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Clueless Newbie restoring Washington !

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Hello all !

I am the most clueless of newbies and I am wanting to rebuild an old Greenleaf Washington that has fallen apart. (Well,aside from the part that father seems to have welded together somehow :D

I'd like to electrify it, with a cir-kit concepts kit, so that I can move the lights around, but I am afraid that won't work, since the walls are so thin?

I'd also like to shingle the roof, and add a new porch, staircase and working doors and windows...so lots of work !

I have no idea what order to do things in ! HELP !

If I add siding when does that go on?

Can someone please, please give me an idea of what order to do this in ? I am soo lost ! LOL

Cluelessly hopeful,


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Welcome to the forum, mayadevi, and take a deep breath. Miniatures is a FUN hobby :(

Use the "search" feature for some of your questions, many people have wired Greenleaf dollhouses and you can do it. There are tips for upgrading doors and windows should you not want to make your own, and many folks have restored old houses and have worked through some of the problems you mention. You might also read the blogs and check the archives on the old forum ("Archived Board").

There are also archives on the Small Stuff Digest website, http://www.smallstuff-digest.com , that may have some answers to your questions. There are lots of different ways to noodle through the topics you list, so you can pick & choose what you feel you can do and work "up" from there.

Good luck & above all, have fun! We're glad you're here. :D

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Well I have never restored a house...yet but I would think the first thing would be to decide how far to take it apart. if the house is solidly together I would leave it that way and I would take all the window and door trims off. and if siding is your desire thats where I would start. I am not sure what the concern is for the wiring and thin wood....But here also I am a novice having only recently wired a house with round wire. I would try to get as much of the old wallpaer off as possible and sand everything to get a nice fresh start.

also as in building from a kit when you take parts off make sure you label them and baggie them.

take out any staircases as it is sooo much easier to wallpaper behind them if they are not there.

other than that just take a big breath and have some fun. what a challenge but it can be done. you should check out Minimadwoman Beacon Hill she found in the trash....it is a magnificant showpeice now!

take some photos....The Washington in an older house so it would be wonderful to see it in all its glory.

much luck on your adventure!!

nutti :D

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Hi Mayadevi!

Speaking as someone who plunges into projects without the faintest idea how things should be done -- it's really difficult to seriously screw up. Most glitches can be fixed.

Here's the general order I would start with:

1. Strip trim and label; remove any old wallpaper and flooring.

2. Electrify. This has to be done early because your surface treatments will then hide it.

3. Do the exterior siding. The advantage to siding before you get involved with porch trim is that you can reach all the surfaces easily.

4. Do the exterior roof and trim. How you get these on depends on how shingles and trim interact. Now you have a finished exterior.

5. Wallpaper the interior, put in new floors if desired. (Some of this can be done before the exterior is complete, if you prefer.)

6. Trim the interior, working out from the most hard-to-reach spots and making sure you put in the window "glass" before you apply the interior window trim!

Take this as a possible order, not graven in stone. Look at the house and ask yourself, "If I do it in this order, is there anywhere I won't be able to reach?" Then make your own list based on what you need to do.

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Hi Mayadevi!

Most of my house are restoration jobs - unfortunately I tend to work on several at once and am just nearing the completion of my first endeavor. I've never done wiring but finally bought a wiring kit from Cirkit- so my next house will have wiring. - I don't see why tape wire wouldn't work on thin wood - it's what I'm planning to use. I'd like to second what Calamari said about it being difficult to screw things up. I've seen windows put in where there was no window - walls installed where there were no walls, 2 entire houses bashed together to make one house, basements added etc. Don't let it overwhelm you and don't be afraid to ask questions! Ask away! And if you dont understand the responses you get - ask again :D No one here bites - I promise :(


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Thanks you all so much for the warm welcome and helping me feel like I can actaully pull this off !

Calamari, I'm Glad I'm not the only one who leaps before they look ! :D

The house was taken apart some, and sanded as best it could get years ago,

Unfortunately I've moved twice since then, and all of the trim, windows and doors somehow failed to move with me, lol. I was a bit worried since the windows and doors, seem smaller than what seems to be the standered sizes I'm finding online


The electric worry comes directly from my cluelessness :( I have a Dollhouse barn that someone painted and wired for me, and the plugs on the lights are thicker than the walls of the Washington ! I thought they might go right though the walls !

Having the barn did teach me something though, I need lights with replace-able bulbs !

Nuttiwebgirl - I think the house is over 20 years old ! I was a wee little one when I got it, and father wallpapered it with what appears to be iron -bondo and christmass wrapping paper ! *laughs*

Since David said y'all don't bite, I'll be asking lots and lots of questions. And I'll prolly take pictures of this Disaster and put them on the web somewhere, that ought to amuse some body ! B)

Thankfully and taking several deep breaths while searching for siding and electric,


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David said y'all don't bite,

Even this of us who might have had our shots & don't mean to do it. Seriously I don't know of anyone in this forum who wouldn't be delighted to answer your questions or try to help figure out a problem.

The only "stupid" question is the one you don't ask :D

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About wiring on thin walls, consider hanging lights instead of lamps and you can run your wire thru the floor above and solder to the wire (which is hidden by the floor covering) and you don't have to use the big plugs.


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Hi mayadevi and welcome! I wouldn't worry about tape wiring your house. I tape wired mine and had no problem. There is an excellent tutorial Darrell did at http://community.webshots.com/album/139274832GytFHn

I renovated a Beacon Hill and you can view my progress at the site below. Might help with your own sequencing! :p

Most of all enjoy the process! :( Before you know it you'll be done and ready to 'build' another house! :D

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