By JEREMY TEO
OVER the last few columns, I’ve been able to write about my experiences that have been a little out of the ordinary. From flyboarding to attempting stand-up comedy, these encounters with the unknown have left me learning a little bit more about myself.
However, today’s article is not about an extraordinary experience. In fact, it’s a pretty mundane one – it’s about me learning to paint my own room.
But first, a little backstory.
I’ve never been one to attempt anything DIY. My experiences with a hammer and nail were limited to Kemahiran Hidup classes in secondary school, and they were far from pleasant.
Once during class, while attempting to work on a project, I accidentally chiselled my palm instead of the piece of wood I was supposed to be carving.
The scars from that incident provide a pretty good reason for me to stay away from all things DIY-related as much as possible.
Some of my friends and I even paid some carpenters to finish up our Kemahiran Hidup projects for RM50. Back then, we thought we were so clever for getting an A without doing any work.
Which brings us to a few weeks ago.
I have been meaning to change the paint in my computer room for the longest time. For months, the original light blue-grey was an eyesore. Heck, even the layout of the room was grating on me.
In my head, there was an idea of the kind of living space I wanted for myself, and it was about time I tried to make it a reality. The first step? Changing the colour.
I seriously considered getting a contractor to help me out with the painting. After all, that’s the best way to ensure the work gets done well, right?
But I decided against it because I really wanted to call this space my own and the idea of painting my own room seemed like the “adult” thing to do. Of course, hiring a contractor costs more as well.
So I went to a hardware store and got the paint. Now, if you’re ever planning on doing a bit of remodelling yourself, there are two things you need to remember. First, don’t be afraid to ask for help. The guys at the store have a pretty good idea of what you need, and they could even give you a few handy tips.
Secondly, bring a friend who is a haggler, because in Malaysia, everything can be haggled. Helps if she’s a pretty face with a nice smile. Everybody likes a nice smile.
Armed with my newly-purchased painting equipment, I was all psyched to get started.
If you’ve done this before, you’d know there’s more to painting a room than the act itself. There’s always furniture that needs protecting, masking tape to be applied on walls (so you do not accidentally paint over your borders), newspaper to be laid out, equipment to be prepared, etc.
And don’t get me started on opening the can of paint. That’s an adventure in itself. They shut those things tighter than a vault.
Needless to say, I didn’t know any of this before I began. Three hours after I thought I would be doing some actual painting, I could finally start.
The painting itself wasn’t hard. There’s something therapeutic about putting on a new layer of colour over the old, and realizing that you were the one that made it happen. And it was over faster than I thought it would be.
It’s almost like a metaphor for life. You spend most of your time preparing, and before you know it – the whole experience is over.So sure, there might be a few spots where the paint isn’t even and I might have messed up with the masking tape, but I can’t help feeling good about my room now.
In the beginning of this article, remember how I mentioned that all my experiences left me learning a little bit more about myself?
This is something I wish the younger, DIY-averse Jeremy would’ve picked up a long time ago.
Jeremy is an expert at being a noob. Is there something new you want him to try? Let us know at fb.com/thestarrage.