Greenleaf Products, plus some questions

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Posted (edited)

It finally occurred to me that I'm on a Greenleaf forum and I have never shared that Greenleaf has one of my favorite and most used products, but I'll get to that last. First a couple of questions.

Is anyone familiar with Greenleaf's vinyl tile flooring? Is it glossy, and if so, can it be dulled? I want a paved stone look throughout the entire first floor of my Creole plantation house. This product:

https://shop.greenleafdollhouses.com/miniature-scale-vinyl-floor-tiles-grey/

While I can do the paperclay method, I'm worried that is going to add a great deal of weight to an already very heavy house. It's Lawbre's Rosedawn and it weighs a lot even in its unfinished state.

Added weight brings up my other question. Can anyone recommend a good brick sheet? Something textured, embossed, with the appearance of real brick? I've in the past purchased a few printed sheets of brick from England just to see what they were like and, well, I'd use them on a child's dollhouse maybe but not something on which I'm going for realism. They look good but even when not up close they are very obviously just printed paper.

I've etched brick into joint compound (a lot of work but looks great!). I've done brick and stone out of egg cartons (also looks great!). The joint compound will make this house far too heavy, and there is no way in heck I am cutting thousands of individual bricks out of egg cartons! I am seriously hoping there's some product out there that would work.

Okay, so there are my questions, now allow me to sing Greenleaf's praises for one of their products that is one of my favorites and most used. Their siding:

https://shop.greenleafdollhouses.com/miniature-clapboard-siding/

OMG have I bought bags and bags of this stuff over the years. It's admittedly a bit rough and I probably wouldn't use it to side a gleaming mansion, but it has so many other uses! Here are some that I've used it for.

It's perfect for siding a farmhouse or other "rustic" building. A simple wash gives it a fantastic aged appearance without a ton of work futzing around with multi-layers of painting and sanding and aging techniques. Some awful blurry old pics below of my farmhouse when it was in progress. I don't think they show just how fantastic that siding looked IRL.

Another pic below is a pic of a bedroom in (I think) Salem, MA. See that ceiling and that planked wall behind the bed? I used Greenleaf siding to recreate that and I was totally thrilled with the result. I also used Greenleaf's shingles on that same Colonial. The front was clapboard but I shingled the sides. I needed smaller shingles because historically those were pretty narrow. I simply snapped 'em in half, no scoring required.

The first floor of my Creole is going to be pretty "raw", with exposed brick exterior walls, but the interior walls of the first floor will be exposed planks behind stud framing. I'll be using even more Greenleaf siding for that. It's 3/4" wide so I'm going to score it at 1/2". The half-inch planks will be for the wall framing, the remaining 1/4" will be the equivalent of 3" lathing for the attic ceilings. And, of course, loads of it to plank almost all of the ceilings!

So there are a few of my handy-dandy uses. And at $5.00 for 360 square inches, I challenge anyone to find a better deal! If you could even find something that works half as well. Do you have other-than-intended uses for the siding or other products?

Edit: And oh yeah, it worked fabulously well for horizontal planked wainscoting in that Colonial house. I was going for a very early Colonial look so I didn't want any fine mouldings. That siding did the trick!

FH Left Side.jpg

Porch 1.jpeg

ceiling idea.jpg

Edited by KellyA
Added wainscoting idea.
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I've ordered the vinyl tile before, and it has been different each time. I always like it, but the texture, finish and colors do vary.  I use Testers Frosted Glass Spray to dull things but haven't tried it on the vinyl tile.  If you go that route, I would test a piece with any dulling spray to see if it had a bad reaction.

I love those siding strips for rustic floors and siding, too! It's also good for shimming if you need a slight bit of wood to even surfaces before putting wallpaper or trims in place. I always save the scraps for that.

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6 minutes ago, otterine said:

I've ordered the vinyl tile before, and it has been different each time. I always like it, but the texture, finish and colors do vary.  I use Testers Frosted Glass Spray to dull things but haven't tried it on the vinyl tile.  If you go that route, I would test a piece with any dulling spray to see if it had a bad reaction.

