Friday, May 29, 2009

This Entry Isn't Filler...

But it's about it. And yes, sometimes entry topics don't flow out of the subconscious quite as freely as other times. Sometimes you have to turn to what's around you, and this morning it's spackle.

First off, the word is fun to say. all just tried it. Spackle. It's a great near-onomatopoeia for the action. "I'm gonna go spackle on some spackle!" And the verb form doesn't limit itself to smearing building material into holes and crevices. You can spackle butter on toast. Poorly complected people can spackle their faces with make-up, and has-been actors from the 80's can spackle the cracks in their careers with ill-conceived but well-liked reality television concepts.

In the last year or so, I feel like I've become pretty adept at wielding the spackle to cure most ceiling and wall ailments. I've had to. There've been a lot of holes and blemishes to fix and fill here in this wonderland of old plaster walls and settling foundations. I've actually come to enjoy the entire process (other than the sanding.) I liken it to sculpture in reverse. I'm attempting to take a rough, broken, craggy or uneven surface and return it to a pristine flatness. It's not always as easy as it seems, although it is, I suspect, much easier than sculpture. Anyone with hundreds of buckets of spackle and enough free time could convert Michelangelo's "David" back into a large block of stone.

But I see spackle, and it's cousin caulk, as very positive things because they can save your life in home remodeling. Well-flung spackle can fix just about any form of destruction you can imagine for your poor, unsuspecting walls. And caulk, as I learned from a carpenter / handyman we used a few times throughout our remodel, is the patron saint and guardian angel of wood trim and moulding. A little bead of white, paintable caulk injected into the gaps between walls and door jams and moulding pieces can transform what looks like (and in my case probably is) a poor carpentry job into a professional-looking finished masterpiece.

Oh spackle and caulk
You fill the voids in my heart
And smooth the rough spots

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