A Dollhouse, Restored

It is done! The dollhouse is ready for play, and has already been inhabited by several dinosaurs.


After seeing all the flooring options for dollhouses, including the real pieced miniature wood slats and laminate “marble” tile, I asked my four-year-old if we should just paint the floors white. She said yes immediately (which I knew she would because she wanted to do some painting, hee hee). The next choice to make was the color of the exterior. She wanted red. I said no. She wanted pink and I said okay, sure. However, we didn’t have any pink paint in the house and our craft-store foray was so overwhelming we only came home with scrapbook “wallpaper” without even looking at paint. “What about blue? We have light-blue paint left over from your room. Then the house would match your room.” “YES!” (Never underestimate the power of instant gratification with children…to get exactly what you want. Tee hee, again!)

Since we had the paint handy, she and her brother jumped right in and slapped first coats of paint of the whole house.  Children, I find, are naturally excellent painters.  You have to set the guidelines, like “don’t paint the house windows”, but then they slap on a beautiful thick layer in about seven minutes, then get tired and leave, so you can do the edges and smooth over their stuff easily.  (This is how I got my son to paint the underside of deck, by the way, two summers ago.  I mean, he was the perfect height!)

The next stage, of putting in the wallpaper was a bit more challenging.  I am pleased as punch how three of the rooms have matching seams and the pattern is uninterrupted as you turn corners and whatnot.  The other two rooms are okay.  I should say that decorating a dollhouse is NOT a sport for a perfectionist.  You could die on that mountain.  We had come home with a stack of coordinating scrapbook papers, so I just picked out five I liked and my daughter agreed, then went to work measuring and cutting.  She really wanted to help with this too, but sadly for her (okay, both of us), it was too exacting.  Another time-saving (read:  lazy) choice was to use double-sided tape for the wallpaper.  I had read about using spray adhesive and decoupage, but, ain’t nobody got time for that. (Leaving out the fact that I actually have both of those.)  I also didn’t cover the paper in any way.  I’m not too concerned about the paper getting caught by edges of furniture or rogue dinosaur claws….although I probably should be.  Whatever.  Dollhouses were meant to be played in.  The double-sided tape does make it a bit easier if we ever wanted to do a repair or a reno, but that is NOT happening soon.  Have you seen my kitchen while I worked on the dollhouse?

Dollhouse interior Dollhouse interior Dollhouse interior Dollhouse interior

Another Saturday of second coats of paint all around, some futzy cutting of paper for windows, a little bit of super-glue to fix some broken railings and trim, et voila!

Dollhouse interior Dollhouse interior Dollhouse interior Dollhouse interior

If you want to see her “Before” pics, check here.

Now that it is finished, I realize I never put doors on the house.  I have three beautiful French doors that came with the house, but no miniature hardware to install them.  I briefly looked for the hardware or full door kits to install, but sort of forgot about it.  Maybe we’ll put doors in someday, but you know, Allosaurs can’t do doorknobs anyway.

Allosaurs wants to come in the dollhouse

Kids playing in dollhouse

Kids playing with dollhouse
A dollhouse restored, being played with by children. All is well in the world.

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