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Make My DIY Punk

This morning found me at the paint merchant. I know, sounds very Victorian, I assume you are imagining a mutton chop whiskered gentleman in a stripy apron, stirring a vat of pigment. I wish. Instead it is a paint splattered warehousey place with shelving. It’s mystery shelving, it is always a mystery where they have put your order. You have to get there early on a Saturday as it is halfday, also quite Victorian. It goes against the grain of DIY (see that wordplay) in that most people want to do some painting on a Saturday but I long ago stopped looking for logic in retail.

After putting up an Ikea Finstorp rack in my kitchen this week, I find I’m in that DIY mood. This was exacerbated by flicking through Instagram. I look at other people’s posts and feel inspired to refurbish my own home. I’m a fan of Farrow & Ball for the simple reason that you can slap their paint on and it lasts for years. I like the names of their colours too and have become almost as adept at spotting an F&B colour on a front door or windowsill as I am at spotting a nuthatch on an elm tree.  I am so middle class right now I might have to sit down with a slice of focaccia and a glass of wine.

There is a pot of Mouse’s Back waiting to be slathered over the living room but more urgently the front door has outgrown its post-apocalyptic look and needs a make over. The paint I used last time was not even outdoor paint so it is a miracle it has lasted. For this redo I’m going all out. There could be piping. And there will be a fox doorknocker. Also I did not have a sander or heat gun back then (1810 or thereabouts, The Duke of Wellington made the teas) and so I simply painted over the pocked and cracked varnish surface of the door. I am, as you can tell, skilled at this mullarkey.

There was some dilemma about the primer I wanted so, like a true professional, I stuck a pin in the selection and now I’m typing whilst wearing my goggles and mask. The heat gun is firing up and if I trap the bacon rashers in the letterbox and aim right, I can simultaneously cook a bacon sandwich as I sear the (not F&B) Green Ivy paint off our abode.

Saturdays seem to be National Power Tool day as everyone in our neighbourhood gets out the angle grinder or the powerblaster. My husband recently invested in a chainsaw in order to ‘prune’ the apple tree and so on that particular Saturday we were the basso profundo in the general mechanical chorus.

The apple tree survived the ordeal. Not sure the door will.

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‘a highly original talent’ – Beryl Bainbridge


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