Between illness and lots of work, I haven’t had time to post about 1/2″ Fairfield progress. I’m working on the exterior a little at a time, whenever I take a break from writing.

The Outside:

First problem to be solved–what color to paint this house? I wanted a painted lady, but because  this is my first attempt at doing a facade on my own (no instructions or suggestions, just my imagination), I didn’t want to pick a bright color and have it look awful.

I poured over the book The Painted Ladies Revisited until I had it almost memorized. I was inspired by the house shown on page 36, and a porch of another on page 104. Both houses (in different parts of San Francisco) used a gray on gray scheme, which I thought looked elegant.

My house is in no way as elaborate as the SF houses, but I like the colors.

The main house color is a Glidden paint called Smooth Stone. I decided against siding, because again, it can look bad if not glued on correctly.
The dark gray on the gables, bay window decor, porch, etc. is Americana brand craft paint, Natural Gray, and the white trim is Americana Warm White. The windows are Warm White highlighted with a navy blue stain pen (Prismcolor).

I fully intended to use the windows that came with the house. But the edges were so raw, I couldn’t get them to look good, no matter how I sealed, painted, sanded, repainted, etc.

I didn’t want to use the Victorian Houseworks windows, wanting a different look, but I discovered that Houseworks has new 1/2 windows in a more plain design that goes with the doors I’d already purchased. And they are half the price of the Victorian windows (bonus!).

Eleven windows and lots of paint later, they’re in. I did use the acrylic “leading” sheets from the kit, cut down to fit the upper half of the windows.

This is the left side of the house. I’ll do a panel at the bottom of the bay window to match the one in the front bay.

I’m choosing not to use the bay window roofs that come with the kit, mainly because I have wiring going through the bay windows, and the roof wasn’t big enough to cover it. I built a little Italianate looking bay roof, similar to the one on the house on page 36 of The Painted Ladies Revisited, which nicely covers the wiring.

I won’t use the porch roof either–it will be a full balcony with a railing.

Happy to see that with all the shifting of the house while painting and trimming, the lights still work.

I have a lot left to do on the outside, but it’s getting there.

For trim. btw, I’m using a  plethora of 1/4 x 1/32 strips and another plethora of 1/8 x 1/16, plus a few 1/8 double bead and 1/8 cove (bead and cove available via The Quarter Source).

I do have to figure out what to do with the lights. Am using the Houseworks system of plugs and power strip, which is easy to use, but hiding it is difficult. I first thought I’d put the strip under the house, but then I’d have to lift the house to flick on the switch each time.

As you can see, the power strip is kind of obvious and messy.

I plan to set the house on another piece of plywood–maybe I’ll mount the power strip on that and hide it with landscaping or a wall or something, which is what I did with The Blue House.

Onward. I need to

1) Finish trimming the outside and do the attic windows.

2) Finish trimming the interior, including the interior window trim

3) Build the fireplace mantels and hearths.

4) Put in the staircases and railings

5) Put in the outdoor porch and balcony railings.

6) Shingle (A tip–don’t glue on the tower top until you shingle everything. If you attach the tower, you won’t be able to get to the narrow parts of the roof behind it. I live and learn.)

7) Mount house on base, start landscaping.

Not daunting or anything. 🙂

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