If you have a query relating to home improvement, home maintenance, home DIY or decorating a home then this is the place! Send your queries to our DIY Diva and we will answer them as best we can. If we don’t know - we’ll find out for you. Submit your question and we'll post and answer. In this way we can build up a comprehensive library of information that everyone will be able to access. Fill out the form below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
17 April 2013 04:41 PM
Block out draughts through wooden doors
Please can you help. We have wooden doors with gaps which allow the gale force winds to scream through the house. Is there a way to insulate the doors please? Perhaps something to stick on ?
There is a self-adhesive foam rubber weatherproofing strip that you can buy at Builders Warehouse. I had exactly the same problem with my wooden sliding doors and I stuck the strip down between the gaps to block the draughts coming in.
See more details here: http://www.home-dzine.co.za/bedroom/bedroom-winter.htm
17 April 2013 01:49 PM
Zen Bathroom - Paint that is a sealant as well
Firstly, what a fabulously fun, informative and inspiring experience I am having every time I read your online Home-Dzine magazine! It is fabulous and how awesome to see how the DIY Divas are progressing with their projects! I am passionate about Decor and Design and what I love about your Home-Dzine magazine, is the step-by-step photographic illustrations, simplicity and detailed description on how to do proceed with each project!
I am presently transforming my old bathroom into a Zen Bathroom. I have attached a photograph of the incomplete Zen Bath. The Tap fittings will be fitted on the right-hand side ledge and the water will cascade into the bath via an opening beneath the tap fittings.
However, my dilemma is this, although a sealant was added to the cement when the bath was cemented, I am wanting to know what type of paint I can use that also contains a very strong permanent sealant with which I can paint in-and-around the bath, ensuring no water leakages?
Furthermore, I am not tiling the inner seating area and side walls of the bath. I will only be tiling the side and back walls. The white basin will be fitted onto a black marble slab.
To you and your Team - keep up with your trendy magazine which is like a breath of fresh air! And, do not forget, stay awesome and keep on shining and smiling!
The Zen bathroom is going to look amazing once finished. If you get the chance, please send pics that I can share with readers.
As regards sealing the concrete bath surround, I recommend that you get in touch with the guys at www.cemcrete.co.za - they have a massive range of products that you could use for this application and could suggest the right product and finish that you are looking for to enhance or complement the look you want.
17 April 2013 01:58 PM
Where to buy Dremel Moto Saw
Thank you for a great magazine, I love reading it and trying the ideas and projects. I have also done two of your DIY Divas Workshops at Builders Warehouse and enjoyed it very much.
I have recently read about the new Moto-saw from Dremel on the Home-Dzine website but have been unable to find one in the local shops. (Cape Town) Do you know where I can purchase one. I am a huge Dremel fan and use my rotary tool and attachments for everything except cooking but I am sure I will be able to find an application for it.
Can you please tell me where I can find a Moto-Saw?
You may find that not all the stores have ordered their stock yet, but you can buy online at www.Boman.co.za. They deliver countrywide and offer fantastic prices on the Dremel Tools range. Tell them that you are a DIY Diva and ask if they will offer a discount, especially as we send plenty of business their way. Here are the details and pricing for the Dremel Moto Saw.
17 April 2013 09:56 AM
Brown stain on ceiling
I have noticed on the bathroom ceiling, there are brown marks that are developing. What could be the cause and how can we sort it out now before it becomes a bigger issue.
Also is there any place that you may advise, we can print our photo shoot pics Onto canvas - East Rand Jhb.
Sounds like there is a leak in the ceiling space above. Could be a leaky pipe or the geyser dripping onto the ceiling board. You will need to go up into the ceiling to see if you can see where the leaks are. Once you know where the leaks are coming from you can call in a plumber, add a geyser tray, etc.
For printing photos onto canvas try one of these.
16 April 2013 11:28 AM
How to make a textured wall smooth
I would like to smooth over my rough/textured walls. Do you know of a DIY product that will allow me to do this so that I can apply wall paper/art to the wall?
If it's not a bathroom or room with high humidity you can use Polycell Finishing Plaster or Rhinolite to provide a smooth finish.
Alternatively, use a Random Orbit Sander and 120-grit sandpaper to smooth the wall. I know this sounds messy, but I did the same in one room and held the sander in one hand and the vacuum cleaner in the other... it worked!
Both finishes will need to be primed with plaster primer before applying
15 April 2013 11:13 AM
Can I use Micatex on wood?
We are busy to do some repairs at home and on the outside we have wooden finishes that needs urgent attention. We have a part of the house exterior with wood that forms part of the wall. How can we treat it and can we paint it with Micatex we are using on the outside of the house?
There are two wooden pieces under each other on top of the wall just under the roof (this was added instead of two rows of bricks), and it's beginning to rot at the ends. I searched and found nothing in South Africa. In the website you drill out the rotten wood and fill the parts in with the repair kit. Is there anything available in South Africa that is available to use.
Plascon Micatex is not recommended for use on wood, as it isn't aborsorbed into the wood to offer protection for outdoors. However, Plascon do offer quite an extensive Woodcare range that you could use. Sand the wood with 120-grit and then 180-grit sandpaper, or use fine steel wool, before applying a Woodcare product.
There is an epoxy you can use on wood, it is called Alcolin QuikWood. Before using the epoxy repair treat the wood rot with Plascon Woodcare Weathered Wood Restorer.
