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Paint It Red

Wednesday I woke up early. After my morning coffee I went outdoors to do some preparations, waiting for the temperature to rise above 0°C. The siding still missed the highest board here and there. The last board, where the wall meets the roof, is always the slowest to install. The upper side of the board has to be cut to match the shapes of the beams supporting the roof. Well, installing all the missing pieces took bit longer than I had thought, and around the mid-day I was ready to start the actual painting.

I thought to myself that actually I have very little experience with painting. I have no idea how a properly made punamulta-paint should look like, how thick it should be, or what is the best method to apply it. OK, I prepared the paint according to a recipe, but what if I had bit too much fire under the barrel, making the water steaming hot? Over the hours that would make some of the water to evaporate away, resulting in a thicker mixture. If the mixture seems to be too thick, can I add some more varnish and mix it into a cold paint, or should I re-heat it? All this kind of questions were running in my mind. It would be rational to gain some experience first by just volunteering as a workforce somewhere where other people are painting using traditional paints. But I didn't, somehow I just thought that painting should be simple and I can manage. So here I am, let's try and see how it goes. Although, I was slightly worried about other things, too. What if I didn't cook enough of paint? Of course I can make more of it later on, but it might not be easy to get the exact same shade again - and in the same amount of time I could as well have made more of the paint. Also, it is recommended that when painting the temperature should be over +10°C, and the relative humidity below 80%. Now it is like +4°C with 92% humidity - what if the paint doesn't dry fast enough, is it possible that the rye starts to grow mould? But, worrying is of no help now, the only thing to do is to paint it red.

I started with the east wall - standing high on a ladder I could barely reach the highest point of the wall. It was slow to work up there, but otherwise it was OK. The recipe had said that 1 litre of paint is enough for 4m2 - but only when I had used a litre of paint and saw all the surface covered, I understood what that really means. Looking at how big a surface I got covered with just a tiny portion of the paint, I thought that sure I will have enough paint for all the walls. And I went on. It took three hours to get the east wall done. Good, then to the south wall, which has smaller surface but is bit tricky with all the windows and the door. I tried to be careful not to splash red paint on the white door.

When painting the south wall I realized that it is not possible to get the whole house done in a single day. Or, in the midsummer it would be possible, when it doesn't get dark at all. But at this time of the year the sun sets bit before 7 pm, and continuing to work with artificial light would be of no use as after the sunset the temperature falls below freezing. As I was painting, I again reminded me about the basics of any physical work; relax your shoulders and knees, breathe with ease, let the body movement originate from feet and pelvis, be firm but gentle. It was good that I talked with the salesperson in the local paint store - the brushes he sold me were superior compared to the ones I had. After the sunset I had to quit my painting. I heated up the sauna to wash myself. I poured all the paint from the barrel into a smaller plastic container, and carried the container into the sauna. There it won't freeze in the night. Ooh, and there was a spectacular show of northern lights on the sky. I enjoyed the show for a while, but then I was too sleepy so I had to crawl to the bed.

Thursday morning, while drinking my morning coffee, I was still unsure if the paint is going to dry in this weather. But, I reminded myself, that couple of days ago when I handwashed laundry, it dried outdoors rather quickly. And if thoroughly wet laundry will dry, then a thin layer of paint will dry as well. Ah, and speaking of that, I have some more laundry which should be washed. I heated up a lot of water outdoors, and handwashed a heap of laundry. I also carried water to the sauna, and put tinder and firewood ready in the sauna stove. Again, I was ready to start painting around midday. At four o'clock I should leave for work, but I estimated that if I work efficiently I can get the rest of the house painted before that. So I went on painting. When I was nearly finished I started fire in the sauna stove and quickly went back painting. When I got all the painting done there was only half a litre of paint left over. It was fifteen past 3 pm - there was still time to wash up in the sauna before going to see my customers.

It is nice to see the house painted. Now it looks more like a place someone lives in, a place taken care of, a place worth loving.

work in progress
work in progress
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Damn, that turned out really nice looking.

There are few things that make me more nervous than hanging at the top of those janky old aluminum extension ladders, lol. I don't know why... I can climb silos and radio towers and whatever, but those extension ladders freak me out. I put a wifi antenna up on the side of my house earlier in the week and I wasn't sure if the ladder was going to stay or tip over and kill me haha.

Hehe, maybe it makes a difference if the thing to be climbed is firmly bolted to ground or not - silos and radio towers tend to be securely rooted, but aluminium ladders can tilt and fall at any moment without advance notice, it's like a lever trap to catch unfortunate DIY builders =)

My house still needs those finishing boards around windows and the door. That will stop wind and rain getting through, and will also make the house look even more finished. I wish I can get that done before the winter hits.

I have to say.

I quite envy you. You live in a peaceful area with your own house and kind of do what you want.
I think thats a kind of freedom most do not have.

Sometimes when I hear what my friends living in a city pay for their flats, I'm silently thankful and happy for having found this tiny little house for this cheap. Of course, I still have to pay the monthly mortgage to the local bank, but it is not killing me. So, yeah, finding myself in this kind of a situation is a result of long years of misadventures and depression. And I'm so glad that during those years I never gave up my dream. Metaphorically speaking, it might be that I was too injured to stand up, so I had to crawl. But I had a direction to crawl to, and sometimes I had to pause to rest, but the direction stayed the same.

Hehe, when the stores are open again, I have to go buy a bottle of whiskey so that I can raise a glass for this =)

Well, as I have said in the opening post and in some comments since that - one of the reasons of writing this blog is my wish to encourage people. If a penniless depressed hippie like me could find and afford a place like this, then heck any of you can =)


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