I spent Sunday in doing prep work on the pieces of the shell as follows:
- having stained the three floors, I drew in 'floorboards' with a No. 1 Pigma black pen, then gave them a light spray with polyurethane to protect them during construction. If I go with the hardwood floor look, then I will varnish again later. I am thinking that there are going to be some slots to fill/stain in the floor area so I am not giving a finish varnish coat now. I also stained the porch on the ground floor, because that will be the floor of my display window.
- I sprayed all pieces once on both sides with the Humbrol acrylic coating, to start the sealing process.
- On the pieces where I was planning to paint (the majority), I sanded and sprayed a second coat of Humbrol, then a coat of white auto primer, then applied two coats of Gesso (the first across the grain, the second with the grain) sanding in between with my trusty palm sander.
- I painted the ceilings with the Crown 'suede effect' textured white paint, which made a superb textured ceiling effect with excellent coverage from one coat. So far nothing is warping!!
- I have started to paint the walls with the finish colour of warm beige emulsion (latex). I experimented on one of the smaller walls, and one coat is not enough coverage, but two coats gives a fairly smooth result (considering the quality of the wood to start with). My plan is to give all finished room surfaces two coats now while it is easy, but knowing that I am likely going to have to touch up after construction and will also have to hide corner seams somehow (I am thinking moulding).
- I have also applied wallpaper on the two walls on either side of the 2nd floor staircase - reasoning that this will be virtually impossible to do after the staircase is inserted.
It may turn out that I have wasted some of my time, if the finishes get damaged during construction or it turns out that tabs/slots are inconveniently obvious, but I thought it was worth doing as much as I can now, while it is all flat and easy to get at.