How do I finish this dollhouse?
August 16, 2017 11:17 AM   Subscribe

I am making a dollhouse for my kids out of plywood and the building part is almost done. What do I do about staining and protecting it? Pics.

My plan right now is to stain the support frame a darker wood colour and leave the levels the colour they are. Most of the stuff I've made to date has been for outdoor use so while I have used stain in the past (on a shed and a slide) it wasn't for anything furniture grade and I didn't do any find sanding between coats. So I would like the staining and protecting process to be as straightforward as possible.

My main concern is that whatever I treat it with is fine for the kids and their friends to play with. They're 5 and 3 so I don't expect either of them to eat it, but at the same time you never really know. I accept that I may be overthinking this as all of our existing furniture, paint and floors probably aren't treated with particularly kid-friendly processes either so if I'm good with whatever is stocked at Home Depot for furniture then let me know.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (4 answers total)
Fine sanding between coats not find. Way to proofread.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 11:21 AM on August 16, 2017

I've stained miles of woodwork in our house. Finish sand wood. Apply minwax stain (your choice of color), wiped on with a cloth, let dry. Repeat if darker color is wanted. Let dry. We like to use Minwax Polycrylic sealer because it's water based. Apply a coat of sealer, let dry, rub with fine steel wool, then wipe with tack cloth to get rid of steel wool residue. Rinse and repeat with the Polycrylic sealer 2-4 more times, depending on desired durability.
posted by sarajane at 11:55 AM on August 16, 2017

To be really safe you could use salad bowl finish without stain.
Also pretty safe and cheaper would be boiled linseed oil. It does contain drying chemicals, I don't know toxicity.
I actually think sarajane's advice is quite good. If your kids are not chewing on it, just about any finish should be OK.
posted by H21 at 12:21 PM on August 16, 2017

sarajane thank you, your instructions are straightforward and all the things you've mentioned look to be readily available. I'll give it a shot on some scrap and if I don't mess it up I'll move on to the dollhouse itself.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 12:50 PM on August 16, 2017

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