A swiveling pub chair, silicone and serious Germanic focus

Dammit! Gonna write a blog post if it kills me!

(Actually, not writing might kill me; alas, that’s another story, quite!)

There. That said.

Mobilizing Home Beautification

I’m 3 weeks into my adventure in a mobile home. Not so mobile, actually. It’s a rental parked in a mobile home park. To be clear.

It’s old. It’s dated. Circa 1970s. It’s not in baaad shape. Wouldn’t make Better Homes & Gardens though.

It’s in need of repairs and prettying up. And I’m the girl to do it. For no pay, by the way. Because it needs it. Because it needs to be done.

The reward is making a place the best it can be and leaving it better than I found it. It’s what I do. Places and spaces. It’s who I am. It’s what I do. The way some people are totally passionate about animals. Or teaching. Or sports. It’s their calling. Mine’s places and spaces.

I digress … though on a noteworthy mention.

The Gaps. Not the Stores.

The gaps around the swamp cooler in the kitchen window made of plexiglass are just one ailment. “Easily addressed” compared to others.

Moreover, needing immediate addressing. Winter’s fast approaching. The drafts around the swamp cooler are … well … lemme put it this way. Cool breezes are refreshing. In July. In autumn and winter, not so much.

Pencil pointing out plexiglass gaps

Pencil pointing out plexiglass gaps


Uh, an "unseamingly" sight

Uh, an “unseamingly” sight


Old silicone "sealant"

Old silicone “sealant” drooping away


How say can you see -- the useless sealant!

How say can you see — the useless sealant!

Danged Dominoes!

Ya start some easy Sunday project. Say, replacing weatherstripping in the kitchen. Next thing ya know, you’re paintin’ the shoe damn exterior of the house! It’s the Snowball Effect of Home Repairs. A Murphy’s Law. Or, as I call it, the Danged Dominoes.

Back to the breezy gaps around the swamp cooler.


I yank out the old silicone formerly “sealing” the unit. Here’s a start:

sucky old silicone

sucky old silicone

That actually isn’t in the original plan. Removing that much of the old sealant.

Neither is removing this pane of plexiglass, sitting in the middle this here chair:

There’s a lot of things I am. For better or worse. And a lot of things I’m not. And uber-high on that Not List is “Shoddy Crafter.” I do nothing half-assed or {gasp!} badly. It’s not in my nature. I’d need a lobotomy to even go a little bit there.

So buh-bye more-old-silicone-than-I-intend-to-strip-out! It’s necessary to do the job right. And well.

Silicone Secrets. Silicone Surprise.

I must pause to say: Clear silicone is not the same as regular caulking that you’ve probably put around a tub. Silicone is an animal of a different color. It is, I discover, both a blessing and a curse. You gotta know how to work with it.

It’s imperative to note: I did not go into silicone blindly. I did my homework. Read and researched — A LOT — online. (Again, it’s who I am, it’s what I do!)

I would never recommend using silicone sealant without knowing the very basics. (I may blog on those another time.) Otherwise, it’s a small disaster waiting to happen. An unsightly disaster.


I make no bones about it. I’m a silicone novice. In fact, before this project, I don’t recall using – or needing — before.

Like I said, I rip out all the old silicone “sealing” this here swamp cooler:

kinda high up there. for a short person.

kinda high up there. for a short person.

Gotta be done to do the job right. I also remove this plexiglass pane. Not in the original plan. For same reason.

Oh say can you see -- the pane?

Oh say can you see — the pane?

I then proceed to reset the pane. With silicone that I’ve never used before.

From atop a chair. Precisely this chair:

Have a seat. Or a ladder.

Have a seat. Or a ladder.


A pub chair. That spins.

Because I don’t have a ladder.

Is a spinning pub chair used to reach high places safe? Hell no!

But I do it for two reasons.

One, not gonna spend (can’t afford) the big bucks for a ladder for a one-time project.

Two, I’m small, light and agile. And nimble on my feet. Extraordinarily so. I was called “monkey” in school, a play on my last name, nonetheless highly fitting. In high school, I did the balance beam. I can STILL climb high up into trees like nobody’s business!

A swiveling pub chair does not a safe ladder make. But there are occasions for allowances and this is one.

Nimble is One Thing

Being short is another.

On the spinning pub stool, I can’t friggin’ reach even halfway across the swamp cooler! And I ain’t gonna buy an $80 ladder just to do so!

So I’m stuck. With silicone. Unable to go where I really want to go with it.

Yet where I MUST go, I can.

I reinsert the plexiglass pane. Gaps and all.

And carefully … mindfully … slowly squeeze the silicone from its tube. Note: Not using a caulking gun. At a most awkward angle. Not quite hanging upside down from a tree like a monkey.

Say … like trying to tie your left shoe flat on your back with the left knee pinned to the ground.

Awkward’s one word for it.

Painting. A picture.

Sorry. I don’t mean to ramble. Just painting a picture. Silicone demands above all adeptness. Or at least a willingness to learn. Attention. Focus. A bowl of soapy water and a rag.

And above all swiftness.

Sorta hard to accomplish on a swiveling bar stool with work areas fairly outta reach.

Yet I do it!

Yes. I do it.

With a bowl of soapy water  and plastic knife from fast-food joint set on the swamp cooler …  paper towels and a rag swollen in my back jeans pockets … my cell phone so to take these pics in the front … a prayer in my heart for safety atop the swiveling pub stool … everything I read about silicone-caulking in my brain … the focus of a laser light in my mind and German determination of a “crafty person”  … I lay the beads.

Bit by bit. Section by section.

Until the entire plexiglass pane is solidly reset and sealed with thick gooey silicone.

Am literally juuuuust able to stretch and reach — atop the spinning pub chair! — in under that upper aluminum frame to reattach plexi-pane. After having removed the old silicone first. Fact: You can’t apply new silicone on top of old. Won’t adhere. Not well. Or at all.

plexiglass back in place

plexiglass back in place


Yes! Sealed!

Yes! Sealed!


Suuuuper sealed!

Suuuuper sealed!

Ditto the pane on the other side of swamp cooler.

Get a grip! Awright!

Get a grip! Awright!

The Before Shot:

How say can you see -- the useless sealant!

How say can you see — the useless sealant!

Proud Puppy!

I am one! One proud puppy!

Is it the silicone of an amateur? Yes.

But given what I’m working with — or not, i.e., a proper ladder, a short stature, no assistance, first-time “silicone-er” — I gotta say, I’m pleased with the results.

I’m pleased and proud.

This project’s not entirely complete; another post, another day.

But I will say: Yesterday brought a test to my workmanship:

A powerful thunderstorm.

Not a drop leaked through my seals!

Silicone, She Said

Silicone, I said, is a different animal from regular caulking. A creature of its own.

Turns out, I discovered, that I’ve got a feel for it. An undiscovered knack. A natural / intuitive understanding and respect for the product.

Am I a practiced professional with it?! Hardly!!! Not. Even. Close!

But the (impending) northern winds no longer blow around my swamp cooler.

It withstood the test of the thunderstorm.

AND it doesn’t look like some novice just slapped in on stupidly willy-nilly and clueless about silicone’s nature.

A small pat on the back. Just no sticky silicone on the palm please. 🙂


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