Sunday, June 10, 2012

Renovation: From Start to Finish

Perfectly packed. 

Quality material used, best to ship post covers on posts. Its safer for them and uses less room.

I dont love the mess popcorn leaves, but it does prevent weight from shifting. 

Obligatory brown, shattered post covers. 

34 years of garage dust. A grime against humanity. 

Filth, flarn and more filth. 

Finger smudge. 

Shower power! 

Priming rusty screws to match non rusty ones. I assume the rusty ones were the floor screws left on a damp basement or garage floor during storage. 

During, from brown to crisp white. My personal A Frame looks off white as its not painted. Almost switched out the pieces as these came out so nice. 

After on the posts, gleaming, oxy clean brite white! 
Found in any hardware store, hello electrical tape can be cut, trimmed and heated to fit over faded yellow window frames for this house, I made a separate post detailing the exact process. 

The before photo on evilbay. 

The after photo. Total project time: 3 days. Yes, this is the same house as above. The red and yellow parts are rather faded, its amazing how much richer the colors look next to ultra white.  

House beautiful, new flowers. 

This house is clean. 

Nice rear. 

As long time site fans will know I have had a few rough experiences buying the Mattel 1978 Dreamhouse  online. Sellers using photos of other houses, no packing material used, boxes that are mostly painters tape, holes in boxes with screws falling out and damage occurring during shipment are just a few of the highlights. I was all but done renovating due to the above mentioned. However, a few weeks ago I was looking for a project and decided to peruse ebay hoping to find a good deal on a used, abused A frame. The worser the shape, the more challenging (and fun) it is to transform it to its former glory. I found this one house that was typically filthy and had no flowers, but it did have every other part. I won it for $47 after shipping. The sellers were so nice, even asking me how to pack it and what type of box I recommended, it was packed extremely well with quality foam wrap and thick packing tape.  After an hour of shower power, 3 cans of Rustoleum gloss white spray paint, much repair work done to the post covers, a few bucks worth of dollar store flowers, some tire shine polishing on the red and yellow parts it is looking pretty spiffy. Its mucho trabajo, but it pays off.

1978 Mattel A Frame Barbie Dream Doll House Red roof yellow floors mod groovy 1970s 1980s custom OOAK 


  1. I just bought one at a garage sale down the street. I have not been able to assemble it because I was not given any screws, it seems as if the screws were very rusty and thrown out. What size screws do you recommend me buying?

    1. Yes, the screws often rust away due to damp garages and being left outside. They rust pretty fast so all the ebay sellers who hose it off on the patio do not realize the damage they are doing. You may have noticed the rust stains in the screw holes. Awhile back I located a very close match in the hardware store, even flat head type for the small size. I wrote it down and now its in storage, so I will dig it out and post it when I find it. Sometimes ebay sellers sell a bunch for a reasonable price, you could buy those and then match it up at the hardware store. Be sure to check out my 'screw renovation' post.