So work began on constructing the ARC III. And for me construction can fall in two categories depending on the kit in question. One would be I’d have enough energy and focus to work on one aspect of the dollhouse. The other would be I’d work straight through and forget everything….including eating apparently. 🙂
For today, I actually fell in the latter category. I started working on ARC III around noontime (after BK and I finished our errands)…and I stopped around midnight Sunday. Mostly because I realized (a) I should write an update on the building progress and (b) Sunday is the SuperBowl….and I need to make a couple of things to bring over at a friend’s place to watch the game and nosh. Man, talk about a crazy lineup! Meh, I just need about 5 hrs of sleep and I’m typically good…
In terms of construction, I’m following the same steps I used to construct the ARC I and ARC II. I started by prepping the walls and ceilings with some primer before sanding them down. The wood was a little bit rough in some areas, so the prepping took a bit longer. Think I ended up sanding the interior side of the panels about 4 times until I got the finish I wanted.
After the sanding, I started installing the flooring. I had purchased over the holidays more wood veener edge bandings(the kind you use for wood cabinets and counters) from ChiquinellySupplies. But instead of using dark walnut (which the ARC II) had…I decided to try the sapele wood instead. I wanted something that had slight reddish undertones to add interest and constrast to the walls (more on that later).
Despite the width of the edging (I got a roll that was 7/8″ wide versus my usual 1/2″ selections), the wood really looked nice. I ran my iron over the banding a couple more times after installation just to make sure the adhesive was secure. Once the floors were cool enough to the touch, I gave the floors a light sanding and a thorough wipe down with a tack cloth before polishing the surface with my beeswax based wax.
After the flooring, I then tackled painting the ceilings. I used Ceramcoat white acrylic paint since that was all I had.
And after finishing the ceilings…I started tackling the walls. The front panels (that have the front doors and windows) I painted with an off-white color and sanded until it was smooth. Much like in the ARC II, I wanted these walls to be plain while the side walls will be wallpapered….or in the case of the first floor, I steeled myself to install something that I love visually, but now makes me cringe doing it.
Both side walls I made the
stupid pea-brained risky choice of installing egg carton bricks for the first floor walls. We all know my love-hate relationship in making the bricks from egg cartons. Cutting out strips and turning them into bricks are usually enough to make me cry. But I’ll grudgingly admit, they do look good when finished.
(If you have pointers on how to make brick cutting more enjoyable, please share. Am all ears)
So with a pair of tweezers, a paintbrush, and Weldbond glue, I slowly applied my bricks.
And once all the bricks were installed, did two layers of acrylic paint (see tutorial on otterine.com on how the talented Ms. Brae turns her miniature bricks into something magical). Like Ms. Brae, I used Liquitex Burnt Sienna as my color of choice for the bricks. Once the paint dried, I put a couple of coats of matte Modge Podge to seal the colors. Then sprayed the brick surface with some Lysol and let it dry completely.
Luckily, I decided to only install the brick on the first floor side walls (the kitchen and living room accent walls). The second floor walls will be a surprise. 🙂
While waiting for the Lysol to completely dry out, I took the ARC III’s base and started figuring out what I wanted to do on the landscape. The space is kinda small, so I made do with installing a stone path with gravel in between.
I used some faux mini stones from miniatures.com and with some tacky glue, randomly selected pieces and glued them onto the ARC III base. Figured so long as it looks like a path, it will be fine. Then with a sponge brush and Modge Podge, I dabbed the surface of the stones to seal them a bit….and to push the glue in between the crevices.
Okay, I must be really sleepy because I actually giggled when typing “crevices”.
I waited a few minutes to let the Modge Podge start to get thick and slightly tacky. Then, with a small plastic spoon, I tapped some model ballast over the stones. Basically I was trying to sprinkly the gravel right into the crevices (hee hee — oh good lord). I then switched between damp and dry paper towels to wipe off the excess from the stones until the gravel looked even. I let the stuff sit for about an hour, before I applied more Modge Podge the other areas of the front yard,and filled them in with some powdered green turf to simulate grass.
So I guess in a way, I covered a good amount of ground…now I have to wait for everything to dry, before doing the next round. Like the grouting (oh boy)….