Painting and Ballasting Track
I like to paint and weather the rails and the individual ties/sleepers before applying ballast. I use acrylic paints (Raw Sienna, Raw Umber, Payne's Gray, and Unbleached Titanium) and paint the individual ties/sleepers in a random fashion. The rails are painted with a Floquil Paint Pen (Rail Brown).
I like to use a blend of Monster Modelworks Diorama Dirt (sifted) and Woodland Scenics Fine Gray Ballast to ballast the track. I carefully apply the ballast material being sure to keep ballast grains clear of frogs, guardrails, and turnout throwbars. I like to use 70% Isopropyl Alcohol as a wetting agent, and Woodland Scenics Scenic Cement to fasten the ballast into place. The alcohol and scenic cement are applied with a pipette. The photos below show the various stages of painting ties/sleepers and ballasting track.