Westville: Staircase railings and some Window Trim


Finally, the staircase railings and window trim.

Interior window trim (top), bay window trim (long pieces, right), staircase posts and railings (bottom).

Looking at the staircase posts and railings: There are two posts (they go vertically at the bottom of the staircase), a long rail for the long side of the staircase bannister, and a short rail for the short side of the staircase. The small square pieces are caps for the posts.

Interestingly the post at the bottom goes only on the outside of the staircase, like this. Not at the end. I guess they figure it will be too hard to see the end of the staircase through the windows. The front of the staircase is basically bare. I will probably add my own posts and trim later.

One post cap goes on the top of the post.

Long staircase railing goes on top of the long bannister, all the way up through to the second floor. The narrower part goes through the second floor opening.

The short bannister side. The post again goes on the outside only, with the post cap. Short bannister railing goes on top of the bannister.

Next: The second floor bannisters / railings.

Two bannister pieces, four posts, three post caps (only three), two railings.

On the long side: Two posts go on either end, on the outside only. They’re glued right onto the flat part of the bannister, not the ends. Horizontal railing goes on top.

On short side, two posts sandwich the banister on one end. The bare end of the short side is glued to the bare end of the long side.

The assembly upside down, keeping straight in my jig while the glue dries.

The railing will go here on the second floor. I won’t glue until I have the flooring and wallpaper in place. The end of the long banister section meets with the staircase bannister to sort of form a post. A post cap will go on top of this.

From the side. I’ve already put the post caps on the short side but will wait to install to do the long side.

Interior Window Trim

There is nothing much to the window trim. Take the rectangular pieces:

Paint and finish. The plastic window piece gets glued to the underside of the trim, and then the whole thing is glued over the window opening from the inside.

I’ll show more pics of window trim as I paper and finish the inside of the house.

And that is more or less it! The kit has been put together all the way through to the end of the instructions.

All that’s left is to decorate and move in. I’ll continue to show my finishing process, and also provide overall thoughts and tips on this house.


Westville: Trim


Last post, I said I’d back off the Westville, but it called to me! I have been very busy with other life–my job, having a tooth pulled, and other fun stuff–so not as much mini activity as I’d like. However, I managed to get into my mini room and do things every once in a while.

First thing I did was realize I had to fix the ornamentation around the bay window interiors. These decorations are part of the main sheet, and when I originally punched out the wall, the small details crumbled away into dust. I tried to repair, but I decided it was no use.

The right room’s was even worse.

After much debate, I decided to simply cut them away and sand down the opening. I left a few bumps.

This was my solution. The long pieces are from the Westville kit, the bay window trim. The horizontal piece is supposed to go all the way flush against the ceiling, resting on top of the two side pieces. I cut the horizontal piece to go in between the side pieces to hide the ragged edges of the old trim. I’ll do a cornice above.

I finished the trim with brackets I’d had in my stash. Luckily, I have four, so will use the other two on the second bay window.

I had planned to wallpaper the bay window with the blue, but I did not realize I’d run out! So I went through my stash of scraps and found wallpaper that matched in color and used that for the bay window.

The flooring is the siding that comes with this kit. To cut to fit the bay window, I did a pattern with a sheet of paper, laid the boards on it, and cut before laying the boards in the house (without the paper).

I puzzled over where the “center partition trim” went, but I finally concluded it is here, separating staircase railing from the wall in the entrance room.

Here it is after I’ve put in some wallpaper and stained the trim.

Next time, I’ll show the staircase railings and the second floor staircase bannister.

Westville: Shingles

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The Westville kit comes with shingles in sheets. An advantage is adding the shingles in strips instead of individually. The disadvantage is punching out the strips. Challenging!

While the shingles are still in the sheet, I ran a piece of masking tape across the top of each row, then punched them out of the sheet (tore them out, wrestled them out, however you want to put it).

Guidelines are a good idea, and help keep the rows straight. First row is 1 3/8″ from the edge. The rest of the rows are 3/4″ a part.

