Update on rehabbing this old Pierce

8 posts in this topic

Today I finally began. First I tested all the lights with a brand new light bar and happily most of the installed lamps, sconces and chandeliers worked. So they stay. The dead ones I took out.

The old light bar was corroded too.

I removed anything loose - doors and their frames, interior window frames, and even the entire staircase. It came out in one piece which took some care but I do not like that set of stairs and will buy one that descends into the room which is now huge and spacious.

The thick glue on the joins makes me think the builder used a glue gun for some of it. The beautiful door hinges were glued on and the door wouldn't close.

The main floor (not the kitchen though) is papered and removing it is proving to be really hard. Vinegar, warm water, gentle peel, and scrape. It's tedious and not very successful.
So I'm wondering about sticking painted or papered cardstock over the paper.

  1. I want to remove all the white ornate roof decor - is that a good idea? I just find it a bit cartoonish.
  2. The floors and ceilings are all the plain wood with a thin coat of what looks like varnish. Any suggestions re simple floor treatments are welcome.
  3. There is quite a bit of glue (thick) showing in the wall joins. Should I just put molding over those?
  4. I'm seriously considering stucco on the outside to hide the scrapes and gaps and because I don't want to take all the frames off to add the siding. 

No question - taking it apart is satisfying and good for my newbie confidence. But it's the first time I've been this close to a Greenleaf Dollhouse and I'm wondering how to camouflage or cover all those gaps between the walls and ceilings. Big job!

Thanks for any suggestions!

 

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As you go along you'll get better and better at 'hiding' things.  I was told, by someone on this forum fairly early on in my minis hobby, that being good at miniatures is being good at hiding stuff!  I have to say that is completely true!!  It's about creating an illusion.  I agree with you about all the 'gingerbread'.  I didn't use half of it on mine as it was just too much for my taste.  For my flooring I used wood laminate which I glued to card which I then glued to the floors.  Molding is fantastic for 'hiding'!  I mostly used wallpaper for my walls.

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9 hours ago, Jazz said:

Today I finally began. First I tested all the lights with a brand new light bar and happily most of the installed lamps, sconces and chandeliers worked. So they stay. The dead ones I took out.

The old light bar was corroded too.

I removed anything loose - doors and their frames, interior window frames, and even the entire staircase. It came out in one piece which took some care but I do not like that set of stairs and will buy one that descends into the room which is now huge and spacious.

The thick glue on the joins makes me think the builder used a glue gun for some of it. The beautiful door hinges were glued on and the door wouldn't close.

The main floor (not the kitchen though) is papered and removing it is proving to be really hard. Vinegar, warm water, gentle peel, and scrape. It's tedious and not very successful.
So I'm wondering about sticking painted or papered cardstock over the paper.

  1. I want to remove all the white ornate roof decor - is that a good idea? I just find it a bit cartoonish.
  2. The floors and ceilings are all the plain wood with a thin coat of what looks like varnish. Any suggestions re simple floor treatments are welcome.
  3. There is quite a bit of glue (thick) showing in the wall joins. Should I just put molding over those?
  4. I'm seriously considering stucco on the outside to hide the scrapes and gaps and because I don't want to take all the frames off to add the siding. 

No question - taking it apart is satisfying and good for my newbie confidence. But it's the first time I've been this close to a Greenleaf Dollhouse and I'm wondering how to camouflage or cover all those gaps between the walls and ceilings. Big job!

Thanks for any suggestions!

When I rehab a dollhouse I prefer to take it completely apart and rebuild it, and hot glue is easily removed with a hair dryer or a heat gun.  Most Greenleaf kit instructions say to use hot glue, but I find it doesn't work and I use Titebond or some other quality carpenter's wood glue.  Here's my two cents' worth:

1.  I rarely use the gingerbread trim that comes with the kits.  I either leave it off, just use a few pieces, or substitute something else.

2.  Try to remove as much paper from the floor as you can and then sand the rest off.  I have done the following to floors (besides scribing "boards" directly into the wood):  cork "paper, iron-on wood veneer I first cut into 1/4" X 6" lengths and staggered, paint to simulate linoleum, painted floors, fabric with a pile in scale for carpeting and real vinyl tile in a tiny pattern.

3.  I take the house apart using a heat gun and metal putty scraper to remove all that yucky hot glue.  Generally when I glue it back together with the aforementioned carpenter's wood glue and reinforce the edges with a heavy duty staple gun it removes any gaps.  If I do have any gaps I work a bit pf spackling compound or joint compound in with my finger and sand off any excess when it dries.

4.  The first time I sided a dollhouse I did wait to add the frames; every house I've sided since I butted the siding strips up to the frames; much more realistic looking.  However I far prefer "stucco" and my weapon of choice is spackling compound or joint compound.

 

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Thanks havanaholly,

I can see why you would disassemble and rebuild, and I admit I was tempted. I've already removed many more pieces than I'd planned to - but then my plan was and still is pretty flexible. The floors and most of the walls (not the wallpapered ones though)  will likely respond well to a light sanding, and I do like your idea of iron-on wood veneer and other flooring options. 

I have two very large sheets of dollhouse scale white ceiling tile that simulates the old metal ceilings. I love the way that looks in real life.

So today, it's back to the wallpaper removal task. And taking off more of that "gingerbread.

I have a lovely new in the box little White Orchid waiting to be built so I want to "practice" on this Pierce - maybe even make it look really good!

Thank you again for your suggestions,

 

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Hi Shareb,

Thank you for your suggestions. I'm glad I'm not the only one that isn't a fan of "gingerbread" It all seems a bit much. I like the idea of veneer on cardstock for the floors. Something about adding coverings to a surface before applying it to the house makes me feel it can be reversed more easily if I don't like it.

I'll work on the hiding aspect of my rehab work. Stucco, wood putty, moldings, and baseboards. 

I'm also wondering why people use such a flat finish on the exterior wood walls and trim. I imagine a bit of shine (satin or low gloss) would be nicer and easier to clean.

Getting coffee in me ready to start another round of working on this fixer-upper today.

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11 minutes ago, Jazz said:

...lovely new in the box little White Orchid waiting to be built...

If that is indeed the plastic version of the Orchid kit, some of us found that E6000 worked really well for the adhesive of choice to build it and hold it together.

3 minutes ago, Jazz said:

...I'm also wondering why people use such a flat finish on the exterior wood walls and trim. I imagine a bit of shine (satin or low gloss) would be nicer and easier to clean...

If you're going for a toy that is easy to keep clean when children play with it, by all means go with a gloss or semi-gloss finish.  If you would prefer a realistic look the flat finish is what I use and it stays clean with a light dusting once in a while.

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E600? I was wondering.

This White Orchid (plastic) was a gift from one of the members of this forum. How she came to give it to me is a very sweet story; I'll tell the story when I begin to put it together. 

Thank for the rationale behind flat paint finishes. Makes sense, I've been trying to clean the white flat painted trim of this Pierce (which was used by a child from her 8th birthday until when she gave it to me after she turned 16. It's spent some time in a garage too. The trim is grungy but I've cleaned a lot of it nicely now with a bristle paintbrush and some soapy water.

 

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Flat paint is also easier to paint over.

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