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This is a terrible example of ceiling tile rocks. Don't hurry your work. You will tear it out someday.
I removed the old rocks with a hammer and chisel.
Start hot gluing the tiles. All my new tiles will have a slight angle. It so much more visually interesting.
Glue more tiles making sure they are very jaggedy. I added a small piece of tile for a back wall.
Rough up the tiles with a utility knife and peel off the white and brown surfaces.
Paint the tiles with primer. I didn't use white glue to glue the loose pieces. I let the primer hold them down.
The primered wall, I filled in the area with hardshell. I crumpled newspaper and held it down with masking tape. A paper towel soaked in plaster closed the area.
Applying the earth base coat.
This the original reworked area. I should have really torn it out to match the other side. It was reworked with Sculptamold.
Paint the rocks to suggest  a contiuous stratification.
Wet the rockface and just paint straight from the  bottle. I put a piece of newspaper down to prevent spills and squeeze out the paint onto the newspaper.
Study pictures of real rocks for coloring. They have a variety of color even within an short distance from one formation to another.
Ceiling tiles can be configured for more than just a stair step stratification. Hopefully further experiments will produce more varied results.
Click here for an article on reworking with Sculptamold.