January 28, 2021

Lighting, stair railings and bathroom update

Does the 28th of January still count as the start of the year? No? Who cares - Happy new year! I really hope you're all safe and healthy...

Tired of how the World functions at this moment, I made a 2021 deal with myself: I'm concentrating on 'positives' and on what I can change, instead of being depressed about things I can't control. This has been working quite well I must say - I highly recommend it! By the way, how lucky are we to have a passion that requires us to stay home to practice it?

Here is a little update on what I have been working on in the past half year. It's not much unfortunately, as I have been extremely busy with work. Nevertheless, I really had fun working on these new additions to the tattoo shop.

I started with some details for the bathroom on the upper floor. I used polystyrene to create a door handle, a vanity sink faucet and a matching knob, which then I spray painted in black.

Next I built the bathroom vanity. For the sink I used polystyrene, which I spray painted and for the vanity itself I used wood which I hand painted in brown.





I also built a door with a lock pocket on the side.



I cut some railings for the stairs, drilled a diagonal hole on the upper side of these for connecting them with a leather string to form the railing and started working on the main frame of the counter lighting.

I also built long tube hanging spot lights to attach to the main frame of the lighting.


Soldering the mini light bulbs was a real hassle.


Once the bulbs were set and the cabling was finished, I spray painted the lighting and the parts for the stair railing.


I drilled a little hole on each stair-step to house the railings.

I realized the sticks alone looked a bit simple, therefore I added and spray painted a little addition to the lower part of the railings.


The end result:



This is it for now, I'm going to work on some additional lighting soon. Until then, keep safe!

Best,

Susi

June 13, 2020

Walls, Floor and Shop Front


Have I been lazy about working on the Tattoo Shop? Yes.
Have I changed my mind 1000 times since my last post? Yes.
Did I have to start from scratch because I forgot to open the hole for the staircase and was not able to make a clean cut on the MDF, just because I glued the MDF panels together before making the cut, so that the cutting tool won't fit anymore, causing me to mess it up? Yes.
So after all that drama, here comes my way overdue update for the Tattoo Shop...

As already mentioned, I made some adjustments to the basic cuts and decided to move the stairs from the left side to the right, adding as well a little toilet upstairs. The windows upstairs have been moved to the left.

Previously

Now

In order to add some texture to the wall, I cut a very thin cork sheet into brick shape and glued them in a brick pattern onto the wall. I then painted the bricks and some parts of the walls in white. For the remainder I used the color "Palmtree".





Once the walls were ready, I started working on the floor. For this, I had bought two beautiful "Antique Dark Oak" floorboard prints from Susan Bembridge Designs. The floorboards are printed on high-quality photographic card, which makes them extremely detailed. As I did not want to risk the card getting waves with a wet glue, instead of gluing the flooring with a PVA glue as recommended in their guide, I decided that this time I'd use a very strong but thin double sided tape. This was a good idea - a very good idea! I started with adding a layer of tape to the ground.



Then, I placed the flooring on top and started to take off the protective film of the tape piece by piece. I first stuck the floor from the center to the right, then came back and finished the other half. This way I could advance step by step and could ensure that the flooring is sticking perfectly onto the tape, without any air bubbles or wrinkles. 


Once the flooring was fully attached, I trimmed the excess with a utility knife.



Then I started working on the flooring of the little toilet. I used left over tiles and painted them in white, then applied two coats of glaze.


 I also added a piece of polystyrene under the door and skirting boards on the walls.


Next a quick dry fit of the stairs and the counter...



I also started adding the beams on the ceiling, but more on this on another post...


In the meantime I got a bit distracted, as I had so many ideas for the store front. Therefore I decided that I would stop working on the rooms and first finish the front instead; that way it would be out of my mind and I could fully focus on the interior again.

I started with applying a self-adhesive textured plaster onto the MDF. It dries pretty fast and is very easy to apply. 


Once dry, I colored the plaster in black and did a first fitting of the laser cut windows and door frames, which I designed to perfectly fit the openings on the front MDF panel. 