Strips are hot-glued in place. Once dry, masking tape gets removed.

The next row is glued on, the shingles staggered (this means at the end of every other row, you have to do a half shingle to keep everything on track).

I used hot glue, because any water-based glue (tacky, Elmer’s, etc), will make these very thin wooden shingles curl. Another, non-water-based glue would be fine I think.

If shingles overhang the edges, that’s ok–they can be trimmed off later.

To cut the shingles to fit the angle of the gable, I made a template out of paper.

This serves as a gauge to cut the shingles to the correct angle.

Using the gauge ensures the end of the row will fit. I did a template for the front roof too.

The nice thing is, the templates I used for the front worked on the back roof angles as well.

All shingles in place, and ragged edges trimmed off. Whew!

The shingles looked a little too bright for me. I debated what to do … Stain? Paint? Dirty-water wash? I feared loosening the shingles with too much water or stain.

I dabbed on a little stain on one shingle–way too dark!

Then it hit me–instead of brushing stain on and wiping off, how about if I wipe the stain off the brush and sort of dry-brush the shingles?

Used a foam brush, stain, and lots of paper towels. Dipped foam brush lightly into stain can and then wiped of a *lot* of the stain from the foam brush.

I started with a downward stroke, then later stroked upward to make the edges of each shingle more defined.

The stain gives it a weathered look.

This is the result. I got some darker blotches I don’t like, which I will tone down with a wash or something, but I like how it turned out. In keeping with the “rustic” feel of the house.

I learned some new techniques with this roof–shingling in strips and dry brushing with stain.

I want to use trim to finish some of the roof’s raw edges, fill in the channel between the front and left roof angle, and do some kind of ridge pole, but the roof is just about done.

With that, the exterior is finished. I will next paint / paper / floor in the interior, figure out what lights I want where, and trim the interior. The kit has trim for the bay windows and the main windows, which I’ll paint and install after I’ve papered and painted.

The last project in the kit is the railing for the stairs and the second floor bannister. I’ll do those after I put in the floors.

Then I’ll start moving in all the antiques! (And at some point do the landscaping).

I might take a little break first. My goal was to get the kit mostly done–now I get to play a little!

Westville: Chimney, Door, Closet

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Note that the written instructions for the chimney are right, but the line drawing shows it glued together wrong. I’ll demonstrate the right way.

The nine pieces that make up the chimney.

The line drawing shows the slanted sides glued so that the long edge is against the front (the long rectangle), but if it’s glued that way, the chimney top (with the hole in it), won’t fit. The correct way is that the two slanted sides enclose the back and front rectangles; that is, the sides go on top of the back and front. You get a long, narrow box.

Also make sure that the side with the jagged slant goes on the LEFT side of the long rectangle.

This is the piece that will go in the slot of the roof, so it needs to be on the left of the finished chimney.

I found it easier to glue three of the sides together, put in the top piece, and then glue the fourth side on. That way I knew exactly how the top fitted in.

The chimney top is set in about 1/4″ from the edges.

The main pieces glued together.


The four trim pieces glued around the end. I of course couldn’t make mine fit exactly (two shorts are supposed to rest against ends of the two long pieces. I filled in the gaps with wood filler, sanded, and painted. (The trim pieces are glued about 1/8 of an inch from the edge).

The finished, painted chimney (upside down).

The finished chimney in place.

Front Door

The front door is three pieces sandwiched together, with the “glass” in the middle.

Decided on burnt orange for the outside, over stain in the middle (the opposite of the shutters). The interior side of the door is ivory.

For fun, on the interior, I thought I’d add wallpaper to show through the panels.

The interior side of the door glued in place, with the plastic sheet in the middle.

Here’s where the door will go. My front wall came apart when I punched it out, so I’ll have to replace a part of the wall above the door. Or I might go with a transom.

I won’t put the door in until I’m finished wallpapering / painting the interior.


The closet under the stairs is nicely versatile.

Parts for the closet from left to right: Door, door trim, closet wall, closet ceiling.

