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Newbie with questions...


FeliciaMarie13
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So this is my very first doll house building, which I am very excited to start! I do not want to mess it up, I have been wanting to build one for so long now!

So onto some questions, what kind of paint is the best paint to use? Glue? Hot glue gun or wood glue? Do I need to seal the wood before painting?

Any tips will be greatly appreciated!

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Welcome to the little family, Felicia! (such a pretty name, one of my high school friends was a Felicia) You have come to the right place to ask your questions. You can do a "Search" on getting started, but here's some answers to get you started.

So this is my very first doll house building, which I am very excited to start! I do not want to mess it up, I have been wanting to build one for so long now!

So onto some questions, what kind of paint is the best paint to use? Glue? Hot glue gun or wood glue? Do I need to seal the wood before painting?

Any tips will be greatly appreciated!

Interior latex paint is perfectly OK to use. Gloss is out of scale unless it's very small bits like trim, but satin or semigloss works fine; I like to use flat finish white interior latex paint for a primer. If you do seal your wood, or prime it, or stain it (don't try to stain over paint, it doesn't work), lay it flat to dry and then turn it over and do the other side, so the wood doesn't warp (1/8" and 3/16" plywood most die cut kits are made from are thin enough to warp).

When the kits were first designed hot glue had a much higher melting temp than most crafting glue sticks do now, so in spite of what the instructions read I think you will be MUCH happier using a good carpenter's wood glue. It doesn't take a lot. If you're going to use stain, do stain first, as glue forms a barrier between wood and stain, and I know this first hand.

Some of us who have built a kit or two do recommend you invest in masking tape or painter's tape and first put the shell of your kit together with pieces of masking tape. We call this the "dry" build. If you're building a die-cut (rather than a laser-cut) kit this is where you can trim your tabs and enlarge your slots to get a perfect fit. It also allows you to look at where the rooms are and which ones will be easier to decorate before you glue things together. I find that even though the kit may speak to me beforehand, once it's in dry fit it will start telling me how it wants to look and what it wants to become when done, and even some of its story.

There are also posts about tools you need and other things that are nice to have. You are going to have such a good time (and some frustrations) letting your creativity loose! Which kit will you build first?

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Acrylic paints, like latex, clean up with soap & water. You can also mix acrylic paint with latex to get custom colors. The Orchid is a nice kit, I've built two and found another one in a thrift store that was built with hot glue and several parts have fallen off and are long gone, so I'll use a heat gun to take it apart and rebuild it with wood glue.

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Acrylic paints are great for small pieces, which is what I use it on. For the body of the house I like to use a satin finish paint that is made for 'real life'. It seems to give a much better, smoother finish and doesn't show flaws as much. Invest in sandpaper (I prefer 120 grit, which I use for almost everything), and make sure you 'dry fit' to make sure everything fits before you glue it together. Tape is a wonderful thing! I tend to use masking tape as it seems to hold better with glue than painters blue tape. Remember, very important: Have fun! I have to be reminded of that fact by my friends here, but that is what this hobby is all about. You will find wonderful ideas and great hints here on this forum. Enjoy!

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You need a sturdy craft or utility knife and lots of sharp new blades; the fastest way to gouge yourself is to keep using a blade that has gone dull. A cork backed steel straight edge/ ruler is nice to have for making straight cuts. You cannot have too mini clamps. Other nice to have items are a carpenter's square and a self-healing cutting mat.

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