Friday, March 10, 2017

How To Ruin A Dollhouse -The Amberwood Saga - Part Four

But before I tell you about this tale of woe, I have to let you know what is going on with Kinsey's house.
Harley said that it would take a few weeks or even months to see any changes, so we just have to wait patiently and see what happens.

Meanwhile, work continues on the Amberwood. I thought a little bit of aging would make this house look good.
And, guess what - I made a rather big mess.
I was happily listening to some music and painting a color wash all over the exterior when. . . . one of my kids walked in to my office.
"Why are you covering your house in baby poop?" they exclaimed.
Suddenly the music came to a screeching halt and I stepped back.
What was I doing???

When my building inspector gave me THAT look. I knew it was NOT good.

I even tried to age the roof by painting it grey and then black.

I have realized something........
Subtlety is not my forte.
(But I do like the way the paint is getting into the crevices.)

I thought that a black antique wash over everything would improve the situation.
But it did not.
It made it all dark and murky - like a haunted house!

This was NOT the look I was going for, so I will go back to the drawing board.
Anyway, as my Mum always says, it is important to keep experimenting with your art in order to learn new things even if you destroy it in the process.



  1. Actually I think it looks awesome, the faux finish reminds me of the houses in Sweden with that yellow stucco finish. One thing to always remember when doing a faux finish is it always look worse before it looks better. The same goes for paperclay, and cardboard and celluclay. I love it , it has a timeless, haunted old world feel to me. Unless you wanted new and shiny. But I love old and weathered.

    1. Thanks Lisa. I have realized that I cannot do new and shiny at all. I love weathered and that is the look I am going for.

  2. I am going to AGREE 100% with Lisa's comment Sam- I LOVE IT too!
    You already know that I am crazy about aging so this look is right up my alley. I do know however, just how easy it is to get carried away, so my only advise is to let it be for a couple of days and then see if you still feel the same way about the exterior. I think it looks MARVELOUS.
    I also agree with Lisa's observation that, "it DOES ALWAYS look worse before it looks BETTER!" so perhaps not "RUINED". but instead- ANCIENT! :D


    1. Thanks Elizabeth. You are the queen of the weathered look!
      And yes, I know it is always darkest before the dawn - I just need to take this process slowly.
      Aging takes time (that's funny!).

  3. I must agree with your kid about the first layer of yellowish paint - sorry, but this reminds me of a toilet at a railway station in the evening. But the second layer with the dark paint saved it all... it looks fantastic now - old, weathered, a little neglected because the inhabitants have painting the facade somewhere at the end of their to-do-list... wonderful work.


    1. Thanks Birgit. I like the fact that it is looking old and weathered, but I am not happy with the final colors.

  4. It's not ruined. It just has a lot of character.

    1. Thanks Vanessa! It does have character - just not the kind I was going for!

  5. Again, don't listen to the kids. They are not the artists here. Have faith in your work. Go to pinterest, look at old European Dutch townhomes, that have aged. none of them are bright, shiny and new. Maybe restored, but the weathering is what gives it character.

    I will agree with Elizabeth, step away, put the aging brush down and look at it critically which is what I do. This is where you are right now. To me it looks lovely and looks like a set of ancient little pixies have moved in with timeless treasures. Or a couple of little elderly ladies who have lived there for generations, lol . Makes me remember why I used to build in this scale- the stories. As you can probably surmise, the bright and shiny new is easy to create, the weathered and old and is not- it takes a true artist to do what you have done. You might want to add creeping rose vines or wisteria. To me, the weathering adds character and gives the house a history. I think you have done a great job on this house and with some other finishing touches,it will look wonderful.

    1. YUP, to Everything Lisa has said! :))
      But let me add this as well: From experience I have found that adding more paint is not always the best solution, because it can often end up looking like mud.
      What I do if the aging begins to feel excessive to me, is to lightly sand off some of the darker spots, which helps to dilutes the surface, exposes some of what is underneath, as well as adds more character. Another quick fix is to mix some wall patch with some water and paint the slurry over top of the existing paint. When its dry the paint will be muted and a little chalky. A light spray of hairspray will set it with out disturbing any of your work. This procedure can be repeated as many times as necessary until you are satisfied with the results.
      In conclusion I can only Applaud your courage in stepping outside of your comfort zone Sam; don't turn back now, because I think you are onto something BIG! :D

    2. Thanks Lisa and Elizabeth for being so passionate about this project!
      I am loving all the tips and tricks you guys are offering.
      I think it is just the color that I am not loving. The yellow is too acidic and the black is just too harsh. I want to soften the yellow and maybe try more brownish aging.
      I will get there eventually. I won't give up, I will just try a bunch of different things.
      Thanks again!

  6. Hello Sam,
    I actually think the aged building has a lot of character and looks like an age old building. I like the effect very much. that being said, it is your project and I know that if it doesn't feel right to you, it needs to be fixed. I have aged items before and found out, accidentally, that if you go over a non sealed wash with more water it washed away the first one. You might try that in an inconspicuous spot...However do try to live with it a bit, just in case it grows on you.
    Big hug

    1. Thanks Giac. I love the weathered look and I think I just need to work some more on my aging technique. Thanks for the info, I will keep that in mind.

  7. I don't think it looks bad at all! It looks like an old house, aged and lived in!

  8. Naw... You totally got this. It. Will. Be. Amazing. Trust your creative flow - it's soul is already starting to show!

    1. Thanks Jodi. I still want to modify it as I am not happy with it.