I am often asked "How did you do your ....." So I thought it would be a good idea to record it on my web site and then those who are interested can read all about it. So here is the start.......
First a general word or two about my decorating philosophy. Because in a dollshouse, you see all the rooms at once, I feel you should not have too many different colours and designs. My whole house is in tones of blue and yellow. So the kitchen is all blue/ grey with some blue accents. The entrance hall is all yellows. The dining room which leads off the entrance is grey and yellow. The bathroom is a paler yellow. The rest is still to be decided but it will fit within those parameters.
My other idea is that all rooms should have some interest with regards to shape, preferably with some depth to suggest something beyond. So far I have been able to achieve this.
Floor: The floor is made from sapelli strip wood made for model ship building, bought in South Africa from a ship building supplier in Mossel Bay : http://www.shipyard.co.za/
This is then stuck onto matte board, with contact spray adhesive. I first did a border around the outside edges mitred at the corners and then the rest laid, sanded and sealed. I decided that with all the choice of finishes I was going to stick to one. I don't like oil because it gathers dust and needs re doing. Shiny varnish is too shiny, matte is too matte, but you get a satin finish (also called suede) and that is what I use on my floors. The matte board floor is held in place with a few dots of clear silicone.
This is the method that I love. It is quick, clean, easy, neat and allows you access to wiring if you need it.
I took my wallpaper to the framing shop that sells the matte board. I chose a colour of matte board that would tone with the wallpaper.
Cut the matte board to the size of each wall using a green cutting mat and a craft knife with a NEW blade. You test fit each section until it is perfect. Remember that a cornice at the top will finish off and hide a small gap so it does not have to be a tight fit but must rather slide in and out with ease. If your walls are not exactly square you can test fit and adjust the size of your boards ad infinitum until they are exactly right. Mark any openings with pencil and cut those out as appropriate.
The only problem with matte board is that it buckles with ANY moisture so the way I apply the wallpaper is as follows:
I use spray contact adhesive. Mask off the top section above the picture rail. Spray the matte board. Spray the back of the wallpaper. Wait 5 minutes. Stick the wallpaper to the matte board.
On the back write in pencil "Back wall of dining room. Made with love by Barbara Brear 18 October 2005" and sign it!
Always position the back wall first and then slide your side walls in place and you will get the neatest corner. I hold mine in place with double sided carpet tape or a few dots of clear silicone. You need to be able to remove it in case you need to access wiring.
The last job is to add your cornice, skirting and picture rail or dado, as appropriate. I stick those in place with clear silicone. It is sticky enough to hold things firmly without being too permanent.
Filling the gaps:
Actually, the last job is to seal the gaps between the cornice and the ceiling. This is especially important if you have an anaglypta ceiling paper because no matter how tightly you push up against the ceiling you will still have gaps.
The way I do it is with white silicone (the same stuff as is used to seal between the bath and tiles in full scale). Half fill a monojet syringe with white silicone. Squeeze a thin line of silicone between the cornice and the ceiling. Dip an ear bud (cotton bud) into a strong solution of dishwasher liquid soap. Run it along the line between the ceiling and the cornice. It smooths it and finishes it off perfectly. (Taught to me by a full scale tiler only in full scale use a finger dipped in soap solution!) Only problem is, you may well not be able to reclaim your monojet once the silicone dries out, so it is best to wait until there are a couple of rooms that need doing to make it worth your while!
The dining table is from John Hodgson (gasp) but it is one of his resin ones. Looks good though doesn't it? The chairs are by Bespaq. The painting is an original by Joan Hards. The side board was made by J.B. Edwards, a South African. The candle sticks are by Peter Acquisto. All lights in the house are by Ray Storey with the exception of the one in the entrance hall.