Preparing for the overhaul...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Wizard's Eyrie: Building The Fireplace And Installing the Paneling

I'm not normally a fan of small dollhouses, unless they have a theme.  Speaking of which, if you know of a kit that'd make a terrific baker's shop, please let me know!  I'm looking for something that'd work for a tudor/fantasy bakery.  But I digress...

I finally got (most of) the rest of the goo off the floor.  I finished the job with 40 grit sandpaper and, of course, more rubbing alcohol.  There are still a few uneven bits, but I'll see how much they show up when I dry-fit the new floor.

For added realism, I wanted the main body of the house, and the lean to, to be paneled in different woods.  In real life, they would've been made at separate times.  While the trim in the main body of the house is more chestnut in tone, I wanted the lean to to be dark walnut. I envision our wizard doing most of his cooking here--and, certainly, using the fireplace to keep warm.  This area, no matter how clean it was kept, would've discolored with soot, cooking grease, etc over time.

To achieve the "worn" effect, I first stained the panels, and applied two thin coats of water based satin varnish, before I installed them.  I installed them, after they dried, using (the hated) Quick Grip.  After the Quick Grip had dried, I sanded them lightly.  Then--and I followed this same procedure with the other pieces--I applied another light coat of water based stain, and sanded lightly.  That finishing touch gives the piece a nice matte, worn look--and a nice depth, too.

I like to finish the individual pieces before I assemble them--it makes sanding easier.

I liked the fireplace I made for Nonesuch House so much, I built another, very similar one for the Wizard's Eyrie.  This one, though, I aged with water based stain and (very small) touches of black paint.

For "stain" I actually used watered down craft paint.  I find that, for miniatures, it gives better coverage--and it sands really well.  I can also achieve a pretty good range of finishes and textures. 

A close-up of the aged fireplace.  I painted it blue-gray first, sanded it smooth, and then applied the antiquing in several different coats.  I find that it looks more natural, and more in scale, when I add a little at a time. 

Now, I'm ready to apply the wallpaper, and ceiling treatment.

Here's to hoping the floor tiles come soon...

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