The next step in working on the New Orleans kit included the boring and repetitive details such as priming, painting and assembling windows. The necessary evil of the dollhousing process. Prime, sand, prime, sand, paint, sand, paint, sand, glue together, wait, seal, buff etc... I find that if I load a bunch of interesting videos to my YouTube Watch Later list, then press Play All, I can go for days repeating the same process on the same pieces, several times and not totally lose my mind. And just when I've reached the end of the Watch Later list, I've hopefully reached the end of the process. And with any luck at all, you get to look and be happy with your work...
A nice payoff for all the tedious work!
I started on the foundation. I knew I wanted brick, but not shiny new red brick. In my mind the house is an old one which has been lovingly updated by the new owner. I thought if I were refurbing an older home I'd want to fix up the old mortar and seal the bricks with a nice long lasting marine grade paint. I'd go white for a fresher look.
After doing so many types of bricks in the Three Little Pigs: Revenge project, I knew that I would not have the patience for the egg carton variety this time around. I used Magic Brik. It takes a while to separate the sticker from the brick waste, and is messy to apply, but there's nothing out there that looks more authentic and goes on so quickly. The nice thing is, if you let the messy dropped bits dry where they landed overnight you can recycle them easily. Just scoop them back into the mixing container (I use a Rubbermaid sandwich container). The next time you need mortar, add warm water and stir. It reconstitutes beautifully! If you'd like more info on the product, read this post.
To finish them off, I primed, painted and sealed them.
After setting the foundation aside to dry, I started to prime all of the first floor walls inside and out. I used a couple coats of primer, then painted the exterior clapboard and trim in the finish colors. The bright white LED fixture over my work table tends to cast a greenish tone on everything. Maybe seeing the paint chips will give a better idea on the two main exterior colors...
All the window frames were painted white.
Turning my attention to the inside, I cut and filled door and window openings, then got the walls primed and ready for wallpaper.
I test fit the new kitchen wall with the arch cut out...
The dining room in the back looks good through this doorway...
And this one... This is where I start to get excited!
I made the chimney breast out of foam core. It will serve also as the framing for the recessed bookcase. I am waiting for the matching arch to the dining room doorway. It will frame the bookcase.
The false wall will conceal the hub for the lighting. I will leave it accessible for future access.
I attempted to start on the stairs today. I am going to make some changes to the opening in the second floor and to the doorway to the bedroom, so I needed a test fit.
In looking at the stairs that came with the kit, they look to be a sort of press board. The kind that pills up when exposed to wet paint or stain.
After trying out a few test spots, I went ahead and ordered the really nice stair kit from HBS. The one with real wood treads. You get such a better result when the treads are separate. Trying not to get stain on the white parts in the all-in-one stairs is difficult for me!
It will be worth the wait to have the right kind of material. I've learned the hard way: don't rush and let a cheap or thrifty now solution cheapen the rest of the project in the long run. If you can wait and can eek something nicer out of the budget on a project like this, do it!
I think the next step is to solidify the lighting plan, then get started on the wallpapers and ceiling treatments. I hope to have a much better experience with the tape wire and MDF this time than I did with the barn. Prayers much appreciated!
Hope you all have an excellent week, a rejuvenating weekend and if you're so inclined - lots of chocolate from the Easter Bunny!