I used Joe's Rail Paint (acrylic) so I could spray the track where it laid. It doesn't adhere as well as solvent paint. I used roofing granules for ballast. I simply couldn't afford the amount of Brennan's that I would need for my railroad. A word of warning. Roofing granules are not rocks. They are a manufactured product and contain and iron compound to resist mildew. Ergo, they are MILDLY MAGNETIC and will be attracted to engines with Magna-Traction. Don't ask me how I know this. But they are the perfect size for O'scale. I know… I measured rocks on the Norfolk and Southern track in Louisville and converted to scale and the roofing granules work. 50 pounds of it is a little more than $20. I used almost 150 pounds of it.