Archive for March, 2009

Coloring shingles: dye, stain, or paint?

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

Shingle Dye:

We color the shingles with a reactive dye for the display models we make here in our workshop.  It is easy to use, doesn’t have fumes or irritant vapors, and gives a warm color.  The color variations you see in the photos on the Real Good Toys website are from the process I’ll lay out later in the post.  (more…)

Find a Dollhouse Store in your area

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

Did you know every page on our website has a place to find a store in your area?  Besides the Store Finder link at the top of every page, it is also at the bottom of every page too!  We want our Store Finder to be just that.  A place to find a dollhouse and miniature store where you can walk in, actually see dollhouses displayed, and have your questions answered by a person who knows dollhouses.  Building, finishing and decorating a dollhouse is a big project.  Having a dollhouse and miniature store to rely on while you’re working on your dollhouse can make your project so much easier.  Your local dollhouse and miniature store can offer expert advice and construction support.  They specialize in personal attention and guidance.  Many stores offer classes and can help you with electrification, interior decorating and even landscaping!  They attend trade shows to find the newest miniature products for their stores and their customers.  Go to our Store Finder and enter your state to find the Dollhouse Dealer nearest you!

Dancing with Paint

Friday, March 13th, 2009

There are two principles at work in dancing back and forth between painting and gluing when building a dollhouse.  The structural strength of a dollhouse requires gluing to un-painted surfaces, but the tidy look of clean paint-lines requires that the parts are painted before they are glued together.  How can you do both?

The short answer is to plan ahead – to assemble before painting where the colors are the same, and to paint before assembly where they are different.  Well, like most short answers, that’s not always true.  (more…)

Replacement Parts

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

Occasionally you may find some part(s) missing or damaged in your dollhouse kit.  Our kits are still hand packed by real live people, so once in a while it happens.  We will be happy to replace them at no cost to you.  There is no need to return your kit.  In order to ensure you receive the correct part(s), please quote directly from your instruction parts list.  We will need the quantity, the item number or name, plus all dimensions and details listed.  Why?  Well, we have over 100 dollhouses!  Many of them have unique parts with specific names and measurements.  We want to be sure you get the replacement part(s) you need as quickly as possible.  Our Customer Service Team will be happy to help you with your request.  You can either email the information to info@realgoodtoys.com or call us at 802-479-2217 Monday-Friday, 9AM – 5PM EST.

Important-Please do not leave your replacement part request as a comment to this post.  Use the email link only to avoid duplication.

Custom Finished Dollhouses

Monday, March 9th, 2009

Have you ever thought of having a dollhouse painted just like your own house or your childhood home?  We have recognized that some folks would really prefer a custom painted dollhouse.  Just go to Custom Finished Dollhouses, fill out the form with your details, including the model number of the dollhouse you are interested in.  We will get in touch regarding any details and estimates of costs and finish time.   We will do our very best to accommodate your requests!  Many dollhouse & miniature stores will custom build, decorate and finish a dollhouse to your specifications.  They can offer expert advice regarding your dollhouse.  Refer to our Store Finder to locate a store near you.

Dollhouse Construction: order of interior finishing

Monday, March 9th, 2009

What should I finish inside the house before I install my stairs?

If you set your stair-base into the stair cutout, you’ll see that what’s behind it becomes hard to reach because the stairs are in the way.  That’s what should be completed first.  In some houses, it’s wallpaper (or painting), flooring, and window trim.  Depending on what choices you have made, you might be installing Porch Lights (which get wired to the inside of the house) even before wallpapering.  Plan for the things that will be done inside your house before you start gluing things in. 

I received a photo from a builder who made paper-cutouts of everything she planned for her house and layed them more-or-less in place around the house… wiring, built-in cabinets, bathroom fixtures and dividers, they were all there.  What a great way to plan the inside of the house.  Doing this, or something like this, will help visualize the steps that get from an empty space to a completed, finished, and furnished interior.

Gary

Milled MDF vs. Milled Plywood

Friday, March 6th, 2009

What exactly is MDF? MDF, like plywood is made from wood and glue, but MDF (not particleboard) is processed and super compressed with intense heat to eliminate the grain defects found in ordinary wood products. Many top quality furniture manufacturers use MDF and it has become their material of choice. The fiberboard we use in the production of many of our dollhouses is hand chosen because of its outstanding rank among the fiberboards manufactured today.

What is the difference between MDF and MP? Is one better than the other?  First, you’ll notice a price difference between the two. Each has its own particular advantages, but one is not necessarily better than the other.  The custom manufactured plywood we use for MP walls is more expensive and may have some inherent imperfections, such as knots or tendency to warp.  It is lighter weight than MDF, easier to electrify and more aesthetically pleasing to handle.  MDF stays flat and is smooth and splinter free … thus it is very easy to paint.  Our design team and assembly department prefer MDF for these reasons.  MDF is hard and is more difficult to insert wire connectors when electrifying your dollhouse.  Plywood is soft and easily accepts screws, nails and brads.  So, to sum it up, one is not better than the other. It really comes down to what you prefer personally.

Dollhouse Assembly Instructions

Friday, March 6th, 2009

Are you missing your dollhouse assembly instructions?  Or have you misplaced the set that came with your dollhouse kit?  If so, click this link to go to our NEW Dollhouse Assembly Instructions page on the new and improved Real Good Toys website.  The dollhouse assembly instructions are downloadable in PDF format.  We hope you enjoy the convenience of being able to find our dollhouse assembly instructions on the web.  We’ll be updating this site frequently so it’ll always have the most current instructions available.