15 April 2013 11:55 AM
Help decorating bedroom for toddler and little girl
Please help! I have a small bedroom with small bathroom for my son and my daughter. The wall is blue and I'm confused how to add any decoration or put wallpaper. Where do I put the bed and a cabinet.
The room is very dark in the photos, but I also think that the dark colour of the blue is not helping brighten up the room. If you do add wallpaper, look for a nice light print pattern that with help to brighten up the space.
Wherever you place the furniture try to arrange it so that it's not directly under the air conditioner in the room. You could place the girls bed against the far wall, so that the bottom of the bed is under the aircon and then see how the cot fits into the space. If you can squeeze the bed into this space it will leave the rest of the room to arrange whatever furniture has to fit.
Another alternative would be to leave the bottom half of the room in the blue but add a lighter blue or white on the top half of the wall (or wallpaper if you prefer).
14 April 2013 04:40 PM
What paint to use for Shabby Chic furniture
Thanks for your fabulous web site.
I've been painting old oak and pine furniture that is 30 years old and tired. I wanted a Benjamin Moore type Ivory White colour, which we obviously cannot get in this country. I tried Plascon Ivory White but it turns into a Pale Grey when I tint it in Velvaglo. I've also tried White Canvas but am not too happy with its grey tinges as well. I'm probably wanting something with a more creamy tint... Have you any suggestions? I just want a lovely warm off white not with blue or yellow undertones.
For a lot of our Shabby Chic furniture pieces that are creamy or ivory white we use the Rust-Oleum Distressed Ivory kit (buy at Builders Warehouse) . It's a bit pricey, but this latex paint actually goes a lot further than our local acrylic paints do and with one tin I have painted a 2 metre diameter oak table, six chairs and a sideboard.
The only other suggestion would be to visit the Plascon Inspired Colour System and find the closest colour match that way. They can then mix up the perfect colour for you.
12 April 2013 03:55 PM
How to cast a concrete bath
What will I need to build concrete bath and how do I do this? I had two conventional baths and they both cracked. Have not made one yet but want to. I want to make a corner bath and use the bath that I have there at the moment as a mould. I just don't know what cement and material I will need to do this.
What shape of concrete bath are you trying to make? You should read this article: http://www.home-dzine.co.za/bathroom/bathroom-castconcrete.htm
11 April 2013 10:52 AM
Can I use Rhinolite in bathroom?
Just wanted to say thanks for the website it is great.
The first question I have for you if you do not mind... I have plastered my bathroom walls about 1 month ago and all looks fine but there is here and there small little spots that I am not happy with. I want to know can I use rhinolite on the walls and then paint over that so that I can get a smooth effect. Or do you recommend anything. I have two air vents in my bathroom but none in the other bathroom. Is that still used or can I close that vents.
Don't use Rhinolite in the bathroom - it soaks up moisture like a sponge. Rather use Polyfilla Patching Plaster.
It all depends on whether or not the bathroom needs the vents. These are normally great for circulating air and preventing moisture or condensation in a bathroom. However, they don't even install these in newer homes.
If the bathroom is not used all the time, then go ahead and close them up.
10 April 2013 02:35 PM
Painting knotty pine
I have a home that was built 30 odd years ago and the decro is pretty much of the same time. What I'd like to do is keep the the architecture but modernise it a bit. We have a fireplace made from rocks, the roofing in the kitchen, lounge, TV room is pine and Meranti wood, the floors are slate. Can you give me any advice?
Thanks for getting in touch. It's always difficult to offer advise without seeing the space and perhaps you could send me some pics.
In the meantime, there are plenty of ideas on the www.Home-Dzine.co.za website and I can offer a little advice going on what you have said about the house.
- You can paint the knotty pine ceiling to lighten up the rooms and this alone will make a dramatic difference.
08 April 2013 10:37 AM
Need to fix edging on bedroom cupboard
I would like to know how to repair the top of one of my bedroom cupboards. The beading (if you call it that) is coming off and the top boar" of the cupboard is sagging. The screw that was holding the board in has stripped and it is sagging badly. I tried to nail in another screw, but it isn't working.
It's hard to advise without actually seeing what needs to be done, but it sounds like to need to replace the edging strip on the cupboard. Have recently done a DIY closet makeover and you will find this in the Jan '13 issue of Home-Dzine Online.
If you need to re-attach the board at the top, try filling the old hole with a small blob of wood glue and jamming in a couple of toothpicks. Let it dry and you should then be able to put the screw back in place.
05 April 2013 06:09 AM
Signs of damp in home I want to buy
I am looking at buying my first home, and it is the cute little place in Midrand. However, the house has water damage on the interior against the southern wall. The current tenants state that before the moved in 2 years ago, they had the owner fix the problem, but the damp keeps on pushing through. Is there a way to stop/treat or fix it? I love the house but don't want to sit with something that can become a big unsightly issue later on.
All I know is that the damp is not everywhere - very inconsistent, small areas and one large area in the bedroom. The height of the damp also varies - roughly 30 cm up in the entrance hall, and 40cm - 70cm up the wall in the bedroom.
It seems that the plastic sheeting for the foundation and inner wall seal was not done correctly? Additionally I could not spot any damp on the exterior walls?
