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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, April 7

Custom Order 04 The Rosedale Dollhouse Day 1

Click on Newer Posts at the bottom of each page so you can see each day of the construction.

Today, I opened the kit and checked that it was complete.

This is a laser cut kit so you don't have to worry about a lot of sanding. The edges are mostly nice and smooth.

Now that I checked the kit, I can go ahead and prepare it for assembly but I'm not going to do that just yet. I want to concentrate on the shingles first.

The last time that I built this dollhouse, I did a "basketweave" patterned shingle design on the roof but I painted them. This time around the design will have natural looking shingles, like on the box photo, and that will take a little planning.

I have some left over laser cut hexagon shingles from my previous Rosedale build but not enough for the whole dollhouses so I'll have to cut octagon shingles to size.

Also, notice that the basketweave pattern on the box photo was made using a combination of dark and light shingles. Veneer shingles tend to always be very light in color and finding them in a darker, richer color, like in the photo, is extremely difficult if not impossible. This is because most times veneer shingles are made using birch wood. Birch wood is very light so that's the color your shingles will be.

In order to make the shingles darker, I'll have to stain some of them. I'm planning on staining the left over laser cut shingles to use as the "darker" ones and the non-laser cut ones as the "light" ones by leaving them their natural light color.

When working with laser cut shingles, you have to make sure that you have the right side facing up. You don't want to accidentally stain or use their backsides. Unlike the non-laser cut, birch veneer shingles, which don't have a distinguishable front or back side, these laser cut ones tend to be blotchy on their backsides. The laser cutting darkens the edges and causes almost a yellowish, water mark stain around the outer areas of the shingles backsides.

Since the laser cut shingles come in strips, it is extremely easy to paint or stain them.

Right now, I'm cutting the shingles to create the hexagon shape. I'm using a hexagon shingle as a template to cut the octagon ones to match. Octagon shingles seem to be the easist ones to cut into various shapes.

I have to look at the box photo and try to match as closely as possible the darker hue of the "dark" shingles. I don't want to make them too dark. I have two possible browns that can work for this. I just have to stain two sample shingles to see which one works best.

I decided to go with a diluted dark brown paint. It just looks better and it's the most similar to the picture. I just want a little hint of stain, not too much. I don't want to hide the grain of the wooden stained shingles. It's just enough so you can see the basketweave design clearer.

Staining laser cut shingles is very easy because they come in strips and the edges are already dark so you don't have to do them. When you stain the strips, they will curl up with the moisture and end up looking like bracelets. Let them dry completely and they will slowly flatten out. After they are completely dry, you can stack them up and place a weight over them so they can flatten out more. Don't stack them unless they are dry on both sides or they will stick together and dark stain drops will dry all over them.

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