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I love the look of old subway tiles and when it came to miniature options.....There weren't many. SO, I decided to look into my box of art supplies and see what I can come up with. I had a lot of leftover veneer laying around from my living room walls, so I decided to use this as my base. Im not sure what the results would be but I also thought about using card-stock as the base. The only reason I ultimately went with the veneer was because I decided to use my 4 Inch table saw to uniformly cut it into strips to later cut into individual tiles. 

Materials I used:
• 8"x 5" Wood-Backed Veneer Boards. (This is just two sheets of cheap veneer glued back to back - Purchased HERE) - (Quantity depends on how much space you want to cover. Always make more than you think you need!)
• Acrylic Paint - Whatever color you want your tile to be, I used a swiss coffee(off white) color, Almond by Americana, and Black.
• EnviroTex Lite Pour-On High Gloss Resin - (I purchased an 8oz set and I still have half the bottles left) - Purchased HERE
• Hobby Glue (To Attach)
• Dollhouse Stucco/Grout Mix - (I didn't actually use this, but I highly recommend it)

Tools I used:
• My 4" Mighty-Mite Table Saw
• A thick-handled Xacto knife (Easier on the hands)
• A LOT of Xacto Blades


1. STEP ONE - 
First thing I did was prep my veneer boards by sanding them to get them as smooth as possible, finishing with a 400 grit.  Once sanded, I used a (very lightly) damp cloth to wipe the boards clean of any remaining saw dust.

2. STEP TWO - 
I painted a few of the boards with the lighter off-white acrylic paint and another few with black and set to dry. By the time I got to my last board, they were ready for the next coat. For the second coat I went over in the same colors but while the off white boards were still wet, I sponged in a few splotches with the Almond Color Paint by Americana, Making sure to blend in any hard lines. I did this because once I cut the boards into tiles, there would be a slight mis-match of color on some of the tiles. (A common character of old subway tiles) 

3. STEP THREE - 
Once the paint was dry, I mixed up the two part Envirotex Lite Resin and with a one inch wide brush, I painted a even layer on each board. Making sure not to get ANY on the bottom of the boards. (The resin will smooth itself out if applied evenly) You can see the discoloring I did on the boards in the below picture. Disclaimer: Envitotex Lite is a messy product if your not careful. It does not wash off with water and requires paint thinner to clean off. Any container or brush used for application will be unusable after. 

I set the boards on two strips of wood (Seen in below picture) to dry overnight. (This stuff sets in about 6-8 hours but I recommend leaving it a full day to cure) Try to keep away from an area where dust will be blowing around. 

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4. STEP FOUR - 
The above photos show the cured boards. You can see just how glass-like they set! 
Once the boards were cured, I set the desired tile thickness on the table saw and cut all the boards into strips. The standard subway tile size is 3"x 6" (1/4" x 1/2" in miniature), But I decided to go slightly bigger. Mostly to save time. You can cut the tiles into whatever thickness you want though. Below photo shows the cut strips. 

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5. STEP FIVE - 
Once you have all your strips cut out, its time to start cutting the individual tiles. Before cutting the individual tiles, I would slightly sand both edges of the strips to remove any splinters from the table saw cutting. 

I cut one tile to the size I wanted and then labeled it "Guide" so it wouldn't get mixed up with the other tiles, and used it to measure out each tile. I did this over a 3 day period because my hands were developing blisters after a while. (This is definitely labor intensive, but the results speak for themselves) How you choose to cut your tile is completely up to you. I just used an Xacto knife because thats all I had, but if you have one of those angled scissors or other form of blade cutting, I suggest trying it. DO NOT use a hand saw to do this. The blade cutting look will give the tile a slight curved edge which makes it look even more like real tile. 

6. STEP SIX - 
Once I had all the tiles cut out, I started laying them down.

To glue the tiles, I put down a thin, even line of glue and layed the tiles back to back. I didnt use any spacers because I thought the natural spacing of the tiles looked good.  And once I applied the grout, the lines would stand out even more. I used a block of wood at the bottom to keep my tiles straight and then used a small piece of dowel to push my tiles down from above to keep them in a straight line. I used regular hobby glue and then switched to crazy glue at some point because it dried faster. You can use whatever glue you feel works best. Just make sure to keep any glue off the surface of the tiles because cleaning it off will scratch your tiles.

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• FOR THE TRIM - 
For the trim tiles, I used a chair rail moulding that I applied the same finishing technique from above, except instead of cutting this into individual tiles i just pressed down with a blade to score the strip. (This made for an easier application as well) The reason I didn't do this for the actual tiles was because I couldn't get the mismatched look if I kept the tiles in strips but since the trim was black, it wouldn't matter. The thin black tile was just a 1/8" wide strip of wood that got the same treatment as well.

• GROUTING - 
I used gray house-paint as grout and I don't recommend this. It was all I had at the time and I had to apply it 4 times to fully fill the cracks.) I recommend using actual dollhouse stucco grout and tinting it.  I used gray because it would contrast well and make both the black and white tile pop.  

 

END RESULT:
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PS - Its late and I typed this really fast so I apologize in advance for any Type-os and grammar issues.  Enjoy!

<3 Chris

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Fantastic! Thanks for the tips! Wanna do this one day. When I have the patience. 

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Thanks for taking time to do this for us. The end result is gorgeous!

FYI -- a utility knife/box cutter might be easier on your hands than a thick handled eXacto knife. 

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Thanks!! Appreciate the time you took to post this.  Adding to my bookmarks.

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Nice job, Chris.  Next could you tell us how you made the new tank for the Chrysnbon toilet?  And did you also do the tiles for your floor?

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The shower looks properly grubby/aged. Nice!!! Can't wait to see the whole house!

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Your bathroom is stunning. Wow!

Thanks for taking the time to write up a tutorial.

 

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I love the authentic look. You did a wonderful job of explaining your process. Thank you.

 

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tytytytyty I have shown this to my hubby and he says we can do this....my daughters MHM is suppose to have a black and white bathroom...you inspire me...

I also love the floor and please can we know where its from...Im going to use Sable's marbling effect on the corner unit I have...she want a sleek modern with chrome look....and you have made it possible to do it myself!

cant wait to see the rest of the house...the Glencroft is one of my favorites.

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Thank you, Chris! I'm just the opposite. I hate subway tile (I think your bathroom looks gorgeous, though), but I love regular tile and I want to do that for my kitchen counters (in minilife, I don't have to clean the grout). So this is an awesome tutorial!

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38 minutes ago, nuttiwebgal said:

tytytytyty I have shown this to my hubby and he says we can do this....my daughters MHM is suppose to have a black and white bathroom...you inspire me...

I also love the floor and please can we know where its from...Im going to use Sable's marbling effect on the corner unit I have...she want a sleek modern with chrome look....and you have made it possible to do it myself!

cant wait to see the rest of the house...the Glencroft is one of my favorites.

Your so very welcome! The floor paper was purchased here: http://itsybitsymini.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1222_160&products_id=2485  

PS - I would love to see the finished result when you complete the corner unit!! 

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13 hours ago, havanaholly said:

Nice job, Chris.  Next could you tell us how you made the new tank for the Chrysnbon toilet?  And did you also do the tiles for your floor?

Thank you so much! @havanaholly 

As far as the floor goes, I used THIS floor paper. Before installing, I sprayed the paper with Krylon Matte to seal it. (I wish I had a satin finish instead of gloss lying around because I really would have loved to see how that looked)  After spraying a few coats, I used some water with a few drops raw umber and sponed a few spots around the floors where I knew the fixtures would be. Then sealed again with the Krylon. 

For the Tank:

I fell in love with THIS BATHROOM by Pat and Noel Thomas and loved how they did their tank.

I knew that wood would be my base for the tank and I actually found a strip of 2" x 3/4" wood in the dumpster of my building one day that would be perfect! (I can only image what I looked like if any of the neighbors saw me dumpster diving for a piece of wood. haha!) I was mostly excited because I didn't want to have to buy a piece of wood and only use 2 inches of it. 

