Page: 3

baking resin, paint properties: Paint is one of the largest categories in the hardware and industrial maintenance businesses. Coating technology is complicated and there are many different products for different applications. Here are some thoughts from a person familiar with industrial coating applications and products:

Acrylic vs. Latex. Plexiglas is acrylic and rubber gloves are latex. That fosters a useful image.

p>Envirotex is a 100% solid epoxy resin. Heat resistance of standard industrial epoxy is 140 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. We never recommend standard epoxy in applications over 200 degrees F. I don't know how it fails over 200 degrees, but baking it may cause some unanticipated changes or problems like blistering or even melting.

Resin does not give off especially dangerous fumes when curing. There is no solvent release at all. The unpleasant odor is closely related to ammonia. It is best, however, to keep the hardener off the skin. Some people get contact dermatitis (a rash) from the hardener.

Try to use a primer that is designed to adhere to both the top coat and the substrate. Read the label.

Always read the label and follow the instructions for paints and other coatings. Manufacturers seldom describe the generic makeup of products adequately. It is often impossible to compare seemingly similar paints. What seems to be the same may not be. The ideal universal primer or top coat is mythical! This appears to be just as true with craft acrylics as with the high tech coating used industrially.

With paint you typically "get what you pay for". The cost of paint is based upon the solid content, which is what gives the color, coverage and texture that is desirable. Stain and wood dye is a different matter. Cheap paint causes a multitude of problems.

Pete Boorum

Removing Tool Marks on Plastic: [You are not going to have any luck drilling plastic because it will frost on you. ] The easiest way to get rid of the tool marks (frosting - if that's what you're referring to) is to dip it in acetone or coat it with clear nail polish.

Tom Berkner

Linseed Oil: Oil paints today are pigment ground in linseed oil which is actually the cause of your slow drying - linseed oil can stay semi-dry for years causing rotting canvases etc. when it seeps through to the canvas or linen of a painting. I would try dry pigment in the commercial stain , and if you still need it and can get it, a bit of Japan Drier. Stay clear of Linseed oil, boiled or otherwise.


Linseed Oil: Linseed oil is a polymerizing oil which means it cures without solvent evaporation. I use the urethane filled polymerizing oils which are easier and more durable. My favorite is Watco which I have used by the gallon on full scale furniture and I use occasionally on cherry miniatures if I want a rich reddish brown finish without staining.

Pete Boorum

Textured Ceilings: Here is what I do. For the rough, pebble texture, I just add fine sand to white paint. If you want a texture with sparkles, use a bit less sand and after it is applied, spread some sparkly stuff on top while the paint is still wet. Most will fall off, but what remains will sparkle. Back in the days of lath & plaster, we had a ceilings with texture added by swirling a comb-like tool to make circular patterns or (believe it or not) sponges or crumpled newspaper to make a random texture. I have no suggestion for the circular pattern other than to cut a comb down and using it for the swirl. The random textures are easier. I have done it this way: Add a little baby powder to thicken some white paint and apply it to the ceiling. Use crumpled tissue to make the texture. Of course, after all that, you will have to turn the house right side up or roll over yourself, depending on the size of the house.

Dave, Bradenton, FL

Magic Brik: I shall never be without it when working in the dollhouse sized projects. I have never had a problem. Each time I use it, I must get over the terror of the total commitment of adding the mask, mixing and applying the "mud", and removing the mask. As you peel off the mask, you may have some rough edges arise. They are easily removed. It always works. I use it for brick foundations, slate entries to houses, rock chimneys, and, even without the masks, as textured items such as walkways and stucco. In whatever usage I apply Magic Brik, I always seal it with a good water based sealer.

Dave, Bradenton, FL

Textured Ceilings: A mixture of Plaster-of-Paris and latex paint make a good "plaster" (and stucco). Prime the ceiling with the color you want and then use the same color to mix with the P of P. Play with the mixture first - just a teaspoon full of plaster on a paper plate and dribble in the paint. Keep the mixture thin and practice on a piece of primed scrap wood to get the texture you want.


Magic Brik is neat stuff. I used it on the 2 story fire station and had a good time working with it. I painted the base coat with different shades of gray, that helped age the structure. It took a little while to get the hang of the corners but finally did get the cuts correct so the bricks were the proper length on two faces. A great touch is the cap row on the parapet. Careful not to put the mixture on too thick, but if you do, you can rub some off for a realistic look, even chip a corner.


Ceilings: This is my tip and my "wow" factor rolled into one. I tried spackle on the ceilings and I just didn't like the look of it. I ended up scraping it off . I read an idea using anagypta wallpaper.I went to the neighborhood paint and wall paper shop and picked a roll of anagypta wallpaper with a lovely design reminiscent of plaster design ceilings - went up to the counter and ask for a "sample". She gave me about 2 feet worth (enough to do my main living room). I'm in the midst of applying it now (thanks to Tom for the YES glue tip) and have my dentil moldings at the ready to finish it off after I do the wall paper on the walls. Looks WOW!!!

