After seeing some real, miniature slate shingles at a dollhouse store in Denver, Colorado years ago, I set about saving my pocket change so that I could buy enough to do Sara's dollhouse. As time went on, I realized, there was no way I was going to get that money saved up any time soon since it was going to cost in the hundreds of dollars to do all the roof of this house!
If you read Dollhouse Miniatures magazine regularly, you may have seen the article I wrote about how I substituted real slate with wooden, faux slate shingles. The various gradations of color you see in the slate in this picture is real. After making these delicate little shingles, I sealed them with alcohol-based B-I-N undercoating. Next, I mixed red and green paint using colors as close to the colors of the house as I could get. I scumbled that paint onto the shingles. I was very sloppy in doing this - on purpose. It made the shingles somewhat wavy and revealed "layers" in some places, which made it look all the more real. Next, I took the red and green paint and mixed it together, added some lamp black to it, and thinned the paint just a little. I then painted over the shingles with that. The result? These lovely, various-hued shingles.