Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Next Step

Now, both the exterior and interior walls of the first and second floor have been primed. Next I will paint the exterior; I am still pondering the color, but thinking about a very light mint or sage green with white trim and perhaps a bit of pink as an accent color. I really love one of the Robin Cary dollhouses that is taupe with blue and white accents, but the grand daughters have chosen those colors for their Painted Lady. It will be beautiful.

I like to prime the surfaces for a couple of reasons, but especially as both as a sealer and to provide a smooth surface for paint or wallpaper. I had to remember not paint the edges that will be glued because the paint does not absorb the glue causing a weak union.



Next, I taped together the first two floors to dry fit pieces. The first step in assembling any of these kit houses is to assemble the foundation. The first owner had already nicely assembled the foundation, so it s ready for the house to fit on it. The company instructions are very specific on how to assemble and glue the house together, and this is not the way. 


The Bellingham is a sizable house, but so far has assembled easily. I haven't gotten to the 3rd level yet or the roof. I may be singing a different tune when it comes times to doing that.


These kits come complete with all the pieces to build a beautiful home, except for the pieces that are missing. With Dura Craft out of business, missing or defective pieces cannot be replaced. Such is the case with the pieces used to finish the 7 seven windows, the small gusset that will be on the top of the window. So I have ordered from miniatures.com seven windows rather than building the kit windows. This one is one that I picked up at Hobby Lobby for the Ballet Studio, but did not use it. These standard windows will fit, but the substituted  doors will not. I want to use a single French door on the balcony, but the doors are too long, so I may have to build the pieces and figure out how to create the top gusset. 


I think this window should face the window sill shelf should be on the inside of the house, not on the outside.  I may also change out the shutters, opting for these with the slats. I do need to use a larger size.


The second floor is very precarious, so look quickly before it all comes down. I have some decisions to make about flooring: craft sticks glued down to the floor or purchased flooring by the sheet. I have been buying i at Hobby Lobby and staining it, getting good results. 


At this point, once the primer has dried I made my wallpaper templates. While I will wallpaper after the house is assembled, it is easy to make the patterns while the walls lay flat on the table. I used waxed freezer/butcher paper. I use it for many things: to cover my work surface to keep paint, stain, and glue off of the table top, as backing to cloth when I want to print images on cloth, and to make my wallpaper patterns. Cheap and you get a lot on a roll.


You can see that I ran my finger along the edges of the walls, windows, and doors so that I will know where to trim away excess. I didn't take the time to cut out the window or doors, but I did trim the sides the size of the walls. I will add 1/2 inch to each side (not top or bottom) on the front walls so that the wallpaper will wrap around the side walls. The wallpaper on the side walls will butt up to the corner, creating a nice finished corner.


I printed the photo of the interior of the first two floors that I am using as my blue print. I have drawn in the line where I will place my electrical tape wire. Next  I will decided where I want my lights. I will mark the wall templates so that I can transfer the locations of lights to the wallpaper. I'll go over that when the time comes.

Building a kit house is so much easier than doing a renovation because of the ease of access, and in the case of the Blue Farmhouse, uniform and well-fitting pieces. The manufactured wood has a smooth surface while the 1/4 inch plywood used in the old house is rough. I have struggled with every aspect of the renovation; now I am enjoying the the process, trying to take my time, and have a plan with each step. 

Thanks so much for visiting. I always enjoy your input along with any suggestions that you may offer. I'll return with a pretty color, I hope. 

Friday, June 3, 2016

New Project

Work on the Blue Farmhouse has been temporarily put on hold. I am quite anxious to get the interior finished; however, I have had a bit of a set back. I ordered a box of 12 pieces of channel molding to cover the rough outside edge of the walsl. It arrived today, but when I opened the container, the wrong wood had been sent. Instead of the 1/4 inch channel casing, the company sent a box of crown molding. It was a simple mistake; someone simply grabbed the wrong box of wood. Easy to do. I won't mention the company, but I will praise them for their cooperation and willingness to correct their mistake. In addition, they didn't require me to return the crown molding. Now if I can just figure out how to cut perfect mitered corners, I will put crown molding in the old farmhouse.

In the meantime, I am beginning two new projects, both vintage Dura Craft kits purchased on craigslist.org. My granddaughters and I will be building the San Franciscan, a Painted Lady Row house so famous in in San Francisco. We took the main pieces out of the box Wednesday and assigned rooms to the girls. Here at home, I will be building the Bellingham Farmhouse, circa 1999.

I took all of the pieces out of the the box months ago and began labeling them with sticky notes.

Before I could return to the project, the garage needed a lot of cleaning. I had four stacks: donate (located in the back of my SUV), haul to the barn stuff, keep pile, and throw away. The idea was for the last category to catch the most, which I think it did. Anyway, mission accomplished; with help of my husband we cleared the second half of the garage so that we could set up a second work table where I can paint and clue.

The dollhouse box has a great photograph of the house. It will be helpful in deciding how to assemble all of the fancy trim.  I am trying to decide the color. 



This is only part of the mess that I faced today. I forgot to photograph the entire pile before I began trying to assemble main walls of the house. I had used sticky notes to label all of the pieces, but the garage is a dusty place, so the sticky notes didn't stick.


Looking at what will be the inside of the house, I now have a better idea as to how the house will fit together. I will have to follow the instructions carefully to avoid mistakes. I made a main mistake on the Ballet Studio because I didn't pay close enough attention to the instructions.


The base had already been assembled by the previous owner, accurately, thankfully.



I now have a good sense as to how the house will fit together. I am hoping to do some of the interior work before assembling the walls. I think doing so will be a lot easier than all of the rebuilding that I have had had to do with the Blue Farmhouse. 


It will be a good sized house.



Taping the house was only temporary and the tape didn't hold. I fussed with it too much causing it to collapse. 




These two pages represent the parts list. The first page lists the pieces for the house, and the second lit lists the pieces that will need to be assembled such as the windows, doors, and fireplace. There is a third page that details the world trim pieces.


And here they are. I spent the evening sorting these pieces of trim and labeling each once type. Now I need to figure out where they all go.


All sorted and labeled, next these pieces will be painted.


The Bellingham has a lot of detail work on the exterior,  much more the old Blue Farmhouse. I sorted all of these pieces, placing them in the little plastic cups. They, too, will all have to be painted. I am, however, considering buying turned railing balusters instead of using these plain round ones for the porch and the stairs.

There are several sheets of the press-out pieces for the two doors and six windows, but I am actually considering buying the pre-assembled windows. I think that they will look much better than these plain round ones. What do you think? Would you cheat and opt for a nicer looking window?

Each of these pieces will have to be sanded and painted. Here you are looking at parts for the fireplace and chimney. I have already decided to use a fireplace that I am building from an Xacto kit. It will look awesome.


I can begin priming the main pieces anytime now since I have paint primer on hand. The firsts step. I'll prime both the interior and exterior surfaces.

And Wednesday I will do this all over again to get the girls' house ready to assemble.

Thanks for taking time to visit. I will return.