Doesn't sound as though the original owner did fix the problem if the damp is still there. If the original damp proof course (DPC) was not done properly, or missed out, you could be in for continuous problems. There is no way to fix this other than have a contractor come in and drill holes all around the bottom walls to inject a compound that prevents rising damp and it is very expensive.
Over time the damp will attract mould inside the wall cavity, which will spread to the interior walls and can be a serious health hazard.
Sorry to be the bearer of such bad news, but that cute little house could become a nightmare in the future.
04 April 2013 12:31 PM
How to remove layers of varnish
I have an old wooden lounge suite which I would like to modernise. How do I go about scrapping off the old vanish. I would like to lime wash the furniture. What tools would I need and what would be the best paint that you will recommend.
The best way to remove layers of old varnish is to use Plascon RemovALL. This is an eco-friendly paint stripper, so it won't strip off your skin as well ! Depending upon how many layers of varnish there are, you may have to apply more than once. After that, give it a light sanding with 240-grit sandpaper before you limewash.
27 March 2013 09:50 AM
Where to buy Rust-Oleum Leak Seal
I'm looking for a type of liquid rubber spray that I can use to seal small water leaks. Please could you advise where I could get it?
I have quite a bit of damp coming through some walls ... what would your advice be on stopping this ongoing problem?
You are referring to Rust-Oleum Leak Seal. Find the product at your local Builders Warehouse, or get in touch with www.tilecare.co.za for a supplier in your area.
Before treating damp you need to find the cause, or it will be an ongoing problem.
Once you have remedied the cause you can apply a waterproofing product to the area. Builders Warehouse offer a selection of suitable products from Coprox and ABE and other suppliers.
26 March 2013 11:49 AM
Restoring an old home
Am a huge fan of your work and website!
I had to drop a note regarding your latest home improvement note on your website regarding restoring an older home.
I am currently restoring a +/- 50 year old double story in DBN. Just bought it from an elderly man who himself bought it 1976, from the original owner. The house looks as if it was never touched since then, which is fantastic. In any case, I am busy with a room by room project, and have been compiling photo’s and progress, for which I am planning to send through to Home-Dzine once my first room is complete – approximately 2 weeks time.
Restoring an older home is a challenge, but extremely rewarding, even more so than having built my first house from scratch.
I will be in touch, and thank you for a great website.
26 March 2013 08:18 AM
Can I do my own screed floor?
Here we go:
ONE: I love screed-like floors and am considering pulling up my carpets to expose the concrete beneath. Would this be possible? Is there a way to finish this - I don't really want to paint or stain it. I just want to rip up the carpet and apply a product over the top of the concrete.
TWO: my toilet is leaking from the back, the round-thingys seal is gone, I think. Do I need to get a plumber for this? Or is it relatively easy to do myself?
Oh, sorry - one other question: I have had 3 quotes to have skirting boards done in the just-renovated dining room: it is frightfully expensive. Can I not just measure and have them cut somewhere? I'm sure I'd be able to install them myself...????
Firstly, here's what you need to do on the toilet, and NO, you don't need a plumber: http://www.home-dzine.co.za/diy/diy-fix-toilet.htm
I am also pulling up my carpet in the lounge and will be screeding the floor in order to put down luxury vinyl tiles. You can buy pigment powders at your local Builders Warehouse that can be added to the screed to add tints if you don't want to paint the concrete. Polishing is extremely expensive and you would need to put down more than a screed for this option.
Here's a link for self-levelling screed
in mind that this option is only for if you want to put something down on
top of it.
When you rip up the carpets you will see that most slabs are very roughly finished. BUT, If it is in good condition you might be able to get away with applying a matt or satin polyurethane sealer over the top and leave it at that.
If you want a purely concrete finish, find yourself a local handyman that can do this for you, as it is extremely messy and must be done right. And bear in mind that the room will be out of bounds for about 7 days for the cement to cure. They will mix concrete to lay a thick slab over the existing floor and you will find more information here for mixes and instructions.
It's actually very easy to install skirtings and you can buy them at your local Builders Warehouse. They come in long lengths and various designs or profiles. What you will need is a compound mitre saw, jigsaw or circular saw that will allow you to cut the mitred edges - where the corners join together.
Depending upon how much the guys want to charge, it might be cheaper to buy your own tools and DIY it:
25 March 2013 08:19 PM
What to use instead of turps?
Please can you tell me what to use in place of toxic turps. I use it all the time and it effects my skin and eyes.
I have stopped using turps all together and use Plascon RemovALL to clean my paintbrushes after using oil based paints. But the best way is to change to acrylic paints and you simply wash the brushes in warm water.
23 March 2013 01:23 PM
Different types of geysers
We recently wanted to redecorate our en-suite, and bought tiles and a new basin and tap. The contractors we asked for quotes however all said that we have the wrong geyser for the new single tap we wanted to install, and that we needed a high pressure geyser. What type of geysers are available, and what are the differences between a low and high pressure geyser?
There are basically three types of geyser systems that are installed locally. In many older homes you often find gravity-fed geysers which use gravity to allow the flow of water through the system, and this flow is low pressure. A low pressure system (400kPa) and a high pressure geyser (600kPa) pursh water through the system, and the problem with your setup is that there isn't enough pressure in the system for the new tap.
You may have to look at installing a new geyser, which is not a bad idea if you are planning to install new taps throughout the house. Visit Kwikot for more information on geyser systems available.
22 March 2013 06:44 AM
Where to buy bi-fold door kits
Great site thank you. Please advise where I can buy a Bifold door kit in Sandton?
