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How to build a Dollhouse From a Kit

Even before you choose your kit, you should ask yourself the following questions. What style and size of house am I looking for. Do I want front or rear opening, and what type of exterior finish would I like to have. Most of our kits have a Milled finish, which is a 3/8" clapboard profile that is milled directly onto the surface of the exterior walls. This is the easiest and quickest way to assemble a house with the appearance of clapboard siding, because it is built in and ready to be painted. Some houses come with smooth outer walls, and there are a few scored, and brick.

What you will need to purchase before you Begin
The house kits come complete as shown, but do not include the glue and paint that you will need for assembly. You are advised to purchase primer paint, and a good quality acrylic latex for the outer walls. Trim colours in smaller quantities may be purchased from a craft shop. You choose the colours you want, you are only limited by your imagination. The recommended glue is a good quality carpenters glue, as well as tacky glue from your craft store. Basic tool requirements are a carpenters square, sandpaper, rough and smooth, an exacto knife can be very useful, masking tape, ruler, and with some of the Real Good Toy Dollhouse kits, you will want tiny finishing nails and a hammer.

What To Expect when you open your Kit
All pieces are precut, pre-milled on outside walls, the durable gingerbread trim is in strips and the windows and doors are pre-assembled. The openings are cut into the walls for the doors and windows. The precut parts are precision engineered. They will fit together beautifully. Doll house shingles are all individual and are hand split pine or cedar. They are actually glued to the roof of your house, using tacky glue, one piece at a time. You will also find simple, easy to follow, step-by-step instructions with expertly drafted illustrations. A couple of models even include an assembly video.

Our Recommendations Include
Give yourself enough time to complete the job properly, and without rushing. It is a wonderful project, but depending on how intricate your design, can be time consuming. Follow the instructions exactly, as they are in sequence for a purpose. I have found, that if i prime and paint the trim pieces and exterior walls, before assembly, it takes a fraction of the time, that doing the same job after assembly takes. Let the paint dry well before assembling, and keep paint off of areas that are to be glued. If you are planning on putting electrical wiring into the house, it is best done before any decorating is done, and with the wiretape method, some lines may be laid even before interior walls are put in.

These houses are designed for collectors and children alike.
They are sturdy and beautiful. I have suggested to parents with young children (under 5) that they may want to leave some of the more fragile exterior trim pieces off of the house until the children are a bit older. This can always be added at a later time, the same applies with the shingles. Most children however, appreciate the delicate intricacies and adapt their play habits accordingly.

BELOW IS OUR RECOMMENDED SCHEDULE FOR BUILDING AND COMPLETING THE DOLL HOUSE OF YOUR DREAMS.

1. Read ALL of the instructions before beginning assembly.

2. Assemble shell according to instructions.

3. Install basic wiring if you plan to do so.

4. Apply siding to house. If your house has come with pre-milled walls or if you decide you prefer a smooth surface, this is not necessary.

5. Paint siding and porch floors - if you have them.

6. Pain trim, windows, and doors. Some people like to install the windows and doors at this time for appearance; this may be done temporarily by using Mini-Holdtm to secure them.

7. Install trim (trim around roof needs to be installed before shingling).

8. Shingle roof.

9. Paint and install posts and railings. (if applicable)

10. Stain and varnish plywood floor. You can skip this step if you're going to cover the floors with carpet, tile, or hardwood.

11. Paint or paper ceilings (see Wallpapering tips)

12. Paint or paper the walls. If you temporarily installed windows and doors, remove them to facilitate papering.

13. Install carpeting, hardwood or tile flooring.

14. Install electrical outlets.

15. Paint or stain any interior trim such as baseboards, chair rails, window and door casings, and crown mouldings. Paint or stain staircases.

16. Install staircases

17. Install windows and doors and all interior trim and mouldings.

18. Install ceiling fixtures and outlets.

19. Furnish the house and have fun.

Applying Shingles to the Roof of your Doll house
If you plan to stain your shingles, from the natural color, do so before you apply them.This way you will not have to worry about getting stain on the trim pieces. Starting on the bottom edge, with just a small overlap, measure the spot on the roof where the top of the shingle will touch. measure this across the whole roof line, lay a single bead of white craft glue just below this line, and lay your first row of shingles on. Let the glue set up, and then contine in this manner to the top of the roof. You may have to trim your last row. A roof cap is applied over the raw edges at the top giving you a lovely finish. Be careful not to get glue on the shingles before staining or the stain will not take. Also be careful not to have too much overlap, or your shingles will build up way too thick as you go along.

More Words of Wisdom!
Be sure to sand and putty all the pieces. Sanding is not fun, but it is worth it to take the time to do this step. I sanded on nice days. I sat on the front porch, sanded, daydreamed, and watched the neighbors go by.
Seal all the pieces of plywood with a mixture of shellac and denatured alcohol. This will help prevent the wood from warping at a later date. Don't apply shellac indoors! It smells really bad. I went into the garage to seal the wood.
Don't use hot-melt glue, which some instructions suggest. I have heard stories of people having problems when they use this glue. I use Elmers carpenters glue. It takes a while for the glue to dry, but there are plenty of other house parts that I can work on while glue dries, so the drying time has not slowed me down much.
Enjoy the process. Sometimes people are in a hurry to finish a project. In my case, I enjoy the creative process as much as I enjoy the completed project. Take your time. Have fun with it.

If you have any specific questions that I have not covered, please don't hesitate to contact me by email. Happy Building ... Jayne