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About this blog

  I purchased a Glencroft off Craigslist, advertised as "fully assembled!  All that needs to be done is the roof shingled!" for $25.  I've always loved the Glencroft, especially the lovely staircase, so I snapped it up!

Well, of course at that price, much more is needed.  Indeed, fully assembled....with hot glue.  And the seams and joints were already cracking and falling apart.  Several roof pieces fell off just getting it from the car into the house.  Somebody in the distant pass had wallpapered some of the rooms..and then somebody else tried -- without success -- to remove the wallpaper. And on and on.  So this blog will be a saga of what I will do to try to restore the Glencroft to "glory"....or at least make it much more presentable than it now is!

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Entries in this blog

I've been having "issues" with loading pictures...trying to figure out how to adjust the resolution on my camera to make them the proper size to post here.  So we'll see if this works:

The house has had as many cracks as I can reach -- filled in with wood putty.  Some of the rooms have been painted.  I'll be painting the rest in the next day or so. The hardest area to paint is the area along the staircase.  This should have been painted (or papered) before the house was built!  I didn't attempt to take all that apart.. it was pretty well-built, only one major seam along the staircase that needed putty.  But it also is a very cramped space, so it's going to be a challenge to paint. 

Then wallpaper.  I intend to wallpaper the upstairs and the smaller room downstairs, which will be a kitchen.  The Great Room will be painted white.  I think I'm going to make a stone fireplace there too, and cover up the original one, and perhaps do the same for the one upstairs....I may have to send my husband out for more pebbles!  (We live in sand country...sand, pebbles, rocks, boulders, are all around us!  :)  )

Let's see if I can post these latest pictures..  Ah, that worked!  :)  you'll also see the windows I made, using pieces of old "lumber" from previous houses,  scraps from the Greenleaf houses so they're the right dimensions, right thickness.  I'll paint them the same color brown as the outside of the house, and the beams in the ceilings on the first floor.


 

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A lot has been done since I last posted.  I've had problems loading pictures, so I'll try again with this post, but it may not work.. ...

Anyway. I have gone over the entire house with a container of wood putty at hand. (I use elmers wood putty, in a square plastic container).  I've filled in all acracks, then gone back over the house and filled in cracks I missed the first time.  (And just this very day found yet another gap that needed filling..)  Once the wood putty dried (I wait at least overnight), I sanded all the cracks, carving out excess putty where necessary. 

I've painted most of the rooms, and fill finish painting the rest of them (and do touchups on the Great Room) later today.  Somewhere in the Greenleaf instructions is the message about priming everything.  This house has not been primed.  Why is that a problem?  Priming the wood helps when painting rooms later, and/or putting on wallpaper.  The primer seals the wood, so that glue doesn't leak through, and over time, the wood doesn't "bleed" through the paper.  Priming also helps if you ever decide to re-decorate your house, and want to re-paper -- the older paper peels off more easily from primed wood.

Priming and painting reminds me how important it is to "dry fit" your house -- put it together using tape BEFORE you glue.  This way, you can envision what kinds of finishing you want to do -- paper walls, or paint them?  Finish floors, tile them, paint them, or something else?   Where are there areas that you won't be able to reach once the house is glued?  You will need to paint or paper those place BEFORE gluing them -- like the area along the wall of the staircase on the Glencroft. This area is almost as difficult to reach as the wall in the kitchen of the Garfield.  I'm painting that area on the Glencroft right now...wishing I had a "live dollhouse person" to get in there to paint.  My hand barely reaches into the gap.  It's necessary to paint the area (I'm not going to even try to wallpaper it...at least I don't think so. I may change my mind.. :) )  I've got the area primed, but found another gap (see paragraph, above ) so filled that and will wait for it to dry.

I've also either made the window frames for the insides of the windows...or found windows in my stash of "spare parts" from other builds.  I also found two doors from my Garfield which I didn't use. They need to be cut down, but then will work perfectly for the doorway between the Great Room and Kitchen (the first floor).  I'll also use them as a template for a door for the second floor.

I'm going to try to post pictures, now..  wish me luck!  :)

 

All the wallpaper is gone.  I tore off as much as I could, then scraped off some more.  When I got done with as much as I could that way, I moved to the sponge dipped in water, and a scraper in the other hand.  I finally gone down to mostly bare wall.

