Hillside Victorian – trimapolooza

When we last saw the Hillside Victorian, she had cleaned up nicely under the light blue house paint and white trim, and was awaiting her navy blue accent color. I really hate painting trim so I’ve been kind of lazy about it, but here’s the progress of the last two weeks.

My first step was to mask off the areas around the trim I planned to paint with the accent color, to (theoretically) protect what I’d already painted. I went through a lot of tape. Then I painted the accent trim with a couple of coats of Glidden’s “slate gray,” leftover from my Rosedale.

I really made an effort to stay inside the lines…

From a distance, it looks great!

Up close, not so much. I’m not used to painting trim that’s already attached to the house and don’t have the patience to try to make this perfect. So, I’m going to cover up the “seams” where two colors meet with pieces of crown molding and basswood. That means more fiddly trim painting, which I hate, but it’ll look much cleaner in the end. I bought it all today and will (presumably) be working on it this coming week.

Next I turned my attention to the eaves. After seeing photos of another Hillside Victorian, I decided to copycat its decorative eaves. This is embossed trim and I’m not sure how well the design will show through when it’s painted. Luckily I have some leftover pieces to experiment with before I commit. I want to paint them white but if that doesn’t work out I could use colored stain.

To get the fit just right on the small piece, I made a template out of a piece of paper and folded it where it met the shingles.

I used this as a guide for cutting the bottom of the trim piece, which needed to be a little crooked for a snug fit.

And voila! I think it looks pretty sweet!

Except… I forgot about the window. I bought this Victorian window to match the rest of them and already enlarged the hole to fit it, so there’s no going back. I see two options: shim the window so it sticks out over the trim, or cut the trim to fit around the pediment using a coping saw. I don’t trust myself to do a good job of the latter, so shims are probably the answer.

I also bought some resin appliques to dress up the white panels. I really liked these, but they’re a bit too tall for the lower panels (and the dollhouse store only had four, anyway). So these will go along the top white section, over the bay window and the porch.

And on the lower parts of the bays, I’ll use these round ones. I’m thinking the appliques will be a different accent color—either red or gold. Haven’t decided yet.

Finally, I’m going back and forth about what to do with the hidden room downstairs. My original plan was to leave it open for easy viewing and access, but I started thinking about adding a hinged wall like the house was supposed to have in the first place. I ruined the old piece when I liberated the room, so Geoff made me a new one. Perfect fit!

I’m not exactly sure how to hinge this without having a gap or siding weirdness where the two pieces meet. Still mulling it over. Today I got the idea to turn this piece into a faux garage door, something like this or this that doesn’t even really look like a garage door, and then have the piece be easily removable so you can see inside to the laundry room. (I wouldn’t actually add a garage, it would just be a way to have the removable piece look like it belongs, even without siding.)

But with the 3-inch foundation, of course there could never be a garage door at that level, and adding a little deck might call attention to the fact that there’s a fake garage door in a spot where there couldn’t possibly be a garage. Bright ideas, anyone?


  1. John Morganti

    How about just a regular door. For the dry cleaner and other help to use?

  2. John Morganti

    Did you remember the folded paper trick from the installation of the trim in your real full-size dining room?

  3. John Morganti

    Last one: You could touch up the trim blobs by painting the original color up to the perpendicular joints. Taping usually allows blobs but painting to an edge is not really too hard. (I.e. The edge of the trim that is perpendicular to the siding is the same color as the siding. The flat visible part of the trim is the trim color.

  4. Emily

    I was able to clean up the blue specks on the front of the porch trim (underneath the bottom navy piece that’s above the porch). I probably could clean up some of the rest of it but the size of the house makes detail work awkward (I’m standing on a chair for most of this!) and I frustrate easily. I think the trim I’m planning to add will look good, it’s just a bit of extra work (and expense).

    Originally I was thinking of adding a plain old back door, and also having the wall hinge for easier furniture arranging. But today I’m leaning back in the direction of leaving the piece off altogether and just leaving the room open. I feel bad, though, wasting the nice wall piece Geoff made for me out of genuine leftover oak…

    Oh, and I’ve been using that paper trick to figure out angles for years! You probably learned it from me. (Unless, years ago, I learned it from you…)

  5. John Morganti

    Great minds think alike!

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