Brio "Chalet" Renovation Begins

I bought a 1963 "Chalet" style doll house by Brio more than eighteen months ago, and it has been patiently awaiting my help. I do have another Brio in my collection, and it is very similar, although it was made in 1966. I fell in love with my Brio, and decided to "go to the source" to find another to add to my collection: Sweden, of course! I was lucky to find one (with some expert help) on Tradera, the Swedish eBay. The price was right but the shipping predictably high, and it had an incredibly tough journey from Sweden. The house was not properly packed and it arrived beaten and bruised. It completely separated from the base and cracked in a number of places. See?

This is the extent of the packing...just newspaper

I was quite discouraged for some time, especially since I had to file a claim with the USPS, which I was told would be a fruitless process. Amazingly, after some persistence with a lovely lady at my postal branch, I was reimbursed for the shipping, which made me feel a bit better about the whole thing.

Now that my work table is in a clean state, I was able to take the house off its shelf and get a closer look at the all the flaws. Since the house had already come loose from its base, I was able to gently flip it onto its back and get full access to the floor and walls.

I have never had a dollhouse in this "flipped" state. Pretty cool!


I think I will be able to close some of the breaks in the wall, but not completely. The toughest challenge is going to be the top staircase railing. It should look like this (these photos were pulled from another Tradera listing):

But instead, the owner decided it needed to be cut in half and placed at an angle, leaving a big, unprotected gap for some unsuspecting inhabitants to fall down to the first level! Not sure how I am going to approach this yet. I will likely try to replicate the railing in wood and paint it.

There are also some ripped and stained spots on the wallpaper upstairs and downstairs. I am going to try to make high quality printouts of photographs of the paper and glue it over the problem areas. Luckily, the second floor bedroom is in good shape!

I hope you will follow my progress as I repair this house. It will take some time, but I am sure I will be motivated by the fact that it is crowding my work table!