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Custom Rehab Week 01

This upcoming project is a little different from my usual ones. This is a rehab. This custom dollhouse belongs to a neighbor and she was ...

Thursday, September 18

The Lily Dollhouse Day 04

So now that the staircases and the shell are completely dry, I went ahead and primed all of the shell walls and painted the ceilings. I usually flip my dollhouse on it's sides so I have better access but be careful. The raw wood shell walls all look very similar and it's easy to confuse a ceiling or a wall for a floor. If your going to stain your floors, you won't want to prime them or they will be ruined. Double check what your painting before you begin.

I went ahead and stained the staircases as well. I chose a light colored stain.

After everything is dry it's time to plan out the partition so I can figure out my wallpaper. I can't put these staircases in until that’s done.

I dry fit the two partitions that will go on the first floor. These partitions separate the kitchen from the foyer. The staircase is in the foyer and the back of it faces the kitchen. The best way to insert these partitions is as follows.

Glue in Partition #1 first. That’s the one with the archway. You might need to hammer it in straight to get it into the slots. Clamp it until dry. This is why it's so important to not follow the instructions when they tell you to apply all of the windows and doors onto your walls before assembly. If you do that, you won't be able to wallpaper and you won't be able to have openings for clamping and access.

After the glue dried, I primed Partition #1 and measured out my wallpaper for it. Before you begin wallpapering, you have to make an important decision. Are you planning to stain your windows on the inside or paint them? If your painting your casings, then you can go ahead and wallpaper as usual. If you plan on staining your casings, you have to take a casing, dry fit it on the interior of the window opening and mark with a pencil around it. You will have to cut your wallpaper around that mark before putting it on. That way you have an area that you can stain. Remember you can paint over wallpaper but you can't stain over it.

I wallpapered the front wall first and then I dry fitted the staircase so I can see where the foyer ends and the kitchen starts. I don’t want the same wallpaper in the foyer as I do the kitchen so I have to know where the dividing line will be. I then cut my wallpaper to end at the foyer, behind the staircase. I wallpapered Partition #1 on the foyer side.

I went ahead and installed the staircase. It wasn’t difficult as I thought it would be. It fit perfectly in place except or that one slot on the floor that you see to your left. I don’t know what happened there but the tab wouldn’t reach it so I cut the tab off. The most important thing is for the staircase to sit flat on the floor so if something is in the way, cut it off. Now I have that open slot on the floor which I will have to cover up with wood filler later on. Other than that, the staircase went in perfectly and all the other tabs went into the slots.

Of course I’m going to trim all of the staircase bottom later on when I’m ready to put in the baseboards. Do not put any trim on now because if you do, they will get in the way of partitions or other components. It's best to leave it for last.

After the staircase was dry, I went ahead and installed Partition #2. This will be difficult. First, it’s a tight space and the partition is large and second, you have a staircase and Partition #1 in the way. Take your time, pace yourself, don’t try to do it all at once. You need a hammer for this step, to fit the partition in little by little and corner by corner until the tabs fall into the slots of the floor and ceiling.

Prepare for your floors and ceiling to get scuffed and maybe even your staircase. You will have to touch them up later. Now you can see why the top five treads of the staircase had to be shorter than the others. If they weren’t, there would be no way to fit this partition into place. It’s a very tight fit but if you took the time to square your staircase and shell and to glue them on very tightly, you won't have a problem in the end. It's meant to go in this way.

After it was in and the glue dried, I wallpapered it on the foyer side using the front door opening to access it. Don’t even think about putting on the front door any time soon because you will need more access to this area for trim and the window. Once the front door is in, you won't be able to access the foyer again unless you have a hinged door. Now just because you can't access this area and it will be mostly hidden from view doesn’t mean you don’t have to finish it like the rest of the dollhouse. The double front doors have windows and you will be able to look inside through them into this area. You wouldn’t want it to look unfinished.

Since I was already there and it was finished, I decided to wallpaper the kitchen. Crease your wallpaper around the staircase to get the right shape so it fits around it perfectly.

Finally the final partition and it's an easy one because there are no tabs or slots to fit anywhere. All you have to do is make sure that you wallpaper the foyer side before you fit it into place. Once you have it primed and wallpapered on that side, you just butt up against the staircase, glue and clamp. Once it's dry it can be wallpapered to match the kitchen.




















6 comments:

caitlin said...

That is some wallpaper you got going on there! Love the polka dots.

Gina said...

lol, when I chose the wallpaper, I was thinking of Key West. Im not too good with decor so theres a little tacky tropical thrown in there for good measure.

Anonymous said...

when you put the wallpaper, is that mean you know the color of your furniture firts ???
y tought that you have to by the furniture and after the wallpaper but y see here that the wallpaper il install in the begening of the projet ( scuse my english it's no my first language)

Gina said...

I usually wallpaper before I choose the furniture for my dollhouse. I do it this way because I dont know how large the room is going to be so I dont want to buy more furniture than needed. Sometimes the furniture I have in mind can not be used because of the room size or layout so it would have been a waste to buy it.

If the furniture I buy later, clashes too much with the wallpaper, I usually just reupholster it to match. Its rare to find furniture that will match your decor completely so always be ready to reupholster.

Joe said...

I am currently building the Lily Dollhouse, it's my first and has been a bit of a challenge... though positive so far. One thing I don't like is that the kitchen is cut of from the foyer. I am thinking about cutting partition #2 in half and having a through-way from the foyer to the kitchen. Is there any reason I should not do this?

Gina said...

Hi Joe,

I have seen this done before, so there is no reason you shouldn't do it but keep in mind that the kitchen is very small and if you make another opening to it, it will be even smaller. Take into consideration how you want your kitchen to look, first, before you modify it.

 

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