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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, March 9

The Willowcrest Dollhouse Revisited Week 9

I continued on the shell, installing the third floor. You want to put up as many walls and floors as you can so that you can wallpaper the interior properly. You want to avoid having to wallpaper walls away from the dollhouse, like we had to do for the staircase wall, whenever you can. As you saw, the staircase wall had issues with the joints and damage to the wallpaper which had to be repaired. You also run the risk of ruining newly wallpapered walls with dripping glue when you wallpaper before assembly. You only wallpaper walls before assembly when they are completely inaccessible after installation.

By installing the third floor, the second floor stairwell, right above the first floor staircase, is going to be difficult to wallpaper but it is still accessible.

One note about this third floor. It doesn't seem to line up correctly with the front wall. Every time I assemble this dollhouse kit, I run into the same issue so it seems to be a dye stamp problem. The third floor lines up perfectly with the side walls and with the bathroom/railing wall but it comes up short and does not quite reach the front wall for a tight fit. The front wall is flush and square with the side walls so the wall isn't the issue. It just seems like the third floor was cut a little too far in the front, leaving a small gap between it and the front wall. The tabs do not reach far enough to go completely into the front wall slots.

Do not worry about this. As long as the floor is glued tightly to the side walls and the bathroom/railing wall, it will be fine. As you add more walls to the structure, it will have even more support. The most important thing is to not force the front wall to come into contact with the third floor if it doesn't. This will cause the front wall to bow inwards and it will no longer be straight. Just let it be. The small gap will be hidden with flooring and baseboards.

I installed the kitchen and living room bays so that I can wallpaper them properly as well.

Once the structure is dry, I went ahead and prepared the dollhouses first and second floors for finishing.

The best way to prime all of the walls, especially that very tight second floor stairwell, is to turn the dollhouse upside down. This way you can prime walls and ceilings without worrying about dripping paint into your finished foyer and first floor staircase. I prime the floors in a similar color to the floor cover I am going to use.

You will have to use a lot of containers, in unique ways to keep the dollhouse upside down, without tipping over. Remember that the front wall is higher than all of the other walls.

With the dollhouse upside down, you can see that it is a very easy reach into the second floor stairwell. This is just one way to finish this area. You could have wallpapered the entire stairwell before installation and I believe I did that with my first Willowcrest. Though that method will make things easier, this one will make things nicer.

I went ahead and installed ceiling paper in the living room, since the dollhouse is already upside down but I omitted it from the living room bay ceiling. We will discuss why later on. I left the kitchen's ceilings alone for now because I have to prepare a tin roof for it.

I have to wait for the primer to dry completely before I can finish the second floor so I went ahead and installed the back walls on the left and right walls. You can not wallpaper until these walls are installed because they have to be wallpapered as well.

Now, I had thought about possibly omitting these back walls because they do limit the visibility to the interior of the dollhouse but upon further inspection, I realized they have to stay. Not only do they help support the load of the side walls and floors but they also help square the structure of the dollhouse.

Another function they will help me with is the installation of the back cover. I have to prepare the dollhouse during assembly, to accommodate for the back cover, just like I had to do with the Beacon Hill Dollhouse. These back walls will be essential for that. Without them, I will not have enough area along the back edges of the left and right walls to install rails because the back edges of these walls are filled with slots and tabs for the back walls to fit into.

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