How to Paint a Dollhouse (And How I Painted This Dollhouse)
Thanks to my research, I knew that light coats were the way to go. I put a little paint on the paper plate (I swear it’s a coincidence that it’s blue!) and dipped the brush. However, in hindsight, I should have broken out a new brush:
It’s a little blurry, but that’s not a paint drip. That’s a brush bristle.
OK. Good to know.
I was stuck by then, so I kept painting.
The initial strokes were left to right (in the direction of the clapboard).
That got a pretty good coat of paint on, but, it wasn’t perfect:
Learning from my primer job, I turned the brush the other way and poked it up into the groove. Then I moved the brush side-to-side to get those “missed” parts:
That seemed to help.
So, I painted away until I finished the side. Here’s what the primed and unprimed wood edge looks like with paint on it:
I realize the clapboard side is more finished than the edge, and that the edge is just raw wood. So, of course, it’s not going to take paint the same. But, I feel it’s important to note that it took a lot of paint to cover that unfinished edge. Is that because it’s the raw, unfinished edge? Or, is that because I didn’t prime it? Something for me to keep in mind going forward.
Clean up Time
Once I finished painting and started cleaning up, I found this on my table:
It never occurred to me to spread the newspaper out that much! I (clearly) didn’t realize how much the paint was splashing and spraying.
Fortunately, the table is sealed beyond belief. And, I chose acrylic paint and now for the payoff.
I wiped up all that paint with nothing but water.
I assume this is because I caught this debacle quickly (note the smudge). However, I left the kitchen while this first coat was drying and didn’t realize I didn’t get all the spots. When I came back, I found them. It took a little more elbow grease this time, but they still came up with just water.
Way to go acrylic paint.
The Waiting Game
Here’s the finished side:
It’s shiny because it’s wet.
Here’s a fun tip. Knowing I’d be painting again in a few hours, I didn’t clean my brush. What? Yes. That’s right. I didn’t want to waste all that time (and water) cleaning a brush I was using again in a few hours. Especially because the brush would never dry in time for me to use it again. So, I wrapped it in plastic wrap.
I’ve done this before, so I know the brush will be just fine when I get back to it. I highly recommend doing this when you’re painting a lot in one day, but I have to wait between coats. Just make sure you press the plastic wrap down tightly (I can’t stress that enough), and place the brush down in such a way that the wrap won’t come open.
After about an hour or so, the paint was pretty dry, so I decided to do the front. The only problem I had was the bristles that kept falling out of my cheap brush.
But, here’s the finished piece:
I am most amused by the fact that the painter’s tape and the Bright Blue are basically the same color.
Then, I let everything dry some more. Came back, and this is what it looks like:
Notice it isn’t as shiny anymore. That’s fine. I don’t want a shiny house. Up close, it’s a little more chalky than I figured. Matte is the right word. As you can also see, it’s not evenly applied, which I was expecting.
Before the next coat, I sanded the paint down, like I’m supposed to, to get rid of excess wood bits. I used a fine grit paper (220, to be exact) and went in the direction of the clapboard. I ended up with this:
Looks like I was taking off some of the paint. I guess that’s to be expected. I was as light as I could, but it kept happening. Oh well. That’s why there’s more than one coat going on.
As I sanded, I discovered I couldn’t get under the clapboard as much as I wanted. It did not matter how small I made the sandpaper, it just was not happening. Here’s a (kinda blurry) close up of what I was up against:
See all that junk stuck under the clapboard? Yeah. I couldn’t sand down the stuff that was stuck. And, if it was loose, I still couldn’t get it out! So, I grabbed a toothpick and started scraping. Here’s what happened:
As you can see, everything scraped right out. Awesome. It did take some of the paint with it. But, that’s fine. I scraped and sanded, and occasionally came across brush bristles, but they came right up. Awesome.
Once I finished sanding, I wiped the house off with a dry cloth. However, I wasn’t satisfied with my work. So, I took out the vacuum and sucked away. I’m not kidding. It looked pretty clean to me.
Until I started painting the second coat. There was a lot of dust in there. Sigh. Good thing I’m sanding again.
What’s More Fun than Watching Paint Dry?
Then it was dry time. It took a while for the first coat to dry, but I feel like the second one took less time. I didn’t time it so I might be full of it, but I don’t know. When I do the third side, I’m going to time it and see what happens.
While I was waiting for the paint to dry, I took out the stairs, and removed the tape. Here’s what I’ve got:
I pulled them and they didn’t pull apart so again, go tacky glue!
Pretty sure I’m going to stain the wood and not paint it. This staircase, to me, falls into the category of “small wood pieces” so I’m going to take my own advice and stain this with a foam brush. I’ll let you know how it goes.
What’s up Next?
Here’s what a half-painted dollhouse looks like:
and here’s a close up where I need to work on my painting skills. You can see the crud quite clearly.
So, to sum up, I put two coats of paint on two sides of the house today. I learned a lot about sanding and cleaning up. Now, I’m going to take what I’ve learned and apply it to the other outside piece. Then, I think I’m going to paint the inside.
Thoughts? Love or hate the color? Any sanding and clean up advice? I could use it!