1950’s Doll House Refurbishment Project

“I have a house do you want to buy it?” My initial reaction was to say no, it would be much easier to start from new, however after looking at a sad paper peeling home with no chimney and a nail in the door as a door knob ? I felt a challenge coming on. This is the process I went through to restore an old 1950’s doll house.


I was always one of those children who wouldn’t do anything unless dared, then I would do whatever the dare was. This was the was the same trait that got me started on renovating this house.

I first peeled the green paper from the roof, the chimney was found sitting inside the house but it was the wrong shape for my liking. So I added wood around the outside then used modeling medium to make stone effect on it and glued it on.

The brick paper I peeled off the walls and the whole roof was re-modeled using Art-stone modeling medium. The roof was painted in mainly brown with some green & gray patches of paint.

The door was only marked into the wood, It didn’t open and it didn’t have a surround. I knocked the old pediment from the top of the door and glued on new pieces of wood to make the door look properly in proportion.

The old tin tack being used as a door knob I pulled out and replace it with a proper brass KNOB just the thing for visitors. I had to drill a small hole to push the knob into.

When removing paper from the walls and roof carefully remove by Dampening the pieces that are stuck on but do not over wet as the wood hardboard may swell and buckle.

The house is gaining in character and the windows and door surround are now similar simple shapes.

The inside of the home needs a paint some of the carpets are full size off cuts of real carpet and are too big so I had to take them out. Every little thing I can do to make the house look better improved I do. But wait how about Essex pargeting? I feel I may as well have a go. Pargeting is a plaster work decoration on the outside of some houses, this dates from the medieval times but some people still have it done today.

The skill of some of the artists I see are amazing. I have seen stags, trees, foxes and some basic pattern crosses and circles.

Well I try to press things into the modeling dough to make patterns like pargeting with some success.

The roof needed scratching up before applying the modeling stuff as it will not stick otherwise. I had to paint the base but the side door on the house kept scraping the new paint off. So I unscrewed the side door hinges and pushed cocktail sticks into the bottom of the old screw holes putting glue into the holes as well.

Then I rested the door on another cocktail stick to make sure that I would have enough clearance and I screwed the door back on this raised the door just enough to clear the base.

That’s it for now that as far as I have got. Feel free to leave comments here and details of your own projects.



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