I would recommend that you get in touch with www.hillaldam.co.za, who manufacture these systems. They should be able to advise of a supplier in your area.
Alternatively, you can now order most products from overseas. If you are interested, I will be featuring a project on the www.Home-Dzine.co.za website in the future that shows how to make your own bi-fold doors using a aluminium tracks and fitting pivots to the top of the doors.
21 March 2013 10:12 PM
How to attach slasto to walls
I need some information with regards to tiling with slasto. I have a partially tiled bathroom wall and need to do the rest of the wall. I would appreciate it if someone could tell me what to stick the slasto down with and what to use for grout after the slasto has been stuck down. Your assistance and advice would be greatly appreciated.
You will use cement-based adhesive to fasten slasto to walls. This product should be available at your local Builders Warehouse, or from a company that supplies natural stone tiles. You can also use the adhesive as a grout, or use a coloured grout if you need to match the existing finish.
20 March 2013 11:18 AM
Decorating a home to be child-proof
My wife and I are buying a new home soon that will structurally be very modern inside and out. We also have a 2 year old girl with a baby sister on the way. We currently have modern furniture but no decorative pieces. We would really like to have a nice centre piece on the coffee table or a nice vase display on either side of the TV stand and even some floor standing plants or little trees but these things are not possible when one has an inquisitive child/children running around wanting to touch and tug everything that catches their attention. Is it possible for us to decorate our home with modern colourful pieces that are, lets say, indestructible to a little girl?
There are so many ways to introduce personality, colour and texture into a home without worrying about your little one's fingers.
If you want some plants in the home, think about 'lollipops' and decorative indoor shrubs that have all their greenery at the top. When planted in a heavy clay pot it will be very difficult to tip this over, or pull off leaves.
As far as decor is concerned, until you little ones reach the stage where 'no' or 'don't touch' is not an invitation to do so... buy your decor on the cheap. Stores like Mr Price Home and Sheet Street have some really lovely decor accessories that won't cost you an arm or a leg and can be replaced if an accident does happen. When they get a little older, then you can splurge on more expensive decor accessories.
Artwork and wall decor is another way to add interest to your home. Instead of two pieces on top of the TV unit, why not mount wall decor on either side of the TV.
20 March 2013 12:32 PM
Remove layers of paint on doors
Please can you advise what would be the best way to remove paint from a steel door frame. The existing paint is thick and full of little lumps and is peeling in places. Should I use a paint remover?
Plascon RemovALL is a great eco-friendly paint remover that works extremely well. You might have to apply a couple of times if the paint is really, really piled on.
Another alternative is to use a heat gun and a paint scraper. This method is faster and less messy - if you have a heat gun.
19 March 2013 01:04 PM
How to clean glass stove top or hob
I have a glass top stove and do not know how to clean it? I do not want to use anything harsh on it as it will scratch. Please advise.
Also having a glass hob I know how difficult it can be to keep clean. Vinegar and baking soda work great on an enamelled hob, but for glass you can use an oven or microwave cleaner.
18 March 2013 12:28 PM
Where to buy wool or yarn for giant blankets
You had something on one of the newsletters on knitting the most beautiful bed covers, but with very thick Yarn and needles. Where do I enquire about that in SA. Is it possible to send me details on a supplier. I am in Cape Town, but I'm sure I can have a mail order of some kind. I would really love to know more about this knitting craft. Thanks and have a good crafting week. I am looking forward to more newsletters to enjoy.
I stumbled across: http://www.krafthaus.co.za/?m=3D4&s=3D6 and they have some wonderful yarns. I think you need to contact them re sending via parcel.
18 March 2013 04:48 PM
How to remove limescale or hard water deposits
By accident I have just found your great web. site. How do you clean the inside glass doors of a shower?
If you are referring to the hard limescale that tends to build up, use vinegar and an old toothbrush to remove. For stubborn scale let the vinegar sit for about 30 minutes and then rub.
Lemon juice is good for soap scum, or that film that collects on the surface of glass. Use a nylon mesh scrubber, like the one you use for bathing, as it won't scratch the glass. For stubborn soap scum mix together lemon juice and bicarb for a paste to rub down with.
18 March 2013 11:41 AM
How to restore tiles on verandah
I wonder if you can help me – we have a verandah that was paved in a terracotta/reddish tile – very thin almost looks like slate. It is looking very tired and dated – can you recommend a polish or seal I can put over to lift it a bit and make it look a bit alive.
The TFC (Tile & Floor Care) range of products are excellent for this and are specially designed for all types of tile and stone. You should be able to see the entire range at your local Builders Warehouse to select the one you need for your verandah.
15 March 2013 09:40 AM
How to rust IBR sheeting
I would like to know how to get galvanized IBR sheeting to rust. I have made a small fence around the garden with IBR cladding but would really like it to have that rust effect. Will pool acid speed up the process? Any other way?
There are several methods for 'promoting rust' on IBR sheeting but this is the easiest one that I have previously used:
1. Rough sand the IBR to remove any coating that might be present. Some sheets have a thin zinc coating that inhibits the prevention of rust. Use 120-grit sanding paper.
2. In order to create 'true rust' you need to oxidise the metal and to do this you need a product that has salts in it. Not sure about chlorine, but bleach works well and so does slightly diluted muriatic acid. I used the latter which was left over from a building project I did and it was used to clean the brickwork.
