Saturday, 3 January 2015

New project of the year - Major Renovation of The Village Hall

Hello my dear friends,

I wish you all had a wonderful Christmas and started your New Year with bliss. I have spent a lovely 2 weeks with my husband and children and it was grand. I didn't do much work on my miniatures or projects. I tried to spend some quality time with the family. At the moment Malta is being very cold. It is not the usual temperature at least not to us here. It hasn't been this cold since 1988 and there was a particular day which we had snowflakes. For those who don't know, we NEVER get snow here in Malta. I am much more of a Summer person so the weather didn't help me get moving.

Let's get back right on track. Firstly I wanted to welcome 3 new followers to my blog. Welcome Sue Cotter, Malta Bowler and Kamilla D WELCOME! I also wanted to tell you that we have reached 1,166 views for the Advent Calendar. Thank you all for the support. As you have seen in the previous post there where 5 give aways  for the first 5 comments; 3 have responded and I am still waiting for 2 others  to send me their address. 
Today I will be sharing with you my new project which is The Village Hall. The Village Hall is another discontinued kit by the Dolls House Emporium only that this time I didn't buy it in kit form. 

The Village Hall
 I was contacted from a lovely Maltese lady who wanted to sell this Village Hall so I drove to her house to pick it up. We had a lovely chat about the hobby. On my arrival back home. I took it to my working room to examine it with a closer eye. I was starting to hyperventilate at the poor state this lovely Village Hall was in. Edges without paint, Windows and doors where barely painted. Strokes of paint brushes everywhere. Extra base at the bottom etc etc. I am not the type to criticize anyone's work but being a perfectionist you can't help seeing the defects and defects that you can see with the naked eye. The worst part is that these defects couldn't be hidden. They were staring at me openly. This poor Village Hall was desperately begging me for rescuing. Trembling I left it there, to ponder about it, what to do with it, to think what was the best solution for it. The dump or major renovation? Was it a sign that I was contacted for this purpose? This Village Hall needed a miracle. 

Unpainted edging

The Paint works from the inside

All windows and paint looked pretty much like this
 After a few days and lots of thinking, I plucked some courage and went back to it. I couldn't damage it more than it was already. The first thing that I removed was the extra mdf bases that was stuck to it with glue and nails. I kept asking myself "What was the extra base for?" It was a kit which definitely didn't need it. If it was intended for a base it would have come with it in the first place I suppose. So the base was removed with a screw driver and a hammer. I also removed the front porch from the side as I wanted it on the main door. It was a kit that you could chose to have the porch by the side or in front. 

The additional mdf base

Removing the extra base with a screw driver and hammer

Removed the front porch.
So far so good. I have succeeded on the first hurdle. So I decided to go for the roof. The roof was a nightmare that left me awake for two nights. The inside of the roof was a mess. You could see drippings of paint. Uneven paint work everywhere. There where 2 wooden 'sort of' beams across the ceiling. It also had a round coffee mug stain on one of the sides that brought me to tears . 

Inside the roof
I thought I saw it all but I was so wrong. The worst was yet to come. I started peeling the roof paper that was covering it and I was sickened. The mdf roof was covered in paper without even having an undercoat of paint to protect the mdf from expanding. That is a definite NO NO. You NEVER cover mdf wood with paper without an undercoat of paint.  Where the roof joined it was covered with masking tape and to make it even worse the edges didn't even match. I was about to have a heart attack at the end when my finger tips felt something hard. The roof was actually screwed into the inside beams. At this point I was crying. Not sure if I was crying for what I was going to go through or for this poor dolls house. 

The Surprise I found underneath the roof paper

Removing the paper with a damp cloth hoping for the best.

4 Screws in the roof
I removed the big part of the paper with a damp cloth. I didn't was to dampen it a lot as it didn't have any paint to protect the mdf wood. So finally I sanded the paper down. Unscrewed the nails and pulled apart the roof. I also sanded down the inside of the roof as much as I could. 

Sanded Down the paper

The glued joints that didn't match the edges

Pulled apart the roof and sanded it down.
The Divine Mercy
I wasn't sure what I was going to do with this Village Hall. I had a lot of thoughts. I wanted to turn it into some sort of  museum. or a children's school. I was even thinking of turning it into a theater. But it had tested my patience so much and has tested my skills to the verge of almost drawing a line to it, that the only thing fit for it was to turn it into a chapel. I love my hobby and my work and I only pull it through with the grace of the Above. I am a strong Roman Catholic and I am thankful only to the Almighty God for blessing me with such patience and the use of my hands in my hobby. So the least I could do was share my hobby with the Lord. So I decided that the Village Hall will be turned into a church which I decided to call the 'Divine Mercy Chapel'. If you asked me why I called it like that I would probably just say I always did and always will love the painting of the Divine Mercy. I could spend hours gazing at his face. Well that is just me. Maybe it is something which you folks never knew about me. Yes I love Jesus.  

Let's get back on track here. Firstly I filled the holes of the screws with putty filler. Then I painted the inside once again with around 4 layers of even paint with a roller brush I rejoined the roof. I have ordered some customized roof arches for the ceiling. They where made just for me. I have painted them and also added some beam work.

New paint job with the new arches

Added the wooden beams

The ceiling inside the church
I am really happy how it turned out to be. I also had a go painting the doors of the church. I removed the doors slowly from their sockets and sanded down the uneven paint as the doors didn't have much paint too. They where supposed to be painted white.

Removing the doors

The paint works.
I wanted to give the doors a dark oak old fashioned style to match the beam work inside and I also added some accessories to them which I have hand painted myself.

The New Painted Doors

The new painted doors with the new accessories

 So this is how far I went. It is just not easy doing this and I wished I worked faster. It is an unusual project but I am sure that you will enjoy following.

This is all for today folks. Keep tuned for more updates on this major renovation.

Take Care and see you soon.


Rebecca xxxx


  1. You've worked a miracle with this sad little building, I see the begginings of resurrection to a new and much better life! Congratulations for persevering, you will love this orphan child all the better for the hard work.

    1. Thank you so much Susan for your kind words. I really appreciate it. It means a lot to me. xxx

  2. What a Herculean effort! It will be well worth all your trouble I am sure.

    1. Thanks Janice. Yes I guess it will be worth the trouble. xxx

  3. Hi Rebecca, Susan's comment is Perfect and I agree with her 100%! The transformation that you have already achieved is Miraculous, and Every town whether Big or Small, needs a church! :D

    (and Yes, I love Jesus Too! )

    1. Thank you so much Elizabeth for your wonderful comments. It is worth it. There we go we have something more in common: Jesus xxxx