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I painted this bathroom door myself and love the result.

I painted this bathroom door myself and love the result.

 

When our builder’s workers started applying the primer on our interior doors while they were still hanging, I knew this would end badly.

So I decided to save some costs and paint the doors myself. It couldn’t get worse than how it had been done so far.

Of course I knew nothing about painting doors, so I first had to do my research which I’m happy to share:

 

Good Practices for Painting Interior Doors

 

1) Lay down the door flat on saw horses

Painting a new interior door is easiest on saw horses:

–  Only when the door is removed from the frame can you reach all the edges. Especially new doors need to be sealed everywhere to prevent moisture from entering – that includes the bottom edge.

–  Only when the door is lying flat down can you achieve a smooth streak-free paint finish. It is easy to miss drips and runs leaving unsightly paint marks on your door. Plus you’ll avoid any mess on the walls and floors.

If the door is already installed, take it off for painting. Interior doors are hollow and easy to remove from the hinges.

 

2) Clean the door

Make sure there is no residue or grime on the door that would spoil the paint.

Wipe the door clean with soapy lukewarm water.

 

3) Sand down the door

If new or old, before painting you need to roughen up the surface.

Use a sanding block for profiled moldings and sandpaper on flat boards to smoothen any irregularities.

Clean up the dust with a vacuum or brush and damp cloth.

 

4) Fix any holes

Should the door have any holes, cracks or scratches, fill them before applying any primer or paint.

 

5) Dampen the surface

This trick is meant to help you achieve a smooth paint finish:

Wet the door’s surface slightly with a sponge or cloth.

When applying paint on the damp surface, it’ll take longer to dry, giving you more time to smoothen out any unwanted streaks or tears.

 

6) Prime the door

New doors need to be primed to ensure good adhesion of the finish coats. Already painted doors need no primer if they’re in good condition.

Apply one coat of primer and let it dry.

Sand down any irregularities.

 

7) Paint the door

The best way to avoid brush marks is by avoiding using brushes. Only paint the tricky parts like edges and ornamental designs with brushes.

Use a foam roller on all straight surfaces for an even looking finish. You might need to apply an extra coat, if the foam roller spreads the coat too thin.

Apply as many layers of paint as needed for a great finish. If you can still spot some irregularities, give it one more coat. It actually goes quick and will leave you truly happy with the result.

 

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Look what I excavated from our garden: A vintage Mother of Pearl button

Look what I excavated from our garden: A vintage Mother of Pearl button

 

The excitement of excavating something shiny when cleaning up the garden soil from rubble and debris!

 

I gave this Mother of Pearl button a rinse and it’s gleaming in the sun.

 

According to Vintage Button Emporium this nacre button is even worth something, like a pound or two. It is the rim that makes it more valuable than just a plain version. Craftsmanship is always worth something.

 

Interestingly, this button seems to have been fastened with a metal noose, which is still attached to it. So was it part of some sort of uniform maybe?

 

If you know more about The Broken Palace or the people who lived there and what happened that we’re digging up so many artefacts. please get in touch: TrulyJuly@web.de 🙂

 

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These pieces of plaster have been around for a while: They all show different layers of paint.

These pieces of plaster have been around for a while: They all show different layers of paint.

 

This looks like we have many houses buried in our garden, with the colour palette ranging through the entire colour spectrum.

I love how each plaster piece has at least 2 different colour layers.

Do they all come from one house? That must’ve looked like Pippi Longstocking’s Villa Villekulla.

Or are these remains of the houses that stood on the now abandoned corner of Greatmore and York Street?

And why are they still in our garden, why did no-one ever clean up the rubble?

If you know more about The Broken Palace, please get in touch: TrulyJuly@web.de 🙂

 

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Metal bits and bobs that I find plentiful in our garden soil.

Metal bits and bobs that I find plentiful in our garden soil.

 

These are the contents of only one hole.

 

You might think I excavated this over time.

 

Far from that: The dogs start digging and I start collecting. This is the result of only one of their digging holes. I don’t even know what half of these things are.

 

The metal bits sit compacted on top of each other. Like parts of a house that has collapsed and been buried.

 

In a matter of one session of removing all items from the ground that could pose a danger to digging puppy paws, this is what I collect. Besides gazillions of nails and other unidentifiable scrap metal.

 

What happened to The Broken Palace that once stood here? Are these the remains? How come this never got cleared up? If you know more, kindly get in touch: TrulyJuly@web.de

 

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When faced with potential disaster, and overcome it, there’s a great urge to make things better.

 

Like it was so close but we managed to escape catastrophe unscathed, it’s not possible to carry on the day as usual.

 

What better thing to do than put our new learnings into action:

 

Rubbish is a fire hazard, so let’s get rid of it!

