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Part of the problem is using ballast that is sand based which most of the cheaper ones are.

If you use a ballast that is actually granite you will not have this problem at all - it will darken slightly using PVA's but that's about it.

Try crushing a bit of the ballast - if it crushes easily it's not granite.

Don't skimp on the glues used - as Richard says, get a decent one.
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