How to Paint a Wooden Doll House

Written by becky lower
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How to Paint a Wooden Doll House
Draw from real life for your doll house colour palette. (Victorian Houses - Alamo Square San Francisco image by Sebastian kiock from

Painting is one of the most enjoyable aspects of building a doll house. You or your child can truly let your imaginations soar by creating different colour palettes and looks for the exterior of the doll house. You can be true to form, looking at books and magazines to find homes in the period of your dollhouse and drawing from what is classic. Or you can go totally off the spectrum and create a look that is truly one-of-a-kind.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Pencil and paper
  • Damp cloth
  • #220 grit sandpaper
  • Emery board
  • Craft brush with flat cut
  • Sponge brush
  • Primer and sealer
  • Paint or stain
  • Spray adhesive or double-sided tape
  • Card stock or paper

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  1. 1

    Plan your colour palette. Look at reference books or at houses in the neighbourhood for inspiration. Make a colour diagram.

  2. 2

    Assemble the main body of the house. Don't attach windows, doors or trim.

  3. 3

    Sand the walls inside and out with fine grit sandpaper or an emery board. Use a damp cloth to pick up all the sawdust.

  4. 4

    Prime and seal the walls of the house inside and outside. This will prevent wallpaper and paint from being absorbed into the walls.

  5. 5

    Use a paint or stain specially formulated for doll houses. It has a fine grind of pigment and is colour-fast. Use a water-based acrylic in a satin finish for easy cleaning. Apply two to three thin coats of paint, sanding between each coat. If using a stain, one coat should be sufficient.

  6. 6

    Allow the paint to dry for 24 hours before adding doors and windows.

  7. 7

    Paint trim before attaching it to the house. Line up the trim on a piece of card stock or paper and affix with spray adhesive or double-sided tape. This makes for an easier paint job, since you won't be handling these small pieces as you paint.

Tips and warnings

  • Do not paint the house prior to assembly. If any paint runs into the grooves, the house will not fit together properly.

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