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Home » Dolls House Projects » Cottage Garden Project

Dolls House Cottage Garden

Project review by Bromley Craft Products

See how we built the cottage garden kit and transformed it into a realistic stone finished model

This step-by-step guide shows the method of applying two layers of Realistic Brick Compound, one for the mortar colour and one for the stone finish.  Usually we only apply a single layer of compound so the painted background is visible in the mortar joints, but adding a layer of compound for the mortar provides a more realistic effect. We recommend using this method when the best close-up detailed finish is required.

Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Realistic Stone Finish with Realistic Mortar Joints
undecorated dolls house cottage garden kit
The dolls house cottage garden kit consists of precision cut MDF parts and wooden mouldings.  An optional decorating kit is available which includes many of the materials shown here which can be used to create the realistic finishes shown.  This kit can be purchased from our website - for details click here>>
Decorated dolls house cottage garden
The photo above shows the cottage garden kit with realistic stone walls and paving.  Step-by-step photos below show how this finish was created using Realistic Brick Compound etc.
Garden  kit parts
Photo shows the MDF walls, base and steps. These are the parts which will have realistic brick / stone finish applied.
Assembled garden kit parts
We recommend assembling these parts dry (without glue) to familiarise yourself with how they fit together and to see where the stone finish needs to be applied.
Paint the garden kit parts
The parts should be primed / painted before applying the brick compound finish.  Matt emulsion paint is recommended.
Apply masking tape
Here we have applied masking tape to parts where we don't want to apply the brick compound such as where the porch fits etc..  This will be removed after the compound is applied.
Mix brick compound ready for application
We have mixed some grey / neutral compound ready to apply as a mortar base coat.  It should be a smooth easily spreadable consistency, but not runny.  If in doubt we recommend trying test / practice applications before applying to the kit.
Apply mortar layer of compound
Usually this painted finish serves as the mortar colour visible between the stones, but for this project we are applying a layer of grey compound for more realistic mortar joints. The mortar compound layer should be spread as thinly and smoothly as possible.
Apply stone stencil over mortar layer
Immediately after applying the mortar compound, whilst it is still wet, position the stone stencil and press gently into the compound to ensure contact.
Apply buff colour compound over stencil
Apply the buff stone compound over the stencil.  Note that we have left the surface fairly rough and uneven to give the stone finish an authentic look.
Remove stencil to reveal dolls house stone wall effect
Peel away the stencil to reveal the stone finish.  Note that there is no need to allow the compound to dry between application stages.
Repeat application process
Repeat the same process for the other wall and paving.
Completed parts after cleaning up
When dry any untidy edges can be cleaned up by scraping away any surplus compound.  Lightly sanding the compound will improve the appearance of the finish.
Remove masking tape ready to fix parts
Remove the masking tape to expose surfaces where porch etc. are fitted.
Add shading if required
Here we are applying acrylic paints to create varied stone colours and a weathered appearance.  The colours appear stronger at this stage but will be more subtle when dry and after varnishing.
Glue parts together using PVA adhesive
At this stage the parts can be glued together using PVA wood glue.
Apply roof tiles to porch roof
The porch roof is tiled using card tile strips.  Wooden parts were painted with Crafters Acrylic Antique White acrylic paint.
Tiled porch roof ready for painting
Roof tiling complete.  Note the tile-and-a-half tiles on alternate rows.
Paint porch roof with slate colour paint
The roof tiles are painted using Crafters Acrylic Slate paint.  When dry shading can be added.
Matt varnish is applied to all parts when complete
The final parts are glued into position and the whole model is varnished using clear matt varnish which provides protection and enhances the finished colours.
Completed cottage garden showing realistic detail
The dolls house cottage garden kit consists of precision cut MDF parts and wooden mouldings.  An optional decorating kit is available which includes many of the materials shown here which can be used to create the realistic finishes shown.  This kit can be purchased from our website - for details click here>>
Realistic Brick and Stone Finishes for Dolls Houses

To view a more detailed application guide click here.  To view various projects and magazine features click here.  To view more photos click here or view our flickr page here.  If you have viewed all the information on the website and still have questions please contact us.

Click links below for more information...