The next chapter for this ol' New Orleans kit was preparing the interior divider walls for installation. I needed to come up with some wainscoting for the bedroom walls. I wanted something a little more detailed than the simple bead board I used in the stairway hall. What material do I have? How thick and wide should the trim be? Is this going to impact the next steps and if so what adjustments to the design or materials do I need to make? How will this meet the next wall and will the trims work nicely together? Luckily, I was able to find suitable materials, and even more luckily, I didn’t make a mistake and leave myself short like the stairwell boards, which hopefully, have been camouflaged enough that it won't be noticeable.
Once I had the basic design and confirmed I had enough materials, the rest was pretty straightforward and methodical. I made panels for each section of the bedroom walls from 1/16" basswood, then made a frame overlay using 1/16" x 1/4" wood strips. The bottoms got 1/16" x 1/2" so they'll make perfect sized bases for the baseboards, which will be installed last. To the centers I added fancy Greenleaf door popout panels (leftover from the flower shop projects) and more Unique Miniatures embellishments.
I constructed the basic boxes for the built ins on either side of the balcony door, then gave the right one "doors" using Houseworks wainscot panels and the left one faux drawers with more UM embellishment frames.
Here's the test fit with tops made on the built ins. I am still debating about shelves for the left side, and have since painted what will be inside the built in recess the teal wall color (in a later photo). I also installed the hardware, gold to match the chandelier to be installed later, and the door handles. I won't install the wainscot top cap or the doors until after the walls have been installed.
Once the bedroom walls had been finished as far as I could go I switched my attention to the bathroom walls. I cut the faux brick subway tile wall panels and wainscot trim, then set up the back wall and side wall on my cutting mat to test the fit. Once I was happy, I hand painted the tile panels with white chalk paint three times, sanding really smooth in between. Then, on three consecutive days, I layered on the triple thick spray glaze to get a nice tile shine. I won't install the panels to the walls until they've had several more days to cure.
I've been saving an idea for the cabinets and sink for a long time, and am excited to finally be getting to work on it. I have a Town Square dining room hutch set and I'll be using the two side pieces from that for the cupboards, one on each side. The Bespaq dresser will be turned into the vanity sink.
They all need to be painted and customized, so against all common sense, I took them apart. What we won't do for an idea!!! On the cupboards, I removed the mirrored backs, glass door inserts and the glass shelves, loosening the glue with my hair dryer. For such nice pieces, the glue job was truly sloppy. It took a long, patient while to carefully remove the glue from everything and sand smooth again.
For the vanity sink, I removed all the drawers and doors, then loosened the top with more heat and a gentle force. Because the piece's countertop is already at 3", I decided on an undermount sink. I cut and sanded the hole, checking all along the way for fit and center. I am going to attempt a faux marble top like I did on some of the vanities I experimented with last year. The sink, a bisque bowl, will be painted white and then get the triple thick glaze sprayed on in several layers. I'll add the drain as I did with last year's vanities, too.
For the bathtub, I am using yet another Chrysnbon bathroom kit, though I have a different toilet to use this time. I have not found a suitable alternative bathtub in style, authenticity or price since I began collecting for this project in 2016. I played with the idea of a shower, but every mock up made the bathroom close in on itself, and to place a tub/shower in the back meant losing the closet and the vanity impact - viewing it from the side just would't look as lovely. So I will place the Chrysnbon tub in for now, and keep replacement options open in the future. Kristine - please design and offer a fabulous tub in your Shapeways shop, will you? My little TinkerCad program is way too limited for something that curvy!
All of the bathroom pieces are getting sprayed with black satin. I have the first couple coats finished and drying, but this time of year have to take things slowly. It's been a cold and wet week!
The last big project for the second story is the flooring. I made the template for the areas getting Houseworks walnut wood flooring, same as what I used on the first floor, and then got that installed with the stinky Quick Grip. I like using that better than E6000 for the flooring because you only need to apply it to one side, which makes it easier to adjust if your first lay down attempt isn't perfectly aligned.
I'm adding tiles to the bathroom floor as I get a few minutes to work on it, but I can tell you my tile job is not going to be perfect. I guess since it's my first time with this stuff I'll give myself a break and hope the really noticeable mistakes will be under the fixtures!
Some experienced mini builders may have noticed or wondered why there will be wood floors under the walls. I'll have the answer, and hopefully, an ingenious alternative to those annoying and unrealistically out of scale thresholds on dollhouse doors in my next post.
Hope you have a wonderfully fulfilling week!