Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Exterior: Step Two

Ta-daaa! I have made a start on the brickwork and I can say that I'm extremely pleased with how it looks! It looks rather uneven (which is purely down to my inexperience) but I actually quite like the effect as my house isn't going to be pristine anyway. Also, I am yet to sand it down.

I must say, it is easier than it looks and although I will only be showing photos of a small part, I have actually finished both side walls now and the look much more even. I will put the new photos on tomorrow when the walls have dried :)

It's definitely not perfect, but I'm happy with it for my little, creaky old house.

Now, for all of you who are maybe interested in doing brickwork like this...here is a list of tips that I have discovered whilst doing mine:


1. The stencil is different at each end. Sounds obvious, but I didn't realise until I was on my third panel. One side is tailored to be used for the edge of the wall (silly me!).

2. Always, always, always test a new batch of brick compound with the stencil on a spare bit of wood- it's surprisingly tricky to get it right first time. See picture for an example...(the one on the left was my first attempt at the mixture, which as you can see, would have gone horribly wrong if I didn't test it first).

3. Keep a towel or newspaper underneath the house because a lot of the brick compound falls off as you are spreading it.

4. If you have a cat (or a dog) you will get hairs in the mixture, but don't worry- they don't show! (haha).

5. Unfortunately, you can subtly see the join in my walls and that's simply because I haven't followed the 'big brick, little brick' format, I have simply finished one block and moved the stencil up to do the next. Try and make it so it follows a pattern.

6. The stencil adhesive and the instructions promised me that I would only need to reapply the spray-glue every now and again but I had to do it every time I did another section. This is probably because you're also advised to clean the stencil between uses so if you're doing a large house, bear in mind you might need two adhesive glue sprays.

7. The brick compound goes a very long way.

8. Don't glue your windows in before you do the brickwork. I have now set myself the lovely task of working around the window frames.

9. Really important- always start at the sides or back of your house because you may make little mistakes or need time to perfect your technique. This way, by the time you work your way to the front, it will be fabulous!

10. Finally, and worth taking note, the brick compound dries a lot lighter than when it's applied. You may be able to tell by the photo below:

It also dries very patchy and makes you think, "**#!" but don't worry!- it soon looks all lovely and even.

I will add the new photos soon!

Jess! :D

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Exterior: Step One

So, here it is. As promised, I've made a start!

I covered the front and sides (I will do the back too but not today) with matt emulsion paint from Wilkinsons. The paint pots are only 97p each (!!) and the shade I selected was 'Pearl Grey'. I was recommended Wilko's from a lovely person on the Dolls House Emporium forum and even though they said I would only need one pot, me, being overly cautious, bought three. That person was so right, I haven't even reached the end of one pot. However, by the time I do the back it will probably be close to empty. I don't think I need to do the roof yet as the paint is purely there to look like grouting when I use the brick compound. If I like the brick compound, I am planning to get a roof one so probably won't need to paint it at all.

The more I'm looking, the more purple it appears, which isn't good! Perhaps it's because a) the lighting in my bedroom is awful and b) I have purple walls.

The one thing I didn't do was paint onto a base. After much deliberation, and a touch of impatience, I decided to just paint straight onto the wood. I did do a test first on my spare wood and it dried fine. Some people recommended that I do a base of 50:50 pva glue and water, whereas others said they have never done that and it worked fine. I must say, I'm in the second camp.

I think that if you're painting your house for the exterior, it might be wise to use a base in order to bring out the best colour, but for me- the only purpose the paint serves is a base for the brick compound and to appear like grouting.

I really recommend the taster pots from Wilkinson's- the colour comes out evenly and they are really cheap!

I'm just waiting for my sprays to arrive from Bromley Craft Products and I can crack on with the exterior. Guess what I did? I ordered another varnish, even though I have one! How silly of me!

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Shop Front

Hey guys!

Firstly, can I say a big welcome to my two latest followers, Irene and Lara. Thank you for choosing to follow my blog...I hope I keep you interested! Also, thanks to all my older followers for sticking around! I realise I didn't welcome everyone...I only got the idea after a certain amount so please class this as your hellp/thank you! :D

Well, I ordered some varnish spray and some stencil adhesive from Bromley Craft Products so I can make a start on the brickwork. I still need some cement coloured matt emulsion paint as a base coat and with the snow the way it is, I'm not sure when I can get to the DIY shop!

So, today, with a good two foot of snow around our house, I decided to paint the shop front.

I found going around the actual lettering was the easiest thing to paint! The only problems I encountered were little hairs falling out the paintbrush and me not being able to get an even coverage. I solved this simply by going over the fainter bits again.

Ta-daa! Painting the lettering was so hard. I know it sounds stupid and looks ridiculously easy..but it really wasn't. I had paint all over the place. I managed to touch it up though. The last thing I did was the white border which was equally as tricky. It takes a steady hand, I can tell you!

What do you think?


Jess x