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The Enthralling Door

When the English learning centre, Sri Kayangan Montessori, moved to the glorious, towering Radia Residences, in the latter stages of the calendar year in 2019, there was a heap of work to be done in order for the children of SKM to obtain a great, wonderful and safe experience to study and learn.



With the help of En. Suhaimi Saadun, experienced in an interesting mix of advertising and landscaping,  everything was completed efficiently in time for the school to reopen on the 2nd of January 2020. The door was one particular asset of the school which had been fitted but wasn’t entirely completed as its paint job was a task to be undertaken with intensity and almost a labour of love. This wooden door was fitted in place to allow access for children, teachers and parents to move in and out of the school.



This wooden door was made of Balau wood. Balau wood isn’t sold with such a hefty price tag, compared to Chengal wood and Meranti wood. In comparison, Meranti wood is one of the lowest priced woods, though it may not have the best quality to a certain extent required for a decorative door. Chengal wood, on the other hand, is  slightly more expensive than Balau wood, although unfortunately, Chengal wood was a defeated contender in this case as it doesn’t contain the attributes that complement  the intended texture and style of the door.



The Balau wood isn’t the most valuable wood around  because it is found almost everywhere in Malaysia. Comparatively,  African Redwood which is endangered because it’s value is considered high, Balau wood however still has a growing and maintained population which makes it more affordable.


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It was planned for the door to be painted with multiple colours, such as the vibrant light blue, to luminate the same. This colour is very important as the secret to keeping the door appealing is to prolong its natural appearance. Besides light blue, the additional colours comprised sonic blue, silver, black, white, spongy brown, greenish-blue and turquoise-blue. The door was initially painted white as an undercoat so the other colours will appear more visible.




As it turns out, the solid blue colour stands out, hence there was no necessity to compete with the other colours.  Having an even distribution of each colour would assure the features of all the colours to remain noticeable.




The chipped effects are painted black to make it seem as though there are small cuts of chipped metal dispersed across the surface of the door. The transition between the blue and the other colours have a greenish-blue or turquoise-blue effect engulfing the patches of odd colours,  which in a mesmerising way, the transitions look natural. 



The intended outcome of the paintjob was meant to reflect a hue of blue rust spread across the surface, making the door seem run-down as if after a period of  some time where bits of the surface appear to have been chipped off with some special painting effects.



The process of the paint job shows incremental signs of progression as it is carefully done with the patience and determination of Encik Suhaimi and his fellow coworker, …………….. The creases for the chipping effect were also carefully done so the texture of the wooden door isn’t spoiled. If real creases were made it may cost a damaging error. For instance, if a hammer was used, the wood may not get equal amounts of pressure for the chips and it may cause a hole in the door. 



To celebrate the ethos of the learning centre that welcomes work amongst children, a similar smaller door built in adjacent to the adult size entrance is aptly situated and given the same tender loving attention of the craftsmen. 



Paint jobs inevitably are destined to get messy, as  Encik Suhaimi observes, so he uses turpentine to wash off the paint wherever there may be painting errors. Turpentine is a fluid obtained from the distillation process of resin in which it is harvested from living trees. A common victim is the Pine Tree. Turpentine is mostly used as a solvent or as a source of material for organic syntheses. Turpentine is mildly toxic if consumed and can also cause skin irritation. However, it has been known to be a medical resource to resolve joint pain, muscle pain, nerve pain and toothaches. Turpentine can also be used to kill parasites. 


The final finish of the door should comprise a blue coat with a little silver, black and white smears dispersed all along the surface. The smears will make the door look like it has deteriorated for a lengthy period in time and there will be a rusting effect appearing almost sporadically everywhere.. 


Incidentally, metal is a stronger and denser solid than wood. It wasn’t used for the door because using metal is very expensive. Metal is also a heavy solid which may make it difficult for displacement when the door is installed. 


Although the product of the door seems to most likely be a metal door as logically, metal doors usually rust, wood was a more economical alternative to metal. This is mainly why Balau wood was selected as it has a smooth texture which is more appropriate for painting.


The door template has a certain measurement standing at (2.13)m tall and (1.21)m wide for the larger door. The smaller door stands at (1.55)m tall and (0.76)m wide, these measurements include the door frame.

Both colour mixtures and dimensions unmistakably make anyone who enter and exit feel a sense of renewal or some form of magical transformation leading people from one dimension to another thanks to the passion and illustrious colourful poetry by En. Suhaimi and his team.

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