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Whether you're an experienced builder or new to the hobby, I've gathered material from all over the web to produce the most complete, tab and slot, dollhouse assembly blog you can find.
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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 ...

Friday, August 17

The Half Scale Chantilly Dollhouse Day 4

After you have assembled your dollhouse shell using tacky glue, you have to unclamp it and go over all of the joints with wood glue. Because this dollhouse is so small, you will have trouble getting your fingers into it to spread the wood glue on the joints. I suggest your use a foam brush instead.

Be careful with your floors if you plan on staining them with wood stain as wood glue will not stain. If you plan on using a floor cover or faux stain, like I will be using, then you do not have to worry too much about them.

After everything is dry, you have to prime your dollhouse, just like you would a one inch scale model, before you wallpaper. If you plan on using a floor cover, you should prime your floors as well using a paint that is similar to your flooring choice. If you plan on staing the floors, like me, be careful you do not get any primer on them. I use white craft paint as a primer.

One coat of paint is enough for priming walls and two coats for the ceilings, if you plan on them being white like I did.

Notice I have not worked my way up to the third floor attic yet. Usually die cut dollhouses that have attics, can have quite a maze of walls going on in the attic area so do not worry about that now. Finish up the lower floors first.

This dollhouse is a little different because of the window mullions. You have to paint them before the wallpaper goes up and the exterior paint is put on. I am painting mines white but you can paint them any color you want.

The mullions are very thin, delicate and difficult to paint. Paint will easily blob and cake on such small parts. It will tend to cling to the corners of your mullions making everything look bad. Usually one coat of craft paint is enough, reducing significantly the caking effect, but unfortunately that will not work with this dollhouse. Laser cut dollhouses have dark, burnt edges where the laser cut the wood, so one coat of paint is not enough to cover them. The burnt edges also tend to not soak paint up very well so two coats or more are a must when using light colors like white.

The way to do this in order to get the best outcome is to paint all of the sides of your mullions, not worrying about the blobbing, at first. When the paint is dry, gently sand your mullions, using a fingernail file. This will remove any blobbing or caking. Give your mullions a thorough second coat of paint and when dry, sand again. You will see that this time, you have gotten good coverage if your using a good quality craft paint. Touch up the paint all around the mullions being careful to not use too much this time. When dry, use your fingertips to gently rub the paint, on all sides of your mullions, until smooth. It's amazing how effectively fingertips will smooth down paint.

Basically this same tenchinique will have to be used on every single painted component for this dollhouse, so prepare yourself for some tedious painting. Make sure that you remove any blobbed paint on every nook and cranny or you will loose sharp and crisp details on your dollhouse parts.

So far, I painted the exterior window trims and widows walk as well.


Kathi said...

As always, I appreciate your tips and suggestions. I'm painting trim now too. TEDIOUS! Mine is 1:12 scale and not laser cut but I am still finding it difficult to keep going....

darren said...

Wouldn't it be a bit more effective to dryfit walls floor. Paint and or stain then glue up?building a orchid house and am thinking on this your advice please?

darren said...

Wouldn't it be easier to paint stain ect before glueup am building a orchid house your advice?

Gina said...

Hi Darren,

I am not quite sure I'm understanding what exactly your describing but I hope I am able to answer your question.

A shell of a dollhouse must always be finished after assembly, unless it's an area that you will not be able to have access to later, like, for example, a stairwell, attic or closet. As long as you have access to the area after assembly, then you have to glue first and then finish. Every dollhouse is different so this is a decision that has to be made depending on your dollhouse model.

Dry fitting is useful because it allows you to know, before gluing in place, if the area can be accessed after assembly or not.

All trim and components must be finished prior to assembly because they are too small to be finished afterwards.

The Orchid's top floor, where the dormers are, must be finished before assembly because they are way too complex to be finished afterwards easily.


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