Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Sealing.... And A Little Bit of Ceiling....

More About Grout..... 

There has been very Little added to the Tiny Tree House recently, Dear Readers.... because I have been so preoccupied with the Bigger issue of the Castle Tiles and whether or not to use Grout! But I have managed to fit the final section of the Library Ceiling.... that Incredible Blue with the Glittering Gold Stars just takes my Breath Away!!! So I couldn't resist showing you a view of the entire ceiling .... before returning to the comparatively boring subject of Grout!
The Grout on the Castle Floor is nearly finished.... I am just not sure yet whether to darken the tiles a little more before I apply the final coat of "Sealant" over the whole floor. I have been waiting for a day when I am home and the daylight is good enough to judge the darkness of my "aging" of the tiles. I think there are a few places where the grout is still too light.

 I am pretty sure I am supposed to "seal" the grout after I have reached the desired color... and I plan to use regular polyurethane sealer. I have even tested it on the sample tiles and it looks good... so why am I worried? Well, I don't want it to look too "glossy"! Which is what happened to the Chimney bricks I have also been working on for the Folly Chimney! Here below you can see the egg carton bricks I have been (slowly) adding to the chimney... I started it last Summer!

And after a Marathon session of cutting bricks and gluing them on New Year's Eve while waiting for the Ball to drop.... I was ready to paint the bricks! Which you can see below....

The chimney is in two parts... 
divided where it passes through the roof....

And you must NOT look too closely... 
it is a bit crooked and will need some adjusting when it is attached!
You can also see the white base of the central chimney that has not yet had any bricks attached...
And having painted the bricks with acrylic paints, I decided to seal them with the polyurethane sealer before applying the grout.... only to have it make them Very Glossy!!!
You can see in the picture below how shiny and un-brick-like they look!!!
And another view...... although part of the problem is the lighting..... 
and the fact that it is so Dark this time of year....
But Really, that is Way too Glossy!!!
So much that I decided to paint them Again with acrylic... 
Over the polyurethane....
Which really made almost no noticeable difference!
So I decided to apply the Grout and see what it looked like after.....

And the Grout seems to roughen up the glossiness.....

So that the chimney actually looks Remarkably realistic......

Even if it still IS a bit crooked....

So.... do I Dare to apply more Sealant Over the grouted chimney????
Is that the normal method? 
Do I have the wrong kind of Sealer..... it says matte finish...?
I guess I could always "scuff" it up after sealing.....
I need to figure this out!!!
But while I am looking into That question....
I am soothing myself with looking into the Infinitely Beautiful Blue of the Library Ceiling....

And even though I still have not glued the ceiling in place...... 
so there are a few gaps.....
I think it is one of the most beautiful ceilings I have seen!!!
Just a Tiny Bit of Ceiling!


  1. That ceiling is breathtaking, then I saw the floor! Absolutely spectacular! I can't believe the detail you have put in. You must want to sit for hours and gaze at each in turn.

    I had the same problem with glossiness, even using a matte varnish, on my chimneys which, like yours, was lessened with grouting so I haven't varnished again. Its amazing how effective it looks and I like the way yours goes from ground and up through the roof.

  2. You are right about the ceiling - it looks so wonderful and star gazy! I love the vaulting...

    the chimney looks great too; I have trouble with varnishes and glosses too, and am wondering about my hall floor and how to seal it - maybe I should go and make a vaulted starry ceiling to take my mind off these problems!


  3. Your ceiling is magic!
    Bye Faby

  4. The ceiling looks absolutely beautiful! What a stunning colour!
    Your chimney bricks also look very good. As for sprying the bricks again, I have found that if I use a matte sealer over top of a gloss one, it will still be glossy. I would leave it as it is, it looks great now!

