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Fill, sand, paint

The hallway had been a paler shade of yellow only a few days ago. The wood planks have since been ripped out and bundled up, waiting to be thrown away. In its place are gyps boards, cut to fit up the stairway, and fastened with screws.

After the gyps boards were fitted, the cracks between the gyps boards had to be filled with gypsum mix. I guess that's what it's called. A lot of terms get lost in translation.

Mixing the gypsum is not rocket science, but filling it in is somewhat tedious. After the filling is dry, I use a machine to sand it down. The sanding machine makes a lot of noise and causes a lot of dust. Before long, I am covered from top to toe with white gyps sand.

This process has to be repeated to get a flat wall. Altogether, it may require three such fill and sand repetitions.

This morning I began to paint the walls with a big roller and small paint brush. Once I got going, it was hard to stop. I started with the wall next to the front door. I painted from the middle of the wall downwards. I continued onto other walls in the hallway until all the reachable space had been painted. Then I climbed up the aluminium ladder to paint the rest of the walls - the unreachable ones.

The hallway is now completely white, thanks to my first layer of white paint. I've finally found what I can do well ---- paint the first layer. It's an important and necessary layer - but it doesn't get noticed once the final layer is painted over it.

Looking back, I can chuckle at my attempt to do home improvements without any experience of physical labour. I was a disaster at removing wallpaper and filling the cracks in the wall. I thought I would be confined to doing the clean-up. However, I've learned in these last months that everyone has a place when it comes to home renovations. Mine is doing the first layer --- the one that does not have to be perfect and does not get seen.

17 January 2004 Saturday

Related Bon Journal entries:
Builder's apprentice
Builder's assistant
Zen of cleaning
Finishing the house
Le Bon Journal newsletter, volume 2 issue 12: home renovations
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Anne Ku at Ilp in May 2001
Anne Ku

writes about her travels, conversations, thoughts, events, music, and anything else that is interesting enough to fill a web page.
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