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Tip: 1. Read through all of the instructions that came with your kit first. 2. Find your dollhouse in this blog by using the drop down menu below. 3. Read through the building process in its entirety before beginning your project. Happy building!

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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 ...

Sunday, April 17

Custom Order 04 The Rosedale Dollhouse Day 8

Today I spent most of the day assembling the front door. Since the customer wants all of the trim white, it becomes easier in some ways and harder in others.

The easy part is that I am able to laminate all of the components of the door and then paint them all at once instead of each layer on its own.

The hard part are the windows. When the windows are all one color, you have to sand down the edges very well so that it all looks like one solid piece coming from the interior to the exterior rather than layers laminated together. This can take some work, especially with the dark edges of a laser cut dollhouse. The only way to do this is before the interior windows go in so you don't damage your window panes.

You have to spackle, sand and paint the inner edges of each window.

Now the siding. I happen to love it but a lot of people struggle horribly with it. On this particular dollhouse, I am applying the siding after the components because all of the components are square and it will be easy to cut the siding around them. Do not install your window sills, oval windows or bay roof trims yet. Leave those for after the siding is in place because it is much harder to cut around them and you want to maintain a nice finished look. So, always assess the shape of your dollhouses exterior trim so you can make decisions on what is best applied after siding and what can be applied before to avoid problems later.

When applying your siding after components, you can certainly use hot melt glue. Just like shingles, siding is not holding any structure together or anything that is under pressure. When you apply birch veneer siding with hot melt glue, it has the tendency of laying flatter against your walls than when you use tacky glue. At the end of the day though, the second you apply paint to your siding, the warping begins, ragardless of what glue you use.

The warping of your siding should not be extreme. In fact, it should be nearly invisible to the naked eye. You might notice it more when you take pictures of your dollhouse because of the camera flash but it shouldn't be very noticeable otherwise. It is unavoidable and this bothers many miniaturists to no end. In fact, siding is one of the most complained about items of a dollhouse.

Each birch veneer strip is made up of different grains and when paint hits it, you will see the bumps and ripples of each grain as the strip swells with moisture. The more strips you have together, the more noticeable the bumps, since each strip curves and waves in a different way. When there are a lot of components on the wall, you notice it less or not at all. Basically, the shorter the siding strip, the less noticeable this issue is.

This is why they invented pre-milled clapboard siding but tab and slot dollhouses do not have that feature since their walls are very thin, making them unable to be milled.

I personally love birch veneer siding. It might be hard to put on and it takes a lot of component planning but the outcome is worth it. It just looks very realistic. I have had pre-milled sided dollhouses and its just not the same.

You can see in the pictures below, the tallest and widest wall of the Rosedale sided. This type of wall would be notorious for warping since it is very large and it has no components in it whatsoever. The good news is that it is the length of the siding strips so no staggering of siding joints were needed. This helps prevent warping. I applied the siding with hot melt glue.

I drew the guide lines on the wall using a 1/2" wide wooden stick. This is the standard lap width for siding. Depending on the look you want, you can make your lap width smaller or wider. If you go to your local craft store, you can find basswood trim in various widths that make great guides for drawing your lines.

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