Saturday, June 7, 2014

Shelves, Fireplaces, & Ceiling beams

So I've been working pretty hard on the dollhouse this past week.  And I'm super stoked to show you what I've accomplished.  I'm especially excited because work has been rough and I really didn't think I'd gotten a lot done until I started looking back at the pictures.

Remember how I talked about the fireplace and the chimney build I'm planning?  I'd purchased a fireplace off of Ebay and it only required a little bit of fooling with to look the way I wanted.

Here it is before:

I'd purchased basalt brick imprinted paper for the foundation, the lower portion of the porch posts and the chimney build.  Of courase I always end up with scraps of paper so I lined the inside of the fireplace with some of them.  It didn't turn out too badly.

I'm pretty excited about this.  It looks more real to me.

I also really like the focal point a brick chimney makes in a room so I got some cardboard and wrapped it in the same imprinted paper.  Then I used some white paint, slightly watered down and gave the bricks a white washed look.  I wanted a definite difference between the brick inside the fireplace and the brick on the exposed chimney.

The only thing I'm not entirely thrilled with is how the edges are rounded.  I might have to do something about that.  But for now it works.

There's just one problem...
I really didn't like how dark the brick was in comparison to the walls and floors.  So I got some white paint and watered it down and gave the 'chimney' a coat or two.

I like this a lot better.

Remember my fireplace built in bookshelf inspiration picture?

Still absolutely love this.
Here's my version of it.  My wall definitely wasn't wide enough to have shelves on either side of the fireplace if I wanted them to be of a decent size.  So I did one long shelf to one side of the fireplace.  I think it turned out pretty well.

I measured and painted my mini boards.

You can see how the kitten tried to help there.
Then I glued them together and to the side of the fireplace.

This was not easy.
The small piece of raw wood will be hidden behind the baseboard. Likewise the edge of the lower shelf so I didn't bother to paint either of them. 

When the top and bottom felt sturdy I glued in the middle shelf.

The fun part was making sure they were level. 
Then I added the side pieces.  I glued them to the shelves and to the fireplace for added sturdiness.  And I added the baseboard which I'd stained with what is called 'Summer Oak'.  I'm pretty pleased with how it looks.

I wanted to be certain they stuck so I decided to paint these two after.

I'm not sure if I want to do dividers down the middle like the picture.  I don't think so.  I don't want them to look too busy.

I've always loved how people put the baseboards in front of their built ins so they look like a seamless part of the room.  I was pretty stoked that I could do the same.

Best part?

The stain I bought for the baseboards and other wood work matches the fireplace.  I'm pretty pleased.  It makes a nice contrast to the floors.  Just dark enough to show but not so dark that its gloomy.

Here's how the whole thing will look once it's glued to the dollhouse wall.  I'm holding off on that until I'm positive about where all the electrical wiring will go.
Swoops approves. 
What do you guys think?  Vertical dividers in the shelves or no?  I'll have to think about it a bit more but right now, I'm still thinking no.

My other accomplishment had to do with the ceiling beams.  Remember my inspiration picture?

I bought some quarter inch channels from and laid them out in a grid to determine how they would look the best.

Okay so I cheated by drawing the grid on the raw side of the second floor.  It worked.
If I'd been thinking I would have cut the vertical beams in small pieces instead of long ones but I clearly hadn't planned that far ahead.  Can you tell this is my first time with actual carpentry? 

Swoops is looking up at me like 'duh'.  Crazy human.  What were you thinking? Were you thinking?  Next thing you know you'll say 'nothing will go wrong'.   (Oops. Sorry, just veered off into Buffy dialogue. I'm back.)

But once I'd determined that I like where the beams will go I cut the vertical beams down.

This was careful work, because I didn't want to crush the channels. 

Sawdust everywhere I persevered.  And cut out little notches in my horizontal beams.  Otherwise the whole project would be for naught because the wires wouldn't feed through.  And these channels are going to hold the living room/kitchen wires for the ceiling lights as well as the wires for the porch lights. 

So I got my notches cut out and I glued everything together.  Yay!

Not perfect but close. Right?
I had to wait for the glue to dry but eventually it did.  And I'd even managed to get most of the extra glue wiped off.  Then the only thing left to do was stain the beams.

By the way.  In case you weren't aware?  Stain smells.  Like stinks. 

But its worth it in the end.

See how pretty?
I also took the opportunity to stain my baseboards after I'd measured them out.

I also did the door frame.  I'll show you the porch and front door next week.  I think it should be almost set by then.
I need to determine where to drill holes in the front wall, for the electrical.  And I need to measure out the crown molding.  Do you put crown molding around the top of an exposed chimney or do you cut around the chimney.  Hmm...need to research that one.

And I have to start the chimney build.  That's going to be interesting.  Small hinges, wood, and what type of brick.  Combination of basalt paper brick and egg carton bricks or one or the other?  Really not sure about that one.  I'm leaning towards the basalt paper brick because that's what I've used in other places.

Next week, the porch, the front door and foundation.  I'm excited. aren't you?

One last picture of the kitten.  She's not too sure about Swoops.

You're sitting on the instructions. Move.  Dumb bird.

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