Saturday, 3 June 2017

Choose the paint or 'all change'

I make no apologies for this piece just being a bit of mental meandering - I am trying to record (for me) all the processes involved in making this fourth project so, sometimes, I know they are probably of no interest to anyone else, nor do they help anyone.  Maybe there is one reader who prevaricates a lot who might find comfort here.

I have had a vision of the music room in my head since visiting The Georgian House (Edinburgh) a couple of years ago.  The inspiration room had correct-for-the-period green walls and a height and emptiness that I wanted to replicate.  I took a couple of dozen detailed photos and returned to them now and again to soak up the idea.

I ordered very fancy coving (beautifully made to order) and bought the over-the-door pediments and ordered wallpaper to replicate the walls and the trims in the room, bought small pots of paint - all ready for the work to begin.

So, the problem is .....  I hadn't noticed the rooms on my second floor are a paltry 8.5 inches high!  The lovely coving and over the door pediments won't go in.  The trim on the wallpaper can't seem to be squeezed in either.  I put a Jim Coates mirror on the paper and realised how yucky the gold looked against the green.  I tried other 'golds' with the same result.

Trying to stick to my 'greenery-yallery' theme for the house I tried a creamy yellow paint and that just looked wishy-washy and I thought with gold sofas and paintings it would all be a bit samey

So then it was a case of test and try for the next ten colours!

The gold actually looked best against grey.  Grey is very in vogue in real houses at the moment and has been considered for my real one but I find it so cold and depressing so it never made it.  Eventually I found myself mixing up a sample pot of white paint with a small amount of slate grey which I had made for the roof to make a very pale grey.

The walls were duly painted and, yup, I ended up with a grey prison cell, just as I predicted I would.  Deep sigh now what.....

First ,maybe I should just try some things in there ......

I actually don't hate that now.  Imagine white trims and gold framed pictures and lights and walnut  wood floor and (hopefully!!) a rug and maybe the 'cell' might become a simple, classy music room?

Footnote......   so I can pretend I have some tips for newbies ..........

Walls will always need two coats of paint plus the original primer.  Take a good look and decide if you want a third one.  It will depend on the colour chosen and the make of paint.  If you can afford to buy a decent quality paint do so as the pigment is better and everything covers easier.  I don't mean super expensive - I favour Valspar right now, just don't try and buy really cheap or thin paint down to make it go further.

If you take a photo of your finished surface you will be horrified to see that it looks like moguls on a ski slope.  Again you may get away with it never being noticed but sometimes you might just get a light catching it at a certain angle and it will show up.  Run your fingers over it and you will feel the ridges the paintbrush left behind.  Imagine if you had painted real life walls with a brush twelve times bigger than you just used on your project you wouldn't expect a great result.  Easy solution.  Take the absolute finest grade sandpaper (more than 400) or, even better, the buffer you can see in the following photo and just skim lightly over the surface, dust it really well and feel again - baby's bottom smooth.  Job done.

nail buffer, the sort people use for ridges on nails 
Just bought ten of the buffers from Amazon (free post) for £2.99


My second Jim Coates mirror has just arrived.  The one above and the one you see here were bought about a year apart.  By the time you have paid postage from the States they are not cheap.  This one cost $29.80 which, for me, is a lot of money for a mini so these purchases are very occasional and are usually funded by a (cash) gift for my birthday or Mothers Day.

This one is a perfect fit over the fireplace in the Music Room.



  1. Hello Marilyn, I am sure that your room will be beautiful despite having to change out the colors. You seem to have exquisite taste. I ran into the same problem with crown molding in my dining room. A palladium window prevents me using anything substantial so disappointed but I can live with it. And you're wrong about your posts not helping anyone. They help me. I am not of the same caliber as your readers but I try very hard and your suggestions help. Now, off to work to I can support my mini obsession

    1. Thank you Beth, like you, I don't come any where near to some of my readers work but that's OK. We each bring to it what we can and they inspire me to do my best and so get the most from the hobby. You will be very envious...while you are off to work to earn mini pennies I am in York ready for tomorrow's show where I will be spending mine. What Japes, Pip!

  2. Boy oh boy, I can certainly IDENTIFY with your wall color dilemma Marilyn, having recently experienced the exactly the same situation with my mini kitchen.
    Paint/ paper sets the mood and I know the frustration you were feeling when you have one vision in your mind's eye and then a reality which isn't cooperating.
    Needless to say, your final solution is a Very Good One. The soft silvery gray looks lovely in the photos and seems to harmonize well not only with the furniture currently installed, but also with the color of the room directly below it; a smooth transition.
    Personally, I find your posts Very Honest! We don't all get it right the first or even the 21st time around. This hobby is A Process and its various developments are much like those in our real life homes; we re-adjust as we go.


    1. Heavens Elizabeth, if the Queen of paint struggles, what chance is there for me! Thanks, right now it seems the answer. As you said I am very concerned that when the doors of the house open all the rooms sit comfortably with each other and there isn't a jumble of colours or any one room dominating. So grey was a bit of a leap but it is almost a no colour and the greens have the right tones to live with it as does the yellow.

  3. Siempre es grato disfrutar de las miniaturas y las sus proyectos son geniales. Los dos espejos son una buena adquisición,preciosos.Buen fin de semana:-)

  4. I love the mirrors, thank you. I am having a mini weekend. I am in York for the Dolls House Show tomorrow. What fun. See you next week. Marilyn

  5. Hello Marilyn,
    I actually really like that grey. It has a slight note of blue, or so it looks in the picture, and reminds me of elegant French rooms. I love it and your miniatures really stand out beautifully! Thank yo for the buffer tip and great choices on those beautiful mirrors.
    Big hug

  6. The buffers are cheap and convenient but the best finest sander is a foam backed sheet that painters use to denib and rub down plaster or between coats of paint to get a fine finish. Still cheap, just not so easy to find. Suspect Home Depot would have it? Thanks for saying you think the colour is OK. I am getting used to the idea. I rather fancy using matching plain thin gold frames on all the paintings as in modern framing rather than the ornate 17/18th century atyles I have been amassing! Decisions, decisions stick with period for that room and have 'old masters' or choose some modern paintings I like, add simple frames and fill the room with those. I think of this project as sort of being my house and get tempted to do what I think I would do if I lived there rather than what is expected of me. Marilyn