Wild growing shrubs can also easily catch fire, especially during drought, so let’s pull them out!

 

So now the empty corner plot at 23 Greatmore Street is clean again:

People power: Together we can clean up even Woodstock! :)

People power: Together we can clean up even Woodstock!

🙂

 

Because this is how the council leaves it:

All the council had to do was to maintain it clean.

All the council had to do was to maintain it clean.

😦

 

Seems like this is going to be same procedure as every year, because this is how we cleaned up last year:

All cleaned up and neat! This 'earth' is actually compacted rubbish that collected over the years and needs to be removed.

All cleaned up! This ‘earth’ is actually compacted rubbish that collected over the years and needs to be removed.

 

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The fire brigade managed to get the blaze under control quickly, thank goodness!

The fire brigade managed to get the blaze under control quickly, thank goodness!

 

I would’ve never thought that 3 shacks could threaten to burn down the entire neighbourhood: Especially with the drought crisis, informal settlements pose a dangerous fire hazard!

That’s what I learned after a representative of Cape Town’s Disaster Risk Management assessed the abandoned plot at 27 Greatmore Street.

The verdict: We were very lucky the fire didn’t spread to the neighbouring properties. Who knows what would’ve happened then. Well, clearly disaster enough for the City of Cape Town to be very concerned!

From my perspective, no luck was involved, but the combined efforts of neighbours fighting the fire with whatever means we had, keeping the blaze at bay until the fire brigade arrived just minutes away from our house going up in flames.

 

See our everyday heroes in action

The fire brigade is hosing down the fire:

Lots of smoke and steam from the fire:

After the fire all the rubbish is still smouldering:

Our back wall is so hot from the fire it is steaming:

This fire and then the water hosing is causing structural damage to our house:

 

But the real heroes to me are still our neighbours who did what had to be done without thinking twice:

As the fire had started in the early morning hours, we were all not dressed properly as we climbed onto our roofs to combat the flames with what little water we had.

In moments of potential disaster, nothing matters but action. It is thanks to this heroic act that nothing worse happened. Luckily, no-one got hurt, but we’re all left with structural damage to our properties.

If you don’t want this to happen to your home, report any illegal housing constructions right away: Report a problem building.

 

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A firefighter is hosing down the smouldering debris at 27 Greatmore Street.

A firefighter is hosing down the smouldering debris at 27 Greatmore Street. Watch this space for more pictures to come.

 

 

Today in the early morning hours the informal settlement at the abandoned plot of 27 Greatmore Street went up in smoke. The flames leaped so high, they came over our second storey roof and burned through the telephone overhead line.

 

 

It was thanks to the group living rough on the empty field next door that I was alerted about the fire. They saw the smoke rising behind our house. As I ran upstairs to look, I could already see the flames licking at our windows, which means they were about 5 metres high.

 

We have all emergency numbers on our fridge, so I called the fire brigade who had already been informed by our community.

 

As the house started to react to the heat of the fire with bangs and cracks, I realised I had to protect our back wall.

 

Since the drought crisis we collect our rainwater in water canisters, the only problem was just:

How to get those 50 litre containers from the other end of our house up onto the roof?

 

First I had to untangle our folding step ladder and then, and I’m not really sure how, but I managed to heave that 50 kg water container up onto the top of the ladder and from there up onto our flat roof.

 

By that time the flames were coming at me and our roof fascia was smouldering. I poured the 50 litres down the back wall into the fire. I just lay the canister on its side and dragged it along the roof while the water was spurting out to get as much surface wet as possible.

 

Opposite me, from the back of Oxford Street, our neighbour stood in his blue boxers atop the roof, hosing down the fire with what little water pressure they got. It was reassuring to see we were just doing whatever we can.

 

I was busy heaving another canister up, when the fire brigade finally reached the blaze and contained it quickly.

Just in time, as our water distribution efforts were only holding back the fire for a short while.

 

It appears no-one got hurt as the people living in the shacks had made a runner.

 

As the firemen were hosing down the smouldering debris, the smoke cleared away and revealed the mess of burnt rubbish. The fire had eaten up everything and blackened the ground to a grotesque landscape like from an apocalypse movie.

 

Our back wall got so hot, that it was steaming as soon as the fire hose hit it. The plaster and one of our windows cracked.

 

Thank goodness for fire regulations which demand to set back the windows 1 metre from the boundary wall, I see now that this is for a good reason!

And thank goodness our windows are double glazed, which means only the outer pane cracked.

And thank goodness we’re storing water at home, it came to an unexpected helpful use.

 

As quickly as the fire had spread, it was all over within the hour. It was still before 8am when the fire brigade left.

 

And as another hot and sunny day commences in Cape Town be extra careful: Especially now during summer season coupled with a drought crisis, it is so dry, anything can just go up in flames.

 

 

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