Painted leather chair – six months later

I remember the day I decided to paint our thrifted leather chair from The Salvation Army. It was about 35°C when I started, and ended up being around 43°C when I finished. I was a hot mess to put it mildly, but it was so worth it.

In my original post about painting our leather chair with Fusion Mineral Paint, I promised to share my honest opinion of how well [or not-so-well] it held up six months later.

Simply put, it’s exactly the same as the day I painted it. No word of a lie. Not a scratch, no peeling, no scuffs, and no fading whatsoever. We’ve used our black leather chair every day since and it hasn’t shown any wear. It’s lasted through a harsh, humid summer and has since experienced a dry, cold winter. While it hasn’t been in the direct 48°C peak this summer nor the -40°C winter winds, inside our apartment has experienced the difference of high humidity then very dry, static-y air.

I think it’s safe to say we’ve put our Fusion Mineral Paint-ed chair through some pretty rigorous testing and has come out the other side perfect. Did I mention we also have a toddler? It has also survived her climbing, curious, energetic hands and thrashing limbs.

I would not hesitate to recommend using Fusion Mineral Paint on leather. Especially something that would get so much physical wear like a piece of furniture. I could not have hoped for it to work out more perfectly. It’s where I blog from the most and even where I’m sitting right now as I type.

Also featured in this post – secondhand baroque style mirror and console, how to mattify gloss paint.

DISCLOSURE – while this post is not sponsored, I did receive this paint free of charge from Fusion Mineral Paint in exchange for a blog post. I only work with brands that I like and of course, think you will too. Thank you for supporting the companies that support The Interior DIYer.

Lower Town Dollhouse’s … Dollhouse

The niche-ness of this blog post is almost too much. Also, I will shortly be changing the name of my blog to The Interior Dollhouse-er because I have a newfound tiny obsession that you may or may not have noticed.

Last weekend there were two special weather advisory’s here in Ottawa; one was for frigid temperatures [-35°C and below] and the other was a snow storm warning so we spent the entire weekend indoors. Did I do anything productive? No. Did I Marie-Kondo our kitchen? Or paint the hallway? Or make batches of dinners for the week ahead? No. I made a miniature dollhouse for Cora’s Lower Town Dollhouse.

So this week I thought I’d share how to make a miniature dollhouse, or, a dollhouse’s dollhouse. Because I just know there are thousands of people out there feverishly Googling this very niche subject right now and I must ensure I reach them through most excellent Search Engine Optimization.

It was actually fairly straight forward making the body of the miniature dollhouse. For the facade, [try to keep a straight face while I use the term ‘facade’ to describe something 8cm tall], I sketched a rough outline of the windows and cut them with an exacto knife [as seen above]. I did the same with a second piece of cardboard [but a lot less accurately] as I was going to sandwich a piece of plastic between the two to securely create plastic windows that wouldn’t budge thanks to tiny toddler hands [you can see the roughly cut inner piece three photos down in the interior of the dollhouse].

For the rest of the body of the dollhouse, I used cardboard, masking tape and Gorilla Super Glue to create the other three sides [Super Glue because toddler].

Then I tackled the tiny angled roof. I used wooden tongue depressors [you could easily just use cardboard] that I cut at an angle to mimic the angle of the larger dollhouse’s roof [below]. My next worry was how I was going to securely attach the roof to the dollhouse. It needed to be toddler-proof. So I Super-Glued what I’m going to call ‘brackets’ [I don’t know if that’s the right term?] using wooden coffee stirrers to the inside of the roof pieces [as seen above]. This way the roof ‘brackets’ would be able to rest on the top of the body of the miniature dollhouse. And by ‘rest’ I mean be glued to using vast amounts of Super Glue.

The above picture might help to make a bit more sense of my description. I added more brackets to the top of the inside of the roof to once again give the flat part of the roof something to sit on and adhere to. I painted the outside in a few coats of paint and even cut out tiny cardboard shutters which I Super-Glued into place.

This seems like a lot of detail for something so small and unimportant and is in no way contributing to current day society“, I hear you say. Yes, you could very well be right, but there really isn’t anything better than seeing Cora’s little face light up the moment she realized I was making a tiny version of her dollhouse. “OHHHHHHH! BABY DOLLHOUSE!”, she squealed. I could have better spent my time doing literally anything else all weekend, but that would have been far too productive.

Lower Town Dollhouse – exterior updates

After many late nights hunched over tiny pieces of cardboard, glue and paint, the exterior of Cora’s [now called “Lower Town Dollhouse” because I do love consistency] is finished! It was fiddly and intricate and involved a lot more planning than I anticipated, but I absolutely loved updating this dollhouse ahead of Christmas. It was immediately worth it as soon as Cora saw it on Christmas morning.

