Monday, 23 April 2012

Paint and Pudsey

The build has overrun the house again.  So much for my workroom.  I am far too worried about having MDF in the shed so I decided to play safe and do the construction in the house.  This means the kitchen is under siege again and the sitting room takes the post painting recuperation pieces.  Both these pictures only show part of the areas which are infected with Bentley's.



As you can see I primed the large carcass pieces front and back with a thin rollered coat of B & Q's Value range emulsion.  Fingers crossed this was the way to go.

I started with the piece top left of the photo. You might be able to see how patchy this is.  I was using a brush so I could leave an edge all round (worrying about gluing it together).  Absolutely hopeless.  It is thin and patchy and all over the place and I still couldn't work out where I should leave an edge; so I gleefully gave up, whipped out my lovely soup ladle(!) and proceeded to use a small roller.  It was all done in under an hour.  This was Thursday.





Saturday we went to Pudsey.

It is about an hour's drive from where we live so a good one to go to in that it is the first I can do when we get back and it is near to home.  It was a particularly useful one for me too.  I ordered a stack of stuff from Jennifer's of Walsall for pick up.  We also arranged to meet the purchaser of Le Tout Paris and hand it on.  It was actually sad to see the little sweetie go but we really do NOT have room for three houses.  We are currently trying to work out what to do with two.

I think Pudsey is a good enough show.  Not everything can be on the scale of Miniatura and their ilk and there is enough there to keep me occupied from 10.30am until 2.00 pm (with half an hour for lunch). 

I managed to get everything on my shopping list such as floors, wallpaper, trims and other  practical stuff so that I can crack on with the build.  I did pick up a few bits and pieces that weren't exactly essential but were nice and at the right price.  The trouble with any show is that it increases my discontent with my champagne taste and beer pocket.  People like Sally Meekins (pottery) and Danny Shotton (knives and tools and more) who not only make exactly to scale with precisely the right thickness materials but also create beautiful pieces in themselves.  They would be very special collectors pieces in 1:1 world.  If you don't know their work - check it out.

As an example Danny Shotton's companion set was £34.50 and to die for.... my little companion set was £4.50.  I rest my case.  I bought a decanter and two glasses for sherry (to go on the sideboard).  I don't want to go to the trouble and expense of buying the magic water stuff and colouring to go in the decanter so it will contain actual sherry.  Not sure how that will work out(?)  Again a real sherry decanter and sherry size glasses cost an arm and a leg.  My Ellen is making do with stuff as she isn't especially interested in making a lovely home above a shop.  She is beginning to think about all kinds of future ambitions such as her own fashion house, not just the shop and perhaps a house/proper home of her own.

Back to reality and on Sunday I went paint shopping for the colours. 

Before this I had to denib all the sides ready for their second coat.  Easy peasy and very satisfying  I did the second coat of white on the ceilings before going out for the paint and was feeling very pleased with myself.  Did you like 'denib'?  I even get to learn new words doing this.  If you don't already know it just means use fine sandpaper to rub off the bits which get raised by the paint.

As for the trip to Homebase... What a nightmare!  I had already chosen a whole raft of Farrow and Ball colours which were just perfect but I could only get their sample pots in Estate Emulsion which is a 2% sheen - a flat a matt as can be - it is sort of chalky looking.  This is great for interior walls as it nicely replicates tinted distemper, but makes it useless for other things.  The sample pots are £4  each and then I would have to buy a silk acrylic varnish and a gloss one to change their finish.  I ended up compromising where I could and bought some Farrow and Ball sample pots and a couple of other makes.  


I painted the front pieces with a mortar colour to go under the versi brick slips.  These have come up fine.  I am thinking about putting splodges of other colours on here and there to dirty up the mortar so it isn't just one shade coming through between the bricks.  My real house is only about six years old and none of the mortar on that is one uniform colour.


These are the quoins!  I mixed one teaspoon sand with four teaspoons of paint to give it a rough stone finish.  I got my sand from a dollar shop in the States from the flower arranging section.  It is very fine white stuff.

I am truly unhappy about the quoins.  As you can see there are four strips; these go down the front of the building.  I can't find any images of buildings with this sort of finish.  I searched and searched through Georgian and Victorian neo-Georgian and there's nothing  like it anywhere.  I never intended to use them even when I first chose the kit BUT on close inspection of the construction I don't think I can avoid it.  Firstly if they are left out, the lining up of various other elements becomes difficult.  Worse there is a visible gap, four of them actually, where they run through the bay window 'roofs'.  Leaving them out would mean remaking a couple of difficult pieces which I know I can't do.  The third problem seems even more intractable; one of them acts as an overlap to conceal the join where the two front pieces meet.  I think it might look strange without this trim.  Hey ho, so much for reality and accurate historical research.

I also did the first coat of paint on the sides and back of the carcass using a roller and smooth masonry paint.  It was an appallingly patchy finish. This paint is a tad more gloopy than normal emulsion but it had been commended to me for the job (via a magazine article) as ideal.  I lived in hope of a better finish by using a brush for the second coat.  Another caution if you are considering this paint - it has a pungent smell and you could do with some open windows in the room where you are using it.  The other reason for buying it was that it seemed to be the ONLY paint which came anywhere near to brick red - strangely enough it is called Brick Red!  I had got a pretty good match to my (future) bricks from - you guessed it - Farrow and Ball in a £20 size can.  This Homebase sample pot cost £2.59 and I still have about a third left, so it seemed like a no-brainer.

And so to Monday.....

These are the three brick red pieces with their second brushed coat.  They are certainly a long way from perfect but probably tolerable after all they are the sliced through brick sides of a terrace.  I hope so any way.

 Mmmmmm.... now I am really worried about painting the rooms inside when the house is built.  Obviously I can only use a brush in there and these are the sort of results I look as though I am producing.  Doesn't matter on the under-the-slates roof paint shown here, but clearly it will look awful on the shop wall and the landing walls.

I am pinning my hopes on the fact I did these with a brush that's about forty years old (!!!) and couldn't be described as great .  Maybe if I buy a good quality small fine hair brush I can get a better finish. I am also thinking I might let the paint down a little and do two thin coats.  Any opinions welcome.

As someone who has never done any decorating in real life, never mind one twelfth, I am in virgin territory here and not doing at all well.

Hopefully tomorrow I will be starting the gluing it all together nightmare.  Wish me luck.

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