Friday, 9 March 2012

Week 10: Dollhouse DIY Part 1

Well, if there's one thing I've learnt/ remembered this week it's that when it comes to DIY, there's no such thing as a five minute job!

For example, stripping one wall in one afternoon, became two people scraping furiously, bits of dry, brittle old plaster falling into the eyes and hair, all kinds of pulpy, gluey, mess over the carpet, walked through the house, fed to the dog. Etc.
Just when we thought we'd got to the end and could leave Dad to polyfill the many potholes, my sister appears, announcing she thinks she's just broken the shower...she has.
All hands on deck to avert flooding disaster as water gushes out tap fittings. Hmm. Well now we've lost momentum and the pub seems like a good idea. Polyfilla can wait.

You get the picture.
Dad was right, we've been brainwashed by Changing rooms and 60 minute makeover into thinking everything can be transformed in hours with mdf, a staple gun and whatever else your over-zealous designer can blag from Dunelm mill. Alas, no.

The other thing I had reiterated this week was that the same is true of dollhouses. Yes, they're smaller and cheaper (mostly) than full size projects but they can still eat up hours at a time and easily reduce you to tantrums.

Typically I'm in a rush to get to the exciting bit where I get to decorate, and make stuff pretty but in the name of doing things properly, today we're preparing. A potentially dull but essential part of renovating.

Remember, if you fail to plan, plan to fail!

What I used:
Pre-loved dollshouse
Damp sponge
Small scraper
Sand paper (various grades)

What I did:
In this instance I'm totally gutting a house so don't need to protect any surfaces etc. If you're doing just one room make sure you've sealed off any vulnerable areas with paper and masking tape, or teeny tiny dust sheets!

Firstly I tore out the flooring papers and carpet. That self adhesive stuff sure sticks fast so be prepared to put in some elbow grease to removing the residue!
I find a little bit of nail varnish remover sometimes helps with this too.

Flooring papers are easier to take up. Simply soak them with a water and they should lift/ scrape right off.


Wallpapers need the same treatment but can feel like harder work as you're working at awkward angles in built houses.

When all the paper has been removed
gently sand all surfaces and ensure all residue is gone.

If you're repainting an already painted wall you will also need to clean and sand this lightly before applying the new colour. If it's a dark colour or bare wood that you'll be painting it's advisable to prime it with a basic White primer, just makes for a nicer finish. And make sure you've got a decent paintbrush. You don't want bristles dropping out everywhere!




It's messy, it's not the most exciting part of dolls house decorating but it does need to be done.

So, hope that wasn't too much of a snore fest! Will get to the good bit next time, promise!
Right, I'm off. Got a psychic evening to prepare for, apprehensive!

Ta ta!

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