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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 ...

Monday, October 4

The Brimbles Mercantile Dollhouse Day 2

Today I prepared the floors. I will be staining the dollhouses own floors. Finishing materials are really the bulk of a dollhouse's expense. The more of your dollhouse you finish yourself, the more money you will save.

The cardboard box can be used to make extra parts for more details, a landscaping base and/or a turn table. You can also use it as a table protector while you paint or wallpaper. The sheet scraps can be used for extra trim, spacers, architectural details and/or to square corners. As you can see, there is a lot that can be used on your kit besides the dollhouse parts in order to prevent a lot of wasted material.

On this dollhouse I drew and scored the wood planks right on the original kit floors. The best way to do this is with a sharp utility knife and a spacer of the right width to make your lines. I used a left over Greenleaf Vinyl Floor plank from the Aster Cottage. It's true to scale. It is exactly 5/16" wide and 12" long.

Always work in the same direction as the grain of the wood. If you go against it you will splinter your flooring and you will have a rough, jagged floor. Sometimes the grain of your first floor runs one way and the grain of the second floor runs another, you will have to make do with this difference. It's not a big deal and even in real dollhouses, some rooms have the panks running in a different direction than others.

You begin on the side corner of the floor that is closest to you and begin drawing your lines up the floor with a pencil. You don't have to press in the pencil too hard. Just enough to make a solid visible line. The 12" plank template will most likely be shorter than your floor so you have to do one side first and then join the other side to it. This will not be a problem if you run your lines straight and you will not be able to tell where the lines were joined.

When your done drawing the plank lines, you use the utility knife to score right over them. When you score, do not score deeply. You are not trying to reach the bottom of an oil well, you just want to score enough to make a cut on the surface of the wood. The score is not meant to be seen but rather felt. That's why you drew the lines first because that is your visual for the planks. If you score in too deep, you can compromise the strength of the dollhouse's floors so be careful.

When your done scoring, lightly sand, with the grain, to remove any splinters that might have come up. Lightly, is the key word. If you sand too hard your scored will disappear and so will your pencil marks.

You then measure out 12" long planks and make your staggered plank joints. There's no wrong way to make your joints. It all depends on the look your going for. Traditionally, plank joints are staggered so that's the look I'm going for in this dollhouse.

You then can stain and varnish your floors ASAP because the pencil lines will begin rubbing off as you work with the floor. I used a light stain color for the flooring, which is what the client wanted.

Now, just because it's cost effective to use your dollhouse's own floors does not mean that you will not have challenges. Everyone has a different taste for how they like things finished so you have to decide what your willing to live with and what your not.

Here are some things to consider when using your dollhouse floors:

1. The hue of the floor can clash with your stain. Some dollhouse floors tend to have a "red" undertone which can make your stain choice slightly different than what you may have invisioned.
2. Some dollhouses have different grains and hues for each dollhouse floor. Your first floor might be "red" while your second floor is more "yellow" in hue. This will cause your stains to look different on each floor.
3. Grains may run differently on different floors and even in different rooms.
4. There can be water marks or stains on certain areas of your floor, from the wood iteself, that will be noticeable when you stain.

Remember, the dye cuts of one dollhouse kit are stamped on sheets of different types of woods, causing hue differences. The wood sheets can be fed into the stamper in any direction, causing the grains to run differently. This can add character to your dollhouses wooden floors, making them one of a kind but to some folks, this is not the look they are going for so check your floors carefully before you make your decision on whether you want to cover them up or use them.

1 comment:

Marisa Stein said...

thanks for the information, it was very informative.



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