Szalony used four different integral colors in the second layer of Thin-Crete. He mixed the overlay with one color and applied it to the stones individually. Whatever was left in the bucket was then mixed with either more of the same color or a different color so the next stone would have a slightly different shade. In addition, Szalony had a separate container with a small amount of yet another color. "As we would trowel on one stone we would take a little bit of that color and just dab it on there so when we troweled we were blending two colors," Szalony explains.
He sprayed the integrally colored overlay with liquid release prior to using textured skins to stamp each stone, one at a time. "By doing this we can make it look like they were real, individual stones," he says. "And by doing this we could get a different type of texture on each different rock and mix up different colors so they weren't all the same."
Finally, Szalony created a 10-inch-wide mantel using five pieces of EPS. He applied the Thin-Crete overlay mix to the mantel and then stamped and stained the piece to look like one large rock.
Szalony used multiple techniques to apply a final coat of stain to the three fireplace elements, including spraying with an HVLP gun as well as applying the stain with sea sponges and rags.
Finally, he used a spray bottle to apply a water-based sealer which protects the overlay while enhancing the color of the natural-looking stone, he says.