Monday, May 16, 2011

Creating a weathered look on exterior paintwork

No pretty pictures for this post which is an extract from the "Complete Dollhouse Building Book" published in 1982. 

I made these notes many years ago from a copy in the public library of my hometown in New Zealand and they've been tucked away in the back of one of my dollhouse 'how-to' books ever since.  Susan's (Tabitha Corsica) recent comment about removing coats of acrylic  from painted miniatures using acetone reminded me about it and I thought some of you may find it useful. Please note that I've never tried it so I don't guarantee the results nor recommend the method as such - I'm just sharing the information as I have it.


Materials: water based house paint (NOT artist acrylic), linseed oil, buffing cloths, extra fine black sandpaper, paste wax, oil based wood stains (grey, blue and brown), brushes.

1   Paint house, including doors and windows (these may be stained).  Allow to dry completely.

2  Rub a small amount of linseed oil over the entire surface using the buffing cloth - some painted surfaces may fade a little.

3  Decide on areas to be weathered.  Apply grey stain with same buffing cloth. Rub into wood.  Follow with brown and blue stains - overlap in some areas to create intensity and visual dimension.

4  As stains soak in lightly rub some areas (eg sections of window frames and doors - as well as walls themselves) with slightly wet sandpaper so portions of original wood show through.  Apply another light coat of oil over exposed areas and reapply small amount of stain, rubbing well into wood.  ALLOW TO DRY THOROUGHLY - BEST TO LEAVE IT FOR A FEW DAYS.

5  Repeat process in areas where not enough.  In areas where too much sand lightly and start again, beginning by painting raw wood.

6  As a final step apply paste wax to areas chosen for greatest weathering.  Now buff smooth, will look as if wind has worn away some of the wood. 

If anyone tries it maybe you could let me know what you think.

Source acknowledgement: "Complete Dollhouse Building Book" (1982), Faulk and Griek (ISBN 0-672-52339-6).  (I did email Kathryn Faulk who I believe many be one of the authors seeking permission to publish this extract about 10 days ago.  I have had no reply as at the date of publishing this post.  This post will be removed if any objection from either the authors or publishers is received).


Garden of Miniatures said...

Hi Norma,thank you for sharing this tutorial.It sounds good and professional .If I have the time I will try that! So I save your post in case it will removed !Jeannette

Sans! said...

The most difficult part of this is the "best to leave it for a few days" :).

Thank you for sharing, Norma :)

Brandy Wilcoxen said...

I'll have to try it, thank you for sharing.

Plushpussycat said...

Thanks for the great info! I wonder if this might work for a weathered painted look on dollhouse furniture? Do you know a good tutorial for that? I have some stained dollhouse funiture that I want to change to weathered white paint. Thanks! :-)

Carol Mittlesteadt-Kubrican said...

Thanks for sharing. I have a project in mind that this would be perfect for!

Norma Bennett said...

This is the answer that I posted on Plushpussycat's blog in answer to her question in her comment here - just in case anyone else is wondering the same thing.

If anyone else has something more/different to suggest please leave a comment here and/or on her blog.

re your question on my blog about weathering dollhouse furniture the short answer is that you can't use the products that are recommended for the exterior finish, in particular the latex housepaint, it's way too dense. However, if a miniature piece is still in it's raw state (ie unvarnished) I guess you could try a similar approach substituting artists acrylic for the latex house paint and where you want to remove the paint afterwards to imitate weathering you could do so with acetone as mentioned by Susan in her comment on my post about aged paint effects. However, on pieces already varnished it's a whole different situation. In that case I guess you're going to have to sand/strip off as much of it as possible or go to 'plan C' and try the method I used on the doors and bench in my aged paint effects post. I don't know if all this helps or confuses!! Email me at if you need to clarify anything :)

rosanna said...

Thank you Norma, this is precious! Now I shall go to yourgiveaway post to join it.I am so busy lately that I didn't even read it before :o((
Minihugs Rosanna