Vi in Hamilton

Frosting and Wet look for food: You can use gloss made especially for Fimo, dimensional paint or nail polish. For frosting and other effects I've collected nail polishes and used them in various ways over the years. They are made out of wonderful fast drying acrylic and none of the items have yellowed or cracked. I have bought them in so many wonderful shades. You find terrific ones for Halloween, white for your frosting, black and orange. I have also used frosted and iridescent nail polishes in various shades on Light brite pegs and beads to look like shampoos and conditioners. I painted a Chrysnbon chair with frosted maroon nail polish years ago and used part of an old tapestry tie for the seat cushion and it still looks great. I also like the fact you don't have to worry about a brush to apply it. More recently I have found blue, purple and green.

Jean Day

Transfer Method, as a hint in del Prado:

1/ Select clipping and cut out, leaving a 1/2 inch border.
2/ Tape the edge of the clipping to a flat surface and paint the transfer emulsion onto the right side in 6 to 8 coats, allowing each coat to dry before applying the next. Thin coats dry almost instantly and give a much finer finish. Apply about three thin coats of emulsion in three or four sittings. If the picture starts to fog don't apply any further coats. Clean brush in warm water.
3/ Allow the transfer to cure for a full Two hours.
4/ Soak for a further two hours in warm water, then remove the backing by gently rubbing it with your finger.
5/ Your finished transfer should be almost transparent with no dried paper on the back-if there is, re-soak.
6/ Carefully trim the transfer with manicure scissors. Using the emulsion as glue, stick your finished transfer where you want it.

Picture this and decal-it: I have listened to all the talk about the picture transfer liquid and decals and I think you are getting very confused. First-- Picture This does NOT create a decal. It adheres the photocopy ink to the shirt and after it sets, you rub off the paper. Then you seal the image on the shirt with a topcoat. That is what any "fabric transfer" does.

The decal making is done by spreading the liquid on top of a photocopy (yes, you can use a magazine, but all magazine inks do not work). The photocopy ink adheres to the liquid as it dries. You can then rub off the paper, and you will have a rubbery piece with the picture on it. That piece is then glued to a display piece. I have seen very little of this on the market in the last few years. You can also use clear fingernail polish. I have used this medium with poems, lifting off the black ink and then gluing the decal onto a oil-drilling core that is sliced into display pieces.

Remember, on Picture this, anything white will show the color of the shirt and on the decal makers, anything white will be transparent and when glued down will show the color of your display piece. But they do different things.


Finishing Basics: Several folks have asked for a suggested list of steps to follow when building their first dollhouse. Here is one:

2. Instead, get a bottle of good yellow wood glue. (My personal favorite is Franklin's TiteBond, available at Ace Hardware Stores, but Elmer's or other yellow glue will work well, too.)
3. Find the directions and read them first.
4. Somewhere in the directions is a list of parts and it usually has sketches to show what they look like. Use a pencil (not a pen as the ink will run when you paint) and mark the part names or numbers on all the pieces. Don't punch out parts until you are ready to use them.
5. Check the parts to see if they need to be sanded or filled with wood filler. Some of the cheaper dollhouses (and some not so cheap) are made of flimsy, splintery, bad plywood.
6. Paint the trim pieces before you assemble them. That makes sense when you realize that it will be very hard, for example, to paint a corner piece or window trim after attaching it to the house-you will get paint from the main walls on the trim and when you paint the trim, you'll get paint from that
on the main walls.
8. Do not worry about painting the inside-that's later.
9. You can do the first floor flooring after assembling the foundation and floor or after the basic house is built.
10. Follow the directions to build each part of the house. Get the basic part built without the trim. Paint the main exterior walls.
11. Do the flooring on the first floor now if you didn't do it at step 9, unless you're using carpet and I would wait to do that until you do the flooring
for the second and third floors as mentioned in Step 17.
12. Don't attach the windows now.
13. Now is the time to wire if you're going to. You will need to decide which room is which and where you want lights. For example, decide where the bathroom vanity/sink will be because if you want lights on each side of a mirror, you need to know where to put them. When doing wall sconces, shorten the wire, attach the lamp, but don't fasten it to the wall until you paper. Cut an X in the paper where you want them to go, slide the fixture through and then attach the paper and lamp to the wall.
14. Once the wiring is done, attach the main lamp fixtures. I like to drill holes in the ceiling for the ceiling lights and run the wires through the holes to fasten to the tape that I have put on the floor above. Attach all your lamps except the table lamps now. After papering, you can attach the outlets for the table lamps.
15. Wallpaper your rooms. Use a wallpaper paste designed to glue paper to wood. (My favorite is Grandmother Stover's Yes glue) Just paper right over the door and window openings. When it's dry, you can cut out these openings with your craft or X-Acto knife.
16. Now attach your windows, doors, stairs, and interior trim. Aren't you glad you painted it earlier?
17. If you haven't already done so, finish the exterior at this time.
18. Put down your second and third floor flooring.
19. Put in baseboards, interior cornices, and other incidental trim.
20. Now comes the fun of furnishing.

