View Full Version : Need to make a fake, but durable stone table

01-14-2008, 09:06 PM
I do an interactive event where players solve hands on puzzles before they can move on to the next room -- a la "Nation Treasure".

I need to make a faux stone 4' x 4' table (with stone pedestal) for a place to hold a table top puzzle. I have worked with monster mud (and love it) but it is not durable enough to withstand 3,000 people over 3 days. Does anyone have any ideas on some kind of more durable coating for a table made out of plywood and double density styrofoam?

I have heard of dryvit -- and seen it on buiildings, but it looks like it could be a complicated process. It does not have to be water-proof -- only impact durable and look and feel like stone.

Is there something I could put over monster mud to make it rock hard?


Greg Chrise
01-14-2008, 09:26 PM
Instead of drywall with paint in it, go to Lowes or Home Depot or who ever the big old school contractor supply is (or a pool company) and move up to concrete with acrylic additive as the medium. It can be tinted, painted, sort of hand formed and so on.

At worst case, you can use 2 parts all purpose sand, 1 part portland cement in a liquid consisting of 1 gallon bulk elmers glue with about 2 gallons of water all mixed real good with a drill.

Depending on what you are going over, you will want to put a bond coat, spreading a coat of the liquid and allow it to tack and then glob on the stuff.

If you wear gloves you can hand form and slather materials on and then use tools you no longer like to gouge out reliefs and faux mortar joints.

Then once allowed to cure out, paint it with anything, acrylics, latex exterior paint and solvent based clears.

Congradulations, you have now created 16 plus square feet of inconvertable toxic waste. Enjoy.

01-14-2008, 11:33 PM
buying the table you are looking for? With all the materials and time you invest in it, you might be better off getting a real stone table. At least you know it will hold up to the abuse.

01-15-2008, 09:09 AM
buying the table you are looking for? With all the materials and time you invest in it, you might be better off getting a real stone table. At least you know it will hold up to the abuse.

I thought about that, but I want to put some cool design elements into it. Using hot-wired high-density foam will give me the design I want. I just need to find something to make it rock-hard that does not hide too much of the detail.

Skinny Dead Dude
01-15-2008, 09:57 AM
Fiberglass, Is what most amusment parks use. You have to seal the foam first.
Lowe's carries the Glass and Resin.


01-15-2008, 10:35 AM
once you seal it you could coat it with that garage florr coating i think it is an epoxy coating and when it dries it is very hard and durable. but the faom would have to be seal very well or it will eat you project right up.

01-15-2008, 12:33 PM
I know smooth-on makes a sparyable hard plastic coating for foam work, I have no personal experience using it.

01-15-2008, 01:29 PM
yes they actualy have a few variations of the hard coat with hard shells each.
you should give them a call and see what they can do for you and to find a supplier in your area if not dealing with them directly.

01-15-2008, 02:47 PM
Thanks all for the ideas.

Greg Chrise
01-15-2008, 06:53 PM
Build a wood structure out of 3/4 to 1 1/4 inch plywood. Junk from a construction site. $2.00 infastners and construction adhesive

Glue on pink foam and use a heat gun to make your reliefs and patterns per any directions you can get from a Bad Boys Scenic Design seminar or DVD.

Then fiber glass it ( $60 in materials)

Then have it hard coated ( $250 minimum order as they must clean the machine and shoot when there is some other work to use a full batch of material hence using your project as a door stop for 6 months)

Then slather acrylic cement over top of that because 100 SF of the stuff will only cost $25 and it is durable, meant to be out doors and can be but doesn't have to be sealed like Monster Mud

Antique with at least 5 layers of antiquing Little bits of paint from your $1,000 over stock in paints using only the exterior acrylics

Install 2 coats of clear $20 per gallon concrete sealer, flat or semi gloss finish

Use it once then sell it to Donald Trump for big bucks.

Actually the concrete stuff will go over styrofoam if it has a prime coat of the additive first and the narlyier the surface from a heat gun or carving the better. So forget hard coating, fiberglass, polyurethane coatings, monsternud and go directly to the modified concrete.

You can put it directly on the wood. Lay out a pattern with 1/2 inch fiber packaging tape, slather it on. Smush in a texture by hand, pull the tape and this is where your mortar joints are or will be. Very intricate patterns, symbols and such can be laid out in the tape, with paper, heavy plastic carved out then slathered over and pulled up to reviel what ever.

No I don't have any pictures. I have seen me do this all the time. I don't need to be reminded by taking pictures, how much of a living hell my life is.

Greg Chrise
01-15-2008, 07:48 PM
I have a little bit of a headache from putting a brick pattern on a sidewalk, heading to a big boat house on the lake. The wind whipping through all the holes in my head. The chipmunks screaming at the cats, sea gulls the size of pteradactiles, even a fox running down the road.

I have heard that even in Illinois, there are people that do stamped concrete, concrete overlays and such. This would be anything from the driveway to the kitchen countertops. All the way from a garden room to a post office that sees 600 people per day walk on this stuff over decades.

And so, the materials should be available in any store. The trick I forgot to mention is the finer materials are white portland and a white silica flour mix that the additive (liguid) is used with.

In modern times, there are over lay materials that you just ad water and the polymer resins activate. White means tintable to true colors.

All of this means also someone might be willing to do the top of your table just to show off their skills and capabilities to 3,000 people or certainly for a reasonable charge. I thought about doing it for you but the shipping would suck.

I immediately thought that through the even there are many tables, each with some different symbol with regards to the portion of the event or trials.

You can do crazy things too like have rocks with the big symbol cut out of the wood that haybe glows red from underneath? It could be cool.

Or, they have center pieces of a bowl of water, or little waterfall, one smoke, another fire, another a plot of sand? A beam of light? Some kind of sound? A pices of fur, all as clues to what are we doing now or have we reached a goal or clue?

Jim Warfield
01-15-2008, 09:24 PM
Satan wanted to show me those pictures Gregg, trying to convince me to join his surfacing crew, he said you were his main foreman or something? I guess he was lying.
He hinted at a really big resurfacing contract he will be getting and needs alot of help, he's gone inter-planetary now, I think the job might have been resurfacing Yer Anus? (I have to ask Dan Rather how to correctly spell that)

By the way, If Gregg tells you how to do this stuff listen, he knows what works and lasts he has done alot of such work.