Saturday, 23 January 2016

Finishing the front of the house

I am switching away from working on rooms for a long while and will be working on getting the front of the house finished and the main doors hung.

There is no right or wrong order in which to do a build.  I have always done the main doors last.  I thought it was better they didn't get too much 'wear and tear' and risk of paint or other work damage from working on the rooms but this is a very different build to the ones that took just six months from start to finish.  

I am concerned about the pieces of basement and large doors hanging around my work-space.  They seem to be warping slightly which is scary and have certainly got a nick or two here and there from being shunted around.  They also commandeer a fair amount of space.  The prospect of all of this stretching in front of me for a couple of years seems silly.  Much more sensible (I hope) is to finish the outside access doors and hang them and the roof out of the way.  I can't hang them in an unfinished state as gluing on a few thousand versi-bricks without the board being flat down would be too much for anyone to go at and remain sane.

........ and so it begins ...........

The MDF is a pretty good mortar colour for a new build house so if that's your project just get on with gluing on the bricks.  Any house which has stood a while has mortar which is all shades of grey depending on damp and sun and all sorts of things.  I found when I did the versi-bricks the first time on Bentleys and stuck them straight to the MDF I was left with lovely straight cream coloured, rather shouty,  lines running row after row between the bricks - tidy but not realistic.  Admittedly only I could seem to see this!

On the next build - Chocolat - I devised a mortar base which worked really well.

Basically you find all your old scraps of paint and mix them together to form a sort of pale mud - if the mud is too dark just add some white or better still cream to get it to a rough sort of putty grey colour.  This is your first coat for the brick walls.

the only time rough painting is good!
Paint in all directions as roughly as you like this is mortar after all.  Do all the walls you are going to brick at the same time - obviously they are better if they all match.

Then take a small amount of this paint and add a little of whatever you have that might help it look dirty or damp - dark green, brown, grey, black, just about any dark scrap you have to hand.  Use a bit of sponge for speed, but a brush will do and add streaks and blobs here and there.

Repeat a couple of times with other tints added until you get a camouflage effect.

I promise you it works

Here's a picture from Chocolat to prove it looks right.  This is the sand coloured bricks Richard Stacey does.  I am back with the red brick of Bentleys for Dalton House.

remember this is at least three times larger than life

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