Monday, January 24, 2011

Roofing a Dollhouse

I wanted to share a quicker way to apply shingles to a dollhouse. The directions always say to use glue but I remember years ago when I did my first house how the shingles would curl up as they dried or slide down the roof a bit because of the wood glue. Since then I have been using a hot glue gun! I have had one of the houses I used this technique on for eleven years and not one shingle has popped off.

If you already have a glue gun, great! If not be sure just to buy an inexpensive one. They are all the same in my eyes and I got the least expensive one and have had it for over eight years. Be sure to buy a bag of sticks that match the gun you have. Follow all the directions for prepping your roof first. Most likely you have been given a bag or 2 of wooden shingles with your dollhouse. One end has a curved cut the other is flat. If you want a cottage look or Victorian go with the curved. If you are trying to get a more modern look use the flat end. Be sure your glue gun is heated and ready to use. The glue should flow out easy when you press the trigger.

Lay out a handful of shingles in front of you. I lay them out in the direction I will be applying them when i first start so I don't forget and accidentally glue them on upside down. If you are right handed then work left to right. The idea here is to not have a lot of webbing from the glue gun. Every time you glue and lift a small thread of glue is pulled and will make a mess later. As you can see in my photo as I pull away a web is made. So with your right hand on the gun put a dab of glue on the left starting corner. Put the dab where the top portion of the shingle will be. Don't pull the gun away; instead, touch the tip of the gun to one space over on the roof. Hold it there while you press the shingle down with your left hand immediately. Press the shingle down once more to be sure its glued then pull the trigger for the next one and repeat. By keeping the tip of the glue gun as close to the roof as possible there will be little to no glue strings to have to clean up later. Trust me, they are a pain!

After your first line of shingles are on (mine were not finished just yet) then measure up one inch and draw a line. Repeat until you get to the top. This should be in your directions that came with the dollhouse.

The great thing is even while painting your roof they will not pop off from being wet. Be sure to apply paint in moderate layers so the shingles don't get it sopping wet and so the paint won't run. I will give a demo on this when I get to that step!

Painting wood shingles for your dollhouse.

I will be sharing my technique but you will develop your own as you work. Just feel it out and stop once while, stand back and look at your work as you go.

The most important thing is to apply the paint thinly so the wood shingles won't curl and warp.
I would recommend using 2-3 colors so it have more of an impact. I am trying to achieve a beach house roof so I chose gray's and brown.
I used Acrylic Craft paint from the craft store-
Americana- Fawn
Folk Art- 936 Barn Wood
Folk Art -424 Light Gray

Use a flat brush that is about a half inch wide. Dip it into the Paint bottle of your lightest color (Grey)
and apply your brush under your first row of shingles then paint the shingles in a downward motion. This will get the paint up under the lip of each row.

Use a mixing tray or plastic bowl and put a brush full of your 2nd color (Fawn) and tap a smaller flat brush vertically up and down to get the bristle less saturated with paint.
photo 3
Brush on the paint lightly. Just here and there in a downward motion, starting just under each row of shingles.

Now you want to take some of your 3rd color (Barn) and water it down in your mixing tray.

Use a pointed or more rounded paint brush. Run it along the underside of the shingles. Where one row ends on top of another row.. Then brush back and forth quickly. This will thin it out even more so it will look more blended. Then run your brush down between alternate shingles. Mainly any shingles that have a bigger gap between them. But not every one.

Keep working at it until you are happy. If there are any spots you feel are to dark go back over it with your lightest paint color (Grey).

Touch up all the bottom tips of the shingles with the lightest paint.

Well I hope I helped! Have fun creating your mini dream house. : )