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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, November 3

The Beacon Hill Dollhouse Revisited Week 33

Finishing The Bays Exterior
These bays require a lot of work. I did the front bay first and it took several days to complete it.

First, you have to finish all of the window sill parts before assembly. I laminated the interiors and clamped them with binder clamps. I then painted them all white since all of my interior trim is white.

I painted the exterior window sill parts before laminating them together because I used different colors for each one. After the paint was dry, I laminated them and clamped them with binder clamps.

Always rememeber that the largest part of the sill, goes on the top layer to create a cascading effect of largest to smallest. This is true for both the top and the bottom sills. Double check constantly before you laminate because it is very confusing and easy to get it wrong.

I painted my bays a little differently this time around. Instead of using the same dollhouse wall color, I decided to add more of the browns to the bay so it stands out.

You want to paint your bays before you install the sills but do not add spackle or dowels or anything to your bay walls until your sills are in place. These walls need flexibility and holding them in place in any way will make adding your sills extremely difficult. That's why I never added glue to the bay wall joints.

The sills go in pretty easily on the exterior but the interior once will need to be modified since they are slightly larger than the bay openings. Meaning your side walls are in the way of them fitting correctly because the sills "legs" are too long. I recommend you cut them to size. You don't want to struggle in this tight area because you can damage your wallpaper and you don't want to put too much pressue to your walls because you can pull your bay walls out. Cut your sills "legs" in the same angle they orginally have until they fit. They should touch the side wall openings or be as close to them as possible but there should be no pressure. It's not needed.

The priority is to make your sills straight. If you install them lopsided, your entire bay will look awkard. Sometimes if you install your sills following the window openings, as you should, they will appear crooked even though your bay walls are correctly installed. This is because the dye cuts are not 100% square or accurate. Your window openings may not line up all the way across the three windows. This is not noticeable when the windows are empty but once you start adding parts to them, it will become very obvious. You will have to make your own adjustments at this point. Sit your sills straight even if you have to use spackle to fill in any gaps between them and the bay walls. Only apply spackle to the gaps that you see on the joints between the sills and the bay walls. (Top of the top sill and bottom of the bottom sill) Do not apply spackle to the edges of the sill that faces the sashes. This will create a mess. You will never be able to get it to look right if you do that and you do not want a cakey, spackle mess on your windows. You want sharp details.

Your siding lines may not line up 100% at each sill edge. Keep your sills straight and don't worry too much about the siding. The descrepancy should be minimal if it all. The bottom sill is the most important one to line up with your siding as best as you can but any slight flaw will not be noticeable once all of the other dollhouse components go in.

After the sills are in place, the spackle of the bay walls begins. You must spackle the joints on the bays lower walls, under the bottom sill, and upper walls, over the top sill. Fill in heavily with spackle and let the spackle dry. Then sand to create a sharp edge. If you installed your roof fascia before your sills, like I did, you will need a narrow fingernail file to fit between them and sand these edges sharp. This process can take several tries, depending on how large the joints between your bay walls are. Do not spackle the joint between the siding of the main wall and the bay walls. This will cause a loss of siding detail in this area since spackle can not be made to look like siding. Leave that area alone.

I like to add dowels to the bay wall joints between the windows. It strengthens the bay walls and also adds extra trim to make the bay stand out more. Do not apply spackle to these wall joints. You want nice clean and sharp lines for your dowels to rest on so no spackle is necessary since the dowels hide the wall joints. I only painted the joint edges and then I added my already painted dowels in place. I painted these dowels dark brown to they stand out. Get them to sit flush with your sills. They will not impede the installation of your windows.

After everything is dry, you can add the bottom trim to your bay. I wanted to keep the butterfly inlay of the previous Beacon Hill but it was discontinued and couldn't be purchased again so I had to remove it from my old Beacon Hill in order to use it on this one. The inlay alone can not be removed or it would have been damaged so I had to remove the entire square trim it was sitting on. I scored the edges and then chiseled it off.

I sanded and repainted it. This trim piece was light brown before but for this new bay color scheme, I needed it to be white. It was not easy to paint this trim white, around this small butterfly inlay, but with patience and a bright light, I was able to do it. I then had to touch up the butterflies colors and that required toothpicks as brushes. This butterfly is too small to be painted any other way. I then added the unused trim of this dollhouse to the old Beacon Hill.

Touch up your interior sills, especially where you had to cut the top one. Do not worry if it doesn't look very clean on the top with the sills "legs" facing you because this will be hidden with a special trim that goes along the top bay opening. Do not apply it yet until your windows are in though. You don't want it to get in the way.


steve said...

This is really nice work. What did you use to achieve the effect of Stained Glass on the doors and windows?

Gina said...

I blogged how I did all of the stained glass windows in the dollhouse blog. You can scroll back to Older Post to review this.


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