Painting A Popsicle Stick Dollhouse Floor To Make It Look Old

I made a popsicle stick floor in the attic of my doll house, and I wanted to make it look old and dirty because I’m going to make the attic haunted.

To do that, I decided to just rub it with black paint and then maybe with some other colors if need be.

Some of the links in this article are affiliate links that will pay me a commission if they’re used to purchase something, at no cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Read the entire affiliate policy here.Opens in a new tab.

Flattening out the floor to prep it.

Before I could paint the floor, I had to flatten it out because it had warped a little since I made it.

popsicle stick floor warping

In this “before” photo you can see how there were sections of the floor that weren’t lying evenly, and that were a little bit warped up in the back of the room.

(You can see how I made the floor in this article here: Popsicle stick flooring for a dollhouse)

I think what happened is that the watercolor paper that I used to attach the popsicle sticks seized up a little and shrunk, which made the boards bend a little bit.

It was pretty easy to fix this by breaking the bonds between the boards with my hands.

removing the floor

To break the bonds of the glue between each popsicle stick, I basically just bent them in the seam and snapped the glue.

When I cracked the sections of glue that were holding the sticks together, they were able to move individually and relax, so the floor wasn’t bent in the same way and it lay flat.

cracking the floor on the desk

I did the edges pretty easily, and then for the inside boards I use the edge of a table and bent everything against the edge so that they weren’t attached to each other anymore.

the floor after cracking the glue

After I did that, the floor had flattened out and everything was loose and was lying flat.

It still has a little bit of a bow in it from front to back, so I’ll have to attach it to the house floor using some double-sided tape at some point, but I’ll leave that for another time.

What kind of paint to use to paint the floor.

After I flattened the floor out and put it back in the house to test it, I took some black craft paint and diluted it in a little bowl with water.

black paint

This was basic black craft paint,Opens in a new tab. it wasn’t anything fancy, and as long as it’s water-based you can probably use any kind of paint to do this.

You might want to use different colors of brown and black, and maybe some gray, because that might give the floor some variation.

spoonflower ad

Painting the floor.

I took the floor out of the dollhouse to paint it, which is one reason that I like doing things on removable boards and sections.

It makes it easier to alter things later if you can get it at a better angle and not have to work with it inside the dollhouse.

I didn’t want to paint it on with a brush because I wanted it to be more random than that.

black paint

I took a paper towel and dipped it into the diluted paint, then rubbed it on the floor lightly to darken the boards a little bit.

By working fast, I could remove some of the paint using the clean part of the paper towel, but it did soak the black paint water up pretty quickly, so if you do this, you need to work fast.

black paint being rubbed on the floor

I thought that I would have to do multiple coats of different colors, but rubbing it with the black paint darkened the wood enough that I think that it looks fine for what I need.

If you don’t want to go as dark as black as your first step, you could always use a dark brown or a gray color, then get darker as you go.

painted floor

What I was going for was the look of old boards that have been in the attic getting dusty for quite some time.

This was a really, really simple way to achieve that look, and even though I might go back and make some areas darker, I think I could get away with leaving it like this with only one coat of the rubbed-on paint.

This literally took me about 10 minutes to do. The good thing about doing it after I had done the floor was that I could see what it was going to look like when it was completely assembled.

It definitely doesn’t have to be perfectly even, but if you can see where some of the floor looks too light you can make it darker pretty easily if it’s all assembled already.

I thought about painting the boards or staining them before I put the floor together, but if I did that I don’t think I would have been able to get the floor to look the way that I wanted to, which was dirty, not just painted.

I probably will go back in and make some areas darker to make it look like something was spilled on the floor, or that there’s water damage from a leaky roof.

Finished popsicle stick floor inside the dollhouse.

After I finished painting the floor, I put the floor back inside the dollhouse attic to see if it fit fine and if it was doing anything else with the warping.

painted floor in the house

The strange thing about this is that it seems to have shrunk toward the middle of the house, which could explain some of the warping.

I think that if I did this method again I wouldn’t use watercolor paper, because it does seem to absorb the water and it changed the size of the paper when it dried.

I ended up with two sections on either side of the attic floor that were larger than I remember them being when I first fit the piece of paper in to make the template for the floor.

I seem to remember leaving some space to give me a little wiggle room to fit the floor in, but not as much as I have now.

painted floor in the house

As it is, there’s a fairly large gap on either end of the room where there’s no popsicle stick flooring at all.

It’s not a big deal because I can cover it up with something, but it’s just strange that the paper would have shrunk that much.

In any case, I like the way that this floor turned out, and now I can continue decorating the attic since the flooring is done and I can work on the walls to match.

Kara Buntin

Kara is a former wedding cake decorator who has won numerous awards for her cake designs and gingerbread houses. She currently owns a cake decorating supply business at

Leave a Reply

Recent Posts