Westville: Stonework Painting


After making sure the paperclay was thoroughly dry and gaps filled in, I started painting the stonework foundation by giving it several dirty gray water washes.

The wash is mostly water with two drops of hippo gray and one drop of black. I went over the stone work three or four times with this, letting it dry between washes. Gradually building up a base of very light gray.

Next I started painting in colors, keeping the paint very watery.

I used Burnt Umber, Hippo Gray, with a touch of Black Green. I later added a color called Latte (which looks like very milky coffee).

I added the colors one at a time: First wetting the brush, dabbing in paint, wetting brush again, dabbing off excess on waxed paper, and then applying that color to individual stones, choosing them at random. I didn’t so much carefully paint each stone as simply dab dab dab with the brush (sometimes more like smoosh smoosh smoosh).

If any one stone color seemed too dark, I’d rinse the brush and use the dirty water to tone it down.

I did a lot of trial and error, wiping off with a paper towel before it dried if I really didn’t like the result.

I went over the stones I’d say four or five times until I liked the look. I still might go back over them and smooth out the colors, making sure none of the white shows through.

It was fun to experiment. The house is taking on a rustic, old-world feel, but that’s fine as I’m doing an antique shop.

Now that the foundation is done and the porch is finished, the rest is going pretty quickly and easily. Next, the bay trim and balconies, then it’s time for the roof.

Westville: Stucco


I’m skipping the next steps on the instructions: Foundation Trim and Siding.

A note about the foundation trim. I notice on the instructions that the bay window foundation trim is listed as being on sheet 5. It’s not. It’s all on sheet 9.

The trim goes around the top of the foundation to cover the tab / slot construction. I might use these pieces to divide stucco from stone base.

On with stuccoing!

I first had to decide what parts not to stucco.

I painted and masked off the porch roof and the tops of the bays.

Likewise I measured three inches up from the bottom (where the stone foundation will go), and marked it off with masking tape.

Sandy makes sure the house is properly taped. Later, I came back to discover he’d pulled off most of the masking tape and ate it. (He spit it out again, and is fine.)

I decided to experiment with vinyl spackling as stucco, and it worked very well. I used almost all of a small container of spackle. I like it because it doesn’t dry too quickly, allowing me to work it. It also sands well once it dries. Plus, it’s easy to clean off my favorite putty knife.

I used this putty knife plus an artist’s palette knife for the tight places.

For inspiration, I found this house on the Internet, which looks a bit like the Westville, esp with its attic windows and bays. Not going with the same color but I found it helpful. (In fact, I’d love to make a miniature of this one!)


I smeared on the stucco fairly thinly, then textured it with a stencil brush (also experimented with a paper towel. Both worked equally well.)

Textured with one-inch stencil brush.

Close-up of the texture.

The base layer of stucco on all walls. It took me maybe an hour to do the whole house.

I stuccoed the corners and probably won’t use the corner trim from the kit.

After the stucco dried (overnight), I sanded down the rough spots and gave the whole thing a coat of plain white paint. Once that dried, I started putting on dirty water washes–paintbrush cleaning water with a drop of black and a couple each of burnt umber and gray. I did three washes, letting it dry each time.

The finished stucco work. The house is now attached to the base, and I painted the base brown. I will cover the base with flagstone or landscaping–the brown is to ensure that if anything is seen through the landscaping, it will look like dirt.

Okay then! Time for the stone foundation! I already made a mold for the paperclay–I’ll show how I did it in the next post.

More examples of stucco and stonework.

Any of these houses would make a great miniature!

Next post–the stone foundation.

Half-Inch scale Bungalow–Painting and Starting to Build

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The parts of the RGT half-inch scale Bungalow laid out for painting. I always forget when starting a dollhouse a) how much pre-painting I have to do; and b) how messy it is! But mess is half the fun.


The main colors I chose for the exterior. The red is called Autumn Apples, a paint by Valspar that I got at Ace Hardware. The finish is eggshell. For the railings and all the trim, I’m using leftover paint from repainting the hall in my real-size house. The can does not have the color on it, but it’s a dark white, almost sand colored. (On the walls of the real house, it looks browner than the light white for we used for trim).



The parts after the first-coat painting. I put on three coats, sanding between, before I liked how it looked.


The post bases. The ones that wrap almost all the way around go on the corners; the U-shaped ones are the center posts.

