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A Dollhouse For Our Maileg: Part 2 - Exterior Paint and Roofing

Updated: Sep 2, 2022

Exterior Paint

As much fun as doing demo always is, I was so excited to get started on the transformation. I started with the exterior and continued to use spray paint as much as possible. I used white paint on the wrap-around porch, under the eaves, and the ceilings in all of the rooms.

However, after looking at it for a couple of hours, I decided it was too stark and that in the long term we would be happier with an off-white instead ... so I repainted it (does this feel like foreshadowing?). For round two, I used Rust-Oleum's Heirloom White spray paint in satin. I absolutely loved how the color turned out.

If I had to do it over, I would not use spray paint. When I was starting the painting process I was more focused on the ease of painting the small spaces, porch railing, posts, and columns. What I had not thought about was that the paint would be impossible to match for touch-ups. This was a total nightmare as I progressed. I had Home Depot attempt to match it with their very fancy color matching software and it was a giant fail both times.

I knew I wanted to have a cedar shake roof, and if there was a gap anywhere in the roofing, I wanted it to look like tar paper underneath the shingles. I used Behr Marquee Black in satin. I purchase an 8-ounce sample size and it was more than enough to paint the roof.

I really debated on the exterior color of the dollhouse. I initially was going to match the dark petrol color that Maileg often uses in their designs, and even bought the paint, but then decided it was simply too dark. I eventually landed on Glidden's Aquamarine Dream in satin; it coordinates so well with Maileg accessories and I am absolutely thrilled. I mean ... swoon!!!


Next came the roof and I honestly may be the most excited about this. I think that a shake shingle roof will bring such a wow factor. I found an awesome deal on real cedar shingles from Factory Direct Craft. They have several different shapes available, but I decided to go with the classic square shingles to achieve a Craftsman style. I bought six bags of a thousand individual shingles, which ended up being far more than I needed. I did not love the color when they arrived as they are come unfinished, feeling like they were a little too light, so I used two different Minwax stain colors for a variegated look. I didn't want it to be too red, so I chose Special Walnut 224 and Early American 230. A little stain goes a long way and the 8-ounce size was more than enough.

To stain the shingles, we tossed a bunch into a ziplock bag, poured stain in, double-check the bag is sealed (hint: don't skip this step), and rolled the shingles around for about 2-3 minutes (longer if you want darker). I then cut one bottom corner off the baggie and poured the stain back into the can. I spread the shingles into a cardboard box to dry. I didn't spread them out too much so that various parts and corners of the shingles would end up darker than others from laying on each other.

There was a lot of discussion with Nick as to what adhesive and process to use for installation. We thought that using a tile-laying installation process might work best. I used a small v-notch trowel and liquid nails to start with. What I didn't realize was the liquid nails doesn't dry clear. AARRRGGG! I ended up with clumps of white glue everywhere.

Thankfully I realized this after only shingling one half of one side of the dollhouse. So from there on out, I switched to Loctite Power-Grab Clear Adhesive. It worked wonderfully and I would highly recommend it. I originally was going to draw lines up the side of the roof to make sure that my lines stayed level, but quickly discovered they got covered with glue and I couldn't see them. What did work brilliantly was using a square on each side of the roof and moving the shingles after placing each row.

For the roofline gable, I used these miter shears to cut the shingles. The shears would come in handy throughout the process on the interior trim work as well, and I was so grateful for them.

I then had to make some really hard decisions: paint colors, wallpapers, flooring, and what else to use in the various rooms ... continued in Part 3: Interior Paint, Flooring, and Design.



Minwax Early American Stain

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