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Gull Bay — interior trim finished!

For a house whose inside you can barely see through the windows, I spent an awful lot of time on interior trim…

When the pieces slide together, there’s enough “slop” on the sides to allow for baseboards on the side walls. At the bottom, I used a piece of strip wood the same width as the floor as a spacer to position the baseboard. After gluing in both sides, I lined up the front baseboards at the corners and glued those in as well.

Upstairs was trickier. I figured out where to position these by sliding the house in halfway, sliding in the baseboards and gluing them so they were level with the floor (or so I thought), then sliding in the rest of the way and peeking through the windows to see if I got it right. It took a few tries.

With these baseboards in, it’s a little trickier to slide the house together because the first floor needs to slide in underneath the baseboard (versus before where I could slide it in higher up and then lower the house into place). I wanted the rooms to look “finished” from any angle and am not planning to take it apart often once it’s done, so I guess it’s the lesser of two evils.

The Houseworks window trim is made to go around the window frame. Usually I don’t like this and prefer to cut it down so it’s on top of the window frame, but I decided that due to the hard-to-see view through the windows, it wouldn’t be worth the extra work. Because of how the center front window is positioned above the baseboard, though, the trim needed to be cut down a little bit.

For the rest of the windows, I glued the trim around the window frame as designed. Normally the windows would stick into the room slightly and the trim would go flush around the frame. But because the house’s siding adds depth to the walls, these windows are just flush with the wall, so there’s a small visible gap around the edge of the trim and the frame.

I could have added shims to the inner edge of the trim, to hide the gap, but I didn’t feel like it and didn’t think the effort was worth it. (This process was taking long enough as it was!) On some windows you can see a dark “crack” between the window frame and the trim but it’s not something your eye is drawn to when the house is closed up.

I used a small paintbrush to paint over the seams where the window trim meets at the corners. I also tried going over the black “cracks” in the big windows with paint but they were too big to blend in. Willing to call this good enough.

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Gull Bay – interior trim continued

Interior trim: booooring to work on, but exciting to apply since the rooms look so complete once it’s in. It’s also the last task I have to do to finish up the Gull Bay.

I already posted pictures of the downstairs crown molding and baseboards in my last blog. For the upstairs rooms, I pulled two doors out of my stash that I’d previously painted bright white for the Fairfield, then replaced with stained doors. I sanded a bit first, then repainted with a coat of the Raw Cotton I’m using for all the trim.

The doors are slightly wider than the wall, so I added leftover mullions to the inner edge of the trim to act as shims.

For both of the doors, this is the side with the built in trim.

And here’s the opposite, shimmed side. The shim blends right in, you can’t tell it’s been added. I’ve seen posts before from people who are worried about the doors being deeper than the wall — this is a simple solution to the problem!

Added baseboards next. No weird angles and with three sides of the house open they were very easy to measure and cut, so this all went pretty quickly.

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The domino effect

With the Gull Bay’s exterior finished, all that remains is interior trim. Since this house will be displayed fully closed up, the only view in is through the windows, so you really only get a glimpse. Because of this I considered not bothering with molding and baseboards but the house felt unfinished to me without them. Onward and upward!

I started with crown molding in the downstairs rooms. This is a bit larger than I’d normally use — a small 1:12 molding from Classics — but it doesn’t look out of place, especially with the 1:12 lights. Since this piece will slide around when I need to open the house, I wanted something with enough bulk to withstand a little jostling (and I also had just enough of it lying around).

Here’s the dining room with all the trim in. The baseboards are made from Midwest #3109 trim, it’s supposed to be 1:12 chair rail. Flipped upside down, I really like how this looks as half scale baseboard.

While working on the dining room, my hand bumped the light and the lightbulb broke. That was the first annoyance of the day. But it wasn’t until I moved on to the kitchen that the dominoes really started to fall.

Before I could cut the trim for the doorway leading into the kitchen, I had to add a transition piece between the hardwood and the tile. This is a floorboard cut from the leftovers of the flooring sheet I used in the living room. Because of the lump caused by the wire underneath (attached to the kitchen light), the tile sheet wasn’t firmly glued down near the doorway. When I glued in the transition piece, I also slid some more glue under the tile sheet and taped everything down to dry.

When I pulled up the masking tape, the wood in the doorway stayed down but the tile floor came right back up with it. First I tried tacky glue, and then wallpaper mucilage and finally Super Glue.

Through all of this, I’d been facing in from the living room side of the house, with my hands through the doorway. When I finally got the floor glued down I peeked in from the kitchen, and this is what I saw:

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Gull Bay – the front door saga

I have this tendency, as I get close to finishing part of a dollhouse, to start messing with the thing that’s finished and totally fine the way it is. Usually I’m glad I messed with it. Occasionally I curse myself for getting ambitious and screwing it up when it was perfectly fine already. I’m not sure yet where on this spectrum the Gull Bay’s front door falls.

I stained the door, along with the shutters, to match the shingles. It looked good. Just one problem: the floor inside, which is part of the back side of the house that slides out, was slightly too high and the door was catching on it when I tried to open it.

As you can see here, the back and front don’t meet up exactly — there’s a slight gap, and then the floor is slightly higher than the bottom of the door hole.

Nothing a little sanding can’t fix, right?

I sanded the hell out of it until the door opened easily enough. The door wasn’t glued in yet — I wanted to make sure this was taken care of first, in case I needed to position the door a certain way while gluing to ensure it would open.

I re-stained the sanded part. It looks a little wonky, but this isn’t really obvious once everything’s in place.

So, great, the door opens. But I was starting to realize how difficult it is to see inside the house, even with the door open. You basically get a straight shot into the kitchen and can’t see into the rest of the living room since the door opens into the room. Because this house slides together and will be displayed completely enclosed, there are very few spots where you can see in, and the front door is one of them.

This got me thinking… maybe I should swap my door out for one with a window? I pulled out this oval door that I have for another, not yet started house, just to see how it would look. I really liked how it gives another view into the house, even with the door closed.

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