This is the new addition to my doll’s house collection a No.24. It is a lovely looking house with brick facing and a porch/arch around the door, and a window box under the top window. It has 4 good-sized rooms. Although not all the windows are complete, each window has a frame which is a bonus, as inserts can be sorted out later. The main problem with this house is the woodworm, luckily the front panels have no worm holes. The upstairs windows had shutters on either side of the windows, I had made some of these for one of my other dolls houses, so they will be no problem to replace.
The above picture shows one of the walls of the house which is full of woodworm holes and dust, the middle of this piece of plywood is as thin as paper where it has been eaten through. Each layer has separated, this is the worst area. All the wooden carcus of the house shows signs of woodworm. I have tried to gently remove the wallpaper so it could be treated, but this was not going to be successful, so I have been treating the house from the pieces of wood with no wallpaper on with a syringe, putting woodworm treatment in each hole, and soaking the edges of the house. What I hope to do is to fill each hole with PVA glue, the walls do not feel spongy so I hope this idea works, what fun.
The pictures above show the wallpaper, although at the moment it all looks a bit tatty, I am sure I can tidy it up. I am still trying to convince myself of this, as I don’t know quite where to start. Some of the walls have paper stickers on which will have to be gently removed. I think a few well placed framed pictures, or high pieces of furniture, will cover up the very bad pieces, nice rugs on the floor will cover up the worm holes and the scuffs. I have been working the floor paper, so I might replace it.
The windows are very rusty and will need to be completely restored. Each insert has a little piece of curtain, but I am not sure I will have enough to make out the pattern as they are very faded. I am not going to change the brick paper on the front panels, as it is in quite good condition, and will add character to the house.
The roof is complete and is made of plywood with a tile pattern stamped into it, but I will have to take it apart to check for woodworm, but it shows no real sign. There is also a metal Triang label on the roof, a little rusty.
And finally the staircase, no woodworm, it seems they like the softer woods in this house. I will keep you posted how this one goes, it could be a long project.
Working on the Woodworm
First I treated the whole house with woodworm treatment, filling every hole I could find, every edge and all over the walls. I had every intention to keep the wallpaper, as it was all original. The problem I had, was that the treatment was spirit based and soaked into the wallpaper making the walls very patchy. My idea of filling the woodworm holes with PVA glue had failed. I used a syringe and the glue was popping up everywhere, following every little tunnel it could find. I decided therefore to remove the wallpaper, I could not believe what I found.
Once I had removed most of the wallpaper, which was stuck on with very strong glue. I decided to dismantle the house and treat each piece separately, it was much easier this way than doing the whole house. I removed the roof and gently separated it apart. There were no signs of woodworm, so I gave it a good soaking with woodworm treatment, especially as the roof itself is wood and not cardboard as in some of my other houses. The woodworm problem was much worse than I thought, especially the middle panel with the door openings.
The woodworm had eaten through the top layers of the plywood on both sides, and partly though the next layer leaving one thin piece of wood. I was about to give up and make a new middle panel. A simple restoration project has turned into a woodworm nightmare. So much of the house had been eaten, I had discovered more and more as I removed the wallpaper and paint. I dug at each little hole and followed the tunnels, I found nothing except what they had left behind.
The above panel is one of the sides, they had not tunneled very deep, so this would be able to be filled with wood filler, so would not be a problem. What was I to do with the other panel, it was too much to fill with wood filler. I then had a brain wave, I would make a paper mache with kitchen roll and PVA glue [who knows where these ideas come from?]
The kitchen roll sheets worked well as paper mache as it was easily moulded into the holes.
It looks a bit squishy but should be a good sandwich filler for the new pieces of wood I will add to each side.
I have glued thin strips of wood on both sides, taped and clamped it all together, now I just have to wait for it to dry. It is still very cold in the shed so I will have to leave it at least a week, I think that it will take longer for the sandwich filler to dry.
The wood panels I repaired have now stuck, I have filled in the cracks and sanded it all down, I am very pleased with the result. Once the wallpaper is on, it should be a good smooth surface.
This picture shows the result of my woodworm repair, a complete transformation. When all the pieces of wood have been filled and sanded, I will treat them all once again with woodworm treatment. They are no longer welcome in my house!
For more examples of Lines/Triang Dolls Houses, visit my Board on Pintrest: