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How to Rework and Refinish Simple Dollhouse Furnishings


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Add Refinement to Standard Dolls House Furniture With Trims and Finishes
Reworked and refinished dollhouse cabinet compared to its original sad style.

A basic dollhouse display cabinet with awkward contents and odd design details is reworked into a much better finished traditional cabinet style, using paint, wax and simple trims.

Photo © 2012 Lesley Shepherd

Many standard items of miniature and dolls' house furniture have dismal levels of finish. Learn how to spot the problems and rework pieces to turn them into one of a kind miniature treasures using these simple techniques.

The piece shown here on the left is a standard Asian made dollhouse cabinet, with a few interesting details, fine molding around the door, and a an arched front. Sadly it suffers from poor glue joins, awkward add ons, and a finish that obscures detail.

With a few easy steps the cabinet was transformed to the version on the right of the photo. I used simple details cast from artist's gesso along with two colors of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint ™, furniture wax (light and dark) and a gilding made from clear acrylic finish and Jacquard Pearl Ex Pigments.

The finished piece can be proudly displayed in a higher quality dolls house, or used to hold trinkets. (At a later date I'll show you how to modify it for displaying earrings). Although I set this tutorial up to show traditional finishing styles for this cabinet, you could equally adapt the techniques to add bones and skulls for a Halloween cabinet, or decorate the cabinet for any other seasonal setting. The same techniques outlined here will work for many projects.

A few minutes spent exploring the pages of this tutorial will give you many ideas for adapting and reworking broken, poorly finished or unfinished miniature furniture to your own unique styles. The techniques work for all kinds of small scale craft projects, not just furniture for a dolls house.

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