Friday, 8 January 2010

Days eight and nine ..........mostly bricking !

I have spent the last two days bricking away to my hearts content ! 2000 brick slips later I
have completed the front, right hand side and the chimney of the house and its looking lovely.

First of all I attached the two gate posts to the side door walls . The final pillar will go on when I have the floor decorated and am ready to put the railings up.
I bricked the outside of the wall to get back into practice, its some time since I last used brickslips.

They are so simple to attach, its time consuming but also therapeutic LOL and I did a lot of planning as I sat there sticking bricks.

Once I was in the swing of things there was no stopping me. First, as the house was lying on its side post pebble dashing, I tackled the right hand side of the house. This is the largest wall space of the whole building so I knew once this side was done the rest would be plain sailing.
Its very simple to do.
Just paint a section of your wall with pva, dont coat too much or it will dry out.
Then start to lay your bricks with each row staggered to give that familiar brick pattern.

This is where you really need a ruler. A clear one like this is great as you can see the rows of bricks beneath it.
The first time I used brick slips I was sure I didnt need a ruler. I could easily lay my bricks in a straight problem...................................
about 6 rows in I realised my bricks were starting to slant upwards .

By then the lower layers were already dry so it was too late.
Lesson learned, I armed myself with a long ruler !

Carry on working in sections until you reach the end of your wall. The brick slips can be easily snapped in half or trimmed with scissors at the edges for fitting around window and door frames.
You can see just how nice the wall looks all bricked.
As I was enjoying myself I carried on and bricked the shop front.

Its most important when bricking a wall with windows to check that you have the same number of rows either side of the window and that they are level. Your ruler is your most valuable tool here.
I learned from my mistakes on a previous house !

I wasnt happy with the shop door surround so decided to brick that too.
There is no architrave around the door and I think this makes it look very "dolls house".
I wanted my toy shop to look like a real old building , not a dolls house.
So improvation time again ! I had an old piece of dado rail which fit perfectly around the door frame so I painted this and attached it before bricking the rest of the frame.

I think you will agree it looks better with the architrave.

Here is the finished front with architrave painted and bricks in place ready for mortar.

I knew I didnt have enough bricks for the left hand side of the house so instead I bricked the chimney stack, taking care tomatch the rows of bricks upon all four corners.
I think it looks lovely !

Now for the bit I like least.
Applying the mortar. The powder was mixed with water and pva to a stiff paste.
This is then rubbed over the bricks pushing it down between each brick with a soft damp cloth.
Its gritty and messy and you have to work carefully one section at a time .

Here is the first section of the wall with mortar applied.
I found this quite scary the first time I did it, all your hard work seems to be covered in muck !
Next you take a damp cloth and a bowl of water and start cleaning.
You want to get the bricks clean but leave the mortar in the gaps .
If you have too damp a cloth you will simply wash the mortar away so the trick is to wring out well, fold your cloth into a fairly flat shape and carefully wipe over the top of your bricks.
Keep wringing out the cloth and wiping , rinsing frequently . It does take some time but as your bricks emerge it really does look very effective, just like a real wall !

This is the wall half way through wiping clean.

This is the finished cleaned up wall and doesnt it look fabulous !
I tipped the house over onto its back as I still had loose pebble dash on the top section which I have caught to re use on the left hand side.

I will leave the house on its back until I have attached the front panel with hinges once my mortar is dry.

Here is the completed front and chimney looking very nice with the mortar drying out.
As the characters who live in this building are not rich the building will look a little aged, not exactly shabby but a little worn .
When rinsing the mortar I left some showing around the edges of the window trims and sills which gives a lovely slightly dirty effect.
I will be distressing the chimney stack a little and dirtying it up around the pots . I want this to look like a real building rather than a toy and so far I'm very happy with the way its turning out.

julie xxx


Debie Lyons said...

OMG you have been busy and I have been pulling my hair out doing the tiny bricks on my 1/48th Petitie Properties Cottage. All that brickwork would of drove me nuts. It looks good though and I was suprised that the mortar wiped off the bricks. Its so nice seeing this house come to life.
Debie xxx

Ara said...

Wow - this looks great! But yes it would have scared me half to death to see all that lovely brick work covered in goo! I need to research 'brick slips'! hugs, Ara

Sans said...

I have learned so much from this post! Thank you!

Michelle's Mad World said...

It looks absolutely fab!! I'm really impressed with the whole great look, the colours go so well together too! I found cleaning the bricks a real pain to say the very least! Hard work indeedy! I found cutting the brick-slips a bit tricky as some are so brittle and some thinner than others! I used a small craft knife to cut mine and sanded the rough edges down on a rasp.

I think you are right about adding the architrave, it makes it look 'real‘. Amazed that you have added so many bricks so quickly! :o))
Michelle xxx

Jain Squires said...

You are a brick laying dynamo!!!!! Unbelievably quick. Door architrave does make it look real. love Jain xxxxxxx

Tallulah Belle said...

I swore I started following this when you first opened it...grr.

The brick slips are time consuming and messy but wow...what a great finish. Worth every curse :-)

Julie Kendall said...

Wow and thank you for explaining it all ....I have really enjoyed this bit and has now awnserd the question about grouting....don't giggle too much but not having a house i wasn't sure if you had to do it like real tiles, had visions of mini match sticks everywhere!!!
Julie I now have a mini house building itch,.........very inspired!!

Sandra Morris said...

Way to go!!!

When I was bricking my toy shop I rashly decided to use a herringbone brick pattern.


It was a nightmare...all those angles.

However your brickwork looks stunning. Well done.

julie campbell said...

Yes,it did keep me busy LOL I even dreamed I was stickig bricks on, but its well worth it for the effect.
You can do all sorts of lovely effects too like
... Herringbone ! Sandra, I saw your beautiful toyshop when it was featured in a miniatures mag and loved it but didnt spare a thought for the horror of glueing those bricks on !! Lovely effect but you must have been demented !
julie xx

Whittaker's Miniatures said...

Julie it looks amazing, really really great, Im so jealous! You have spurred me on to get the Sweeney house out of the workshop where its too cold to work and bring it inot the dining room to get to work on again. Although I am hugely tempted to strip my walls and try your method, I think it would drive me mad to do all that brickwork, so I may just do some on the chinmney and top part under the top window that needs bricking as I ran out of compound . I have my ceilings to paint and the roof tiles to paint and then I can put the house together! So hoping to have some pics of mine on soon too! I cant get over how brill thsi looks, bet your so pleased with yourself and how well its all gone, no disasters , lucky you! Kate xx

julie campbell said...

Kate ,having a bit of a disaster right now with the blooming windows......... more of that when I post later LOL
But I am so pleased with the bricks and now have the front attached and am just thrilled .
If I can fettle these windows will post progress later.........
julie :0)

Whittaker's Miniatures said...

Oops sorry should have kept my big mouth shut lol!!! Hope they go ok today cant wait to see!! Kate xx