The Pierce Dollhouse

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So I am building the Pierce.  Question with regards to the floors.  My thought is, sanding the floors down and using a stain vs. adding actual hardwoods.  What are you thoughts on this?  I would us polyurethane to make the floors shiny.  The stain would match the dreaded staircase.

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I cut iron-on wood veneer into floorboard lengths and split them into floorboard widths and iron them onto the base floor, unless I'm going for another look.  After the floor is on I lightly sand it and then stain it to the desired color and once the stain is dry I crumple up a piece of brown paper bag and rub the floor until it glows.  I don't do shiny surfaces in mini, it just doesn't look right to me.

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You can scribe lines in the floor to mimic floorboards using a stylus, an out-of-ink ballpoint pen, the back or a utility knife blade, or something similar. (I have also used a micropoint brown marker to define the boards and then added dots to mimic nailheads.) When you then stain the floor, the depressions will be darker than the surface. I'm not sure where you are in your build. This method is definitely easier before the floors are installed but can be done later.

Try Holly's paper bag polishing method on some scrap wood to see if you like the resulting finish.

If you decide to finish with polyurethane, my preference is a satin finish rather than gloss. As Holly pointed out, glossy surfaces tend to reflect light and emphasize imperfections.

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I prefer floor boards - whatever method the builder chooses to do them (it makes me buy pre-built houses when the floors are done with details like that). If you don't care about floor boards or you plan on covering them up, then sanding and a stain with varnish will be lovely. I actually do like a lacquered floor, but first and foremost I like tiny floor boards.  I used the pre planked flooring from HBS - I stained it the color I wanted (oak), varnished it and glued it down. It was fine. I used the paper bag as sandpaper after the first varnish and love how smooth it looked. Good luck. 

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2 hours ago, KathieB said:

 

If you decide to finish with polyurethane, my preference is a satin finish rather than gloss. As Holly pointed out, glossy surfaces tend to reflect light and emphasize imperfections.

Yes the higher gloss finishes will look almost wet. Satin is wise.

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I've been building the Pierce for a few years.  I cut dark card to the shapes/sizes of the floors and then glued strips of vaneer onto the card.  I sanded and polyurethaned several times until I was happy with the end result.  If you go to my gallery and Pierce album, you'll see how the floors turned out.  Personally I'm exceptionally happy with them and will use this method again despite it being quite labour intensive.

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Just thought I'd add, I'll be covering all the rough edges when I'm finished so you won't see any gaps between card and wooden floor.  The good thing about doing it this way is that a) it covers wires well and b) it's easy to replace the flooring if and when you decide to change it.

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