  5. Hello Betsy,
    I want that ceiling in my real house! It is just beautiful. I think if the chimney is a little crooked it works with the feel of a cottage. I am sorry but I cannot make any suggestions about the sealer...I will say that the chimney looks wonderful and very realistic, so I would thinkt wice before repainting it...don't gild the lily has become my mantra! I repeat: It looks wonderful!
    Big hug

  6. That sky is spectacular and what a beautiful, heavenly blue!

  7. Betsy - I love your ceiling! You should come to Poland, Cracov some day!:):):):)
    The chimney is looking great no matter if you use sealer or not.:)

  8. Hi Betsy! Your ceiling is amazing! I wish I could sit in such a room, wrapped in a blanket in front of a cozy fire and reading a good book! Thanks for sharing your experience with the sealer, I will be warned when making my kitchen tiles! For me, the chimney looks great, especially because it is crooked :-)
    Hugs, Sandra

  9. Your ceiling is stunning. I love the tiles and the floor. Great work!
    Hugs, Drora

    1. Hi Betsy, this such beautiful work - every home should have a celestial ceiling like yours! I find any sealants or fixatives need great caution. 'Matte' to most manufacturers, seems to mean not quite mirror-shine but still noticeably glossy, and that's really annoying. I have resorted to artists' pencil, charcoal and watercolour fixative for some vulnerable surfaces and found that quite satisfactory (eg doing the attic in mydollshousekitandcaboodle.blogspot) but generally I don't treat synthetic surfaces like acrylic paint because they dry waterproof and I've always thought they'll be tough enough. Don't worry about the crooked chimney unless it really bugs you, it just looks part of the charm!

  10. The ceiling is marvellous - a real eyecatcher.

    Re the brickwork - perhaps a coating of pva would give you a more matt finish as it dries clear.

  11. That ceiling always takes my breath away... it's pure beauty! And the way your chimney turned out now is so great that I can only say it was luck that your sealer was so glossy - otherwise you wouldn't have applied the good ol' grout... and I think this really adds to the realism.


  12. Hello from Spain: Hello from Spain: great job. The roof is awesome ... Keep in touch

  13. That ceiling will always get me, B :). The breathtaking beauty, the beautiful memories, evocative nostalgia :). Me and Ewa, thinking about you on a brilliant wintry day. It was like being there again :).

    That chimney was realistic from the word go :). I use Daley Rowney's matte finish for oil colours.http://www.southbankart.co.uk/dalerrowney-75ml-matt-varnish.ir?cName=artists-supplies-mediums-varnishes-oil-mediums Swear by it. The soluble matt finish was too glossy for me as well. I could never stand gloss :).

  14. Your bricks are great! I am going to use that technique. That looks way better than the paint on bricks with the template. The ceiling project also turned out brilliant. Keep up the good work and thanks for sharing your techniques. Troy

  15. That is the most beautiful ceiling I have ever seen hands down! I hate how sealants and I mean any of them make things look, I will never use one again, i would just leave the paint.
    The chimney turned out spectacular!


  16. Hi Betsy
    Sorry I'm late.
    First of all, the ceiling colour is incredible! Blue isnt my favourite colour but now I'm not so sure!!
    What a wonderful job on the chimney! You are so brave with the grout - i bet your heart was racing for a moment. It really paid off and your patience with the million bricks was well worth it.
    I really like not-quite-perfect chimney angle - like you say, in a funny way it appears more realistic! Lol
    Take care Lovely

  17. Lots of real chimneys are crooked. It's ok. And some bricks are shiny. I think it's lovely (the chimney). And of course the beautiful blue ceiling.

  18. Oh, bricks! They are always a challenge, who would have thought? I love the varnished old bricks on old townhouse walls, the so-called exposed brick, but outside they are so battered by the elements...I think I would sand here and there, mainly because it suits my overdoing it nature. They look great as is, and I do like a bit of a crooked chimney, it gives it a jaunty air!
    Do you know why bricks turn white? My childhood home had a chimney turning a little bit white, supposedly it wasn't a good thing, but I loved the way it looked.
    I made my bricks from pebbled surface mat board, with a lot of paint washes and toothbrush stippling. A. A lot of work, including cutting, cutting, cutting. B. No grouting possible. C. Way too much work.

    And yes, forever yes to the deep blue sky. Why not daydream of limitless night and washes of stars both inside and out.

  19. Hi Betsy--sorry to be so late, but I just had to comment on your incredible ceiling. It is divine! Great job on the bricks, too. (I shudder to think about when I 'bricked' my house --yikes! Happy New Year to you, my friend,

  20. Hi Betsy!

    I LOVE your bricks, they look very realistic to me, I'll have to save some egg boxes for future use! They grouting does make a difference, I say if it looks right to you then leave it how it is! I love that the chimney is slightly crooked, it gives charm and character to your house. The finished ceiling in the Tree House looks great too, love those gold stars!

    Thanks for all your lighting tips above too!

    Andy xxx