I love those siding strips for rustic floors and siding, too! It's also good for shimming if you need a slight bit of wood to even surfaces before putting wallpaper or trims in place. I always save the scraps for that.

Yes, the flooring! I used that same siding to recreate the wide plank flooring in that same picture. I forgot to mention that. Using that siding for flooring required a good bit of sanding, I'll admit. But after that and some random gouges with an X-acto to create scratches on a well-used floor, and then a shoe polish rub followed up with a good wax-and-buff, they looked awesome, IMHO.

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1 hour ago, KellyA said:

...Is anyone familiar with Greenleaf's vinyl tile flooring? Is it glossy, and if so, can it be dulled? I want a paved stone look throughout the entire first floor of my Creole plantation house. This product:

https://shop.greenleafdollhouses.com/miniature-scale-vinyl-floor-tiles-grey/

I am a HUGE fan of Greenleaf's products!  I've used the vinyl tile for flooring in a couple of builds:

 

the shade in place

med_gallery_8_988_31956.jpg

and I have used the siding strips not only as flooring, but for beadboard walls:

KathieB's photos:  the master bedroom

I am really  partial to using heavy paper for tile:

finished stairrail & more kits

and sandpaper for bricks:

gallery_8_151_53121.jpg

and I have carved "flagstones" into a thin coat of spackle:

med_gallery_8_151_19722.jpg

all in the interest of decreasing weight.

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Yeesh, I keep thinking of more stuff. I mentioned how well the siding takes a simple wash to look aged? Same with the planked walls in that picture. I watered down various shades of muted greens, blues, and grays. Applied them randomly, rubbed with a wet finger, and all the colors showed through in various places. It looked exactly like the planked walls in that photo, and so easy to do!

Also, I stupidly forgot to weight down the planks for the first batch I did for the ceiling. Turned out I loved them that way. I did all the rest the same way, just let them warp. It created a really interesting look for the ceiling. Very aged (with the same wash/wet-finger technique with various shades of cream-colored paints). With each plank randomly bowed due to the warping, well, I would never have thought to do that on my own. A happy accident!

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11 minutes ago, havanaholly said:

I am a HUGE fan of Greenleaf's products!  I've used the vinyl tile for flooring in a couple of builds:

. . . .

all in the interest of decreasing weight.

So weight is a universal concern, lol. Thank you for all of those pictures! Ooo, I had forgotten about the sandpaper method. Your bricks on that Tudor cottage look great! And with a paper cutter... hmm, that's a definite possibility. I don't mind laying bricks individually, I just don't want to cut the full-scale equivalent of 2,500 square feet of bricks one at a time!

Yep, I used the siding vertically on my farmhouse too. It had an addition that I gave board-and-batten siding. I painted it with the same technique as the house, but I wanted it to look added-on, like the house had grown over time so I sided it differently. Outside and in, it looked very much like the vertical planking in your photo, which looks perfect BTW.

Did you leave the vinyl tile floors shiny? I'll try otterine's suggestions. I don't mind if the tiles vary in color. A good stone floor should have variations anyway, so I'm okay with that.

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Here is a quick and easy way to do paperclay bricks........https://livingtheminiaturelife.blogspot.com/2019/05/paper-clay-bricks-quick-and-easy.html

Paper clay rolled out thinly does not seem to add a noticeable amount of weight IMO. I have Paper clay brick chimneys on both sides of my Willow and I don't notice an increased heaviness??

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29 minutes ago, Mid-life madness said:

Here is a quick and easy way to do paperclay bricks........https://livingtheminiaturelife.blogspot.com/2019/05/paper-clay-bricks-quick-and-easy.html

Paper clay rolled out thinly does not seem to add a noticeable amount of weight IMO. I have Paper clay brick chimneys on both sides of my Willow and I don't notice an increased heaviness??

Bless you, bless you, bless you for the herb slicer trick! Definitely getting one of those! Had a look at your Willow album. Beautiful job on that house. Great chimneys, and I want that kitchen fireplace baaaaad.

