Colonial house revamp

I recently had a grand clear-out of my dollhouse room. My dh put up cabinets from Ikea, which house all my supplies, excess furniture, and other things.

Because I got clean-up fever, I looked at my Colonial tavern, which I’d built in college, not the best of my projects, and thought about taking it apart and throwing it away.

Then I remembered how much fun I had cleaning up the little roombox I’d bought at the auction (no, I haven’t filled it yet), and looked at the Colonial house again.

Everything was crumbling, falling apart, or broken, except the flooring. I had hand-laid and hand-finished the flooring using 1/2″ boards, Minwax stain, and lots of patience. The floors stood the test of time. After a couple of decades, they still look wonderful.

So I took out the furniture and yanked out the woodwork, which had been damaged, and ended up with bare bones.


Downstairs / kitchen / tavern


Upstairs / bedroom

I had built this two-room, two-story house out of scrap plywood someone was throwing away. I remember seeing that it was 3/8″ plywood, in decent shape, and had enough with which to cut up and build a small dollhouse. Cost to me = zero.

At the time, I was in love with all things Colonial. (I’m noticing while I’m refurbishing that it’s now hard to find minis for that period! Fashions change, even in minis). I also had joined the House of Miniatures kit club (they sent you a kit every month, and you bought the ones you wanted). I needed a house so I could use all this furniture!

For the house itself, I built everything myself except for the downstairs front window, which was a large Houseworks one (pics in a later post). I originally electrified the house with copper tape, but I pulled that out and now will do round wire.

Keeping it simple, I built two rooms, one upstairs, one down, with a swing-open front.

The front was a mess. The wood was splintered and worn, and looked pretty awful. A simple repaint wouldn’t work, no way could I glue on siding, so I decided to stucco.


I used the “wet tissue” method (tear up and crinkle Kleenex-type tissues–separate the layers first–glob paint on the house, and then press the unfolded, crinkled tissue into it with a stiff brush.) Here is the front half-stuccoed.


And here it is with stucco finished and aged. I re-painted the entire interior (sanded down the walls and ceiling and painted).

Also, paint had smeared on some of the flooring boards. Sanded them lightly and touched up with Minwax stain pens and Prism stain markers.

Prism stain markers are great–they break the rule that you can paint over stain but can’t stain over paint. Prism markers will cover paint fairly well, and they come in colors such as Walnut, Mahogany, Sienna, and my favorite, Light Umber. Art supply stores and Michaels carry them.

More pics when I have them. I am having a great time re-doing this house and re-furnishing it. The House of Miniatures pieces I made for this also still look wonderful and I’ll be keeping those.