Here’s a reminder of what the outside of Cora’s dollhouse looked like when I first bought it [secondhand on Kijiji for $45] …

It was in good condition, but at the same time it had no front doors and was missing possibly a door [?] on the second floor. Or a window? Or a porch? Or a portal into another dimension? I don’t know the purpose of it or what it was, but while I thought about what to do with that gap, I decided on some colours for the outside of the dollhouse.

I knew quite early on that I wanted to paint the outside of Cora’s dollhouse a shade of green. I mean, for a moment I did consider burgundy, but I wanted it to be light and fun and for her. While secretly also being for me, so I just made it my second-favourite colour instead of my favourite colour. See? Compromise.

I really like natural, muted, mossy, historic, sagey greens and ended up taking inspiration from the two floral paintings [above] I thrifted for my One Room Challenge. I really liked the neutral background shades and so I matched that as best as I could.

Before I commited to any paint, I did a mock-up on Google Sketch-Up to see what combination of colours would look best. I picked up some DecoArt’s Americana Decor Chalky Finish paint in ‘Revive’ green from Michael’s with an accented darker shade of ‘Light Avocado’ from DecoArt’s Americana Acrylic paint for the shutters. I decided white trim all around would be a perfect accent to top it all off.

I next decided to tackle the front doors. Or, lack of front doors.

It was a large opening so right away I wasn’t going to make just one door. It looked strange and a bit off-scale to have two tall, narrow doors so I decided to make two doors with a transom above them because hello my name is Alex and I’m a glutton for punishment and why take the easy route when you can make things four times harder for yourself?

I made the doors using recycled cardboard, coffee stirrers, duct tape [as door hinges], glue, wood filler and white paint. I watched this YouTube video to get an idea of how to make dollhouse doors, but I didn’t follow it as I didn’t have a lot of the fancy materials at hand, so I made a simpler version. To give you a quick rundown of how I made the dollhouse doors, I …

  • Cut two identical pieces of 1mm thick cardboard per door [so for two doors, four pieces of cardboard]
  • Add a flap of duct tape to one piece of cardboard then glue two pieces of cardboard together
  • Cut coffee stirrers with scissors and create a panelled door pattern on each side of the door [as seen above]
  • Fill in any gaps in the wood with filler
  • Let the filler dry, then paint [as seen below]

I used the last four minutes of this YouTube tutorial for how to install the doors. In short, I removed the trim from the inside of the dollhouse, glued the duct tape in place to the wall, then glued the trim back on. I was surprised at how perfectly functioning little set of doors they turned out to be! I did the same for the transom except used leftover plastic from a fruit punnet as the window pane.

Next, I started work on the other massive hole above the doors. I decided the best looking option would be to try and mimic one of the existing windows. Remember, I don’t like making things easy for myself. This is a recurring theme you will find throughout my blog. So why not make an intricate little window? No problem.

I first made a little wall to fill the bottom half of the gaping space [as the opening was much longer that the other windows]. I simply glued a few pieces of cardboard together and used duct tape to secure it to the inside wall of the dollhouse [as seen above], much like adding the doors.

I then cut strips of cardboard to mimic the existing siding, overlapped each piece and glued them in place against the little wall I had just created [as seen below]. It’s not perfect because I couldn’t cut away the existing wooden frame that was there, but I’m quite proud with how it turned out!

I then created the window in a very similar style to how I created the doors and the transom; it’s kind of tricky to explain, but maybe the picture below will help explain the piece of recycled plastic, with duct tape on all sides, sandwiched together between coffee stirrers. I then attempted to paint the same window-pane pattern as the other windows onto the plastic. I took zero pictures of that process because it was so tedious and I just wanted to get it over with.

Once the painted window was glued in place, I created two shutters from cardboard [and wooden hearts that I added to all the shutters], painted them ‘Light Avocado’ green and glued them in place alongside the new faux window.

The only things I bought to update the exterior of the dollhouse was the green paint, some Krazy Glue and a pack of coffee stirrers. Everything else was salvaged from either cardboard or plastic that was in our recycling bin.

While I would have liked for the entire of the dollhouse to have been ready for Christmas morning, it took me so long to update the outside that I was realistic and left the inside as it was. I knew Cora wouldn’t understand that the inside was unfinished and I also figured she might like to see the inside being updated as well as have an input for what things should look like.

I loved every minute of updating the exterior of our Lower Town Dollhouse. It is 100% quenching my need to renovate a real house. Except it’s giving me unrealistic expectations as there’s no dodgy wiring or plumbing and I can paint the entire house in a few hours. But it’s letting me make tiny versions of real things; something I will always love.