DO wear adequate protection and do this project outside, as the acid is extremely smelly and toxic.
15 March 2013 06:31 AM
Level out stone floor tiles
I am remodelling my kitchen and taking out the colonial stone floor tiles. However, I don't know what to put on the floor. My whole house is done with the colonial stone tiles and looks stunning , but does not work well in the kitchen because of the unevenness. What alternative can I use in an very open plan house?
Have you considered applying a concrete screed over the colonial stone floor. Once applied this would even out the floor and then you could have it tinted, get someone in to polish it, or apply any number of floor coverings over the top once it is levelled out.
13 March 2013 08:35 AM
Leak in swimming pool
Please can you help with some advice. Our swimming pool is leaking where the pipe to the pump is attached at the weir. The ground around there is like a swamp – my husband dug up the soggy earth around the pipe and it is definitely by the join. He is now talking of getting a jack hammer to break out the concrete and paving to get to the join to repair the leak…..I am scared this is going to cause the marbellite pool to crack…….he says it is his only option, but I am worried this is going to end up an expensive exercise, shame – he means well!!!!
Have had a similar problem but my leak was actually around the weir frame on the inside of the pool and much easier to fix. The problem is that there is concrete above and around, although I think a jackhammer might be a bit extreme and could cause surrounding damage. For the same price you could have a labourer for the day and give him a hammer and cold chisel. That wouldn't cause as much vibration. Most pools have a thick surround, but you never know.
13 March 2013 04:34 PM
Advice on finishing art deco chairs
I have become quite a fan of your site since I moved back into my apartment and started doing some DIY. I consulted your site when I stripped paint, sanded and sealed my old meranti lounge window frames and door. Thanks to you they are looking great and I have saved myself a heap of money and walked away with a really great sense of achievement as well as the DIY bug.
My next project is regarding 2 art deco lounge chairs which I have recently
acquired. They have already been reupholstered by the previous owners with
black vinyl and are looking very nice. The wooden arms of the chairs have
had some sanding done but the work has not been completed. I would like to
know what the best method would be to go about restoring the wood. I have
included some pictures of 1 of the chairs with this email. Its really just
the wooden arms and legs that need to be done. As mentioned, the arms have
already had an initial sand but look like they may need a fine sand to get
it looking perfect before sealing. The legs have had no sanding done and
still have some of the old varnish on. So not a very big job, but I am
hoping to get the best result possible, therefore I am contacting you guys
My plan was to do a rough sand with maybe a 80-100 grit paper and follow that up with a fine sand with a 250-320 grit paper. I was then thinking of sealing with 3 coats of Woodoc 5 or 10. I am not looking to go for a very glossy finish, perhaps a satin or matte finish. I saw some interesting articles on your site using woodoc gel stains, I am not sure if this piece would be amenable to that. I especially liked the technique in getting the shading gradient from the corners by using some neet stain and rubbing from the corners outwards. Was thinking about maybe doing that on the arms in those gutters, but the wood may be a bit dark to get the best out of that technique and it may also just be trying to be too fancy.
Anyway, as I am a complete amateur, I defer to your expertise when it comes to this stuff and any advice you can offer me on how best to do this would be greatly appreciated.
Lucky you getting your hands on the art deco chairs. They are quite valuable these days.
I agree with the light sanding as they don't appear scratched or chipped on the pics. I would start with a 150-grit sandpaper and then move up to a 180- and 240-grit. To sand in the grooves, a nice trick is to wrap the sandpaper around something like a pencil and slide it up and down just for a smooth finish.
Woodoc gel stain is a stain that you can apply if you want to change the colour of the wood itself, but it's not a final treatment. A dark stain such as imbuia would look nice with the new upholstery. A matt varnish would be best for this area and for the legs. Plascon have a clear Ultra Varnish that comes in a suede finish that would be best.
05 March 2013 01:22 PM
Modern design for thatched home
I’ve been going to your website now and then to see some of your great tips. My hubby and I are in the process of buying our very first house (eeep!) and now I’ve been addicted to your website!! One thing I’d like to ask you:
Our house is a thatch roof (I know some people hate thatch, but it makes me think of holiday J) – meaning some of the rooms don’t have ceilings, but thatch. Do you have any pretty ideas/pictures suggestions of how to decorate a house in keeping with the warmth of the thatch feel but without it looking like a "African Bushveld Getaway"? I’ve been looking and looking for ideas – I just keep coming up empty. Everything I see is super floral and all the furniture looks like it’s made from the same wood… it just looks a bit like Grandma’s farm cabin.
You always have lovely ideas, I’d love to hear from you J
Have looked around to try and find some images that I could send to you, but have come across the same problem. Everything is either rustic or floral and frilly but I did find a couple of visuals and this made me realise... it makes no difference what roof finishing you have and you shouldn't let this limit your design or style for the interior.
This thatched house below is decorated in a very contemporary style and looks stunning - no frills or floral in sight.
22 February 2013 11:08 AM
Painted closet doors now finished
Took me longer than I expected to get started on the built-in cupboards due to my mom’s ill health and then her demise. I attach hereto two photos, one shows half the cupboard done and the other shows the cupboard completed. I am very pleased with the result. Also did the cupboards in the other two bedrooms and am very pleased.
Thanks for the advice.
