Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Building the Stairs

I spend so much time working on the dollhouse that I forget to update the blog. Renovating an old dollhouse poses the same problems that renovations on real houses present. Since this house is not a kit house, the room sizes vary--everything varies--, so every space has to measured and pieces have to be cut to fit. Take the stairs, for example. Walls are not straight, floors not level, corners not square. 

Take the stairwell, for example. I have the stairs taped in place so that I can figure out how everything will fit. You can see that the opening is too wide.

So I used pop sickle sticks (the narrow craft sticks) to extend the upstairs hall floor. I glued them to cardboard and stained them. The stain is a decent match to the original wood flooring. 

I have pre-fit all of the pieces, realizing that I need some sort of base on the floor for the railing that I have to create. While some of the pieces come with the Houseworks stairs kit, I have improvise other pieces.

You can see how the piece fits from the the ceiling downstairs. I will cover it with ceiling paper before I glue it permanently. I have stripped out the wallpaper so that I can repair the tape wiring on the wall, as you can see the patch. A previous owner had a off/on switch that controlled the hallway light and porch lights on the outside of the house. It quite working properly, so I took it out which meant that I had repair the wiring to restore the flow of the electrical current.

Now, the stairwell patch has been glued in place and held securely with small clamps to hold it until the glue dries. Next I begin planning the stairs by laying out the pieces, trying to figure how they will all fit together.

I have laid out the pieces after cutting pieces for the railing to fit to give the stairway a finished look. Of course I check many blogs to see how others have installed stairs. I used the same trim that I used for the window casings.

With the stairway opening project finished, I set about laying the flooring. Because I have placed much of the wiring on the floors for easy access, I don't want to permanently attach the flooring because I want to be ale to lift it out should the wiring go bad. So I used double sticky carpet tape, difficult stuff to work with and not totally satisfactory.

The tape worked in the living room to hold the flooring in place. I have added the baseboards and the room is beginning to look finished. The tape did not work in the hallway, however. It just would not grab hold to keep the flooring from buckling. The living room floor looks great. 

 So I pulled it up. I decided to use Gorilla wood glue to adhere the flooring. First I used the scroll saw to cut out a place in the flooring that I would not glue down. The cut will covered up with furniture or 

The downstairs has caused a lot of consternation--aggravation--frustration--angst. The living room lights above the fireplace have been flickering, so I decided to figure out how to create access to the the wiring. I ended up stripping out the the blah, band creamy wallpaper, replacing it with Hobby Lobby's paper. I like the stripes and the border at the top better than the plain paper. I fixed the tape wiring on one wall then wall papered over the patch. 

Now with the hall flooring installed, I am working on completing the stair installation and what a challenge it is proving to be. So, I will leave your here. I'll be back soon, hopefully with the stairs nicely installed, looking fabulous. 

Thanks so much stopping by.

Stair kit: Houseworks/ Hobby Lobby brand
Carpet double sticky tape: Ace Hardware store brand
Thin narrow casing for stairs: open stock Norm's Dollhouse Store, Denver

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