open sesame

Almost a year ago, the well-meaning HDB "upgraded" our apartment block and replaced our white (and yellowing nicely) door with a fancy fire-retardant door and a new iron gate. Tired of tolerating this aesthetic "downgrade" all this while, J and I decided to paint our door and gate over the weekend.

ampulets give you here a short 7-step guide to un-do some HDB ugliness.

Step 1: Set out to buy your painting supplies - On your way out, check out yours and your neighbours' doors, and know that you are about to "do the right thing". We found a paint shop just 15min walk away from our flat. We bought an "Undercoat" paint, sandpaper, roller and bristle brushes, and paint the colour(s) of your choice. The lady who ran the shop was amused. She did not understand why anyone would want to paint a new door, and of all colours, white. She obviously has not seen this:

before white door
our neighbour's door. ours looked like this too, but no longer. all images by J

Step 2: Have lunch - Painting's a tough job, you'll need your carbohydrates.

Step 3: A firm foundation - Line the floor around the door with newspaper. Lightly sandpaper the door, then sandpaper any rust from the iron gate. Make sure that the surfaces to be painted are dry and clean. With masking tape, cover any parts of the door (i.e. handle, hinges) that you want to remain paint-free. Apply a thin layer of "Undercoat" to the door and gate. Warning: Do not skip any part of these instructions in your eagerness to start painting...Patience, you'll definitely get your fair share of painting later. Believe me.

Step 4: Go out - Well, instead of staying home and breathing in the paint fumes from the undercoat, go out! We went to catch DramaBox's Trash.

[NB- Make sure that you've cleaned the brushes thoroughly with turpentine before you go out. Keep the used turpentine in an old jar/container because you will need it later again. Never dispose of the paint-turpentine solution down the sink unless you have a thing for your plumber.]


Step 5: The painting starts (and never seems to end) - Once home, get ready for the real painting to start. Our advice again is this: patience. Wait till the first real coat of paint is completely 100% dry before you layer on the second coat.

Step 6: Sleep - It's 4am already and the fumes will give you happy dreams.

Step 7: Confirm your neighbour's suspicions... that young couples nowadays are weird. Why would anyone want to paint a door all white during the 7th month/Hungry Ghost fest, then proceed to draw 2 kids standing behind a gate. We, too, don't quite know why. But it feels good to come home and be greeted by something you made with your own hands.



monk said…
making door painting sound compelling is one thing.

the end product makes that fair accomplishment pale. nice door!

the old lady will love you for it, once she gets past her confusion :)
if u have to breathe in paint fumes, believe me, make it worth it. make it your own.
Anonymous said…
lol. that is cute! erm... is that the right description to use?
ampulets said…
40C, ru - if you buy us tix to NY or London, we'll paint your door and breathe in the paint fumes. we'll even do cute.

gecko - cute is the word we use! ;>
Unknown said…
waaaah coolest door EVAR. do u think HDB will comprain? or make u paint it back? i hope not ..
haha! unfortunately, we don't even own the door.
ampulets said…
sb - ru got it right. own it, you can paint it. ;> or at least I hope.
Anonymous said…
Anonymous said…
and i really like those shoulders! very accurate.

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