Doll House Renovation

Doll House Renovation

How It Began:

While visiting some friends in Texas over Thanksgiving, they took Erin and me to their garage, and pulled down their grown daughter’s old doll house. Judging by the layer of dust, it’d been awhile since this house had been played with, and was in dire need of an overhaul.  It took about 2 seconds for us to say, “We’ll take it!”  It seemed like the perfect Christmas project for three girls who’d been asking for a new place to play dolls.


After pulling off wallpaper, and giving her a nice bath, it was time to go to work.  I (Andy) was still skeptical it could be redone. I kind of thought it was time to retire this one to the recycle bin.  But Erin had other plans.  We took off the roof, making it easier to paint, and peeled off the backing (it was too cracked to salvage). An interior wall was also removed for an open floor plan. Ha! No, really it was just because the original room was way too small for playing.  Add a fresh coat of primer paint, and now we where getting somewhere!


We put the roof back on, but something wasn’t quite right. The top section looked too closed off and there was no place for storage. The former owner had mentioned opening the attic space for the girls to have an additional play room.  At our house anything with little pieces gets a basket for storage and safe keeping (it also helps save our feet from stepping on little toys…ouch!)  We decided to build it up on a 2×6 frame leaving the front open. Storage baskets could slide under it nicely!  The final touch of this stage was the addition of some casters on the bottom of the 2x6s.  This made the little house super easy to transport anywhere in the big house.


The roof came about as a fluke. We had some left over cedar boards from a fencing project just laying around. After cutting them to size, we layered them for a shingled look.  All it took was some 2″ brad nails to do the trick.  I did leave a 1/2 inch of space on the front side of the shingles for the trim piece.  This hid the gaps, and gave me a good reason to use the jig saw.


The backing was five bucks at Lowe’s, and the flooring was FREE! It was left in our attic from the previous owners. Most everyone has some extra flooring “laying” around somewhere, but you can also check with neighbors or local flooring store for scraps. Two strips of laminate was all we needed. Once the floor was in, it was time for a little paint. We chose Valspar colors Mystic Sea (blue) and Baby Blush (pink).

Now we were ready to work on the inside.Things began to get really small! The living room was begging for some bead board, so I cut a piece of flat trim in 6″ strips to create the look. I finished it off with a horizontal piece along the top. The bathroom was backed with leftover subway tile from our latest kitchen update (If you don’t have any, they are only about 40 cents a piece at Lowe’s.). We kept it simple by only gluing it on the wall and skipping the grout. Maybe someday it will get a proper grouting.


At this point my power tools became useless, and Erin started with the fru fru. The wallpaper along the back is actually sheets of craft paper. A nice dose of ModPodge on the back and a little brushed over the front makes it stick nicely. The sea grass wallpaper on the sides of the bottom left is wallpaper.  It’s kind of expensive when you buy the roll, but this area was so small what we had in the closest did the trick.


We’re kind of loving the outcome! Soon we’ll post a picture of her all dressed up with furniture!

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