Monday, August 08, 2011 9:34 AM
Painting closet doors
I had built-in cupboard built in my bedrooms. But now, 5 years later, I notice that the paint spray job was really badly done. The cupboard doors don't appear to have the same number of coats as some are white and some are not. I am considering respraying or painting them myself as it's quite expensive to get them sprayed. I understand that if I paint them I should use a sponge roller.
Could you please advise what undercoat I should use and which paint. I had considered using Plascon Velvaglo but am not sure if this is OK. Please advise. Thanks so much for your website - love reading it.
Before you think about spraying, especially over an already very mismatched surface, I would give all the doors a sanding with 120- and then 180-grit sandpaper. You can buy an Orbital Sander for around R300 and it will be worth the investment if there are lots of doors that need to be done.
You don't need to remove ALL the paint, just enough to provide a nice flat (non-shiny) surface that is nice and smooth and ready to be painted. You can use a foam roller and Plascon Velvaglo, but today's acrylic sheen paints are just as washable and are water-based, which means that cleaning up is easier.
28 February 2013 02:03 PM
Query about a paint technique
Please could you give me some advice with regards to the attached photo. This is a TV cabinet that is scratched and we need to try to patch it up. Can you assist.
The paint technique used here is antique crackle. The problem comes in matching the colour and the crackle pattern, and finding the crackle medium. I know that Heritage Crafts have a crackle medim that you could use, and this is simply painted over the base colour to create the crackle effect. Try arts and crafts shops for the crackle medium.
16 February 2013 09:33 AM
Where to buy cords for blinds
We found your article on restringing blinds very helpful, but do you possibly know where we can find suitable string for wooden roller in the Southern suburbs of Cape Town.
Most fabric stores should stock a nylon cord or paracord that you could use to replace old cords in blinds.
15 February 2013 09:02 AM
Grout between tiles and uneven tiles
I renovated my bathroom about two years ago and I used white calypso tiles for the walls (size 31 x 91.4 from Italtile). I was told by the salesman at Italtile that one does not have to use grout when placing the tiles; unfortunately, my tiler used grout and also did a lousy job with the placement. The grout is discolouring and the tiles are not even - they stick out about 1mm (from tile to tile). How do I fix this as the tiles were expensive. I have looked at the following options
1. Remove grout and then the tiles; make sure wall is smooth and then re-tile but the tiles are large and will most likely crack, 2. Sand the tiles and paint over them. Have attached photo’s to give you an idea of the renovation but it does not show the uneven tile or discolouration problem.
First off... sue the tiler.
This is going to be a very expensive mistake and not one that you can fix. If the tiles are stuck to the wall you are not going to be able to get them off without cracking the majority. Sanding the tiles won't work either, as you will simply sand away the ceramic glaze on top of the tiles and be left with discoloured tiles.
Your only option would be to remove the grout and re-apply and then add a tile sealer to the grout to prevent discolouration. If the grout is done nicely, hopefully you won't notice the uneveness as much.
15 February 2013 10:47 AM
How to make grooves in supawood
Thanks a lot for such an informative website and magazine. Through them I have managed to complete a couple of projects: Chest of drawer, coffee table and bookshelf. I am trying to create lines like (smalls cuts running across the wood) on the supawood like the ones on the attached picture or similar. Please assist on what type of tool is used to generate them and the process is called.
There is no tool that you can use to create the grooves or cuts on the top of SupaWood. In the pic that you provided, this surface is actually a laminate finish and you can buy laminate sheets at TimberCity that would look like this and would be glued on top of the SupaWood. You can also buy PG Bison MelaWood, which is a BisonBord or SupaWood board that already has the laminate finish.
12 February 2013 03:50 PM
What adhesive for glass splashback
I have painted glass splash backs that require to be installed onto the plastered kitchen walls. I'm told that the best adhesive to use is a silicon. Is this your recommendation and please advise on which silicon I should use?
There are quite a few adhesives and sealants that affect the painted coating and you need to use a sealant that does not contain specific solvents. If you use Den Braven's neutral cure silicone products you shouldn't have any problem at all.
09 February 2013 08:53 PM
Converting thatch roof to tiles
Is it possible to convert a thatch roof to a tile roof? Is it effective in reducing the dust and insects associated with thatch roofs? Do you need to install a ceiling? Would it reduce insurance premiums by reducing the chances of lightning strike fire?
If the roof beams and cross supports are still in good condition, I see no reason why you cannot convert thatch to a tiled roof as long as the existing roof design is square or rectangular. Many thatch roofs are designed with soft curves and, if this is the case with your roof, tiles could not be fitted. It would probably be quite a lengthy process, as some beams - or entire sections - may need to be added or replaced. I'm not convinced that a tiled roof (without ceiling) would reduce dust and insects, as you find just as much dust and insects. Putting in a ceiling will definitely reduce both dust and insects.
As far as reducing insurance premiums; a thatch-roofed house is automatically more expensive than a tiled roof, due to the higher risk of damage. A tiled roof would reduce monthly insurance premiums but I have no idea by how much.
08 February 2013 04:45 PM
Restore old school desk and chairs
I am opening a daycare centre soon and I have been gifted some old school desks and chairs. The frames are slightly rusted and the wood is a little ruined from standing in the sun and some water damage. What paint would I use for the frame and what paint for the wooden desk and chairs.
Metal: Use Rust-Oleum Rust Stripper and some steel wool on the frames before painting with Rust-Oleum spray gloss enamel.
