How to build a blacktop or asphalt road.

How did you build the road?  That is one of the questions asked when people see our displays at shows.  Here I am going to explain how to build a blacktop or asphalt driveway or road.  I would also recommend that you read through the instuctions, have your materials ready, and practice on a sample board before going to your project.

  1.  In order to keep your road at a uniform thickness, you will need to stike it.  Therefore use some type of material to form the edges of the roadway, such as thin strips of wood.
  2. Fill the formed in area with your stone material, in this case, Superior Scenics black lava in the ultra fine grade.  Strike off the material to grade.
  3. Using a very fine atomized spritz sprayer, completely dampen the material with a water and liquid dish soap mix.  Use only a couple drops of dish soap.  You do not want bubbles. Do not skip this step.  It prepares the material for the application of glue.
  4. Make a 50/50 mixture of Elmer’s white glue and water.  Add a couple drops of liquid dish soap to the 50/50 mix.  It works well to have this mixture in a glue bottle.
  5. Carefully apply the glue mixture holding the bottle near, but not touching, the stone material.  Apply at a very slow flow, or even individual drips at a time.
  6. You will have applied enough glue when it starts to look a little milky.  You will see the glue rise a little and then settle, but be careful that it doesn’t start to flow out the sides.
  7. If you have used a little too much glue, and it does run out the sides, or puddles on the surface, you can let it sit for some time to allow the glue to soak in and settle.
  8. I recommend that you add a very light, even dusting of additional stone across the entire surface.  You do not want to make piles.
  9. For the next step, you will need wax paper and a roller.  A pizza roller works well.  Cover the area you are working on with a piece of wax paper.  With the roller in hand, lightly roll the top of the wax paper, to get a nice, even roadway.  Do not press hard.
  10. Gently remove the wax paper.  If the wax paper sticks to the material, use a small putty knife to free the material from the wax paper.  The purpose of step 8 is so prevent the wax paper from sticking to the product.  If needed, repeat step 8 through 10.
  11. Remove your forms before the glue dries.  I use an x-acto knife to accomplish this.

Additional Tips:

If you want a more aged look, you can apply another light dusting of stone material and roll it in to the roadbed again.  Do this while the material is slightly damp and still tacky.

If you want it to look new, wait till the product is completely dry.  Dampen lightly with water and soap mix.  Then go back over it with the glue & water mix.  Painting it on using a small paint brush works well.  This will darken the color to make it look like “new” asphalt.

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