Saturday, April 16, 2016

Ready To Work - Or Is It Play?

Now that I have sufficiently gotten enough of my To Do List Ta Done, I can go do what I want, which is minis, and do them relatively guilt free. The work room is ready, so now all I need is to make some decisions.

I've had plenty of unfocused ideas swimming around in my head, but still don't have the certainty to go forward with confidence in my choices. So, the best thing to do is just to start doing something and see where it leads me.

Here is what I started working with - a mess of random ideas! Lets just see if a plan begins to form...

I began by choosing the wall coverings. They are wedding themed scrapbook paper that I picked up at Joanne's on my way back from Moab. The book was half price and there were lots of mini scaled patterns, so I'll have lots more choices for future builds too.

I chose a striped pattern as a wainscoting , then a more modern type pattern for the main walls and then a swirly floral type for the upper wall sections. They are all white with silver grey accents, which I wanted so that the patterns don't take over the focus of the shop.

I have a pretty fancy ceiling paper for the main interior roof section, but needed to paint what will be the outside soffits before I can apply the paper. Once I apply, I'll paint a coordinating white so that it is more of a textural element than an eye catcher.

While the paper and paint were drying, I began to think about the type of flooring the shop should have. Since I am going for a little shabby, I thought a whitewashed wide plank wood flooring might be nice. I had about 10 brand new pieces of 1/2"x1/16" boards, but that wasn't going to be enough. I had more of different material, but everything I had was 1/8" thick and that seemed too chunky.

I found a solution: I had more 1/2"x1/16" planking left over from Alki Point, but it had already been stained with the vinegar mixture. No problem. A little sanding and a good coat of white wash and the floor will look just like any old building where different wood floor species was added through the years.

I started by bundling up and taping together 6 pieces at a time. This makes for quick cutting work on large jobs. I calculated that I could get three 4-1/2" pieces from each board with just a little spacing material left over for good measure.

I remember the days when I would have to take my little miter box and hand saw to cut each piece. It is amazing that anything I cut with it ever ended up cut correctly, and if I needed multiples of the same measurement - forget consistency. I am so grateful to have my little chop saw from Harbor freight, It has completely changed my cutting skill to the point where I am not intimidated any longer to take on a project with any kind of cutting involved. And talk about perfect miters! If you don't have one already, do yourself a huge favor and go pick one up. For a tool under $30 with the coupon, you can't go wrong.

I painted both sides of the kit floor to minimize any warping. Just in case any of the cracks would show through the wood floor.

After all of the bundles were cut, I just began laying them in a staggered and random pattern. I applied them to the kit floor with ES6000. I found that I could apply the adhesive using an old paint brush a single row at a time. Then I would "butter" each piece of the wood floor before sticking it down. None of the pieces warped in any way, and I could press them into position very easily. If any excess glue oozed out, it dried quickly and pulling it off was like picking a booger. No glue residue left behind.

The next step was to sand the floor so that it ended up with an even surface. It was a pretty nice day outside, so I just sat on the back patio and sanded away - no mess to clean up inside the house.

In between cutting, gluing and sanding, I kept applying little coats of white spray paint to the windows and doors in the garage. Between the spray paint and ES6000 fumes I must be down a few brain cells!

I needed to add a little depth to the plain basswood flooring before adding the whitewash, I just watered down a little barnwood and painted a bit on.

Now for the whitewash. I'll just thin down some warm white and apply until I get the look I'm after.

It's getting there...
I think that's about all for the day - I am still recovering from the bronchitis and all of the work I've done around the house for the last week. I think I need to eat pizza and fall asleep in front of the TV.

More tomorrow, see you then...


  1. jodi, this looks like a long journey already. painting both sides seems a good idea - I usually use carpenters' weights but then have to wait long stretches in between...
    well done!

    1. Thanks Marion! I just enjoy the process so much - it takes me out of my worried mind! I hate the waiting part, too! Mini time is precious and can't be wasted waiting for drying time!

  2. Hey! Time to mini! The walls and flooring look interesting yet also subtle, a good background for the soap shop. Harbour Freight is a place I visit, perhaps an electric tool would be a good investment? Do you find the cuts precise, the angle adjustments positive and simple to make? Will it cut hard woods too? My husband has lots of RL tools and is willing to help, but sometimes I just want to make things myself! He is also much more precise than I, so it is always a win when he makes me something.
    It must be so nice to have all your new flooring in the RL house, congratulations on surviving the renovations and bronchitis!

    1. Very precise in both straight lines and the angled adjustment lets you lock it into position for perfect cuts. It maxes out at about 1-1/4" wide and about 3/4" in thickness. Perfect for trims and such. You could easily take on the smaller stuff yourself and still leave the big jobs for the hubs. It makes them feel so good to help us that we wouldn't want to take all of that away from them! :O)
      It is so nice to have everything cleaned and back in place again! No more home improvements agan for awhile yet. Time to weed and mulch the yard though!

  3. I love how it looks! The variation is perfect. And the whitewash is just thin enough to give hints without making the differences too obvious.

    1. Thanks Sheila! It still needs to be distressed a bit, but slowly it is getting there. The trick for me is knowing when to just leave it alone! It's only the floor for Pete's sake, and the attention should be paid to all of the wonderful things that will go on display!

  4. I love all the variation in the color of the wood floors. also like how you have used different patterns for the wallpaper. I've had the same saw from Harbor Freight for a few years. It's awesome. FYI it cuts metal stock too and you can get different cut off wheels for different types of metal.

    1. That's a great tip, Cyd! I just want to spread the word to all miniaturists struggling with those confounded little miter boxes and saws that bend and never cut correctly. And the Easy Cutter - that's fine if you don't mind chunks of wood splitting off the end. This is THE tool for most jobs, and I can leave it set up and ready to go without it taking up much precious space.

      What other secrets should we know about? Maybe you could give us an FYI post and propel our skills forward a decade or so! :O)