Paperclay is my preferred method for doing bricks and stone. I've done chimneys (pretty basic ones) and brick foundations. Also random stone flooring. Love how they turn out. One of my favorite things about paperclay is something most people hate and work hard to counteract. When it dries, it can shrink and cause cracks. GREAT! The house I'm doing is a hundred years old (1835 house set in 1935). I WANT those cracks that would occur naturally due to the foundation settling. I couldn't create them so accurately on purpose.

Are you sure about the weight though? A 16-ounce box of paperclay is fairly hefty for its size. If I did all the bricking and stone flooring on the Creole with it, I'd be using a lot of those boxes. I was already going to use it for all the firebacks, chimneys, the brick pillars under the porch, and the kitchen cooking fireplace. I'm frankly just terrified that if I used it on the walls - both inside and out of ground floor walls because it'll have exposed brick inside - that I'd need a crane to move it.

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The Willow is a super light Greenleaf kit, and it seems just as light with the chimneys.......The Rosedawn is a behemoth to begin with.....so maybe it won't seem much heavier if the weight is equally distributed? Just guessing here!

I found that I had shrinkage problems if I stopped and went to bed and then started up again on an adjoining section. Also a nice layer of glue helps it shrink evenly. What about that magic brick stuff? https://www.ebay.com/p/Dollhouse-Miniature-Red-Magic-Brick-1-SQ-FT-Finish-Kit/1644639999?iid=192308511915&chn=ps&norover=1&mkevt=1&mkrid=711-117182-37290-0&mkcid=2&itemid=192308511915&targetid=539174360635&device=c&adtype=pla&googleloc=9030767&poi=&campaignid=1881946464&adgroupid=70435645632&rlsatarget=pla-539174360635&abcId=1139336&merchantid=8120904&gclid=Cj0KCQjw3uboBRDCARIsAO2XcYA9kKN8KE1eMkXgfu3HGuobKpC_QLDlxxy6c5CJ8f3OknZb_CMxqM4aAlaLEALw_wcB

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15 minutes ago, KellyA said:

A 16-ounce box of paperclay is fairly hefty for its size.

I'm thinking that part of the reason paper clay is so heavy in the box is because of the moisture inside.  Paper clay feel very wet to me at the start.  When it dries, it should be lighter. 

8 minutes ago, Mid-life madness said:

What about that magic brick stuff?

I know some people don't like the Magic Brick, but I used the Magic Stone on a build and absolutely loved it (aside from the fact that I got the sticky inner parts of the stencil everywhere).  It went on beautifully, and I covered a whole three-story wall in about an hour.  I don't think it's terribly heavy, because you're putting on a thin layer of the stone or brick.

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6 minutes ago, Debsrand56 said:

I'm thinking that part of the reason paper clay is so heavy in the box is because of the moisture inside.  Paper clay feel very wet to me at the start.  When it dries, it should be lighter. 

Yes, it absolutely does! Good point Deb.

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If you go with Magik Brik (or however it's spelled) you will want to wash it with some dilute gray watercolor or dirty paint water to calm down that RED!  I left the vinyl tile alone, since that's the look I was going for.  I like the matte "stone" finish on my spackle floor.

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My issue with Magic Brik is that the mortar lines are too wide. It isn't to scale and is really identifiable for what it is. I get that's necessary because any thinner and the stencils would tear at the slightest touch.

However, with that said, it works pretty well if you paint it or have it show through from behind old plastering that's falling off the walls in big chunks. I was thinking of using it on the interior of the ground floor. The kitchen will probably have aged plaster with brick showing through, and the cook's room will be white-washed. She's a tidy gal, she would never stand for crumbling old red brick all around her bedroom! Hee-hee

And good to know about the paperclay drying out. I bet that does make a big difference. I've used it many times but in smaller doses than bricking an entire house, so I didn't pay any attention to the weight.

