Hamster Enclosure Painting

I’ve finally finished preparing my hamster enclosure (painting and varnishing it with pet-safe paints). It’s really dragged out painfully over many days (12) due to a combination of having to manage OCD alongsideβ€” practising ERP to avoid feeding itβ€” and some trial and error and learning about painting wooden furniture.

There were also some modifications to make in order to seal up some gaps around the baseβ€” basically adding wood trim over the gaps which also served the purpose of fixing the removable base into position, but preventing any potential leaking out of the bottom!

I got one piece of wood by scootering to a DIY shop where their website said they could cut wood in the shop. But when going to the checkout they said “yeah that’s really for industrial sized loads of sheet wood” and wouldn’t cut my shitty piece of 15x15x2400mm wood into four, but they weirdly did give me a saw to cut it with myself in the car park. I knew I only needed 52cm out of each 60cm section so there was enough leeway to be able to judge it by eye!

Then I needed another piece of wood trim 1.1m long and it was cheaper to just order one cut to size on ebay for that. But of course I didn’t get on with painting the rest of the enclosure in the meantime so that added some days!

Oh yeah then I needed to buy a wood file to shave a few mm off the trim. And the whole of this week was just painting it and varnishing it when I could. I guess it hasn’t taken too long considering all of that, it’s more the fact that OCD meant that was all I did when in each given day not much actual time was spent on the enclosure, so it’s felt like it was very painstaking. Also since reserving the hamster earlier than I’d planned to I’ve been feeling the pressure of that, when I’d wanted to not feel rushed.

I reserved the hamster earlier than planned because whilst scrupulously following Happy Hamsters on Instagram I’d noticed another batch of hamsters got adopted whilst Etta the elderly hamster was left behind again!

I learned a lot about painting wooden furniture which can potentially be a nightmare for a perfectionist. The enclosure arrived partially sanded and I discovered the importance of properly sanding surfaces to be painted, so I ended up sanding lightly after the first coat of paint, which threw off my layers count. Then once I’d done two-and-a-bit layers I decided that it was never going to be finished and what was important was the ‘ten foot view’β€” that it looks perfect from a distance! Which it really does with this paint. Otherwise it can become an endless game of noticing bits needing a bit more paint. Then how many layers of varnish do I need? I have no idea, so decided I’ll just have to see how it goes with what I’ve done.

Anyway it’s done now and it’s a big relief! I’m just letting it air out before setting it up. I’m still waiting for a multi-chamber hide to arrive in the post but Happy Hamsters will arrange an adoption day once I’ve sent photos of what I currently have if they are happy with it.

Look at how good this paint is though. The colour is so deep it looks like the set of Squid Game.


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