a train room.  The room will be one color, same as the blue of the backdrop.  And it willl be much easier to put  in coved corners.

Just a couple of thoughts.

Good luck,

Richard

  • Member since
    January 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 15,940 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Sunday, July 17, 2022 8:09 AM

I have no pictures, sorry...

When I built SGRR #5 in the spare bedroom, I removed about 3 feet of vertical drywall from the textured walls. The bottom was even with the benchwork.

Every wall in this room was less than 12 feet, so there were no vertical joints on the walls.

I did not join the corners. I disguised all the corners with mountains, buildings, whatever else. I hid the top joint with a floating shelf.

This gave me a new smooth surface to paint the backdrop onto, but it destroyed the room to the point that new drywall would need to be hung if the room was repurposed.

-Kevin

Living the dream and happily modeling my STRATTON AND GILLETTE Railroad in HO scale. The SGRR is a freelanced Class A railroad as it would have appeared on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954, in my personal fantasy world of plausible nonsense.

  • Member since
    March 2002
  • From: Milwaukee WI (Fox Point)
  • 11,166 posts
Posted by dknelson on Sunday, July 17, 2022 11:55 AM

mrnimble

 a painted, slightly orange peel, textured wall.  

For photography purposes the smoother background would be better but if we are talking about a simple blue sky (becoming lighter towards the horizon), simple scenery such as a tree line, and vague Cirrus cloud effects, I don't think a slight orange peel texture to the wall will be seriously distracting.  If you are thinking a backdrop with structures and such, or detailed clouds such as Cumulus, Stratocumulus, or Altocumulus then again I think you'd want a smooth surface.

I have seen backdrops painted on cinder block so you have both the texture of the block and the mortar lines to deal with, and again if it is simple blue for sky and vague whispy cirrus clouds you quickly learn to accept it.  But it looks awful in photography.

Dave Nelson

  • Member since
    January 2004
  • From: Canada, eh?
  • 12,848 posts
Posted by doctorwayne on Sunday, July 17, 2022 1:00 PM

mrnimble
...will I need to install some other kind of smooth surface to the drywall first, such as 1/8" tempered hardboard?

Unless you're planning to use  the tempered hardboard for a work surface, ordinary Masonite/hardboard will work perfectly well as a backdrop.
The reference to "tempering" is actually to the hardness of the surface, not to the material's flexibility.

Depending on how rough the wall is, you may be able to skim-coat it with an application of drywall mud (I'd recommend Durabond 90), although using hardboard might be easier and less messy.

I drywalled most of my layout room using 1/2" drywall, but used 3/8" drywall at all of the room's 10 corners.
I used a tape measure to roughly determine the length of Masonite needed to cove each corner, whether on inside- or outside-corners.
I then placed one edge of the Masonite against the 1/2" drywall, then pushed on the centre of the Masonite until the other edge popped into place against the 1/2" board on the adjacent wall.

This sketch shows the set-up...

...with the red line representing the drywall tape, and the green area the drywall mud used to finish the joint.

Here are some examples (the gaps are to accommodate the later installation of a partial upper level of the layout)...

Here's one of the outside corners, with a gap to allow later installation of a partial upper level...

 

Wayne

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: west coast
  • 7,117 posts
Posted by rrebell on Monday, July 18, 2022 9:25 AM

Your best bet is to use masonite. You don't even have to curve the inside corners but just install a masonite peice on the diagonal on top of the square corner, once painted it will look fine. Use 1/4" masonite and drill holes for the screws, then use a 6 flute countersink and make the countersink just deep enough so the screw sits just below the surface, once you spackle it, it will disapear once painted.

  • Member since
    June 2003
  • From: Ponte Vedra, FL USA
  • 112 posts
Posted by mrnimble on Monday, July 18, 2022 4:07 PM

Thanks all for your consideration and advice.  Appreciate the feedback.  It will help as I proceed.  Geoff

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Users Online

There are no community member online

Search the Community

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!