Ballasting

I am thinking about ballasting the layout, I want to weather it though so a
idea that my son has said is to use powder paints mixed with the water pva
washing up liquid method.
Has anyone done this before, or is it best to weather the ballast after.
I have already weathered the sleepers, but wont be rusting the rails until
after ballasting, so was wondering if there are any better ideas.
A mate at work said that he used matt varnish on the ballast instead of pva
has anyone else done this ?
MISC
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misc
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I have used crushed granite or limestone in various mainline sites and found that it ages naturally with the aid of dust and sometimes a very thin wash of acrylic paint (saved waste). In places like loco dep=F4ts and platform limits a darker wash liberally sprinkled with "asphalt" powder provides a typical appearance.
The idea of varnish tends to raise doubts because it becomes a little too permanent for track repair / maintenance.
Regards
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Sailor

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