Holiday Houses - Step 2
 
Step 2 - Painting & Assembly

Originally posted on my blog 

In the previous step, the surfaces were primed with a coat of white gesso. The next step will take a little longer, so I split it up into two parts: Part A - Painting and Part B - Assembly. Below are the lists of materials needed for each part.  What you'll need:

Part A 

- Paints 

- Paintbrushes 

- Fine Grit Sandpaper  

Part B 

- Acetate - any desired color(s) 

- X-acto Knife or Scissors 

- Tweezers

- Paintbrushes 

- Tacky Glue (clear-drying)

- Accessories

Part A - Painting

First, before painting, I'll use the sandpaper to smooth out any rough edges and surfaces, and to sand down any globs of gesso there might be.  

In this example, I am mixing my own colors but you can purchase paints in any colors you wish. Here I'm using a bubblegum pink for the walls and a sort of light aqua-mint for the roof, window frames and door. I typically apply two coats of each color, just to be sure they're solid and the white of the gesso isn't showing through. I'll then finish up painting doors, trim and fencing as well as touching up any messy spots. I should add, some find it easier to first paint the roof then the walls. Just do what works for you.  

NOTE:  I add a coat of white paint to any outside surface that I want to remain white. That's because the gesso can feel rough after it's dried and I think a layer of fresh white paint helps to smooth things out, as well as  brighten.

Once everything is painted it's time to "install the windowpanes" and assemble everything on the base. You'll notice I've picked out the accessories I want to include - a 3" bottle bristle tree and a tiny wreath for the front door. Be imaginative and include whatever you'd like!

Part B - Assembly

At this point, I need to prepare the windows.

Now that the window frames have been painted, it's time to "install the windowpanes." That is, I'll size, trim and adhere the acetate to the backside of the frames. I use yellow but feel free to choose any color - or colors - you'd like. 

You can use a ruler to measure the size of each window frame and mark your acetate accordingly, or just do what I do - eyeball it...  

Then I'll use my scissors to trim the film to the necessary shapes and sizes. Use an x-acto knife if you'd prefer. 

Next, I'll squeeze out some tacky glue onto my scrap paper. And this is important - make sure you are using a clear drying glue. I'll use my paintbrush to coat the entire backside of the window frame. If it helps, use your tweezers to handle the acetate and press it against the adhesive on the back of the window frame. Typically, I'll use the handle of the brush to gently press or rub the film against the frame to make sure the glue binds them together.

The windowframes are ready - it's time to assemble! 

Once again using the tacky glue and a small brush, I'll apply it around the edges on the backside of the window pieces (you don't need to apply it to the cross bars in the middle of the frame). If it helps, you can hold the window frames with your tweezers, then press the windows onto the houses and apply slight pressure. I usually hold it down with my finger for about 20 seconds to make sure the glue sticks.  

After all of the windows have been stuck on, I use the tacky glue straight from the tube and squeeze it all around the bottom edges of the house. As soon as I place the structure onto its base, I use a small brush and smooth out the glue to make sure there's an even coating all around. 

NOTE:  While smoothing out the glue with my brush, I'm also gently pressing down on the house so that it helps it adhere to the base.

With the building securely attached to its base, I'll add in the fencing, following pretty much the same procedure as when gluing the house down. It's a little trickier, since the fencing is much thinner. I'll then glue my tree to the base - I'll add the wreath once Step 4 is completed. Now it's ready for snow!

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• Step 1 - Priming the Surfaces

Still to come:

• Step 3 - Let It Snow!

• Step 4 - Make it Sparkle