Hey guys. Thanks for the input. The point is maybe I'm not too sure what I'm trying to achieve here. I think I might be "stressing" about it too much and should just get over it and paint them. :mrgreen: I do like the result. They still look like wood which I guess was my main concern, that is, after painting they wouldn't. Actually, I like how some of the ties stayed dark. Most of the tracks used by CN and Go Transit here in T.O. look like that...some black, some grey, some brown. I think what I may do is do an initial staining and then go back and do some touch-ups, maybe some dry brushing with some more black, dark brown and grey. I should to take care to not over do it though. I'd like it to look like the yard has some heavy use and that it is being maintained...however not obsessed over by the R.R. Kinda like I'm doing right now! sign1 Thanks again guys I started sanding the ties last night, which actually doesn't seem to take long. A few quick passes takes off quite a bit of material! I still have more ties to lay down though if I want to achieve my mid December goal. I also imagined the ballasting would go something like this since it is a yard since I don have to worry about getting any little rocks stuck to the rails. 1) Buy several canisters of the fine ballast. 2) Dump entire contents on rail ties. 3) Spread even with a sponge brush taking care to remove the ballast from the tops of the ties. 4) Mist small sections at a time with alcohol and water solution. 5) Mist said section with glue and water solution. Let dry. Done! Well...not really. I'm sure it will not go exactly as described. I'll keep you posted with the results.