Saturday, 20 August 2011

Entrance Black and White Marble Floor

Hello all,
I just finished the marble Floor for the Entrance Hall.

The floor was easy to make, but rather time consuming.
As with the firplace mantels, I strated by painting the illustration board a base color, let it dry 30 minutes, then took a wet sea sponge, squeezed out most of the water, dipped it lightly in the second paint color, then sponged it on making sure I turned the sponge to keep the pattern random.

When that was dry, I sponged on another color, very similar to the one before
When that was dry, I used tooth pics to create the veins. I looked at pictures of black and white marble online for help
I let the paint dry overnight, then I sprayed on 3 coates of clear glaze and let that dry for 24 hours. I then rubbed the marble down with a 0000 steel whool.
The next day was cutting day. I cut the black marble into 1 " by 1/4" tiles, and the White marble into 1" x 1" and 1/4" x 1/4" tiles using a metal ruler and a sharp utility knife.

The next step was to cut a subfloor in illustration board to the dimensions of the room. because the tiles are not perfectly square, it was important to have guide lines on the subfloor to make sure the pattern was as exact as possible. I took out some graph paper with 1/4" x 1/4" squares and glued it onto the subfloor. Next, starting with the very center of the room, I glued the tiles in place with a regular glue stick.
The glue stick works well. I put the glue on the subfloor and on the back of the tile. The bond is strong, but it takes a while to set so you can move the tile a bit to aligne it properly. I covered the floor with a piece of mdf and books to wheigh it down overnight.

The next day it was time to grout the floor. I like to use regular drywall spackle, the stuff that is used to fill small holes in the wall. With my finger, I went over the spaces with the spackle and tried to get into all the cracks. Then, I took a damp sponge and went over in circular motions to take off any excess spackle, and go over with a dry cloth. You have to make sure you don't apply too much pressure because you will push the spackle out of the cracks. The final step was to go over it with a steel whool, whipe it down with a damp cloth, and check the fit.

All in all, from start to finish, this floor section took about 16 hours of work. Thank God it's finished.

Sunday, 14 August 2011


Hello everyone, I hope you all had a great weekend.

I just finished working on the foundation. As I mentionned in an earleir post, because the house is so big I built the structure in 5 sections. To make sure they line up properly I wanted to build a wood foundation on which the 5 sections wil sit and be held in place by dowels.

I decided to use 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" pieces of wood for 2 reasons:
1. The house is 8 feet long and will sit over several modular dressers. I wanted wood thick enough so it would not sag or warp.
2. I read online that 1 sheet of 5/8" MDF weighs 96 pounds...this means my house now weighs about 527.5 pounds, and I still have another floor and the roof to finish, so I needed the foundation to be strong.

My father-in-law Tom helped me to set up the modular furniture and get everything level. We then measured out the wood pieces we needed. I started by gluing the beams together and holding the pieces in place with clamps and masking tape. To make sure it was strong I wanted to add screws, so I drilled 1/8" deep holes the width of the screws heads so they would not stick out.

When the glue was dry, my husband Jo and I placed the house sections (definetely a 2 people job) on the foundation and drilled holes through the mdf and the wood foundation. The dowel will be glued to the foundation, so if I ever need to move the sections it will be easy to aligne them when I put the house back together.

The wings of the house stick out past the foundation I made, but I wont correct this until I've attached the front opening panels to the house. When they will be in place I will build the rest of the  foundation to be flush with each wall.

 I've also been working on the floor for the Entrance Hall and finishing the columns and arcade for the Great Room. I will try to finish the floor this week, and the columns soon after. Post will follow shortly

Have a great week,

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Finished Music Room and Dining Room Floors

Hello all,

I just finished the floors for 2 rooms. I haven't stuck them to the House structure yet as I still need to let the shellac dry properly and then add a coat of clear wax.
Music Room
 Dining Room

Finishing the floors went well. AS I mentionned in an earlier post I used shellac flakes dissolved in 99% isopropyl rubbing alcohol. When the wood boards were glued onto the illustration board subfloor, I sanded them with 80 and 120 gritt sandpapers. I applied a coat of shellac (I used Garnet color shellac flakes), let it dry 30 minutes, then gently went over it with a 0000 steel whool. I repeated these steps 3 times. The shellac goes on easily, but you have to work very fast and not go over your strokes. A few times I did just that and there are marks on the finish, but since I wanted the floors to look old it worked out very well.
I also finished the Dining Room floor. For this room I purchased miniature parquet sheets and glued them onto an illustration board subfloor and then finished the same as the music room floor with Shellac. The dining room floor took about 30 minutes to put together whereas the music room floor took 3 weeks (I usually work on my miniatures one day each weekend and maybe 1 or 2 evenings a week). Doing the detailed floor from scratch was much longer, however one must take the price into account: The music Room floor (20" x 36") cost about $45.00 versus the Dining Room Floor (16" x 20") which cost about $135.00.