Dottie in Tucson

1) primer paint the walls;
2) put together the shell;
3) tape wire the whole house;
4) install ceiling paper;
5) install wallpaper;
6) install lights.

Tom Berkner

Tile sealer: You might try using Deft Semi-Gloss spray on your tiles to seal them. Cut the tiles to fit your room then spray them before you glue them in. The more coats, the shinier they will be. I use two coats on the tile floors in my Southwest room boxes. Spray evenly and not too heavy. Several thin coats are better than 1 heavy coat. Let dry completely between coats. Sealing before grouting prevents the grout and water from penetrating the tiles and it also eases clean up of the grout. When the grout is completely dry, usually about 24 hours, you can spray one more time to bring the shine back to the tiles.


Real miniature tiles: I have completed kitchen and bathroom floors (and matching bathroom walls with 'dado border') from individual tiles to make the floor and   border patterns supplied by Graham of: 

He was fantastically helpful with working out sizes, quantities and colour   schemes that would work!   If you like doing jigsaws you'll 'love' working with these materials and creating the patterns of your choice.   Though tiny and fiddly, they're VERY easy to work with and can easily be cut to get an exact fit for your floor shape.  (e.g. taking a border pattern around a shower unit and corner bath).

All the patterns are well researched from originals and the colours look wonderful when varnished with a matt varnish giving just the right level of shininess to simulate 'ceramics' but without being over-glossy.   I was so pleased with how the kitchen floor turned out (my first project) that I didn't want to hide it with furniture!!

Jane (Warwickshire, UK)

My secret to a permanent shingled roof is to use Quick Grab which should be used sparingly. I work with enough for 5-6 shingles at a time, because the glue sets up fast and sometimes the phone rings.

At first when I started doing houses for others I used Liquid Nails in a caulk gun. It was a bit messy but I learned quickly to control it. However, when I was out of it 2 years later I used Quick Grab, and I haven't gone back. I work fast and don't want to worry about shingles sliding or coming loose later. I've repaired child damaged roofs done with glue guns. For that I'm thankful, because the shingles are usually loose and can be pulled out or I can loosen them with a hair dryer. Those houses done with glue guns that have been stored in attics also tend to wilt. Quick Grab costs more, but it's worth it.

Deanna from beautiful downtown Thiensville

Magnetic paint:    You can find magnetic paint at 


Installing Floor over wire: I recommend that you glue your floor down with quick grab or gloop. Before you do that though, I would cover the tape wiring with masking tape & MOST IMPORTANT do not put glue on the tape. Spread the glue on the floor in the house, not on your flooring or on the masking tape, & lay your floor. I like to glue because it gives it a nicer look.

Sari, The Doll House, Scottsdale, AZ

Installing Floor over wire: Debbie asked: [How do I do the floors when the tape wire has been put down? Do I put in a fake floor that can be pulled out or can I just lay my hard wood floor on top of the tape wire? The type of hard wood floor I have is from Houseworks. ]

These are the same floors I used and I put them down with double sided tape. Not a lot of tape, just enough to keep it flat. I have at times, taken up the floor to work on the tapewire and it was very easy.

Carol, S P Miniatures

Painting Small Plates:


Rubbing alcohol
Q-tips or cotton balls


Dowel rod cut into pencil lengths
Sharpened on one end
Styrofoam or florist foam

To paint your plates edges here is something that might work. Try finding some museum wax, got mine in a mini store to hold things in the dh in place. Cut a dowel rod about the size of a pencil, and sharpen the other end. Place wax, (or poster putty) onto the blunt end, then place your plate or whatever onto the wax/putty. After painting poke the sharpened end into a piece of Styrofoam or florist foam till dry.

As for cleaning, I would think you could clean with rubbing alcohol (not the drinking kind!), with a Q-tip or cotton ball. This will remove any oil or dirt that your hands have put there. If you used acetone, it might start dissolving the plastics in your piece.

Lisa Lynn

This category has 1164 tips of 10312 tips in the archives.

Previous 20 | Next 20

Page 3 of 59.

Search for:

Browse the database (all entries)