Thursday, June 30, 2016

Wax on, Wax Off: Buff out the Scuffs and Make it Shine with Meguiars Car Cleaner Wax

Definitely not the way it came, "straight from the attic". 
Left is shiny after on same roof rafter, right is before Meguiars  Car Cleaner Wax. I honestly didn't know what MacGuires could do to this toy, I thought maybe it might whiten it (no) but it buffs out the scuffs, and makes it shiny for sure! 

Even though this roof is faded, the left shows the potential for restoration, though now that this Meguiars  Car Cleaner Wax has been applied it probably is not paint worthy unless one went to the painstaking process to completely remove it. 

Stunning before and after. Plan to rub really hard or else you will leave Meguiars  Car Cleaner Wax  in the little grooves. 

Underside of roof, takes like 30 seconds. 

Polishing with Meguiars  Car Cleaner Wax restoration cream will remove the top layer of oxidation, kind of like when you get your car's paint sealed. See the yellow from the door frames and red from the roof?

Meguiars PlastX is what I use on my car headlights to prevent hazing, I thought it would clear up any yellowing on A Frame windows, however, it ends up buffing out light scuds and making everything really shiny. a great alternative to Meguiars  Car Cleaner Wax
Use about this amount of Meguiars PlastX cream, then buff really hard, plan on using lots of elbow grease. 

After on a balcony door, Meguiars PlastX didn't get the deep scratch out, but eliminated al l the tiny little ones and made it really shiny. 

Its hard to tell the difference here, but in person you can totally see the difference. When you're buffing these out they will squeak like a mouse but they are squeaky clean when done. Finish off with windex for that perfect, streak free shine. 

Use about this amount of Meguiars PlastX , rub it in really hard (good tricep work out). 
Closet box: Left side is the before, all scuffed up and dull, right is the after, it only takes about 30 seconds to a minute to buff it out with a rag and a strong tricep to apply to pressure. I suppose an orbital buffer would do the trick as well. 

A word to the wise, DO NOT apply Meguiars  Car Cleaner Wax  painted/colored window and door frames, it acts as a paint thinner and removes the yellow. But it is just fine on the molded plastic colors. It doesn't just make it shiny, it cleans it to a level that soap and water just cannot do, it seemed to lift off residual grease marks and definitely colored scuffs on the sides and corners of the roofs and floor panels.

This actually ended up working slightly better than the plastic polish. They both contain petroleum silicates and aluminum oxide (micro polishing agent), cleaner wax is a little more liquid consistency and has more in the bottle, can be found in the auto section of most stores. 
voila! Meguiars  Car Cleaner Wax
nice...Meguiars  Car Cleaner Wax
So worth the time and effort. Meguiars  Car Cleaner Wax
such a huge difference! Meguiars  Car Cleaner Wax

You'll need a fine, soft brush to clean off the cream from tiny crevices. 

Portfolio of after shots of "polished" house. 

This is the before of the house as it comes from Ebay, "Fresh outta da attic/garage/backyard/trash heap". 

 1978 Mattel A Frame Barbie Dream Doll House Red roof yellow floors mod groovy 1970s 1980s custom OOAK  Plastic restoration vintage toys remove scuffs scratches Meguiares auto car wax polish shiny shine plastic restoration cleaner vintage toyMeguiars  Car Cleaner Wax star wars gi joe walking dead he man masters universe blythe fashion royalty 

Fixing Broken Door Hinges Par Deux: Using a Drill and Wire

Drill, baby, drill. Get the smallest drill bit you can find, wedge the door between your legs (careful here), aim straight and go for it, just the tip though, about a quarter of an inch. =-) 

This small picture nail was the perfect width, however after trying to snip it off with wire snips (tough) both pieces ended up shooting across the room never to be found again. This could be remedied by draping a small towers over it before you clip, to make it easier, squeeze on one side as hard as you can, then turn to the other side and squeeze again, it should pop off then. 

This bent paper clip was far easier to wire snip off to the perfect length, but definitely required glue in the hole to keep it in place. 

This is the longer peg, I laid door flat, made sure both pegs were sticking out straight, and let dry overnight. 
This should be functional, however, you could go to Michaels and get yellow clay to mold an original looking peg surrounding over the new metal pin. Its not worth my time for a house I know I am going to sell, but I would def do it for a door for my house.

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

Fixing the Door's Broken Hinge Pegs: Volume 1

After: door swings just fine. put the original peg in first, then carefully bend door in the middle to place new tape hinge under and into the upper hole (use upper as that is less pressure on the hinge as the bottom hole), the hole itself ends up molding what was once a flat square mound of layers of tape into the exact shape and size peg that is needed. 

Seems to be sticking on there just fine, though glue could be added to tape to make sure it doesn't slide off. 

Tape mound came from left over tape trim from resurfacing the faded windows with hardware aisle tape. 

closet doors: un molded new peg, will probably not work to well for the longer bottom peg on these doors but haven't tried it. 
This is the quick, easy fix. I am about to try drilling a tiny hole into the closet door edge that is missing the long peg and sticking a wire in it as suggested by a subscriber. Ill post about that after.

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

Housing Market: Then and Now

Unless they buyer realizes that shipping will apparently be about $75-$85 nowadays and not sell for $62, the buyer got a hell of a deal. only missing upstairs flower boxes, one window and one front door. 

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

During a Restoration: June 2016

Laying out my spare flower parts to assemble the new planter boxes. This is a mix of dollar store and aquarium plants. 

