Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Sara's Dollhouse - A Comedy of Errors

I am beginning to wonder if this house is wishing Sara hadn't given it to me.

I started off with this big, beautiful pile of siding, and began counting out the pieces and laying them out to be sure I had them all and knew how they should be glued together.
This is much easier now that I actually have floor space in my room! :D

Some of the pieces in the picture above have already been assembled, and there were a few pieces that Harrison had glued together somewhat wonkily and uneven.
I took them apart and carefully re-glued. Ah, much better.
Once the walls were all together, I went to Lowe's and asked the paint guy which was the best stain blocker primer since there were a few pieces of siding that were water damaged at some point over the years.
He suggested Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Primer, and I took his word for it (in spite of the fact that he looked like he'd been born at the beginning of the century)... Mistake #1.
That picture was taken after three (3!!!) coats of this supposed stain-blocking primer. Sigh.

Moving on, after I primed the front and the back sides, I began the weathering process. I want the siding to look worn and faded from years of being in the sun, so that when I apply the crackled paint, you'll be able to see that through the cracks.

The good thing about this build is that with Whitebrush, I primed, sanded, primed, sanded, painted, sanded, painted, and sanded even more. It took forever. But with this house, I got ridiculously excited every time pieces of the siding reacted with the primer and gave me raised grain. It'll just add to the overall rundown effect of the house.
I'm just trying to use what I have on hand to keep costs down so I pulled this bottle out.
After watering it down a good bit, I started applying a little at a time, and wiping it off pretty quickly with a paper towel.
Some places I did a better job than others. Oops. Mistake #2.
No biggie, I just covered it up with some watered down yellow paint, and it made it all fairly gray-ish, as opposed to mostly black.
Hmm... I may not have taken a picture after the re-graying of the black areas. Ah well.

So, next I grabbed a spare piece of siding and started practicing a technique I found on this website for using Elmer's Glue and watered down paint to get the crackle look. Other people used the crackle medium that you can get at the craft stores, but I wanted to try this first.

Here we have mistake #3 attempt #1:
Mistake #4 Attempt #2 (is it just me or does it look even worse than #1?):
And attempt #3! Bellissimo!
Just what I wanted!

The problem arose when I tried to do the whole strip. For some reason, the Elmer's glue method is somewhat of a crapshoot. I couldn't get it to look the same over the length of the whole piece.

Finally I gave in and tried the crackle medium. I wasn't sure how it'd work, since it's supposed to be used on acrylic paint and I am using latex paint from Lowe's. But I think I like it! It's on the far right side on the piece of siding below. I even was able to do the whole strip without it looking too uneven.
So, being the impetuous impulsive person that I am, I jumped right in. I made sure to put extra crackle medium on the very cool places like these, so that it would look like the house really needed a paint job AND new siding in spots.
It worked soooo well on the little pieces. I was pretty pumped. What could go wrong?
Well.... this brings us to Mistake #5.
It's painfully obvious where I began to run out of paint on my brush and had to flip over. You can also see where a lot of the paint ran off the brush at the beginning of each piece of siding. Sigh.

Well, I let it dry completely, and then went back over it with the Elmer's and watered down latex. I think it helps some, and it definitely looks better with the end pieces on. They help camouflage the extra paint on the sides. But I dunno. I'm still not 100% sure about the direction I'm trying to take this house.
I may still play with it some. I'm tempted to sand some spots, which will make the yellow darker. I really thought I'd like the yellow, but now that a whole piece is painted, it's rather blah against the white end pieces. I'm not quite ready to up my mistake count just yet though, so I'll mull it over a while longer.

And, finally, on to the last (and probably most spectacular to-date) foul up, let's talk shingles.

The cedar shingles don't fit. They're too new, too cedar-y, and need to be aged to fit the rest of the house. I thought "I'll just do another wash! It'll be perfect!"

Aaaaand, I'm officially done for the night! I'll figure out how to fix it later. And by later, I mean I've already had a glass of wine and have chilled enough to think about using an ebony stain, with some acrylic dry-brushing to make it look streaky. I haven't, however, had enough wine to make me want to tackle that tonight.

Tomorrow, however, is another story...

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