Wood: Sand down the wood with 80-, 120-, and then 240-grit sandpaper and then you can paint with Plascon Velvaglo or Rust-Oleum gloss enamel spray in your choice of colour.
Both products are available at your local Builders Warehouse.
11 February 2013 04:31 PM
DIY Divas Workshops
Thank you very much for the opportunity to attend the beginners powertools workshop. It was just fantastic, I immediately felt empowered, I felt like I could do anything, it’s a feeling I cannot describe. An hour into the workshop I felt like I am no longer a victim of my house anymore. The presenter was very helpful and ready to answer to any of our question, even the ones not related to the workshop.
So glad that you enjoyed the workshop. If you feel this empowered after the first workshop, imagine the feeling when you have made your first piece of furniture.
06 February 2013 05:27 PM
Painting trim on house exterior
I have a rustic colour face brick in my house. I now would like to paint the gutters, windows and outdoor pot plants. Could you please give me advice as to what colour will go well, except the orange, red and yellow.
P.S. I still enjoy the home dzine website great work, keep it up.
It really depends on the look that you want for your home exterior. White would be a contrast that would stand out, whereas a dark brown colour would have impact but not stand out so much. For less impact you would look at neutral colours such as a creamy white or taupe/light brown, or one of the new shades of grey.
07 February 2013 04:29 PM
Help choosing paint colour
What paint colours did you use in the Tuscan bathroom?
Because there is such a difference between colours that you see on the screen and actual colours, we recommend that you visit your local paint store to select swatches that are as close as possible to the colours reflected in the article.
Print out a copy of the picture and take it along with you to choose the right colours. Pick a swatch that has the darkest colour and then choose two other hues from the same paint swatch.
6 February 2013 11:51 AM
Can I spray paint my furniture?
I'd like to know if it's possible to spray paint a silver chrome TV table gold or bronze and what I would need to do it.
Most definitely...! You can use Rust-Oleum Universal Metallic spray (at your local Builders Warehouse), which comes in pure gold, oil-rubbed bronze and aged copper. Give the table a light sanding with 180-grit sandpaper to de-gloss the table before painting.
04 February 2013 01:10 PM
Greenish-brown stains in pool
I have greenish brown stains on my gunited pool. I have brushed all the algae off but some of the stain remains. I have tried shock dosing and steel brushing etc.I have even tried a scouring sponge but it hardly makes any difference to the stain. The stains are mostly in the shadowy areas and around the lights etc. and only on the sides of the pool not on the bottom. My water is very clear.
It sounds as though algae has actually penetrated into the gunite finish and left a stain behind. It can be difficult to remove these stains. I would suggest that you take a water sample to you local pool shop and ask them to test the water and see what they recommend. Sometimes a pool can be over stabilised and this can result in treatments not being effective.
01 February 2013 08:53 AM
Help adding colour to home
Thank you so much for responding to my e-mail and the great tips/links you forwarded to me! I have taken advantage of your offer to send you pics. Basically it’s all the areas that guest will see when they walk into my house (entire house is painted in a very light grey colour, which is almost white).
Your help is much appreciated, I really can’t wait to make my house look like a home, finally after almost 4 years!
I see what you mean about 'lack of colour'. The house looks very empty and you can so easily add detailing to make it look more of a home. Working with the colours that you have in your living room I have selected what is the closest colour from the screen image using the Plascon Inspired Colour system. I use this a lot of working out what colours work best and it allows you to see complementary and adjacent colours at the same time. You can stay within the monochromatic range or add splashes of other colour, whichever you prefer.
Empty walls on left as you enter front door - paint a solid block of colour from the monochromatic selection. The block can be about 2 metres wide and 2 metres high. Use this block to mount photos - or artwork that incorporates the colours below.
Paint the same block of colour onto the wall behind the couch - go for a grey that takes its colour from the curtains. Mount 1 large pieces of artwork incorporating the colours below above the TV, or 2 smaller pieces on either side.
- A glass splashback above the hob would add colour to the kitchen, but you could also install a glass mosaic splashback. I put a red perspex splashback in the kitchen and it is affected by heat and steam from the stove - so don't go there...!
- It looks like there is plenty of space in the middle of the kitchen. A dining room would definitely fit, or a nice big butcher-block island. It's a beautiful space with the sliding doors. If you put a dining table, chairs upholstered in a colour that matches the new splashback would be perfect.
-On the wall between stairs and laundry hang a long, narrow artwork incorporating colours below, or even something in silver to match all the stainless steel in the kitchen.
I'm sure this is enough to keep you busy for a while.
01 February 2013 06:32 AM
Eyelet curtains and blinds?
I am redoing my home interiors and want to put up eyelet curtains, however I have black leather couches in my living room and don’t want the sun to be directly on the couch. Is there any way that I can have the eyelet finish/curtains and have a type of “back curtain” say organza or voile to keep the sun out. Please help, I love the minimal finish that the eyelet design provides, but don’t want to give up my furniture’s “safety”.
In my mind I can't quite see eyelet curtains with a netting or voile behind working well. Blinds would definitely be a better option.
29 January 2013 12:36 PM
How to lay paving
We are a newlywed couple (so funds are few) and would like to do paving at our new house. I suggested that we do this ourselves and was wondering what we would need and how much it could work out to? We want to put paving over the grass in front of the house, then a 'drive way' onto the front lawn and paving around the pool. How long does a job like this usually take?
