I recently had a few days off work so it was time to bite the bullet and do the job I had been putting off.. Laying the stone on the basement. I had to commit to it as it was holding up other jobs. You have to be methodical about doing things in order when building a dollhouse, as you will trip yourself up and have to start pulling things apart and re-doing them if you forget something. Nothing I like less than re-work so I have been trying to think of everything and be one step ahead of myself at all times.
First I primed the outside of the basement in the areas that would receive stone. I did this because my grout will either be white or light grey and if any of it falls out, it would be really noticeable if the natural colour of the MDF were to show through. I think I got this tip from reading various blogs around the web and also from experienced builders over on the Greenleaf Forums.
Now to start the stone laying. I chose to use Andi Mini Cut Stone in Brown for this job. Mainly because it was readily available and I really wasn't up for cutting thousands of bricks from egg cartons.
I also considered a weatherboard finish, because this is more common in San Francisco, but I didn't think I could get a good match with the existing milled siding on the house. I tried to lay out a repeating pattern with the various sizes of the Andi Mini Stone but there were too many sizes for any of the stone laying patterns on the web so I just winged it and made a random "as you go" pattern. (These curve tip tweezers came in handy for the fiddly bits.)
I was determined to get in as tight as I could around the window frames, because during my research on real house basement windows they mostly seemed to have the stone butt up against the trim rather than have the trim sit on top of the stone.
I started with the easy (read small) side first. :D One down two to go!
Progressing around the front window. I had to stop abruptly at this point, as I hadn't installed the coach lights for either side of the garage door. Luckily I still had a small space to finagle the wire around the apartment door and down around the window to the side where the power board will be... The wire run just had to be a little more meandering than originally planned. See what I mean about having to be methodical!
Coach lights installed & stone almost finished on the front. Crisis averted! I won't do final placement of the lights until the stones have been sealed and mortared.
And almost finished.
I'm sure you've noticed by now that the stone is more pink than brown. I'm not a massive fan of the colour for this house.. though I'm sure it would be fine in the right application. I will have to try some wash options on some spare samples to figure out a way to tone it down.