Sunday, November 25, 2012

It's coming along...

So having (mostly) constructed the cottage, I've been slowly working on the exterior, seeing as how I'm a massive slob and know better than to do any decorating before the outside is done.

One of the things I love best about this hobby is the tendency for actions to have unintended consequences that actually work to my advantage.  For example, the first thing I did was give all outside walls two coats of KILZ Odorless Primer.  Much to my annoyance, the primer raised fibers in the MDF, giving the initially smooth (milled) siding a rough look (also, some of the primer made it inside the cottage but as I said, I'm a slob).  I grabbed my sanding block and prepared to give the thing a good going-over.


The raised fibers sort of looked like wood grain.  In fact, they looked a lot like wood grain, and I decided that it looked cool.  I put my sanding block away.

I then painted the walls with the lovely Valspar sample I bought.  I had two unintended consequences with this one:
  1. I forgot that paint tends to dry darker, so the house isn't going to be quite the color I expected it to be.  The actual color is still very pretty, though, so this doesn't bother me.
  2.  Despite the two undercoats of primer, the paint job was somewhat less than perfect.  I'd been hoping that I wouldn't have to use more than one coat for fear of covering up the cool wood-grain effect, but there was no other option.

I like the unevenness of the paint.  It's not blatant (I'll have pictures later, though I doubt that you'll even be able to see the "problem") but when you look at it closely, it's got that slightly-faded look that means that the thing needs to be repainted - not now, but sometime in the not-too-distant future.  Again, I decided that it looked cool, and abandoned plans to add a second coat.

So right now, the house is on its side atop my dining room table.  This is because I decided that a beach house should probably have a cement foundation, so I have been troweling on some slightly-diluted dollhouse mortar.  It looks fantastic; I hope it holds up.

In-between making messes, I painted the door, the windows and the ladder.  I also cut acrylic "glass" to fit the windows because, as previously mentioned, the door came with panes of acrylic but the windows did not.  This is the first time I ever cut plexi, which is a deceptively simple-appearing process that is nonetheless fairly time-consuming... although I'm more than willing to admit that my inexperience is probably to blame.

You cut acrylic by scoring it several times with an acrylic or glass-cutting tool, then exerting pressure along the cut line until it snaps.  If you don't cut deeply enough or often enough, the plastic will break where you don't want it to, and you will be sad.  Miraculously, though, I managed to ruin only one small piece of it, so I'm going to go ahead and declare this a success.

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