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Thursday, January 25

Dollhouse Window Repair Guide

The acetate windows that come with tab and slot dollhouse kits are beautiful but very fragile. It is very easy to accidentally damage them during your assembly.

Builders often ask how exactly do you change a damaged window on a dollhouse. Well, first you have to get your new window. You should contact the manufacturer so they can send you replacement windows for your model dollhouse.

If loosing the silk screen design is not a problem for you, then you can go to an office supply store and buy transparencies that are used in projectors to make new windows.

Damaged Windows

You want to first always avoid damaging your windows. Though they can be replaced, it can be very time consuming and the possibility is very high that areas around the window will be damaged during replacement.

Once you have a replacement window you have to cut out the damaged window with a sharp craft knife.

Next you have to remove the trim. Since tab and slot dollhouses are made up of layers, always try to remove the single layer trim that is glued to the acetate window.

If your trim is part of another trim, like for instance a damaged window that's above a door, you will have to cut it apart from the door trim with a box cutter so you don't have to take apart your door.

Pry the trim off with a very tiny flat head screwdriver. You will have to chisel it carefully until the trim comes up. The screwdriver I use is the kind you use to repair your eye glasses with. This is an exercise in patience. It can take you a while before your able to pry off your trim. Work on it a little bit through out the day so you don't become impatient and end up damaging the trim or the wall around it. Glue can adhere pretty strongly to wood. Just keep prying a little at a time. The more of it that comes up, the easier it will be to lift the rest.

Avoid using solvents to try and loosen the glue. Doing this can leave a residue that will prevent new glue from adhering to your trim. If you absolutely need to use something, try a hair dryer and some water to slowly heat and moisten the glue so the trim comes off easier.

Once the trim is off, remove all of the extra glue and the broken window edge that remains.

Now cut out your replacement window to fit your opening and glue it in place.

Then replace the window trim you had previously removed.

Use spackle to join the top trim to it's bottom part seemlessly, if needed.

Extra care will have to be taken if the window is glued to wallpaper. You have to be careful you do not rip the wallpaper in areas that will not be hidden when you replace the trim.

Use a sharp craft knife to cut the wallpaper very close to the window trim so that when you lift the trim, it doesn't rip the wallpaper up with it.

Scratched Windows

Always avoid damaging your windows by any means that you can but if your window becomes scratched, you can repair it with lip balm. Floor and car wax can also work but I always use lip balm. Any brand lip balm will work as long as it's not tinted with any kind of color and it's unscented.

Apply the balm over the scratch. It has to be applied right on the side the scratch happened and then buff with a very soft cloth. The best cloths for this are made of microfiber. Usually eyeglass cleaning cloths are made of this. You don't want to use a regular cloth towel or paper towel of any kind because these windows are so delicate that they will scratch if you try to buff with even the slightest abrasive cloth.

Buff gently but quickly and continue applying lip balm. Soon you will see the scratch disappear right before you eyes.

This only works with surface scratches or scuff marks on your windows. If your window was dented or cut through, you must replace them.

Greenleaf Dollhouses stands behind their products and if you bought your dollhouse kit, new from a retailer, they will send you replacement parts, whether the damage was there when you opened the box or caused during assembly. You do not even have to pay for shipping and handling. You will probably need to give them your order number.


Jennifer Schifano Thomas said...

Thank you. I just purchased an old dollhouse in need of renovation and all of the window "glass" is missing. I've been carefully prying the inside window frames off all day and trying to figure out where to get the "glass". Have a super day!

Gina said...

An economical way to make new glass windows for your dollhouse rehab, is to buy transparencies (kind used for projectors), which are sold at office supply stores. You can cut them with scissors, using your interior window frames as a guide, to make your window "glass".


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