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It’s been three months since I worked on the dollhouse.  Since the last post about the ripples that appeared after I painted the siding, things got even worse as the paint dried.  I was so discouraged that I just didn’t know what to do, so I did . . . nothing!  But poor little Charis is longing to play with the dollhouse, so I just had to get back to it.

DSC_9635Yesterday it snowed and again today, so it seemed like a good time to get to work.

DSC_9591You can see what a mess I had to work with.  Here’s the solution I devised:

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I had already bought a mini hot glue gun, and I gathered some potentially useful tools to go with it:  A plastic pot scraper, a small screwdriver, a paint can opener and a staple remover.

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I began by inserting the tip of the hot glue gun into a crevice under a siding board and running one third to halfway along the board.  Any more than that was too much to press down until the glue cooled.

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Fingers were the first tool I used to press the glue down.  The danger, of course, is coming in contact with the hot glue which is hot enough to blister skin.  So I tried various other tools for the job:

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In the long run, the business end of the staple remover worked best.

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The first day I worked, I removed the excess glue as soon as it cooled enough to touch.  This was not a good idea, as you can see from the photo above.  Hot glue needs to cool completely before the excess is removed, or it is almost impossible to remove.

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Here’s an experiment I did to prove the point:  two blobs of hot glue on the plastic table, a surface that will be easier to clean than wood.

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As soon as the glue cooled, I began to remove one blob.

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Even when I managed to scrape it away with much effort, some still adhered to the table.

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A couple hours later after the second blob had set, it peeled off easily without leaving a residue.

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So when I finished gluing one side of the dollhouse, I LEFT IT ALONE!

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I didn’t even pull off the temptingly fragile cobwebby strands that formed.

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It looked really horrible, and it was VERY hard to leave it alone!  But I did.  I glued the second side and a bit of the front and then . . .

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I unplugged my glue gun and went away overnight.  Always, always unplug the glue gun, even if you think you are just leaving for a few minutes.  You might get distracted doing something else and forget to return and unplug it.

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When the snow turned to nasty freezing rain this afternoon, I was glad to head upstairs and begin carving excess glue off my siding.  First I slipped an Exacto knife under the side of the glue and sliced it free from the siding.

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Next I held the knife vertically and sliced down to the siding.  This was a very tedious job which I did with extreme care, both for my fingers and the fragile siding.

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Once the glue was sliced loose, it was easy to peel it away.  If there was any residue left, I found the small screwdriver extremely helpful in scraping it away.  Sometimes a thumb nail worked well, too, but the screwdriver has the advantage of not getting sore!

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After several hours of steady labor, one side was finished.  It doesn’t look near as good as it did before I painted the siding in the first place, but it’s a far sight better than what it looked like yesterday!

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When I looked out the window I was astonished to see that the freezing rain had turned back into snow, which was falling heavily in giant flakes, creating a real winter wonderland outside.  Although the evening light was really blue, I was personally feeling a whole lot less blue!  It looks like the dollhouse and I might both come through the storm okay.

 

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