Don’t worry. I’m not at all superstitious. The fact that this is “Day 13” doesn’t bother me at all. In fact, I’m pretty sure that I long ago passed the actual day 13 of this project. I don’t document everything, you know.
In any event, my plan for the day was working on the upstairs floor. But, my hands were sore. From Play-doh. Don’t ask.
Anyway, because sawing was out, I needed another project. Looking at all I’ve got left to do (and yes, there is a lot per the instructions), I was going to assemble the window, finish painting the stairs, and paint the door.
Spoiler alert. I did not assemble the window, and I did not paint the door. I did, however, finish painting the stairs. So, that’s something. All in all, it was a pretty good day for the “official” day 13.
Let’s Start with the Window
First up was assembling the window. I thought it was ready to go, and it would be a simple matter of digging up the right pieces, doing one more practice assembly, then gluing the window frame together. I had no plans of installing the window in the Keeper’s House because I knew the glue would never tack in time.
But, as I pulled out the pieces, I discovered I still had some more painting to do.
What you’re looking at is the groove where the “glass” will sit. However, as you can see, on either side of the groove is unpainted wood. Not a huge deal, but it will be pretty obvious once the window is installed. And yes, this is half of an “after” picture, but you get the idea.
Theoretically, I could leave this unfinished part unfinished and paint it after installing the window.
Then I laughed, like you are, too, and realized I had to finish it now. No assembling today, I guess.
So, I dug through my supplies and found this:
I have no idea where they came from. Seriously. I’ve been Marie Kondoing the basement and have found a ton of useful supplies I can repurpose for dollhouse building. These are small enough that they could work.
You can’t see it in the picture, but there’s a wavy edge to the sponge. It’s cool looking, but I don’t think that will work for this. But I will use them for something! Instead, I went with a wedge foam brush.
As you can see, the wedge part will work far better for painting along the fine edges of the window frame. You’ll see what I mean. And I learned that wedge brushes are a great clean up tool.
Let’s Paint. Again
I started with the unfinished brown side. Look at the above picture. That’s what the brown looked like after one coat.
Yes, I know. I didn’t prime, thus ignoring my own advice. But, I had started this paint job before I learned how important priming is. So, I figured I might as well keep it up. Consistency is key (probably).
What you can see is that some yellow and brown paint seeped from the painted side to the unpainted side. Not a huge deal, although it will make even coverage a challenge. What you probably can’t tell from the photo is that in some cases, there are many, many layers of paint that rise up from the wood surface. I’m going to have to sand that off before I try to glue everything together.
I also learned that I shouldn’t load up the brush with so much paint.
Fortunately, the wedge brush was perfect for getting in there and removing the excess paint without getting it everywhere else. It was a clean and even removal.
What you can also see in the background of this picture are the stairs. Unfortunately, something happened to my camera, and I lost those pictures. So, when I talk about the stairs, just refer back to this picture.
I painted each of the five window pieces (the four sides and the middle divider) in brown. Then, when that was dry, repeated the process with yellow.
While the wedge brush is great for detail work, I think I need a smaller brush.
Oops. Well, I did have a lot of coffee that day. I’m going to leave it for now then see how it looks. I might go over it one more time with a detail brush. We’ll see. I’m waiting for it to dry before I make any decisions.
While the window pieces dried, I did the back of the stairs. It’s going to end up several different shades of brown. I tried the dark color I didn’t like on one end, then the color I did like on the other end. Again, I didn’t prime first, but I can’t do anything about that now.
If you look back at the picture, you can see I had one coat of the final paint color on the one spot where that wasn’t painted. What I’ve learned from working with the craft paint is that if I don’t do all the paint at once, the paint dries to an uneven tone, and I end up doing another “topcoat” if you will.
Since this is the back of the steps, I didn’t worry about it too much. No one will really see it. Plus, the whole point of doing it on the back of the stairs was to test things out and see what worked and what didn’t.
But, what people will see is the side and front of the stairs. So, after the back was dry, I started painting the side.
I was, once again, glad I used the wedge brush.
As you can see, it lines up perfectly with stairs. Excellent.
And, once again, I need to be careful with loading up too much paint on the brush. Not a huge deal, but still a pain. I don’t want to sand that off because I’m afraid I’ll ruin the detailing on the steps.
Scratch that. I’m sure I’ll ruin it.
But, I also don’t want to end up with uneven paint tone, so I’ll watch my paint drips going forward.
So, I painted the side — carefully– and ended up with this:
Ah, yes, wood grain. Well, I guess I’ll be sanding away later, too. At least I know what to expect.
What I wasn’t expecting was how poorly I painted the front of the steps.
It kind of shocked me because it was easy to cram the wedge in the corner, but I still ended up with missing spots. It’s fine. I just did a second coat.
After that, I let it dry. And, it looks like I’m going to have to sand the front of the steps anyway. Thanks, wood grain. So, either the detail work is on a clock, or it won’t be so bad.
Not to disappoint you, but the door did not get done. I have to disassemble it, and I didn’t have the time that day. Plus, I’m thinking I might want contrasting colors on the raised panels. And, I think I want the door different colors on the inside and outside. Also, I don’t know what colors I want. So, yeah, no door this time.
On the plus side, I know to prime the door first, so I’m curious to see how something that is primed first performs compared to what I didn’t prime.
And, I Messed Up
Because that’s what I do!
Not a huge deal, but (in addition to the technical issues with the camera), I think I painted the wrong side of the steps. If you look back at old pictures, you can see that one side of the staircase is flush with the wall.
I held up the steps to figure out which end was up. But I didn’t do it in the house. I just held them up and said, “Looks about right!”
But, once it was painted and I looked at it again (and again, and again), and I think I got it wrong. Maybe. I don’t know.
I’m going to wait for that to dry, too, then paint the other side. This way, I’m covered and can claim that was always my plan.
Wedge Brushes Do More than Paint
Once I finished, it was clean up time. I had a ton of leftover brown paint on my painter’s pallet (read: paper plate). So, I scooped it up using the wedge brush and dumped it back in the container.
Yeah, I know. That paint was sitting out and drying while it did, but it was fine. And, it’s better than throwing it out.
Once my hands heal, I’ll tackle this again. I’m thinking window assembly, painting the stairs, and painting the door.
I’ll be that much closer to finishing, but it still seems so far away.
Any advice for sanding the steps? Not going to lie, this one scares me!