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How to Rework and Refinish Simple Dollhouse Furnishings

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How to Choose a Basic Miniature To Refinish
Awkwardly finished dollhouse display cabinet with good overall proportions.

This 1:12 scale dollhouse display cabinet contains a group of roughly painted wood turned 'pots' in its original state. Although the style lines clash, the cabinet has some useful bones which hint at French style.

Photo © 2012 Lesley Shepherd

The cabinet shown on this page is in its original state as I purchased it from a doll house supplier. It has a good basic shape, with the curved top and door suggesting French style, but the add on details are poorly shaped and fitted, and there are lots of glue joins visible. The piece is a good size for many different displays, including full sized jewelry or small collectibles. In its current state it has clunky fixed wooden shelves with odd 'jar like' miniatures made from wood and wire, a scratched plastic window in the opening door. It is not a piece that would inspire any type of collection but it has some fine detail moldings around the door frame, and the curved front pieces are reasonably well balanced with the door shape, although slightly out of alignment.

If you want to choose a piece to finish for a particular project, look for a shape with the correct lines for your project. Do you want straight modern edges? Soft curves? or particular types of trim? The fewer things you need to change to suit your style, the better.

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