I'm sorry to hear that you're not feeling well. So, without counting all of the "brainstorming", I would say that it took about 2 hours to assemble, including a bathroom break, and dealing with a solicitor at the front door (Jehovah Witness). The aluminum is black - anodized by a local shop. I suppose an aluminum shroud would give it a more finished look. Normally, I don't look at it while watching a movie.