Monday Madness (Sorta)

Granted, I should have written this yesterday (Monday). But then again, why does the most activity happen on the last day of the holiday weekend?

Memorial Day 2014 overall, was pretty relaxing. BK and I managed to finish errands we kept putting off, and it was just so darn nice to be able to kick back and do whatever we want. Like finally going through the shows we recorded on the DVR. Or enjoy our patio before the mosquitoes will start descending on us. Or in my case, be able to work on my minis. Though I feel like I’m breezing through building the ARC II compared to the tortoise rate I’m dealing with regarding the CC.

Telling you — by the time I finish cutting up the stones and bricks, I’ll probably start bawling the next time I see an egg carton come by way. Or blubbering in terror. Take your pick.

Anyways, back to the story (I do this all the time, darn it!).

Based on my last entry, I needed to fix the screwup mess I made with the ARC II’s front panels. So early Monday morning (thanks insomnia for giving me 3 hrs of sleep), I started the daunting task of resanding the panels and repainting them again. The first layer, I used FolkArt’s Wicker White acrylic paint. But after sanding that down, I switched to using Americana’s Light Buttermilk instead (since I wanted more of an off-white/cream tone).

I did this about 3 times until the panels were not only as smooth as I can get them to be, but also have the paint appear even. It definitely looks a lot better.

After three rounds of sanding/painting...these are done.

After three rounds of sanding/painting…these are done.

Once the paint dried, I put a thin layer of Ceramcoat’s matte varnish to seal it. After that sealer dried completely, I proceeded to finally glue them together. A thin layer of tacky glue was put on the edges before I flushed the panels – wanted to be sure the seams between the panels were fully fused shut (and keeping everything square).

Arc-Monday-3

Arc-Monday-2

But as you can see in the above photo, despite my taping and clamping the pieces together, the walls still formed a slight gap. So onward to Plan B.

Plan B - installing corner molding/trim.

Plan B – installing corner molding/trim.

“Plan B” was essentially covering the area where the panels meet with some corner molding. Typically I use these as an exterior part of my dollhouses, but I had these smaller/shorter pieces lying about. Figured “hey why not?”. So I sanded them, painted them in the Light Buttermilk paint color to match the walls, then installed them once the paint dried. Not only did these guys covered the gaps, but also forced the panels to stay at a perfect 90 degree angle — which how I wanted to them positioned.

Plan B installed.

Plan B installed.

Once that was installed, I went ahead and installed the left wall and the bedroom/first floor ceiling on the ARC II. Despite the pieces sliding into place, I found that I couldn’t get a good seal where the front wall and the left side wall meet. Again, I ended covering it with a quarter round trim that I cut, sanded, and painted to fit.

The corner trim in the living room.

The corner trim in the living room.

The bedroom trim.

The bedroom trim.

Once the walls and floor were positioned, I applied tacky glue along the seams from the outside and clamped the pieces in place using masking tape. So long as any excess glue stays on the outside, will be happy with that.

Now that the left wall is installed, it was time to work on the right wall (the side wall for the kitchen and bathroom). Since I used egg cartons to create a stone/brick effect, it was time to start painting…Not going to lie folks — I was pretty nervous when I got to this point. Mostly because am terrified of screwing this up royally.

The right wall before the painting began.

The right wall before the painting began.

I decided to tackle the bathroom wall since that will more than likely give me the most amount of angst and anxiety. Since I wanted the bathroom wall to look like this (or close to it):

Inspiration for the bathroom. Photo from the Architecture and Design site (http://archinhome.com)

I resorted to using the following acrylic paints in an attempt to replicate the look:

My lineup for the "slate" wall.

My lineup for the “slate” wall.

With the paints, I made my mixes and wash on a chinet bowl…..

Arc-Monday-11

….and started applying them. Again, this isn’t my strongest suit, so you can imagine the number of times I cringed when I worked up the layers. After working on it for 30 minutes, I decided to leave it alone to dry — and frankly, to stop myself from doing something ridiculously stupid drastic.

The "sorta" finished look.

The “sorta” finished look.

With the bathroom wall drying, I moved to the bottom half — which was the brick wall for the kitchen. Luckily, this one was a breeze.

I took inspiration from Brae when she used egg cartons on her beautiful Haunted Heritage. In terms of paint, she used Liquidtex’s Burnt Sienna as her color of choice for the bricks. I was pretty intrigued by this, so the minute Michaels advertised a 30% discount on their paints and brushes, I pounced on picking up 2 tubes (along with a slew of sponge and taklon brushes).

For my brick wall, I put a small amount of the Liquidtext on a paper plate, and using a 1-inch sponge brush, started to dab the egg carton bricks. I have to say, the color is pretty spot on — Brae, you are a genius! This looks amazing!!

The bricks coming to life! Well, sort ot.

The bricks coming to life! Well, sort of.

Some of the “bricks” had more pronounced bumpy areas (yeah I know — but it’s hard to describe) so they didn’t get as much coverage. I initially went back and pressed the brush down a bit more to press the paint against the surface. But awhile awhile, I started liking the unevenness it gave to the walls. So I ended up leaving those alone.

Close up of the bricks.

Close up of the bricks.

So in about 10 minutes, the kitchen wall was done.

Tada!

Tada!

I put this wall aside to dry (the Liquidtex says it’s a heavy body — and because the paint came out rather thick, figured I should give the paint more time to fully dry out). Once that wall is dry, I’ll seal the brick and stones with some Modge Podge before attempting the apply grout. That’s right folks — I’m stressing the word “attempt”. Hopefully I don’t screw this up or something…. 😦

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