Monday, September 19, 2011

Papering the Entrance Hall

What a day!  I started papering this morning.  Don't laugh, but after all the fuss I made about my wallpaper pattern being too large, and trying to shrink it down on a photocopier, I decided to use it as is!  Mainly because fellow artist, Simon Williams of Miniature Enthusiast fame , used the same paper in one of his gorgeous settings and it made me realize that the pattern wasn't too large after all!
I won't bore you with the details of wallpapering, but I will highly recommend using 3-M Spray Adhesive as a fixative for your paper.  This product works perfectly for wallpapering dollhouses with absolutely no bubbles or wrinkles.  The only downside is the spray flying everywhere, but fortunately, the weather turned and I was able to do most of the spraying out-of-doors.
I realized that I only had three sheets of wallpaper so no mistakes!  There are so many moldings and pillars and things, so I did not have to worry too much about matching the pattern up.  So that made it easier.
I use the 3-M spray a lot at work.  After spraying your surfaces, just place the paper on the wall.  If it doesn't go up right the first time, just peel it off and try again.  I used a credit card to burnish the paper to the wall.  (More about that, later)...
I bought this post card, now part of the over-mantle, at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, where I saw an exhibition of  Venetian art of the Renaissance. 
This particular piece is Titian.  I wonder if there is anything I can do to the print to make it look more like an oil painting?  Is there some sort of miniature crackle varnish?

After applying the wallpaper I remembered I needed to pick up some lacquer to seal the new marble floor.  My dogs, Jack & Edie, also needed a walk, so I thought I'd kill two birds with one stone and take the pups on a stroll to Minnehaha Falls Hardware Store.  But when I got to the counter to pay for the lacquer, I realized I had left my credit card on the Entrance Hall floor of Merriman Park, because I was using it to burnish the paper to the walls!  Duh!  Pardon my blooper!

After that minor drama, I started on the wainscot.  Here's how I did it:  I had already purchased panels in three sizes from Labre.  I cut illustration board to the height of the wainscot --in my case 2 3/4 inches.  (I prefer the wainscot lower than three feet unless the room is palatially-sized). Next, I worked out where the panels would go and drew them on the illustration board.
Then I cut out the rectangles with a sharp knife.  It's best to go a little inside the penciled line --you want the panel to fit tightly.  Now it's just a matter of popping in the panels...
Any cracks can, of course, be filled later.  I sliced 'joints' to mimic stiles on the wainscot panels, but you probably can't make them out in the photo.

Well, that's about it for today...The floor is still tacky from the lacquer so I can't put it all together yet!  I am now enjoying a martini, having a long look at my progress, and thinking about tomorrow's agenda.  


Simon Williams said...[Reply]

Oh John, it looks brilliant, well done. Good tip about the spray mount. Did you prep the plywood walls first with anything?
Can't wait to see more...

Irene said...[Reply]

The paper is lovely and really sets the scene.

I'm not sure about an oil paint finish but I've used linen paper from: and it gives a sort of "painted on canvas" look. See (10th Nov - last post)
I'm not sure how you could "oil" the postcard although I know what you mean.

Ray W said...[Reply]

Hello John,
The Entrance Hall is looking amazing! Love the wallpaper, marble floor and wainscot. That postcard is perfect for the overmantle. You should be very pleased with your efforts!

Ray W said...[Reply]

One more thing.....send me an e-mail if you like. I have some information regarding wiring, and also some thoughts on making the postcard look like a real painting.
Your new pal Ray!

Giac said...[Reply]

Hi John,
The Entrance is looking absolutely gorgeous. The paper is stunning and the staircase detail really stands out. You really have great design ideas.
LOVE it!

John said...[Reply]

Thank you, everyone! Seems we all have a bit of a 'Mutual Admiration Society' going on here, lol! Simon, I put a clear spray sealer on the plywood way back when I was putting the carcass together. (Probably not good enough for paint). Irene, what a great tip re: paintings. I'll definitely try that! To 'new pal Ray': I would greatly appreciate any advice on wiring or otherwise! And Giac, you have no idea how much a compliment from you means to me!

You guys rock! Thanks, again and now...back to work!

Ray W said...[Reply]

Hello again John,
To make the painting look like an oil, we use "Mod Podge Gloss" a good old decopauge medium from the craft store. It goes on milky looking and dries crystal clear. Use a small soft artist brush and "Paint" over your print with it. If you follow the design in your print the dried result will look hand painted. If you want to darken or age the piece after the "Mod Podge" has dried, mix a small dollup (?) spellcheck......of "Liquin Original" with a tiny bit of "Burnt Umber Oil Paint" and shade the edges or the entire piece. Liquin Original is a paint medium in all the craft stores in the "Artist" paint section. It will dry with a slight sheen. I think you will like the result.

Good Luck!

Ray W said...[Reply]

Ok......not stalking you......just nice to chat with talented miniaturists like yourself.
Wiring the chandeliers......I drill through the ceiling to the floor above the chandelier. Then I use a "Dremel" with a grinding ball and cut a channel in the floor above, to the back of the box or wherever you want the wires to go to that can be hidden. In the spot where the chandelier hole is, grind out a "recess" space about 1/4" deep and large enough (about 1 1/2" by 1 1/2" square. Attach a staple in this recess near the hole. Use a piece of 28 gauge beading wire and make a loop. Insert the beading wire through the last link of chandelier chain and put beading wire and chandelier wires through the ceiling hole. Wind the beading wire through the staple several times and the chandelier below is now secure. You can attach more electrical wire to the chandelier with "Shrink Tube" or plain "Scotch Tape" and feed the added wire into the channel in the floor to whatever point you choose to bring all your wires to. When you do the "Flooring in the room above the chandelier, use matte board or illustration board as a base for your wood or whatever the finished flooring is. This will permanently cover the "channel". Cut out a square in the flooring larger than the "recess" and make a flooring panel the will cover the recess but can be removed if you need to take down the chandelier below. The flooring panel ("Secret Door")can be held down with double stick tape and no one will know. Sort of creates a hidden opening in the floor. " Chandelier can be removed any time without damaging anything in the house

Whew! You must be exhausted now.....I sure am...
Hope this might be helpful.

John said...[Reply]

OMG, Ray! I can't believe ! neglected to thank you for all your great advice! That was way above and beyond --thank you, SO MUCH!