I finally had a chance to repaint the window pieces.
Short version: I am very happy I did it.
Long version: during the process, I wasn’t so sure.
Paint, I’m learning, is a funny thing. It looks one way in the bottle, another when it’s wet, and still another when it dries.
Is this normal? I don’t know. It seems to be normal for acrylic craft paint, though.
I know that primers will affect the finished color. And, I know that painting right over a paint color (instead of priming, first), will affect color. But, I had no idea that even on tiny pieces, that could be such a big deal.
In the end, I don’t think not priming (yes, I skipped that) did too much damage. I went from a light to a dark color, so nothing bled through. I think. I’ll let you be the judge.
New Paints, More Decisions
After not loving the original paint colors of the shutters and window frame, I wanted to try and match the brown tones in the shingles. Since I couldn’t stain the pieces, I had to paint over the yellow paint. I ran out and got these:
I have no idea what the name of the color on the right is. I’m sure there was a tag at the store, but I didn’t take a picture, and I obviously wasn’t paying attention to the bottle. It’s fine. I don’t care about names. I care about color.
I held a shingle up the colors to compare but left the bottles sealed. There’s no way I’m using all of them (I hope), so I want the option to return the ones I don’t use. I can’t imagine needing three similar shades of brown anytime soon.
After some comparing, I decided the middle bottle, Nutmeg Brown, came closest to the shingle color. So, I put some paint on a paper plate to test my conclusion. FYI, the paint does not smell like nutmeg. However, color-wise, I think I have a winner.
Coat One. And Two. And Three.
Like I said, I skipped priming. I won’t lie, this is mostly due to my irritation and having to re-do this step. There’s nothing like thinking you’ve got it right, then finding out you don’t and having to fix it. I’m just glad it was small pieces, not big ones!
Starting with the yellow shutter piece, I do the first coat of paint. Looking at the results, something must be up with my cheap brush.
It’s kind of cool, but not the look I’m going for.
I wait for coat number one (I use that term loosely) to dry, then apply paint coat number two. Here’s how the two colors compare.
Hmm. OK. I know I’m going over a yellow base, but, still. It’s not quite what I was hoping for. I sanded the shutter before painting it (I wasn’t that annoyed), but I didn’t want to overdo the sanding and destroy the shutter piece. It’s been through so much.
I got the blue accent piece and held it up to the wet paint.
OK. It kind of works. But, there’s still too much yellow.
I let the paint dry, then added coat number three, and, well, here.
Yeah, the lighting isn’t great, and there’s still yellow coming through but, I don’t know. It’s very brown. Meaning it looks like basic brown. In the bottle, it seemed to have more red undertones. I don’t see these here. Perhaps the yellow “base” paint is canceling out some of the red in the brown? As crazy as it sounds, that is possible.
Maybe I picked the wrong color. It’s been known to happen. I tried Brown Oxide on the paper plate.
Yeah. That’s gross looking. But it’s just paint.
I put two coats of Brown Oxide on the other shutter. Here’s a side by side comparison. The nutmeg is on the left, Brown Oxide on the right.
They look identical to me.
Here’s the same set-up with the shingle piece, then the blue piece between them.
I don’t see a difference in the browns, and I’m just not sure what’s happening here.
So, I hold them both up to the house.
I don’t know. Even with the bad lighting, the pieces look the same to me.
Waiting and More Waiting
By this point, I had a few coats of paint on the shutters. Since wet paint looks different than dry paint, I figured I better give it a rest and do something else until the paint dried. I started taping up the inside of the Keeper’s House to paint the walls. For me, this means taping off the floors.
I tried to tape off the ceiling of the first floor, too, but that didn’t go well.
I skipped the rest of the ceiling taping. I’ll just have to be careful when I paint the first floor.
The Dry Paint Is Better. Kind Of
After the shutters really dried, I decided Brown Oxide looked just plain wrong, so I decided to stick with Nutmeg.
Nutmeg is brown, all right, but doesn’t have the red undertones I wanted. I wasn’t expecting this much “neutralization” from the yellow base. Maybe I should have primed first.
I hold up the blue piece to the shutter and, much to my surprise, it isn’t that bad.
It’s not great, but it’s not bad.
I’m stuck (again) so I put on a final coat of paint. I’ve lost track of how many layers that is. Then, I paint the rest of the window frame Nutmeg Brown. Might as well keep them all even, right?
Dormers, Floors and Other Re-Planning
While I waited on the paint, I tried to plot out the dormers. The first time I tried this, I calculated their placement using the front of the house, but I didn’t like that. As in, I didn’t like where they ended up. This time, I calculated the dormer placement using the inside of the house.
Given that the dormers go on the outside of the house, why would I calculate the dormer placement based on the inside roof measurements?
For starters, I was planning on buying the dormers from Real Good Toys. Based on the measurements of the dormers and the Keeper’s House, I decided two would be the way to go, one on each side of the roof (but centered appropriately).
When I placed the wall upstairs (for the bathroom area), I figured out that the dormers would be right on a wall line. Meaning the dormer would be “split” by a wall. That would be kind of weird. OK. A lot weird. You can’t have a dormer that’s bisected by a wall. I figured that maybe if I placed the dormers from the inside, I’d get better results.
First, I divided the roof in half. The roof on the inside measures exactly 17 inches across, so 8.5 inches is half. I marked that off,
then divided in half again. That’s 4.25 inches.
Then, I centered the dormer on the 4.25 inches and drew an “outline,” since I don’t have dormers yet.
Then, I put the ruler on the floor as a guideline from the outside edge of the dormer. Then, I put the wall in. Here’s where the upstairs wall would be if I followed the dormer edge.
It’s fine, actually, but not what I wanted. The “bathroom” is too big, and the bedroom is too small. I can’t move the wall over to the left to make the bathroom smaller because then I have the original problem of a dormer bisected by a wall. And, that’s not what I want.
I thought about adding a third dormer. Technically, that would work. It means that each dormer would have just over five inches side to side. Each dormer is just over four inches wide, so technically, that could work. I’d center each dormer inside the five inches, but, that’s a lot of dormer.
My other thought was to do one extra wide dormer in the middle. That could work. But, I’d have to build my own dormer. I’m not sure I’m ready for that yet. I might be, but given my wood cutting skills, I might not be.
I’m going to keep thinking about the situation. But, I feel like I might skip dormers now and go with lights.
Back to the Window
By the time I got done fretting about the dormer, the shutters were dry.
I dry fit the blue pieces to the brown pieces.
I love it. So. Much. Better.
I stuck them on the house and added most of the window frame.
Yeah. I’m so glad I did this. There’s still touch up work to do, but I am so much happier with the results.
And Today I Learned…
That I shouldn’t be so impatient. Eager is good, but I think I’ve been skipping some steps along the way and that’s messing things up. Like, not priming the shutters. I know I didn’t do it because I wanted to test the colors and I didn’t want to add any more paint than I had to. But, if I had primed, I think I would have seen slightly more red in the paint than what I’ve got.
Up next, priming the walls, making some floors, and figuring out how to tile. Yup. I’ve got big plans.