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Sunday, March 8, 2015

Building Series 2- week 3 Exterior Finish

This is the third installment in my new building series. Be sure to check out the rest of the series too.

This week I had a hard decision to make. I really didn't want to anchor this building down to the base board yet but I felt I had to. Normally this would have happened much later in the building process because I like to be able to twist and turn my buildings around (and upside down sometimes) to really be able to see what I am doing. This building posed a problem though and that problem is the in the form of the add on room. You see I wanted to have it look like it was actually par to the main building and not just a bit of a building sitting there next to the building. That meant being able to use both the exterior and interior wall finishes to mask that seam. Since this kit is made of really thin plywood I knew I couldn't just glue the pieces together and have them stick to each other while I moved the unit around.

The only solution I could come up with was to actually glue the entire thing to the base board. So that is the first thing we do this week. I went to Home Depot planning to get some plywood preferably about ½” thick but they were out of what they call handy panels in that size. A handy panel (at least at my Home Depot) is just a fancy name for a partial sheet of plywood (or other sheet type lumber) usually 2' by 4'. They also sometimes have some sheets that measure 2' by 2' which would have been perfect for me but that display was empty too. So I chose a 2' by 4' sheet of MDF that is about ¼” thick. You can use an MDF that is thinner than the plywood because it seems to be stronger. I then hunted down the lady at the store that operates the saw to cut my board down to the size I wanted. My store will do the cut for free you just have to find the person that does it for you. I did run into a small issue at the check stand in that the checker tried to charge me full price for each half of my board. This has happened before so I was watching for it. She was happy to correct the price. Last time it happened I didn't catch it until I was all the way home so it was more of a hassle but they did make it right. So the lesson here is watch what is rung up and check your receipt before you leave the store!

The next problem I ran into, or at least I imagined would be a problem was how to get that really narrow piece of plywood to glue securely to the base. Of course I thought of this issue on my way home so I searched through my stash of various wood pieces and found some little wooden blocks that were left over from a project years ago. I glued the blocks to the inside of the building base being sure to line the bottom of the blocks with the bottom of the base piece. When this glue was dry I then had a larger surface to glue to the base. I feel much better about the integrity of the joint now.

I also made sure to run a bead of glue on the wall edges that joined to the main part of the building so that all would become one unit when everything set up.

As added insurance I also ran a bead of caulking along the seam between the add on room and the main building. This combined with the wall treatments will keep everything nice and solid for years to come.

For the exterior I decided to show you a finish I have used on several mini buildings over the years but have never demoed on this channel. Some people call this a Stucco finish, I am not sure I would term it exactly that but it is basically just a textured finish. I like it because it is first off very cheap! It also has the advantage of hiding the less than perfect quality of the wood in many of these cheap kits.

All we need in materials is a can of paint and some facial tissue (cheaper is better here) I like to use the samples from Home Depot (or Lowes or other stores of the same kind) they are really nice paint and can be tinted to almost any color you desire. I decided to go with an off white kind of cream color. I think no matter what the building becomes in the end this will work well. The only other thing you really need is a paint brush. I do usually wear some disposable gloves for this project since it is really messy and taking off the pair of gloves is a lot faster than stopping to wash if I have to answer the phone.

Paint on a thin layer of paint on a small area and then layer on a single layer of crumpled tissue. Follow this with another thin coat of paint. Just work on a small area at a time. You can adjust the texture depending on how smooth or crumpled you leave the tissue.

Probably the two most important things to remember is to separate the tissue into single layers and to be sure to saturate the tissue so it is stuck thoroughly to the walls.

After this dries give another thin coat of paint and allow to dry again.

Now it is time to cut/tear away the excess tissue. Then another coat of paint to seal everything down.

Now we are ready to move on to the next step.

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