Monday, October 12, 2009

The scrapbooking cupboard project: 2

My good intentions regarding hand sanding (rather than investing in a detail sander) fell by the wayside today.  I didn't show you the inside of the dollhouse cupboard, did I?

There be felt 'carpet', glued down.  I got out the scraper, and drizzled some methylated spirits on the felt, with the thought that it might loosen up the glue and enable me to scrape off the felt.  It worked to an extent, but only to an extent. 

I thought about citrus-based glue removers (the potion option) and sanding (the mechanical option).  Sanding won.  I went back to the hardware store (isn't it great that you can be wearing your grotty painting clothes and you fit right in at the hardware barn?!) and for $35 bought a detail sander with a three year replacement guarantee (hint if you're buying an inexpensive detail sander: check how much the triangular sandpaper bits cost.  For this one, it's $10 for ten; for another inexpensive sander, it's $7.50 for five.  That would add up over time...).  I know I'll use it again, so it was a worthwhile investment. Rather a lot of noise later...

and you can see the difference.  While plugging away at this (not a job completed in five minutes), I thought about what I might have done: the time you add up the sealing undercoat, paint, sander, bits and bobs, plus the original cost of both cupboards, I'm shading into the price of one of these white melamine flatpack cupboards.  Easy, functional, would serve the purpose of storage...but not as much fun.  And I'll be able to look at my combo scrapbook cupboard when it's done, and have a different sense of achievement to wrangling an allen key and white melamine.  My cupboard will be more beautiful, and maybe more lasting, and repurposes instead of using new stuff (well, apart from all the stuff I bought!) and will be, perhaps unique.  At the very least, quirky and unusual.
I finally got the sanding done (and it needed both the sander and the hand-blocks).  I couldn't get all the felt off, but did the best I could and figured it's not a competition, anyway.  But it sure takes time to prepare before you start wrangling paint.  I took off the handles from both cupboards, too - there's an odd bit of damage near the record cupboard's handle, a bit of unexplainable gouging.  I figure it's just part of the rustic charm of it all - not worth fiddling about with Spakfilla.  The woodgrain floor on the right (?Contact plastic) peeled up without much bother, and without a glue residue either (hurrah!). Some work with an old toothbrush and (new) sugarsoap helped clean out dirty corners and windowframes.

I wondered about original colours: I suspect it was white or cream on the outside, pale green inside and this mustard or green on the floors.  I don't know how long ago it might have been made in a handyman's workshop.  1950s? 1960s?  The people from whom I bought it couldn't tell me anything of its history.
Finally, in the afternoon, after a morning of sanding and scraping, I got to open a can of paint - well, one coat sealer undercoat.  First, the record cupboard:

and I will not tell you how fiddly it was to paint those narrow slots.  I think I'll need a short-handled paintbrush to get into a couple of the corners when I'm topcoating.  I tipped it over onto the cupboard back to get into each slot properly, then tipped it back upright for the door/sides/top.  Then the dollhouse, which was actually easier to paint, even with the fiddly bits:

It's an improvement on where they started, isn't it? 

It's a good beginning.  More to do tomorrow.  It's nice to see progress, and think about how they'll look when they're done.  I'll need to get hold of dollhouse sized hinges to attach one of the doors, which has come off; and will need to think about whether I'll put curtains on the dollhouse windows, to keep out dust (and if I do, how I'll attach them - or should I use interesting acetate from a scrapbooking shop instead?  Decisions, decisions).  (And I haven't shown you the paint colours yet either, have I?  Tomorrow....).


Isabelle said...

Well, how impressively energetic. Good for you. I'd have probably bought the new one...

I never realised you were a teacher.

I can never understand Australian school holidays. Would this be your equivalent of our Easter? a spring fortnight?

The Shopping Sherpa said...

i would have suggested using an iron on the felt to heat the glue which would make it easier to remove. But new toys are much more fun...

Will you be adding flowerpots to the windows?

rooruu said...

@Isabelle: ah, our school hols are fraffly logical, since we begin the school year at the beginning of the year, in late January, just after the Australia Day holiday, rather than in September...(!)

Four term year: Easter hols usually a fortnight at Easter; winter hols a fortnight in early July; spring hols a fortnight in early October; summer hols five weeks from just before Christmas.

Thanks for your cupboard comment!

@ TSS: I didn't think of using the iron...but once I'd drizzled the meths about, I'd probably kyboshed heat as an option (oops!). Flowerpots. There's a thought. The windows will be painted a different colour. Have you seen this dollhouse style in your ramblings?