WEATHERING: Finishing Wood Decking


Finishing decking on flat cars and gondolas has been a challenge for me.  Each time I try one I am not satisfied with the results.  Ross Dando asked me how I finished wood decking.  I didn’t have a good answer to share so I reached out and asked Lee Turner.  Lee was kind enough to provide me a few words and photos of the work process.

Here is Lee’s approach:

I mix at least three different shades of gray weathered wood and then randomly paint each deck board. After that is completely dry I use a dark wash (Vallejo dark brown) which blends the colors together. Here are some images from my painting and weathering clinic. Don’t forget with a gondola mix up some debris and scrap dunnage and secure it with Mig pigment fixer.

Three variations in gray form the basic foundation of color for the decking. Lee alternated the colors and tried not to create a pattern.  He uses Model Masters acrylic paints mixed to create the shades of gray.

The base color has been applied to the this Red Caboose flatcar.

The last step is apply the Vallejo brown wash.  This will blend the colors together.

The finished effect is quite good.  Lee added dunnage in the gondola setting it with a MIG enamel fixer.

I want to thank Lee for his contribution on finishing wood decking.

Thanks for stopping by




7 thoughts on “WEATHERING: Finishing Wood Decking

  1. One other “trick” is to use the cheapest, junkiest brush to apply the base coat paint, so that it doesn’t go on evenly.

  2. Gene, The modeling process & results Lee & you provide is a wonderful asset for those of
    us who might otherwise forgo a project for lack of knowledge or technique needed to see
    a satisfactory conclusion. You all are a priceless resource with a credibility & background
    only you can provide. Just like to add,…..would love to see the conclusion of your D&RGW
    Auto Car lettered & weathered when time allows. Enjoyed the process.

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