Today, we’re diving into the exciting world of dollhouse paint, where we’ll explore a number of ideas and techniques for both the exterior and interior of your beloved dollhouse.
Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned miniaturist, we’ve got you covered with tips, tricks, and inspiration to transform your dollhouse into a stunning masterpiece.
So, grab your brushes, and let’s get painting!
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But first, do you need to paint a dollhouse exterior?
Of course, lots of dollhouses come pre-painted, but they may not match your desired color or style, so customizing with different colors, finishes, and techniques, does create some uniqueness and personalization.
Also, painting a dollhouse just is fun and rewarding, right?!
If you are happy however with the existing paintwork or you love the natural look of something, then of course there is no obligation to do so 😉
For example in the picture below, I just love the way this book nook looked all-natural and laser cut, that I didn’t feel the need to paint it.
Dollhouse Painting 101: What Tools and Materials Do You Need?
Choosing the right tools to paint your dollhouse can make all the difference in the world to have that perfect finish, so let’s take a look at the next list!
I always have at least 10 different paintbrushes in my crafting space and I would advise you all to do the same.
Flat brushes work well for larger surfaces, while small ones are perfect for small details.
I always choose acrylic paint or water-based paints specifically designed for miniatures.
They offer excellent coverage, vibrant colors, and easy cleanup. Opt for matte or satin finishes to create a realistic effect.
Using a primer is a very important step in painting dollhouses and miniatures, especially if you want to renovate a plastic dollhouse or when working with raw wood.
A primer is mostly white, but it can have a touch of the color that will be used on it.
- Sandpaper and a sand block:
It is always handy to have different grits of sandpaper available, fine-grit sandpaper is especially better for the finest dollhouse furniture.
- Painters tape.
Painter’s tape, aka masking tape or removable tape, is necessary to protect areas that you don’t want to paint.
I have a variety of small sizes of tape in my crafting place. (there’s not much you can do with large sizes of painter’s tape in the miniature world haha)
- A palette:
A palette allows you to blend colors and thus create custom shades of colors. Logical, no? 🙂
- A container for water.
I just use an old cup, but I have also tried a brush rinser, it can be handy in some cases 😉
- A cloth and newspaper.
I admit, I get too messy, so having a cloth and newspaper to protect your working place is necessary.
- A sealant.
In lots of cases, applying a sealant can be very important for the durability of your dollhouse or miniatures. It also prevents yellowing over time.
Investing in good-quality supplies will not only make your painting process smoother but also contribute to a more professional-looking dollhouse.
How to Paint a Dollhouse Like a Pro: Step-by-Step Guide.
To paint a dollhouse, you really need to follow things step-by-step, because working on a small scale would otherwise get you into trouble haha :-). You can also use the same method to renovate vintage dollhouses, like the Little Tikes dollhouses.
So here are my steps:
- Make a painting plan.
I use Canva for multiple things, but you can also upload your own picture to it, and generate multiple color schemes for your projects.
- Prepare the dollhouse:
Make sure that your dollhouse is clean and free from dust. If necessary, you can also sand everything for a smooth surface.
Removing any windows or doors before painting any walls and such is your decision to take, but if you don’t, make sure to cover these components with painter’s tape.
- Prime the dollhouse first.
Priming your dollhouse is essential because that helps to paint it better and creates a smooth base for your colors, whether it’s wood, plastic, or another type of surface.
Apply the primer evenly using a brush or spray, following the manufacturer’s instructions, and let it dry completely.
This primer paint will be absorbed into the wood.
You can now also sand this coat of primer slightly to sand off any excess paint and make it smooth again.
- Start with the Exterior:
Begin by painting the exterior walls of your dollhouse. Use a broad brush for larger areas and a smaller brush for small details.
Apply thin, even coats of paint, allowing each layer to dry completely before adding another.
Take your time and be patient to achieve a smooth and professional finish. Experiment with different techniques, such as dry brushing or layering, to add texture and depth if desired.
- Tackle the Interior:
Move on to painting the interior of your dollhouse. Start with one room at a time, carefully applying paint to the walls, ceilings, and floors.
Consider using different colors to define distinct spaces within your dollhouse. Take extra care when painting smaller details like trim, windows, and doors, using a smaller brush or even a toothpick for precision.
- Finally, seal your painted surfaces with a clear sealant to protect the finish and provide longevity.
To learn more in detail, check out the fantastic video below!
How to Achieve Realistic Details: Dollhouse Exterior Tips for a Lifelike Finish
Let’s start with a few dollhouse tips for exteriors to achieve a lifelike exterior look.
Here are some techniques and materials you can use:
1. A stone-textured facade.
- If you want to achieve a dollhouse with a stone effect, consider using a stone texture paint specifically designed for miniatures. Apply it carefully to mimic the texture and color variations of real stones.
- Use Textured Caulking:
The steps are as follows:
- Apply a caulk of your choice onto a surface, such as a wall.
- Use a clean wet wipe to gently remove excess caulk and achieve the desired texture.
- Allow the caulk to dry completely.
- Refill any spots that appear larger than desired with more caulk, ensuring it blends well with the existing texture.
- Let the caulk dry once again.
- Use Egg Carton for Stones:
- Gather egg cartons and cut them into individual sections, resembling stones.
- Place the cut egg carton pieces on a surface, leaving a small gap between them.
- Apply a suitable adhesive or glue to secure the egg carton pieces in place.
- Let the pieces dry completely.
