Monday, January 24, 2011

Popsicle stick floors

While my house doesn't have a roof I thought I would do the flooring. I'm not sure if this is the right order to do things in, but it's worked out so far. Except I wish I hadn't attached the stair treads yet.

I've been doing some filling and sanding to touch up gaps and cracks here and there and the dust is all over the stairs now. Then I stained the floors and some stain got on the risers. Then I carefully covered the treads with painters tape and touched up the risers and now there's paint on the treads that leaked under the tape! Now I'm just leaving them and will try sanding them later and adding another coat of polyurethane.

It's things like this that make me wonder why I'm doing this when there's so many other things I should/could be working on. But I will say that working on my house is usually very relaxing!
floor after sanding
Anyway, so back to the floor. I decided the most affordable and nicest way would be to use popsicle sticks. Most dollar stores have them, I bought two big bags for just $1.25 each. I trimmed the rounded corners off with a pruning tool, glued them down and then sanded the surface until it was nice and smooth. A regular popsicle stick is like having a wide plank floor, but you can get narrower craft sticks with straight ends at places like Michael's. I saw a bag of them there on the weekend for around $5. 

Here's a little strip of popsicle stick that I cut to go between rooms in the doorway:
Cutting the sticks lengthwise is pretty easy, just go over them a few times with an exacto knife and metal ruler.
 floor after staining
I've read that you should make a template of the floor then attach your flooring to that then attach it to your house. I guess it would be easier to work on a flat piece outside of the house but I didn't have any trouble. Although as I mentioned the stain did make a mess. But I think that was because I used a rag to apply it. For more control I would use a little foam brush or even a cotton swab for corners. (Another reason to attach your flooring to a cardboard template is so that you can take it out later and also so you can run wiring underneath.)

Speaking of the staining... Well, I regret that. It was pretty smelly and I had to open the window for a long time in the middle of a cold Canadian winter. And in the end I thought the colour was too high contrast with the white walls, clashed with the wood stain on the furniture and seemed dark and heavy. I didn't like it at all so I just ignored the house for a while.
painted floors upstairs
Then I decided to paint the floors - I love that country look. So this is how the upstairs floors look now and I'm happy with them. It will look even nicer once I add baseboards, and the wood furniture looks great. The little mirror over the fireplace is from the antique mall in St. Jacobs. I love that place!


Jen said...

I never comment on blogs, but I have to say, I am LOVING your dollhouse project. I've been checking in, constantly, since you started it. I love the painted floors! Excellent call.

Claire Louise Milne said...

Thanks Jen! that means a lot :-)

Anonymous said...

Hi Claire,
I live in Waterloo and love the antique mall in St. Jacobs - it's only about 10 minutes from where I live :) Not sure if you know about it or not but there is a huge miniature show in Toronto every October - lots of great items - I'll try to track down when this year's event is. I have a doll house I built when I was 12 so it's definitely not as nice as yours but I still add/change furnishings and buy special miniature items when I see them. Such a great hobby! Jen :)

Claire Louise Milne said...

Amazing, I would love to go! Please let me know.

Anonymous said...

The Toronto Miniature show is put on by the Miniature Enthusiasts of Toronto and the info is:
Saturday, October 15, 2011 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, October 16, 2011 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre, 6 Garamond Court, Toronto. This is always an amazing show! You might want to get there early as people line up and it can get busy later on in the day which can make it difficult to see such tiny items because you have to wait to get right up to the tables :)
Another website you might want to check out for do it yourself miniature furniture is: They have some really nice kits :)
Jen J :)

Anonymous said...

how to smooth popsicle stick

Claire Louise Milne said...

I did lots and lots of sanding - starting with rough sandpaper then the finer sandpaper.

Marion Russek said...

When staining the wood will warp at the edges and you need to sand it flat again = with the result that the edges are light! Not exactly what I want. So, instead of stain I work with non-water products such as shoe cream, stained liquid wax (adding acrylic paint if wanted). That works.

The grandmommy said...

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