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I have spackled over sections of my sandpaper bricks for the "crumbling plaster" effect:

med_gallery_8_3403_127824.jpg

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10 hours ago, havanaholly said:

I have spackled over sections of my sandpaper bricks for the "crumbling plaster" effect:

med_gallery_8_3403_127824.jpg

Exactly the look I was talking about, nicely done!

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18 hours ago, KellyA said:

Added weight brings up my other question. Can anyone recommend a good brick sheet? Something textured, embossed, with the appearance of real brick? I've in the past purchased a few printed sheets of brick from England just to see what they were like and, well, I'd use them on a child's dollhouse maybe but not something on which I'm going for realism. They look good but even when not up close they are very obviously just printed paper.

I've etched brick into joint compound (a lot of work but looks great!). I've done brick and stone out of egg cartons (also looks great!). The joint compound will make this house far too heavy, and there is no way in heck I am cutting thousands of individual bricks out of egg cartons! I am seriously hoping there's some product out there that would work.

 

I'm interested in the answers to this as well. I have a Walmer kit called "Ye Olde Firehouse" that I'm planning to finish as a retired fire station turned bar & loft, and it needs to be bricked--but it's 3 stories high and I'm worried about weight (especially since some if not all of the interior walls would be brick, too) and realism, not to mention time. I know I could do the egg carton thing, but it would take me forever and I really want to focus more on the interior of this one. 

Thanks for the input on the printed sheets, Kelly. I've considered those, but it's good to know what you think about them.

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Posted (edited)

20 minutes ago, MaryKate said:

I'm interested in the answers to this as well. I have a Walmer kit called "Ye Olde Firehouse" that I'm planning to finish as a retired fire station turned bar & loft, and it needs to be bricked--but it's 3 stories high and I'm worried about weight (especially since some if not all of the interior walls would be brick, too) and realism, not to mention time. I know I could do the egg carton thing, but it would take me forever and I really want to focus more on the interior of this one. 

Thanks for the input on the printed sheets, Kelly. I've considered those, but it's good to know what you think about them.

Here is a picture I saved for an idea for the exterior. It uses one of the brick papers I bought (I did not make this example btw). It really isn't bad, per se, but IMO it really does look like printed paper. This example has false windows and TBH I'm actually considering doing that (on my miniature museum, not my Creole house). I know, Miniature Heresy (!!), but the weight is a consideration. The walls have to be hinged because it has to be front-opening. With columns and such, I could just see the facade doors ripping off. :/

But anyway, it's rare to find a good close-up pic of what those brick papers look like in real life on an actual project. I hate to do an English retailer out of a sale but I honestly wouldn't recommend them for the type of look it sounds like you're going for. And that project sounds completely awesome! Please post pics when you get into it, I'd love to see it.

Edit: why do I always remember things after I post?? Try the sandpaper method havanaholly mentioned. I've done that on a fireplace backing and I was happy with how it turned out. I've never done it on a full house or even a whole wall, but I think it would work. See her Tudor cottage in her pics above. With some good aging, I think you could get the look you're going for.

Museum Idea 1 - Exterior.jpg

Edited by KellyA
sand paper brick

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I read about making sandpaper bricks from Beryl Armstrong's book How to Make Your Dolls' House Special.

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14 hours ago, MaryKate said:

Thanks for the input on the printed sheets, Kelly. I've considered those, but it's good to know what you think about them.

Something I've thought of looking into and you may want to as well, is Plastruct.

https://plastruct.com/shop/plain-and-patterned-sheet/ps-93xl/

I've never used, or even seen in person, that brick sheet but I have some Plastruct carved stone and it is great. Nowhere do they give dimensions on that webpage (how dumb is that??) but my carved stone sheets are 7" high and 23 5/8" wide. Just say 23" because there's a lip on either side from the styrene mold process. It's easy to cut off but do be aware the sheets DO NOT INTERLOCK WITH ONE ANOTHER.

That's no problem with one sheet above another. A sharp X-acto and a good metal straight edge, and you can cut those perfectly right at the mortar lines. On the sides though? Forget it. Oh, and speaking of forget it, don't even consider Lawbre's hydrocal bricks. They're super expensive, they don't interlock, and they're a b***h to cut!

