Posted in dollhouse, How to, Inspiration, miniatures

From Dry-Fit to Color Palette

The sun always shines in my mini world, but this week the summer sun got a little too warm. Not to worry, my task list sent me to the basement where it is nice and cool. Anxious to get beyond the dry-fit stage, I made window casings and made preparations for lighting. It is starting to come together!

My walls are 1/4″ thick so I made my casings 1/4″ wide. Fortunately, I had a pack of 3/32″-thick bass wood on hand.

Using my Proxxon mini table saw, I cut all the pieces. I wanted to divide the big window in the push-out so I cut two lengths of 3/16″ square wood. I was adamant about keeping the windows square and sometimes had to make adjustments to the wall openings.

Making the casings square is the perfect job for my gluing jig enhanced with Legos.

Once the glue dried, I painted the casings. My Eugene Mini Club colleague, Diane, an accomplished artist, advises us to think twice about using black paint. So although many of the photos show what appears to be black, it is really a charcoal color that I mixed myself. I plan to sandwich some acrylic between two 1/16″ square moldings. I didn’t want them to be flush with the casing, so I cut two layers of scrap cardboard to glue against. I still had to check each window to be sure the molding was positioned correctly.

Before I primed the pieces, I drilled some holes and routed channels for the wiring for the lights. It was easier to do this before assembly.

I went back to the basement where I fastened the base into my portable workbench and then positioned the side walls. The adjustable table was perfect for securing the sides while I taped the front in place. This is where the rabbet joints paid off. They made for a sturdy and precise fit and provided more gluing area.

The outside of the actual Hill House has a stucco-like finish. which I would reproduce. I wanted to apply it with the casings in place to be able to fill any small gaps, but I didn’t want to get stucco on the window casings. I wrapped each casing in Cling Wrap and pressed them in place. I also placed the template I had made for the front window trim to repel the stucco.

I wasn’t sure what product I would use, but opted to shop my basement first. As luck would have it, I found just the product and it wasn’t even all dried up.

I wiped it on with a tool for painting corners that I had on hand. The structure looks kind of “fuzzy.” Once dry I painted it with primer.

I could not wait to test my color palette. I removed the window casings and painted the exterior and then the interior. OMG! I’m loving it! I used BenMoore clay beige for the stucco. I already had a sample tub because it was used for the upper cabinets for our kitchen remodel. The color in the photo below is a pretty good representation. I had to install the window casings to get the whole picture.

For the push out, I used the same vanilla cream by Dutch Boy that I had used for the sofa. The walls will probably have wallpaper, but in the meantime I painted them light ivory by Delta Ceramcoat.

It feels good to be working on a project rather than individual items. I’ve got plans for the windows, door, lighting and flooring. The next complex component will be the fireplace, I’ve got this!


I’m a Californian living in Oregon. But home is where my miniatures are.

8 thoughts on “From Dry-Fit to Color Palette

  1. You do “Got This”, Sherrill, and every aspect that you’ve accomplished this week came out wonderfully! I love the stucco texture and the color is really lovely! A lot of people have trouble making their own windows, but you have mastered them! It is a huge accomplishment when you begin gluing walls together so you are right to feel very proud of yourself! I am excited to see what you come up with for the fireplace! Great work!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much! So far so good on the windows. I’m not so happy with the window “glass,” though. I might have to scrap them and try another technique 🤔. Maybe I should begin the fireplace instead.


  2. Great progress! I think the stucco turned out perfectly! I like your windows, too. Interesting tip about black paint. Can’t wait to see how you do the fireplace.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Planning and preparation are so important, but the real satisfaction comes when there is tangible progress. You and Jodi 🤪, both of you would like to see me do the fireplace. Well, it will take some time, but it should be fun.


  3. First, most importantly, I need to get some Legos. I have the gig, but I need those Legos. The project is coming along so nicely. I love the contrast of the dark chairs with the the modern white and the touch of rose color. You have taken the mystery out of stuccoing a house. I might actually be able to do that on some project. You bring a lot of knowledge to miniatures, which inspires and encourages others to keep trying new techniques. And isn’t it nice to have left over kitchen paint to use up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, you must have a handful of Legos. That’s where grandchildren can make a contribution to your hobby 🤗. Another advantage that being a grandmother brings is experience. I learned a lot about materials and techniques through fixing up houses. Now I can apply that experience to miniatures and through this blog share it with you and others. You noticed one of the things I love about Charles Rennie Mackintosh; his color palette is so different from that of his contemporaries and I love it.


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