I finished removing all the loose pieces before, and got rid of the hot glue.  I used the hot gun to heat a scraper and putty knife, and used those tools (with a glove on my hand) to remove as much hot glue as I could along seams.  The problem with hot glue is that unless you're an expert, it's really hard to lay down a steady stream of glue, so an amateur leaves globs of glue here and there, with gaps in between.  So I went through all of those seams, removed any big globs, then inserted Elmer's Wood Glue into those seams.  I clamped where I could, and used strong tape when I couldn't clamp, to hold everything together for at least 24 hours.  Everything is now glued down except for the roof piece over the open face part of the house (that piece will go on later, after the inside is finished), and two smaller pieces. Those have to be re-made, as the pieces were broken or badly deteriorated when I got the house.

Once the glue was dry, I cracked open the tub of Elmer's Wood Putty.  Working on the outside, I went over all the joints, and filled in with the putty.  I used the wood putty on the roof as well (except for the side where the roof is removed.  That piece of roofing (and two smaller pieces) will be replaced towards the end, once the interior has been painted or papered.  

Today I removed all the old shingles (only two pieces of the roof were shingled.)  Then I sanded that part of the roof, all the wood joints that I had puttied, and then sanded the floors and walls. I started with medium sandpaper on the roof where the shingles were, then switched to fine grade paper for everything else. I wanted to sanicd the walls because, for the walls that had wallpaper, there was a bit of residual glue left, and sanding removed that.  For the walls that were painted, the paint was a gloss paint, and while sanding won't remove the paint, it will give it a rougher texture which will adhere better to wallpaper, or a different coat of paint (should I decide to do that.)  I also sanded the floor.  I'm not sure yet just what I'm going to do with the floors, but sanding the floors will enable me to redo them in a variety of ways....as soon as I can figure out what I'm going to do with them!  :) 

Next step will be to go through the inside of the house, with a tub of spackle in hand.  I want to fill in all the cracks in the ceiling on the second floor, and get the walls as smooth as possible, aI nd all the cracks in the walls on the ground floor.  So far the house has told me that he  (it's a he) wants the walls on the lower floor to be painted white, with the wood beams left as wood beams.  He is making noises about wanting the fireplace to be stoned, or at the very least a stone hearth.  I told him that the next thing that will happen (after the spackling) is some repair work on the stairs. A few of the risers are loose (hot glue, again) and need to be reglued. 

Then I can start making the frames for the inside windows....  Fun!...   :) 

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The hot glue.  Although I've rehabbed several houses now, this is the first one I've had that was totally put together with hot glue.  I fully understand now why everyone says "Don't Use Hot Glue!".  It cracks, leaving sharp splinters.  When you try to pull away loose sections, it takes part of the wood with it, marring the pieces.  It splinters, leaving shards all over the place. And as I said, pieces were already falling off.  I think if you're a contractor who can lay down a perfectly even line of hot glue then maybe....maybe...it would work.  But I'm not.  I have had great success with Elmer's Wood Glue on all my houses for the structural parts, and Aileens, in different formulations, for everything else, so that's what I'll do with this when I get to the glueing back together.

Now, I didn't disassemble the entire house . .. but first I DID remove all those pieces that are loose, mainly the roof.  I used a heat gun at it's lowest setting -- 500 degrees, heated the seam, then slowly pulled off the glue. Be careful!  They don't call it a heat gun..and hot glue...for nothing!  You can tell when the glue is removeable ..it turns from a dull tan or orange to a clear tan or orange, and then you can lift it out, and using a scraper, scrape away any more residue. I found it best to work in small sections at a time so I didn't things too hot and start a fire.  I was also nervous about the wallpaper-- some appears to be a sort of plastic, and I didn't want to melt it and cause a further mess.

So now I have all the loose sections removed, as you can see in the pictures.  I'm going to have to make a couple of new roof pieces.  One was broken when I got the house; there is another missing altogether..

After removing the roof, with heat gun in hand, I went over all the other seams of the house.  Whenever I came across a glob of dried up hot glue, or a seam glued together improperly, on went the gun, and the glue pulled out.  This was mainly throughout the upper storey.  The side of the house with the staircase and fireplaces is actually pretty sound, although I did find dribbles of hot glue running down everything.  Again, I heated it up, waited til it turned clear (with only takes seconds), and carefully peeled away the hot glue.  It will come off like hot chewing gum.  I think I've gotten off all I intend to take off..for now.  I may come across more as I get in to it, and will tackle it then.

I started pulling off some of the wallpaper.  Some of the rooms have been painted, or partially painted, wallpapered on only one wall.  Fortunately the back windows have only been painted..getting paper off them would be a challenge!  But theres plenty of paper left for me to play with!  :)   I'm just pulling away paper right now, then will take to a sponge dipped in water, pressed on to the paper residue to soak a bit, then gently scraped away.  So that's the next project -- getting rid of the paper.... let the scraping begin!

 

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