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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, December 7

The Vermont Farmhouse Jr Week 16

Shingle Wash
This time, I did my shingles slightly different than I usually do. The easiest way to shingle is to make roof panel templates, hot glue your shingles on to them, cut off all the excess, glue your shingled templates to your dollhouse roof and then paint or stain them.

The reason I decided to not do this with this dollhouse is because one, I did not have postal paper to create templates with and two, I wanted to show an alternative to the usual method. I wanted to do this specifically for this dollhouse, since I am sure some builders may have gotten Shingle Dye to use with their shingles. The below method would be the way to use that product. The manufacturer also has suggestions on how to use this product in the link above.

I covered this product in more detail in my Shingling Guide, so I will be brief here. Shingle Dye comes in a brown wash or a gray wash. The important thing you need to know is that it is a permanent dye with an oily consistency. You must use latex gloves when using it or it will stain your hands. You have to be extremely careful to not get this dye on your dollhouse because it will not come off of painted surfaces. For this reason, you should do this process away from your dollhouse.

I am not using Shingle Dye. I created my own gray wash from acrylic paint, mixed with water and a slight dab of matte varnish but the process of applying the wash is the same as with Shingle Dye and it is just as messy.

First, you need a disposable bowl and strainer. You can get these at the dollar store and recycle them when your done. You also need a large area where you can lay out a lot of wax paper. I used both of my assembly tables for this.

Mix the Shingle Dye, as the instructions indicate, in the bowl. Dump your shingles into the dye bowl. You will have to do them in batches because they wont all fit at once. If you want them to all fit at once, you will have to use a very large plastic bin but this can dilute your dye. Just make sure you have enough dye because you don't want to run out. You might not be able to get the same exact hue if you try and mix a new batch. This is especially true if your making your own mixture with paint, like I am.

After the shignles soak in there for a few seconds and are all covered, just take them out with a strainer and lay them on the wax paper to dry. But its just not that easy. The water causes the shingles to stick to each other, so you will have to separate them, one by one, in order to lay them out on the wax paper. Do not let them dry stuck together or you will have blotches on them. Now, because the Shingle Dye has an oily consistency, I am not sure if the shingles will stick together also but keep this issue in mind, so you are ready for it if it does happen. Its extremely messy, very tedious and this is why I never finish shingles this way.

But, after your shingles are dry, you will get an outcome that can not be gotten any other way. Your shingles will have a wash on them, which is totally different from stain. The affect is very beautiful.

The shingles will not warp because they were wet on both sides at the same time. Once they are thoroughly dry, just pick them off of the wax paper. You will have to do them one by one because they will slightly stick to the paper. The shingles will have a front and back side because the side that was laying on the wax paper, will be blotchy and can not be used. Put the shingles in a container.

If you are using Shingle Dye, you must continue handling your shingles with latex gloves on. Even though the dye is technically dry, it has a tendency to still cause stains.

The application is still the same as with any other shingle finish. You must paint your roof in a similar color, so that raw wood does not peek through between shingles. I use hot melt glue to apply my shingles. There is absolutely no need to torture yourself with any other type of glue for this. Hot melt glue will hold your shingles in place, so that the pattern does not shift and it makes the process go by quickly. Especially for shingles covered in Shingle Dye. The dye might interfere with the adhesion of other types of glues since it still has the tendency to rub off after dry.

Make sure your lines are straight and that they line up between the main roof and the dormer. Unfortunately, my lines did not meet up as well as I would have liked in this area because I was preoccupied with the fear of running out of shingles. For some reason, it seemed to me like I didn't have enough of them and by the time I finished shingling, I realized that I didn't. The only reason I was able to complete is because I did not do the back roofs but I doubt there would have been enough shingles to do the back roof in its entirety. Running out of shingles when using a wash, is terrible since you do not know if the shingles you will get are the same or even similar to your kits shingles. You would also have to mix dye again and like I stated before, it will be very difficult to get the same hue from a different batch.

Over all, it turned out pretty good. You cant really tell, unless your a builder, that the lines are just a tad bit out of alignment when meeting with the dormer. What you can really tell is how beautiful the wash is.

Keep in mind that not all shingles will take wash the same way. Some shingles are more ribbed and have a deeper grain design than others. This is vital for the wash to look good. Shingles that come with Real Good Toys Dollhouse kits tend to be perfect for washes because they are usually cedar, with deep ridges and prominent grains. Birch veneer shingles may not give you the same outcome since they send to be uniform in color, with nearly no visible grain and have a very smooth surface. This will cause a more uniform take to the dye, which could give the appearance of a painted look, rather than a wash.

If you used Shingle Dye, you must apply a coat of matte varnish to your shingles, after they are installed. This will seal the dye and prevent it from rubbing off and causing stains.

So, remember that it's a messy process but you have to decide if the finished look is worth the extra difficulty.

The gingerbread for this dollhouse does not come pre-cut. You will have to cut it yourself. Luckily the instructions bring an illustrated template of how to angle your cuts but the Easy Cutter is a life saver at this moment.

Cutting this gingerbread can be extremely confusing and it is very easy to make mistakes. Please read carefully through the instructions first, so you don't miss anything, before you begin cutting. They do not provide enough trim to cover mistakes, so you will not get a second chance the cut these correctly.

Place close attention to the illustration that shows you were to begin your cuts. This is vital, so you do not end up making a wrong cut and ending up with two small pieces when you needed a long one.

Remember, that I did not use the top roof trim on my dollhouse.

Flower Boxes
I added flowers to the flower boxes. These "boxes" arent truly boxes, meaning that you cant fill them with moss, cotton or foam in order to hold your flowers in place. You will have to glue your flowers right to the surface of the boxes.

I used tacky glue and small fabric flowers that I found right at the craft store.


Angela Strickland said...

Hi Gina. What type of paint did you use and why?

Gina said...

I always use acrylic craft paint for all of my dollhouses. It has great coverage with low moisture so this helps keep small parts from swelling too much. This allows them to fit better during assembly. This type of paint also comes in a variety of colors which do not need to be pre-mixed. They are readily available at any craft store.


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