- Preparing Sand Textured Paint:
Besides buying textured paint for miniatures, you can create this DIY:
- Mix white craft paint with sand in a container, adjusting the sand amount based on the desired thickness of the paint.
- It is recommended to test the paint mixture on a scrap surface before applying it to a larger project.
- Spread the sand-textured paint evenly on the desired surface using a brush, noting that the sand can be rough on the brush.
- Allow the paint to dry thoroughly.
- Avoid washing the paintbrush with the sand mixture down the sink to prevent plumbing issues. Dispose of the container with the mixture.
- How to apply this paint mix to a sand-textured surface:
- Once the sand-textured paint has dried, select a light-colored paint such as light green, old cream, or white.
- Apply the chosen paint over the sand texture using a brush or roller.
- Allow the paint to dry completely.
- Assess the surface and apply additional coats if necessary, particularly if the cardboard absorbs moisture unevenly.
- Finishing Touches:
Perform touch-ups as needed, addressing any spots that appear too light or require further refinements.
It’s always a good idea to test on a small area before applying a technique to a larger project.
To see everything in detail with the help of a video, check out this fantastic video by JoannesMinnis where she explains the whole proces in detail!
2. The exterior of a Wooden dollhouse.
For dollhouses with wooden siding or elements, you can create a wood grain effect using wood stain or a technique called dry brushing.
Apply a base color to represent the wood tone, and then use a dry brush with a slightly darker shade to lightly brush along the grain lines.
This will create the appearance of natural wood grain. Add more depth by selectively applying a darker shade to the crevices or knots in the wood.
3. Weathered effects/Aged effects.
To simulate weathered or aged exteriors, use techniques such as dry brushing, washes, or glazes.
Apply a light layer of a darker wash or glaze over the base coat of paint to create the look of accumulated dirt or grime in the crevices and corners of the dollhouse.
Consider selectively applying a lighter shade of paint or dry brushing with a lighter color to highlight edges and surfaces that would naturally experience wear and tear.
Remember, practice on a small section or test piece before applying these techniques to the entire dollhouse. This will allow you to refine your skills and experiment with different effects.
Dollhouse interior ideas with paint
Interior Magic: How to Choose the Right Dollhouse Paint for Every Room?
To paint the interior of your dollhouse, the best way is to figure out how to choose a color for each room and how to add variations and details, by means of a color palette and interior design tips.
Think Outside the Box: Unconventional Color Choices for Dollhouse Painting
When it comes to dollhouse paint, unconventional colors can bring a fresh and creative vibe to your miniature world. Here are some ideas to consider:
- Bold Jewel Tones: Go for deep, rich colors like emerald green, sapphire blue, or ruby red. These shades add elegance and vibrancy to rooms like dining areas.
- Metallic Accents: Add a touch of luxury with gold, silver, or copper accents. Use them on furniture or trimmings to elevate the overall look.
- Pastels: Step away from traditional neutrals and opt for soft pastels like blush pink, mint green, or baby blue. These colors create a calming atmosphere in bedrooms or nurseries and are typical for Barbie Dollhouses.
- Earthy Tones: Try terracotta, olive green, or burnt orange for a warm, rustic vibe. These colors work well in living rooms or kitchens.
- Black and White Contrast: Create a bold statement with a black and white color scheme. Use white as the main color and add black accents for a contemporary touch.
Let me know if you can think of any other unusual color patterns or if you created something similar! 🙂
How to paint a plastic dollhouse?
Painting plastic dollhouses is often used for renovating dollhouses or doing a makeover on one.
Painting a plastic dollhouse can be made easier by using spray paint specifically designed for plastic surfaces.
Start by cleaning the dollhouse to remove any dirt or dust.
Choose your desired spray paint color and shake the can well. Working in a well-ventilated area, hold the can about 8-10 inches away from the dollhouse and apply thin, even coats of paint, moving the can in a sweeping motion.
Allow each coat to dry before applying the next. Remember to cover any areas you don’t want to paint with masking tape or plastic wrap.
Once you’ve achieved the desired coverage, let the paint dry completely.
Spray paint provides a smooth and even finish, making it a convenient option for painting plastic dollhouses.
Weatherproofing Your Dollhouse: The Best Paint Options for Outdoor Endurance
The only dollhouses I put outside are my fairy houses, but I still get them inside when it is too cold or pouring rain.
Use mod podge outdoors to glue and assemble the house and don’t forget the bottom and roof before putting on roof tiles, seal the seams with waterproof caulking, and apply varnish for outdoor wood.
Dollhouse Paint Dos and Don’ts: Common Mistakes to Avoid
- Remove excessive drips of paint with paper towels ASAP.
- There is no need to apply thick coats of paint, more on the contrary
- If you can remove parts like windows, trims, and doors first, you should go ahead and do that. If not, tape them off entirely, because accidents happen!
- Not priming your dollhouse first seems like a bad idea to me
- Allow for thorough drying between priming and layers of paint
- I have a collection of small and inexpensive sample acrylic paints from hardware stores as well and they work fine!
- test colors on a scrap piece!
My Final Conclusion
I hope again that you enjoyed this blog post on how to paint dollhouses, and as always, if you have any questions, please feel free to ask them down below in the comment section or join me on my social media channels or my cozy Facebook group.
I wish you happy crafting!
My name is Lizzy, and I am an amateur miniaturist obsessed with everything in the dollhouse and miniature world, ever since I was a teenager.
I love to write as well about all things happening in the miniature world, hence the reason why I created this blog!
I wish you happy reading and crafting!