Saturday, November 10, 2012

Hall Progress

      The parlour is on its way to completion, I'm just waiting for a few parcels in the post.  I thought I would get started on the hall.

  This is the oldest part of the house, and would have been much bigger, but in the late 17th century, it was partitioned.  You can see the original stone work and large fireplace.

      The size of a fireplace showed how wealthy you were - a bigger fire equals more precious fuel to burn.  So it was important that guests were suitably impressed the minute they entered your home.

     I'll be adding a few more decorative things to the fireplace, including a marriage stone, but that's as soon as I increase my supply of DAS!

For more on halls, check out Andy's fantastic and informative post.

Here is the partition wall.  As you can see, the architrave (MDF) around the door is quite pitiful, so I was glad to cover it all up!

I used white DAS and glued each stone directly to the door jambs.  I used an old toothbrush to add texture, and then covered everything with a few light washes of greys and browns.  I will finish each stone off individually with various watercolour washes, and tidy up the places where the paint has bled into the plaster.

You can even see the mason's marks under the lintel.  I copied those from our real life house... I wonder who MF was?

Laird Alexander MacGillivray and Sir John Ogilvy look slightly more impressed (or at least slightly less snooty) with the improvement in their surroundings!

The doors, also made of plain MDF are quite easy to sort out.  I use iron-on floor boards from Sussex Crafts, polished up with boiled linseed oil and old pine furniture wax.  I have to glue them in place and order some hardware.

    Just a couple of big projects, the ceiling, which will be a traditional Scots painted ceiling, and the floor...

     ...The floor has been driving me insane recently, I have tried three times with DAS to get the right look for the flagstones, but for some reason, something either goes wrong or it just doesn't look right.  So.... any ideas for the flooring?  Stone?  Wood?  Marble!



  1. Hi Jonquil,
    I really like this room! What is DAS? Is that I type of real plaster? It is really great that you have done some research on the historical period of the room. I think wooden floors would be best here maybe, because it is quite rustic. Great room!

    1. Hi Emily,

      DAS is air-drying clay, in both off white and terracotta. I use it alot for modelling stone, and it paints up really well with acrylics and watercolours.

      The house project is well-researched, as I want to recreate a house that existed and belonged to my family about two centuries ago... though as with everything in mini-world, it is subject to some modifications!

      Welcome to the blog,


  2. Love your hall so far, those stone door surrounds looks just great. A wood floor would probably be easiest, but I love the idea of a marble floor.

  3. I like the stone door surrounds. The room looks wonderful.
    Bye Faby

  4. I think the DAS brand has too large of paper fibers in it for realistic stone.

    I prefer the Activa brand but you might be limited on what brands you can obtain. Creative paper clay also has a smoother finish than DAS.

    Plaster mixed with acrylic modeling paste also makes good stone. Do not add water to the mix. You want a very stiff mix, no soft or runny. Once it dries it will absorb a tint made of water and acrylic artist paint. Do it as washes of color rather than a thick paint.

    1. Hi Karen,

      I have heard great things about paperclay, but unfortunately, it's impossible to get here in France. I find DAS does the job, but I don't have any difficulty with the fibrous texture, in fact I think it helps make stone look more realistic.

      I'll definitely try the plaster idea, it sounds great. I usually do colour my stone with various washes, but waterclour, rather than acrylic, as I think the colour combinations you can get are much more organic.

    2. Hi Karen,

      thanks for the plaster tip - I'll definitely give it a go. I prefer watercolour to acrylic washes though, as I think the ultimate colour effect is much more organic and realistic.

      I have heard great things about paper clay, but sadly it's impossible to get here in France! I like DAS usually, and the rough texture is great for realistic stone, but for some reason, a whole floor's worth just didn't work.


  5. You could make the flagstones from matboard, round the corners and carve into it for a bit of unevenness. On Evelyne's blog on 2 November, she shows how she made a whole wall with cold porcelain and it looks really good. Plaster and acrylic modelling paste is a good one also. Just plaster is too brittle. Or opt for an old oak floor

    Love the stone door and fire surrounds!

  6. I LOVE the stonework surrounds you have made! They speak of an older home that has been "modernized" even if it is still an old house! The type of flooring would depend on the wealth of the House's owners.... but I can picture the Lady of the house wishing her old stone floor could be replaced with smooth and shining marble tiles! I look forward to seeing what you make!!!

  7. I love these pictures, and the place where they are put in. And so the fireplace. About the flooring, how were they done in the late 17th century? wooden? This is my favourite for houses from a cold weather country.

  8. Hello Jonquil,
    It is looking beautiful. I have never worked with DAS so I can't give any tips or hints. I think a marble floor would look very grand, but for some reason a wide planked wood floor is the first idea to pop into my mind.
    Can't wait to see more.
    Big hug,

  9. Thanks everyone for your suggestions and tips, very informative!

    In an old house such as this, the ground floor hall would have had stone flags, whereas upper floors were planked.

    My other three rooms have wooden floor boards, so I wanted a stone floor, but the votes are in for wood!

    I'll have to see what Father Christmas brings!


  10. This is so good! I really like the stonework round the doors.

    I'd have suggested a stone floor in the hallway (but that may be because the Scots are tight and wouldn't spend the money on a wooden floor for an entrance way!!) The old properties here of that age and style all have stone floors. I then read your previous post but decided to add my bit anyway!

    You're doing so well with this - I love it!