To this, I added realistic looking acrylic windows, also laser cut at snijlab.nl.


Once all was set and glued, I started working on the front door. I first airbrushed the door with a semigloss black color and added hinges. Then pasted a self adhesive lead strip on the front side of the door. 



This all looked too clean to me, therefore I created a "rusty" look with some acrylic color. I also white washed the door in order to give it a weathered look. For the white wash, I just took a tiny bit of white acrylic paint and mixed it with lots of water, eventually adding some other colors for additional shades.


Then I painted some mesh wire in black for the window on top of the door, and cut some other pieces for the bottom of the larger windows.



I also white washed and weathered the entire front of the store with acrylics and weathering powders.


Next I created a little sign showing the opening hours. For this I just printed the opening hours on regular printing paper, then added a transparent thin PVC sheet on top to make it shiny, and glued all onto a metal sheet cut to size. I made the door handle out of a metal tube, bending it at both ends, and attached 1 and 2 size bigger tube slices at the ends, where the handle seems to be attached to the door. I also cut a round lock out of a metal sheet and added a keyhole, which I pierced with little hand drills.


I then made some research on store signs and chose a couple alternatives. I printed the sign that I chose onto normal printing paper with a laser printer in order to later on make a transfer onto wood. As you will have to glue the printed side on the wood, the text has to be reversed.

 

I used Mod Podge to glue the paper onto the wood for the transfer. I let the glue dry fully, this way it is less likely that you will lift some of the print from the wood. Then I dipped my finger in water and rubbed the paper off of the wood. The printed image / text stays on the wood.


Dark colors do not transfer very well, as you can't really get 100% of the paper off of it. You will get a better result if you would just transfer a black text on a white painted wood piece. For this sign I helped it a bit, by enhancing the gray areas with black acrylic paint (The paint is a thin airbrush mix with distilled water and glycerin).

Before I show you how this turned out, do you remember when I posted about the colored led stripes?


Well, I finally got to install them on the windows as well!


I hope you like this build so far. Here you also get a most recent view of the interior: Stairs and counter are finally placed in.


There are still some things to do with the basic build, then I'll start with the electricity.

I also wanted to share this picture from my walk the other day. The sky was so lovely, I thought you might like it!


Have a great weekend and keep safe my friends!

Hugs,
Susi

May 1, 2019

More steps...

Since my last post I've been working on another small project for the tattoo parlor: spiral stairs! These are my first spiral stairs ever, so there has been a lot of learning by doing for this one.

First I looked up standard spiral stair dimensions on the web and decided how wide and high every step should approximately be. I chose the radius of the stairs to be 7 cm, and using a pair of compasses drew a curve on the wooden pieces.


I used the end of the curve on the longer side of the triangle as a guide when sanding, to give each stair a round edge.


Next, I used a piece of the center column to mark the tips of the steps and used my Dremel tool to sand them down to exact shape. This way I wanted to ensure that the steps wrap the center column perfectly when gluing.

Then I used some leftover window frame pieces from older kits, cut them to the size of the shorter radius side of the triangles and glued them to the lower side of each step of the stairs to look like supports.


I marked each step at the same place on the outer border, to know where to place the supports when gluing them, which helped me achieving a standard look. I also marked the column for the placement of the steps.


I tried a couple of paints for the steps but was not really happy with the results. Finally, I mixed some dark varnish, transparent varnish and orange and red pastels to get a softer color. I only painted the upper side and the upper edges of the steps with this color, the lower parts got painted in acrylic black for a mat finish.


Once the varnish/paint was fully dry, I started gluing the steps one by one on the column, ensuring that each step keeps the same distance to the previous one. After each step I painted the column in acrylic black, which also helped covering any glue marks.


This felt a bit like building a house of cards to be honest...


And voila! Done. I must admit I'm pretty proud with myself at this point, because this felt like something impossible to do at the beginning, but turned out being pretty straight forward in the end.


I hope you like the stairs and hopefully this post will help you build your own spiral stairs. If you have any questions let me know, I'd be happy to help.

Good night!
Susi