Tuesday, April 22, 2003

DIY hell

Yesterday I joined the first wave of bank holiday DIY'ers at B&Q to pick up some Polyfillar and some varnish in an attempt to progress our two year kitchen project.

I say first wave because wave one is buying the goods required to make whatever it is you plan to make, this usually means buying far too much of the wrong stuff (Get four hundred gallons of white emulsion, it might be useful in drilling some holes). The second wave is returning to buy the stuff you forgot or the stuff that will fix your botch.

"I can't get this bloody stuff to work"
"Have you read the instructions"
"I don't need to read the bloody instructions"
"Look, it says here, apply paint with paintbrush, did you get a paintbrush"
"No I bloody didn't, why doesn't it come with a paintbrush’ Where are my keys"

Fixing the bodge means buying something progressively more dangerous than the thing you bought the first time you went in. For example, during the kitchen project we bought a worktop (potential dangers: Could saw finger off when cutting (no) or could drop on both feet when manoeuvring (YES)) We cut it to size only to find that when we put it in it was considerably shorter than we expected (repeat this mantra: ˜None of the walls are straight").

As a result I had to get expanding foam to plug the gaps. This required me to wear gloves when applying. These safety instructions are always overly cautious so I squirted it on, and spread it out with my gloveless fingers. Now, this stuff is what you might describe as a Liquid wall and as such it dries like concrete. It did a fine job of melding my fingers together. I had to sit for three hours with washing up liquid, baby oil, cocoa butter and anything would keep stop my hands turning into trotters. I saved my career as a pianist but managed to smell like a cheap hooker for days.

More recently, when applying gloss paint to the skirting boards I decided we'd get a better job done by stripping the old paint off. Whether you're doing DIY or not paint stripper is worth using just to see it in action. You apply it to the paint and nothing happens, then three seconds later the paint blisters violently and the noxious fumes fill the air. It's the sexiest DIY application on the market.

I used it wearing gloves as directed. Fine except the shards of paint kept dropping onto my bare arms causing my skin to fizzle and burn. Managing to burn enough holes in my arms for people to think that I was half man half Curly Wurly, Emma's dad went out and bought some new wood at a fraction of the cost and replaced the old crap in a matter of minutes.

Given the danger of this particular product I cannot be far from the DIY bodgers dream using an application that requires a facemask and chain mail.


Newer Post Older Post Home

Blogger Template by Blogcrowds