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Need help on old dollhouse!


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I am looking to update this dollhouse my grandfather made my mother! It is approximately 80 years old. I know I want brick on the outside with some stone. How do I go about taking the shutters off and replacing them? Both sides are the same and I would definitely do stone on the chimneys. I also need some suggestions on the roof! I look forward to any information I can get!

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What lovely bones your house has!  You could apply a skim coat of spackle or joint compound to the chimney and make bricks from paper mache egg cartons or sandpaper to brick it and whatever else you want to brick.  I have used coarse sandpaper to make shingles, as well as construction paper layered to simulate slates, corrugated cardboard to simulate a metal roof and the Greenleaf wooden shingles for roofs.  If the shutters are glued on and you don't plan to use them again you can take a metal putty knife or old table knife and gently work it under the shutter, perhaps gently persuading it with a hammer to pry off.

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Your house is lovely and seems very solidly built. Do I see a green movers’ sticker? Great suggestions above, and you could also do a search on Pinterest to look at similar styles (saltbox, colonial...) for ideas on how to finish and decorate this house. In any case, have lots of fun with it!

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  • 2 months later...

Def a good strong scraper and maybe a hammer to help encourage those shutters to come off!  ;)  

Once they are off, the entire structure will need a good scrubbing - I usually put a little vinegar in the water. 

My next step would be to strip the paint off the roof. I've had good success with a spray stripper.  Is there anything done to the interior?  Remove any old wallpaper and skim coat with spackle where needed to create a nicer/smoother wall surface.

Next I would take my little mouse sander and give the entire house a "once-over" - - both inside and out.  Prime all surfaces (inside and out) except floors where you may want to do staining or glue down a skinny stick floor. 

Now you should be ready to start bringing it back to life! 

I agree with doing egg carton brick and stone work. It's a lot more work, but looks great.  You could also do that Magi-bric/Magic-ston stuff for both the brick exterior and the stone chimney.  As for the roof - shingles are good, and they may be painted or stained however you want.  They could also be sprayed with Stone fleck paint to simulate asphalt shingles.  

Looking forward to seeing your progress!

Have fun!

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I was thinking the house looks heavy in the photo and I've only encountered the bricks in a rehab, which felt like at least an extra pound, and probably not what you're referring to.

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On 4/25/2020 at 9:52 AM, Sable said:

If you are open to putting some expensive materials on the roof and chimney, I suggest these real slates and bricks from England:

http://www.miniaturebricks.com/roofing/slate

LOVE this vendor!  She seems to be on maternity leave at the moment.

To clad your house- you will want the "brickslips".  These are thin bricks to glue onto a wood house.  I bought some last year, but haven't gotten around to using them on the intended house as of yet.

A less expensive route would be to do the egg carton bricks, which give really good-looking results.

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What a special project to work on!  I'd like to add paperclay (for faux stones, bricks, slate) to the list of suggestions.  If you do a search here on Greenleaf, you will find lots of "tutorials" in different threads.   Our members are so generous with tips and techniques - often including pics - you are in for a treat!  Seriously, you could get lost for hours, learning great information, and being inspired by the amazing work done by Greenleaf members.

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