Originally, I was going to leave the post bases the same sand/white as the rest of the railings and posts. But they didn’t look that great (they’re MDF), so I decided to go with gray stucco.


I mix my own stucco with white terrarium sand and gray paint (medium gray from Folk Art). I should have painted the posts gray first before I put on the stucco, because the white I’d already painted showed through, but live and learn.


I mixed the gray and terrarium sand, painted that on, then after it dried, went over it with the gray by itself several times.


Let the build begin! Foundation glued together.

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I planned to leave the foundation painted gray, but I could not get the join exactly straight, and no amount of sanding would smooth it (again, these are made of MDF). So I …


… had some leftover stone textured paper from another project, and cut and glued this around the foundation. I like how it turned out.



Next, I glued the ground floor on top of the foundation, weighting it with, what else? Books on minis and houses.


First floor walls set in place to mark where the porch floor will be.


I debated about the porch floor–wood flooring? Brick? The craftsman era bungalows around my town have cement porches (I live in a hot climate), and I decided a cement-look would be easiest. I wouldn’t have to worry about cutting around the posts or the posts not fitting.

I painted with medium gray from Folk Art, and swirled the paint with my brush as it dried. The paint went on much better to the plywood, and only took one coat.


The posts, railings, and post base caps in place. Getting these all to fit exactly right and straight was a little fiddly, but the instructions that come with the kit are good. I laid the porch beam across the front to make sure the posts lined up. The wood bits sticking out from under the railings are shingles to lift the railings a little off the porch while they dry.


Post bases, post caps, and posts, with steps painted to match the porch. Trim to hide the raw edges will be added later.


The porch details more or less complete: post bases, post base caps, posts, post caps, arches, and porch beam! The kit gives you a choice of using all the posts and arches or not–but I said “Go for it! Use it all! Go crazy!”

I need to do some sanding and touch-up paint, but the porch and first floor exterior walls are done.

Walls and things

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It’s fun to make things grungy and ugly instead of pristine and beautiful.

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I’ve started painting and aging the outside. I want this to be an old mechanics garage, still running because everyone in town knows the owners and trusts them with their classic cars. I aged the walls with a mixture of antique white and burnt umber paint, highly diluted. Dipped paintbrush in both colors, swirled brush in cup of water, swiftly brushed across walls and art. If I got too much on, I dabbed or lightly wiped off with a paper towel. I went with the two-toned blue and white for the base paint, because I’ve seen similar paint jobs on real buildings and think it’s hideous.

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A smattering of things I’ve collected from various places for the shop’s interior. I’ve been studying photos of small privately owned garages (and looking at them around town). The more cluttered the better!

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The interior taped again. The wall in back is the wall of my full-sized room–that side will be open. I’m testing to see where front walls, beams, etc will land. I will put a bathroom in the front right corner (on the left here as you look at this photo), viewable only from an open door. Where the paint changes color is where the bathroom will go.

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I plan to put the garage door from Houseworks in the front, rather than the sliding glass patio doors from the kit.

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Another shot of the “helpers.”

I need to figure out the lighting. Every shop I’ve seen has hanging flourescent lights. I’ll probably end up making my own. Also I want a work light (the kind at the end of a cord so my guys can see what’s under the car).

Much more to do, but it’s fun and a new challenge.

Garage (Denise’s City Cottage)–Progress


I have been so incredibly busy with writing that minis has had to take a back seat, but I at least started on the floor for my mechanics garage.

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Base coat is Americana Neutral Gray

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Paint palette for spatterdashing to look like concrete: burnt umber, black green, warm white, and black.

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Floor more or less finished. I coated with a matte sealer. (It looks like I used a lot of black green spatter here, but in real life, the green doesn’t show that much–must have been the light when I took the pic.)

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I want a drain in the floor–I took a washer (which is actually a lamp part from JAR/JAF #1480), painted it raw umber, and glued it over a screen mesh. I will give it more paint and make it look a little rusted.

Now to work on painting the walls, find artwork (signs, what-have-you) for inner and outer walls, and plan the lighting (mostly indirect, but some work lights as well). Want to put a bathroom in the front right corner, one of those kinds of filthy bathrooms most women would refuse to use. 🙂


Almost forgot to add my assistants, who help with everything, as you can see.

Fun stuff!

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