Here is my baggie of old cover remnants, the new shattered ones that arrived, I was able to piece together about 7 of the covers to make them complete again. You will need to clean them, have scotch tape and spray paint to fully restore. For missing covers use dollar store white poster board. 

Naturally, the glass doors were faded to pale yellow, so I had this tape for years before trying it out on reno #7. It works surprisingly well, yu will need a sharp exact knife, just lean it against the edge of the door or window and trim off excess, the only problem is that its a rather pale yellow tape (from walmart hardware section), so it improved these really faded doors but not to factory dark yellow, though the good thing was that it matched the rest of the doors and windows that were not faded enough to tape off, plus not that much tape is in each roll, though you use one side of it, then flip it around to use for the next side of the door and trim off that excess. 

Left side is before, right side is after, worth it, but a bit subtle. To seal it on a little better hold corners over a lighter for about 1 second, then immediately press and mold to corners with your fingers.  Careful not to leave black burn marks on tape, it takes practice but looks a bit more finished and there is no discernible edges to the tape afterwards. 

After for all 4 balcony doors, the exact knife is from a set i ordered from china on ebay, it comes in a blue box with tons of blades and handles for cheaper than the local craft stores. =-) 

Top whiter post covers are from my personal A Frame, lower tan ones are  the fixed up ones of the current reno just before I am about to paint them. 

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

Buying experience #8: June 2016

I honestly was not in the market for a house, i had just paid for house #7 and it hasn’t even arrived yet! however, i was looking for a lantern for the house i just bought. i was shocked to see that at 630am that morning a 99% complete (just missing the upstairs flower boxes) house WITH PATIO TRIANGLES!!! was for sale (not auction style) for a mere $116 including shipping. maybe my good fortune was in part because instead of listing it as an ‘A Frame’ in the listing title it was ‘authentic’ which i have seen it be called more than once. this one is also coming from the original owner. Since I JUST bought a house (to upgrade parts on my own), I dismissed it as bad timing since I would rather have had this house with the patio triangles since those alone are with up to $70. I went for my run and decided to make an offer when I got back, IF it was still available. Not getting my hopes up I offered $85, that way her net would be $101, not some lesser amount under $100. I was right, she agreed to it within 2 minutes of my submitting the offer!! She even asked me how she should ship it. So, I sent detailed instructions, nothing too picky, just things i learned over the years, like to request that the screws be put into a baggie, to use packing material to cushion the parts, and to nest the post overs together or leave them on the walls for protection. 

i will say that the random success of house #7 woke up my obsessive interest in buying this house over and over and over again, so long as it is complete. I don’t care so much about what color the house is, though pink seems to be way more popular than the red and yellow one, if the house is nice and minty white then i can upgrade my house, if the house needs painting, then i can restore it to original grandure or reinvent it with different colors like i did with the green house or others have done with black, grey, brown and purple paint colors. 

UPDATE: I got an email from her telling me that shipping is $85 and do i want to pay more because the shipping I paid was not enough, i told her I just won another house for $112 and I couldn’t afford to pay more, but would she sell me just the patio triangles, her reply was to cancel the order and not email me back about the triangles. Aren’t people GREAT?! 

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

Buying Experience #7: June 2016

On another random search on ebay for a frames, i found this nearly complete set being sold by the original owner. it was auction style and i ended up winning it for $102, so after shipping the house netted about $58. It was only missing a few post covers and flowers which are both the most easily replaced items on the house. also it was missing one lantern. the post covers are brown and broken, but overall the house is…

 She did tell me that shipping was $75 which surprised me since i have always paid $40 with USPS and they have a business account with UPS which should make it even cheaper. so, after 75 of shipping, and $15 worth of packaging and box, the house itself netted for $12.

However, they packed it with the bubble wrap piled on top and no packing material to cushion any of the parts, least of all the post covers, so naturally they were smashed to bits in transit, see photos. 

…so, while i am no longer interested in buying incomplete houses that include the chore of locating or making a bunch of parts, i was curious to see the current prices and not at all expecting a nearly complete house for close to $100. 

UPDATE: I am in the process of renovating this house, so far I have upgraded my own house with: one new wall, 2 upstairs flower boxes, a few shinier screws and some purple flowers. This was the first house I used yellow tape to restore long clear doors (came out great). I did the most extensive repairs to post covers to date. 1 week after buying this another near complete house on ebay sold for only $62. mwa, mwaaa…..

Started off good: nice big sturdy box, I was so excited! 

Ok, nice packing on top, but whats this? No packaging around the actual house parts?? 

I knew already there would be post cover damage and possible window scratches. 

Gross bug dirt. 

35 years of dust accumulation. When you clean these plan on being in the shower for about an hour with parts, toothbrush and lots of liquid dish soap. 

The first step of every reno is to clean the parts, I don't know how buyers just set up the house with this much crud on it. 

this was not disclosed to me in the listing, custom screws in the upstairs flower boxes to secure the in place, while they almost look factory and were properly done, i don't find them absolutely necessary, it presented another sophies choice dilemma: upgrade my less white flower boxes fro these, but live with the screw holes, or not. ultimately i ended up trading them out for mine with the reasoning that i can cover these tiny holes with foliage and they are much white than mine. the other sophies choice here was that it came with one very white lantern,  i have 2 rather yellowed ones on my house, so do i trade up just one but they are different colors or just leave them? i ended up painting mine white since i was painting the post overs to this house anyway, so might as well. unless they are getting yellower, i wondered how i didn't paints these earlier, maybe i just wanted a completely unpainted house, not really sure. strangely some parts of this house were whiter than my near mint house but only some parts, not all, =-0