Category: "Greenleaf 2011 Spring Fling - Baxter Pointe Villa"

Bachelor's Chest

by brae  

Here is my more contemporary take on the House of Miniatures Bachelor's Chest.

click image to enlarge

I painted it black and sealed it with Delta Ceramcoat satin varnish.  I used mini scrapbooking brads with the tabs cut short for the gunmetal knobs.  Instead of drilling a hole as I would have done for a regular knob, I cut a small slit in the wood with an X-Acto knife to insert the shortened tabs.

I love the pull out shelf especially!  :]

click image to enlarge

The plant was purchased; it's made from clay.  The key, coins and hair combs are all laser cut brass and have amazing detail that even the close up here doesn't capture.  I bought a set of the keys at the recent Bishop Show, but the coins and hair combs came from The Dolls House Mall.  I need to paint the coins in more modern currency colors since I know I don't typically walk around with a pocket full of gold doubloons.  ;]  I couldn't believe how impossibly tiny these things are...I had to wet my finger to pick them up since even the tweezers couldn't grab them!

Spring Fling chimney, part 3

by brae  

The chimney has been painted and grouted (I used Mini Mortar) for awhile now, but today I got around to making the topper.

click image to enlarge

I did a quick google search for chimney toppers and found a fabulous photo from Mountaintop Construction (third row, on the right).

I decided to emulate the style using wood and aluminum mesh.  First, I cut a piece of 1/8" thick basswood to serve as a base.

I painted it with a mixture of Slate Grey by Americana and Mushroom by Folk Art.  I then painted the inner portion black.  When looking into the topper, I wanted it to look like there was a chimney opening.

To build the actual topper, I started with 1/8" and 3/16" bass wood corner trim.

I used an Easy Cutter to make 45° cuts in the 3/16" corner trim to form two frames.

I cut a cover for one of the frames from 1/16" thick bass wood and glued it on top.

I cut 3/4" lengths of the 1/8" corner trim and glued them into the four corners of the frame.

I then added 3/4" lengths of 1/16" x 1/8" strip wood in the center of each side of the frame.

While the glue was still drying, I checked the fit of the bottom frame to make sure the corner pieces were straight and level but did not glue the two assemblies together.

I painted both the upper and lower portions Pure Bronze by Apple Barrel.  It was a little glitterageous after the first coat, so I sanded that down before putting on a second coat.  Once the paint was dry, I finished it off with three coats of Delta Ceramcoat Gloss Varnish.

The aluminum mesh I used is by Scale Scenics.  It's old stock I bought at the recent Bishop Show in Chicago.  Sometimes it pays to dig through dusty bins of old miscellaneous materials.  :]

I cut the pieces of mesh to fit inside the assembly.

I then spray painted them flat black.

I glued the painted mesh pieces inside the frame at the corners and sides.

Then I painted the inside black.

I glued the bottom frame onto the assembly.

And, finally...I glued the topper on top of the chimney.  :]

Is it drafty in here?

by brae  

I love how the front door turned out!  I primed the whole assembly with white acrylic and then painted the front of the door with Robin's Egg Blue from Jo-Ann Craft Essentials (left over from the mirror in the Newport hallway).  The interior I left white.

But something seemed off to me...then I noticed the gaps all around the door.

To fix this problem, I cut strips of 1/16" x 3/32" bass wood to create an inner frame.

click image to enlarge

Could I have noticed this before I had the whole thing painted and sealed?  No, that would have interfered with my master plan to do things the hard way.  :D

I painted the inner frame white to match the rest of the door frame.  Ah, much better...

For the record, this door was a bit damaged and rough when I bought it...but I didn't repair it past sanding a bit.  I wanted it to look weathered but in reasonably good shape as though it gets a fair amount of wear but the homeowners try to keep up with the painting.  :]

Turning wood into porcelain

by brae  

I took an unfinished EuroMini's wood tub and did my best to make it look like porcelain.  I made the towels, scrubbie and bottle label (purchased bottle), originally shown in the Newport bath cabinet.

I've made wood look like porcelain before, with the Newport kitchen sink, but that was easy compared to this particular project.  I think it was so difficult this time because the unfinished wood tub wasn't in the best shape to begin with.  Had I wanted to turn it into an old rusted tub, it would have been much easier.

I painted the base with Bittersweet Chocolate by Americana, followed by a light coat of Delta Ceramcoat satin varnish.  That was the easy part.

To get the white porcelain finish, I first spackled the best I could to fill in the more obvious defects.  I then painted numerous generous layers of white acrylic paint to build up the brightness and even out the surface.  In between each layer, I sanded the paint down to a completely smooth surface.  Once I had the best finish possible, I put on two coats of Americana Triple Thick Gloss Glaze, letting the first coat dry overnight before adding the second.

The inside is still a little rough since there was only so much I could do with a flat bottom tub, but the outer surface and the overhang turned out as I had hoped.

I plan to add dual faucets, though I'll transform them from brass into brushed nickel.  :D

Old World Tile review

by brae  

I've seen this brand of flooring online, but it is very pricey.  The various descriptions state the tile sheets come with a stylus for detailing the grout lines and end up looking very realistic.  I've not seen any photos of it installed in a dollhouse or roombox, though.  I think perhaps the retail price of $25 per sheet (plus shipping) is a bit steep to buy it without knowing how it will work out.

Well, I ended up finding an unfinished sheet on eBay for a fraction of the cost, though it didn't come with the stylus indicated.  I figured it was worth a try.

It's a very high quality printed paper that you adhere to an included white board with spray adhesive.  The grout lines are raised on the print.

The instructions are very precise, including exactly which products to use for the assembly and finishing of the flooring.  I cut my board to my room size and used scraps to try out the sealing process.

The manufacturer suggests up to five coats of Delta Ceramcoat Gloss sealer applied with a brush.  Here is the sample I did following those instructions.

I also covered a sample by brushing on one coat of Triple Thick Gloss Glaze by Americana.  Here is the sample with that product.

I think I'd need more coats of the first sealer to equal the results I got with the one coat of Triple Thick Gloss Glaze...and there are no brush lines with the Triple Thick.  It evens out as it settles and dries.  I rather like that it looks like sheet linoleum, too!  :]

You are then supposed to use the stylus to lightly score along the lines, indenting the finish but not the paper to create the look of recessed grout lines.  I tried the scoring process with my own stylus but found it didn't really work for me.  It marred the finish even though I wasn't pressing hard at all.

I thought perhaps I hadn't let the finish dry long enough so I tried it again the following night.  It worked without lifting the sealer but I honestly didn't think it added anything so fabulous to merit the amount of work it would take to trace all of those tiny lines.  And, any mistakes would be irreversible.  So, I am opting for the Triple Thick finish without the scored lines.

With this particular sheet, I was able to do one room of flooring with enough left to do a tiny room for another project...or perhaps a backsplash, counter or serving tray.

It really is a beautifully made and realistic flooring, but I still think $25 per sheet is too much regardless of including a stylus that could just as well be sold separately.  You really wouldn't need a new one included each time you bought a piece of flooring from this product line.  The high quality wood flooring sheets on the market are priced exactly what they should be for the quality and ease of use...roughly $12-15 per sheet.  I think the Old World Tile sheets would be better if priced about the same as those...just my two cents.  :]

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