I keep adding doodads and curlicues to the front of the Queen Anne Rowhouse. It’s like an obsession. After I added the panels and resin trim to the bay window, the house felt kind of unbalanced, with too many dark green stripes at the bottom and none at the top. I rectified this by adding a small piece of cove trim to the bottom of the vine trim.
After cutting the pieces to size, I painted them with Mossy Green and glued them in.
Next I wanted to add some dark green to the top portion of the house. I thought about doing panels similar to the ones on the bay, but didn’t really trust myself to cut trim pieces that would make neat triangles, so I looked around for triangular trim pieces that I could paint and glue on.
I found a great eBay shop, Victorian Doll House Wood Works, that sells all sorts of laser cut trim in 1:12 and 1:24 scale. (They also have a website.) I ordered a set of corner brackets to go on either side of the upper window. I got two sets, one for the front of the house and one for the back.
These are supposed to be 1:12 scale, but they work well to fill up the blank space on either side of the window. The “apex trim” at the top is 1:12 porch trim from LaserTech, which I bought at the dollhouse store before I discovered the eBay seller. In retrospect I might have preferred something frillier, like this, but it seems silly to spend the extra money when the ones I already bought work fine. (Especially considering that I’ve probably spent $200+ on the front of this house already…)
So far so good, but the dark green panels on the front of the house were now looking too plain to me. I bought some sunburst half scale window pediments from the same seller, but misjudged the size… they were much too small for what I had in mind.
I ended up getting resin appliques to go inside the panels. I also used these on the front of the Hillside Victorian, and didn’t want to repeat myself, but these are the best I could find that fit inside the space. (I didn’t only look at dollhouse stuff, but also jewelry findings and scrapbook supplies…) The sunburst thingies will go under the windows instead.
I’m currently waiting for another trim order, which contains a set of 1:12 window pediments (I plan to turn them vertically and put them on either side of the window over the porch), as well as some more of the sunburst thingies.
I originally planned to use the sunbursts under all six windows on the bay, as well as the top window on the front of the house and back of the house (so, eight altogether). But after placing the order—my third in as many weeks—I started wondering if it would seem weird for the window over the porch to be the only one on the front of the house without a decorative doodad underneath it. So I may place yet another trim order, maybe getting the 1:24 version of the second pediment to go under that window and the bottom row of bay windows, and use the leftover sunbursts for something else. (See, I told you it’s become an obsession!)
Meanwhile, I had a bit of door drama. Just before Christmas, I placed an order for a walnut Newport door (to replace the white one I’d already bought). I happened upon a site, Custom Dollhouse, that was offering a holiday special: 25% off plus free shipping. That brought the price down to $25… still expensive for a door I already had and simply didn’t want to paint, but it made the (frivolous) purchase easier to swallow. Much to my dismay, on Friday the coveted door arrived in pieces.
The door had shipped straight from the manufacturer, Majestic Mansions, so I dashed off an email to both companies. I probably could have glued it back together, using my original door as a guide, but at that price I didn’t want to! I was pleasantly surprised when Majestic Mansions wrote back the next day (a Saturday!) offering to send me another, and Custom Dollhouse wrote back the day after to make sure it was taken care of.
Today, just three business days later, the replacement showed up, carefully packed with the door wrapped in foam and in a small box inside the bigger box. All in all, a very good customer service experience! And as an added bonus, I can use the sunburst from the broken door on the interior.
After all this, the new door doesn’t look perfect. It’s the only wood colored thing on the front of the house, and that makes it stand out. But I’m going to stain the shingles the same(ish) color, and hopefully that’ll tie everything together.
So I needed to find a stain that more or less matched the door, to use both for the shingles and for interior trim. (For some reason these doors didn’t come with interior trim pieces; the white one did. But I’m planning to use wood stained trim throughout the house so I needed to get something that would match, anyway.) I tried all of the colors I had, which were mostly Minwax brand, but nothing came close.
Yesterday I brought the broken door with me to a local Ace Hardware and held it up against some of the sample swatches. I ended up buying two small cans of Ace brand stain (which I’ve never used before… $2 cheaper per can than the Minwax!) and one of them, Early American, is a pretty good match. (I already have some Minwax Early American but they’re nothing alike.)
I stained the roof to make sure I was happy with how the color looked against the rest of the house before staining the shingles.
And here’s a glimpse of the stain color with all the trim doodads.
Next I plan to stain the shingles and finish the part of the chimney that attaches to the roof. I’m also limping along with electricity. But I’ll save that fascinating story for another time…