I started working on this project last summer and I am happy to say I have finally completed it! This doll house has been in my family for 107 years and was built by my Great-Great Grandpa and has been played with by most of the girls in my family. When I was moving all of the things out of my Dad’s house this was one item I was unsure what to do with. The paint was chipping off of it and it was not in the best shape and it is quite large. I decided to restore it and continue its legacy as a family heirloom with the hopes that future little girls can continue to grow up with this treasure. Be prepared for a lot of pictures in this post, it was the best way to explain my progress.
Here is the first before picture, outside and inside.
The first thing I did was test it for lead paint as I suspected it had, which it did. If you are ever dealing with lead paint please consult a professional and make sure the paint is correctly disposed of. I did remove the paint myself since it was a small amount but I did a lot of research and made sure to work outside with my nose and mouth covered. I bought an at-home lead paint testing kit which is the red dot on the front (it turns red if it is lead paint).
I spent many weekends on my deck stripping the paint, priming and putting on the new paint. Here are some pictures of the progress along the way.
Ready to start this project!
Once all the paint stripping was done
The stripping of the paint and old wallpaper took me about 40+ hours. I could not sand anything because of the lead paint and had to use a wet removal technique which took a lot of time. Finally I was ready for the fun part of painting and bringing the house back to life!
I was very glad not to have to wear a mask and gloves anymore, especially since it was usually 80-ish degrees outside most of the weekends I worked on this.
Yay! Everything was painted and back to its original colors.
I was happy I could finally start working inside on this project! I am sure my neighbors had some weird thoughts about the girl who spends hours at a time scrapping and painting a doll house on her deck! Here it is all put back together and painted.
I did add shutters to the house, I think it gave it a nice finished look.
I then added the electric, somewhere along the way electric was added to the original house. I ripped out all of the wiring and added new.
Here is the outside before and after
I took a break on this project at the end of last summer once I was done with the outside and then started working on the inside this summer. First I added hardwood floors which I ordered for a doll house website.
Then I started on the wallpaper. The wallpaper took me quite sometime as each wall in the house is slightly different so the templates I made for each wall only got me so far. I looked at the wallpaper on several doll house websites but did not like any of it since it was all very Victorian or had fruit and roosters on it. Since the style of this house is more of a Colonial farmhouse I bought all of my paper from the Paper Source and selected paper with small patterns. Here is the inside complete and a few of the rooms.
Here is the inside, before and after, quite the change!
What do you think? I think it turned out really well and was proud of the time and effort I put into this piece of family history. Lastly I decided to set up the house with the furniture I used to play with as a little girl.
Well it’s a good thing my project list is still very long, otherwise I might have to find another hobby now that this is done! Any little girls in your lives are welcome to stop over and play with it!