The closet set in place (not glued yet). I went with simple white walls and door for now.

The neat thing is, you can have the door closed, or you can glue it partway open to reveal a closet under the stairs, or you can hinge it to make a working door to the closet.

I have not yet decided whether to have the door closed to make a closet filled with antiquey clutter. If so, I will want a light in there so the things can be seen. My tape runs through it, so it’s ready for lights.

If you go with showing the closet, make sure to paint / stain or otherwise finish the backside of the stairs and the inside of the staircase wall (I did not, so I’ll have to stick my paintbrush in there to finish it before I turn it into a closet).

Next–Shingles! And that’s pretty much it for the exterior.

Westville: A look at the interior

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Before I continue with the chimney and door (and shingles), I wanted to look at the interior and its possibilities.

Now that the roof is on, it’s easier to see what we have to work with.

Front / entrance room. Nice space with recessed bay window.

Other downstairs room (there’s only two). This room is fairly large. If I were doing a conventional house rather than a shop, I might put a partition wall crosswise somewhere in here, making a front room and a back room. The windows are large enough that the interior can be seen through them.

Upstairs room where staircase comes out. Again, this room is deep, like the one below it. If I were doing a regular house, I might put a wall across and the bathroom behind it, visible through the front windows.

The upstairs room above the entrance. A cozy space.

The attic is fairly large, with a T-shape that covers the entire width and depth of the house.

While the attic is too short for big furniture (or in-scale people–it’s about 4-5 inches from floor to ceiling), I can see putting tons of accessories, chairs, stools, and “discards” from the rest of the house up here. Or, in my antique shop, special bargain finds!

Next time, I’ll show the chimney, front door, and under-stairs closet, and then tackle the shingling.

Almost done!

Westville: Shutters

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So many shutters! Every window gets a set, even each bay window. That’s nine windows, meaning 18 shutters to make.

Narrow shutters go around left side windows and bay windows. Larger shutters are for double windows on the second floor (one pair each). There is a shorter pair for the porch window.

I sealed the wood of the shutter backs with shellac, as I wanted to paint them. Shutter frames will be stained, so I don’t seal those (Minwax stain is great for sealing and staining at the same time).

The wood on the “good” side of a couple of my shutter frames was bad and beat up–even before I punched it out of the sheet. I am turning those over and using the “bad” side, which looks much better.


The shutters are easy to assemble. One frame goes over one back. Simple. I went with burnt orange on the shutter backs to lend color to the house, matching the gable trim.

I’m finding that old-fashioned wooden clothespins make terrific clamps.

Finished shutter is glued on the edges of the windows. Bottom rests on the window sill.

On the bay windows, the shutters that butt together cover the entire side of their window frames. Only way they fit.

Below–photos of the finished shutters in place.

The stonework and stain give this a kind of Olde Worlde feel, which is fine for the antique shop I’m planning. But I can picture this house sided and painted in pastel colors, like a painted lady, either as a bakery or shop or cute cottage. Many possibilities!

Next is the chimney, front door, and under-stairs closet, then I start shingling! (yuck)

Westville: Gable Trim

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The gable trim consists of two pairs of long pieces for the front and right gables, and a long and short piece for the back gable.

Notice that for the long pieces, each gable will have a long piece and one slightly shorter piece. This is because the slightly shorter piece butts against the long one.

I chose to paint these burnt orange (toned down with a light wash of stain) for a pop of color on my brown and white house.

The trim gets glued flat against the underside of the roof piece.

None of my pieces met at the peaks as they were supposed to because my roof never fit exactly right. That’s ok; I can cover that up later.

Next, the verge boards. Two sets of long and one short.

The verge boards stained and ready to go.

I found it was easier to glue them together at the top first (as the instructions indicate). The top of the pieces form a heart. Once they are thoroughly dry, it’s easier to position them on the house.


The verge boards go behind the trim pieces.

The verge boards give the house a cute, gingerbread look.

Next come the many, many shutters!

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