I may be assuming too much, but I think you may not have an issue with them joining side to side? I kind of assumed your loft/bar conversion would do some really great heavy posts and beams. If so, that's convenient, because your brick sheets don't need to join! They'll be interrupted by the post and beam-work.

Anyway, the Plastruct carved stone looks like the stone on the ground floor of the house pictured below. I don't know if that's what they used. I doubt it, DHE probably cut the stone into their MDF. But anyway, the Plastruct products have depth and the carved stone at least looks just like what's in this photo. I tried to do a closer-up inset but it's pretty blurry. I assume Plastruct's brick is probably like this. Their modeling products are good at getting depth and texture (although never ever use their siding or roofing, blech). I'd get some to see for myself but, eek, there comes a point where I can't buy one of everything on the market just to see what it looks like, LOL!

the-doll-s-house-11.jpg

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I have Paperclayed the Greenleaf Pierce I wish I had weighted it before and after . It has paperclay on the whole outside and some on the inside. The weight change wasn't that noticeable to me because it had to be carried by two people due to it's odd shape and items were in it . WAIT I do remember that when I was working on it I could pick it up and move it myself both before and after the clay was on. 

I'm working on a Greenleaf Magnolia right now and have added stucco and then paper clay to the whole house. For me the weight change is minimal 

I have to agree with everyone about the drying of the clay. Once dry it's really light.

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7 hours ago, NellBell said:

I have Paperclayed the Greenleaf Pierce I wish I had weighted it before and after . It has paperclay on the whole outside and some on the inside. The weight change wasn't that noticeable to me because it had to be carried by two people due to it's odd shape and items were in it . WAIT I do remember that when I was working on it I could pick it up and move it myself both before and after the clay was on. 

I'm working on a Greenleaf Magnolia right now and have added stucco and then paper clay to the whole house. For me the weight change is minimal 

I have to agree with everyone about the drying of the clay. Once dry it's really light.

I may just go for it. I really prefer using paperclay for brick and stone over any other method. Eh, I'll make my husband call in three of his buddies to help move it when it needs to be, har-har. (not even joking about that)

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On 7/1/2019, 2:36:39, KellyA said:

 

On 7/1/2019, 2:36:39, KellyA said:

 

On 7/1/2019, 2:36:39, KellyA said:

Can anyone recommend a good brick sheet? Something textured, embossed, with the appearance of real brick? I've in the past purchased a few printed sheets of brick from England just to see what they were like and, well, I'd use them on a child's dollhouse maybe but not something on which I'm going for realism. They look good but even when not up close they are very obviously just printed paper.

 

I've used the brick vinyl sheets made from Mayberry Street on 2 different houses. I've also used the back side of the sheets to imprint the brick pattern on a paperclay fireplace and chimney, worked great! I got the sheets from Hobby Lobby, they're standard brick red but EZ to customize colors.

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2 hours ago, Island-Shack said:

I've used the brick vinyl sheets made from Mayberry Street on 2 different houses. I've also used the back side of the sheets to imprint the brick pattern on a paperclay fireplace and chimney, worked great! I got the sheets from Hobby Lobby, they're standard brick red but EZ to customize colors.

 

2 hours ago, Island-Shack said:

Here it is close up - untouched

 

Exterior43.JPG

Thank you Bobie, and with a pic even! I will look into that. I can see how that could be aged easily enough. I don't mind if I even have to age every brick by hand, I just don't want to MAKE every brick by hand!

Interesting you mentioned that you used the rear side to imprint paperclay. I have thought of doing that with Plastruct's brick sheets.

Did the sheet stick to the paperclay at all? I had wondered if it needed to be coated or sprayed with something like vaseline or PAM first so it wouldn't pull up or mis-shape the paperclay. But maybe those would make it too oily and who knows how it would take paint after that. Or did you just press in the pattern and pull it up, no non-stick coating required?

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Is it me, or do those grout lines look awfully out of scale, like the Magik Brik?

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