So, I eyeballed the height of the tank (I estimate its about 1.75 inches tall) and cut the wood into a small tank sized block. Then came a lot of sanding. I started with a rough 150 grit and worked my way to a 400. I looked at a tank in my house as reference to make sure I smoothed the edges just enough so that it will look like porcelain once it was painted. I added a bevel on both edges to give the tank a little bit of a unique shape but this is totally optional. Once that was all sanded, I glued a piece of 1/8" x 1" basswood on the top of the tank for the lid of the tank and cut it down so it had a 1/16 over hang around the front and sides of the tank, leaving the back flush. I sanded that down to match. The next part is optional but because I wanted to avoid any wood grain, I lightly coated the top, sides and front of the tank with the same resin I used for the tiles and left that to cure for a day.  Once that was dry I VERY lightly sanded any dust that might have stuck to the piece overnight so it was smooth.  Then I applied the same technique as the rest of the fixtures to simulate porcelain... Sanding, Several Layers of Black Matte Spray Paint, More Sanding, More Black, More Sanding, then a few coats of High Gloss white spray paint (Allowing plenty of time in between to dry....This is crucial. I almost ruined a few pieces being impatient.)  You can finish off with a high gloss clear finish but I chose to end at the white. 

For the handle, I dissected a sink faucet from an extra Chrysnbon kit and used the base and handle of the faucet and pieced them together to form the toilet handle. I had originally used the handle from the pull chain that came with the kit but the scale was way off. 

To attach, I just drilled a hole at the bottom of the tank (about 1/8 from the front) the same size as the original pipe which I cut down to the right height and just hot-glued the two together. 

Hope this helps and inspires!

 

Thank you EVERYONE for all the comments! Ya'll give me LIFE!

 

Hugs!

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4 hours ago, nuttiwebgal said:

tytytytyty I have shown this to my hubby and he says we can do this....my daughters MHM is suppose to have a black and white bathroom...you inspire me...

I also love the floor and please can we know where its from...Im going to use Sable's marbling effect on the corner unit I have...she want a sleek modern with chrome look....and you have made it possible to do it myself!

cant wait to see the rest of the house...the Glencroft is one of my favorites.

FYI- I used a poly sealer on the marbled paperclay and after one month with it sitting in my hot humid garage, it turned yellow. I cried..,not really but I pouted a bit. Next time I won't seal it. 

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This is without a doubt one of the best mini bathrooms I have ever seen. I am so impressed I can't stand it. I love it. You have done an incredible job and thank you so much for taking the time to provide us with a tutorial. I am going to try this out. Wonderful!

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Thank you so much for the tutorial. You really do some outstanding work!

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Wow! That is an amazing bathroom. I have a subway tile bathroom in my actual house with the same black pattern along the top. I thought I was looking at my bathroom for a minute. I may give it a try. Thanks for taking the time to write it all out. 

 

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Thank you so much for sharing! I will add this to the tutorials topic that's pinned here. I'm in LOVE with your Glencroft! You make me wanna jump in and do another one! 

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Thank you so much for writing this! I've been trying to decide how to do subway tiles in my Beacon Hill and I think I'll give this a try!

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I just can't even believe this is a DOLL House.  Simply amazing.  May I ask, about how many hours did this take you?

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12 hours ago, Peggy said:

I just can't even believe this is a DOLL House.  Simply amazing.  May I ask, about how many hours did this take you?

I know, right! I show my co workers these pictures. They can't believe it's not a real life bathroom.  It's a blessing to have that talent. Thanks for sharing how tos

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You've created such a lovely atmosphere!  You are very talented!

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Thank you so much for this great tutorial Chris! Stunning bathroom :)

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Janet, I hope you'll post us an intro in the Newcomers' Forum.

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OK, big deep breath, I'm about to try this tutorial. I'll keep you posted on the outcome :)

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