You will find plenty of ideas in our garden section, as well as advice on the different methods of laying paving.
It's difficult for me to place a time on your project as I don't know what is involved and how big the space is. You will also need to shop around for prices on paving, as these can vary depending on the style of paving you choose. There is faux stone paving, brick paving, concrete paving, cobblestones, etc.
29 January 2013 11:29 AM
Ideas for turning house into home
We built a brand new house (rather big double-storey) with big open-plan areas, in which we are now living for almost 4yrs. It is very difficult financially to fill all the open spaces on floor and walls, also mainly due to the fact that I am very scared to make use of bright colours. The house is all “natural”, from top to bottom…
How can I get ideas to decorate and re-paint my house, to look like a home? I want to have my house re-painted inside in approx. 2 months’ time, but choosing the right colours is another challenge. The walls are currently a very light greyish colour with the doors and skirting’s all a different colour again. My kitchen is open-plan and I would love to bring in a dining room table, but don’t exactly know where to put it. I will really appreciate some tips, as my house is way too dull and boring and I think it’s about time it start decorating it room for room. I had a look at your website, which is awesome by the way, but I still don’t know where to start (I am just being blonde?)… Please let me know how you can help!!
The first step would be to make yourself a mood board and start collecting images and pics of colours, accessories and furniture that appeals to you. As you build up the layers on your mood board, your style and personality will start to take shape.
While the mood board won't necessarily assist with selecting the right colours, you will have more of an idea of the colours you want to incorporate. Then it's as easy as popping on to the Plascon Inspired Colour System to choose complementary colours. EG. If you would like to have a neutral colour for the walls - select that first as this will be the largest area and then click 'all colour schemes' to see what colours work well with your first selection.
In a larger home, especially double volume and open plan, a feature wall or splash of colour works very well in defining the space.
You are welcome to send through some photos for me to take a look at and offer advice.
24 January 2013 12:26 PM
Stone Flooring - Revamp
Let me please first say how I love your website - Home Dzine. I log on weekly to get ideas and tips. We are renting a beautiful house on a plot and are now desperate to get some advise on how to re-vamp the flooring in our dining room, lounge and TV-room. The flooring is a type of "stone" tile which unfortunately needs a re-vamp. Is it possible to paint this flooring with a permanent type of varnish? How can we make the floor look new and pretty again? The grouting also needs to be re-done as this has over the ages worn away.
Thank you for any advice or suggestions you may have available.
It is not recommended that you paint a stone floor or tile. However, I am featuring an article on stone floors in the Feb issue of Home-Dzine Online, which should be loaded by the end of this week. You'll find plenty of tips in this for your floor.
24 January 2013 01:25 PM
How to mark out for tiling
I am about to embark on a major renovation and thinking about doing the tiling myself. I suppose I'm looking to learn the easiest way to mark out tiles and the best way to leveling them etc,. Also what tile glue/grout goes with what tile?
For marking out you would use a straightedge or steel ruler and a spirit level to start at the bottom and get your starting line. Mark from one side of the wall to the other. Draw lines all the way up the wall as guides. You also need to use the straightedge and spirit level to keep checking as you tile up. I find it a good idea to check the plumb of the walls before I start, because it's very rare to find walls that are perfectly level and you will need to adjust vertically to allow for any uneveness.
For ceramic or porcelain tiles you use a standard grout, but for stone tiles you need a heavy-duty grout.
23 January 2013 10:11 AM
Repair wooden blind
I have a 1.5 x 1.8 wooden blind that I bought for a sliding door. That blind is now broken and can no longer be used for the sliding door. I have 2 of 1.8 x.900 windows that I am not able to buy blinds for due to that being very expensive. Is it possible to have the blind cut to fit the two windows?
You may only be able to use the wooden blind for one of the windows. If you cut it down to size you will also need to cut the open/close mechanism as well. Since there is only one mechansim on the blind, how will you open/close the other section?
If you visit the www.Home-Dzine.co.za Decor Section you will find plenty of affordable ideas for windows:
15 January 2013 05:08 PM
Epoxy paint on outdoor patio
Tell me something - will epoxy paint work on an outdoor patio at the coast? It is currently tilled and I have cracks that are leaking into my neighbour bellow’s lounge … Re-tiling will cost a fortune … and it has been a problem for about 6 years now … seems to be a construction problem.
You can use an exterior sealer for filling in the cracks around the patio. At your local Builders Warehouse, ask for a cartridge of sealer - and you will need a caulking gun - that is suitable for exterior and that can be used to seal around your patio. There are plenty of varieties that you can use: Alcolin, Sista, Den Braven, etc.
15 January 2013 04:26 PM
Restore rusted metal garden bench
I have this old, vrot garden bench. It looks a little like the one that you made over. It just has a few more wooden panels. Most of the wooden panels are broken so I will replace those. On the metal frame, there is a bit of rust and all the paint is chipping off. Do I buy a paint remover and a rust remover and then spray with a primer and then spray paint? Or do I just get the rust and paint off, and then paint straight away? Also, is rustoleum paint the better paint? The bench is under a ‘gazebo’ type of thing. Basically just a wooden structure with a wisteria covering it. But the bench is still exposed to rain and sun.
Use Rust-Oleum Rust Converter or Rust Stripper to remove and restore the rusted areas. To remove the paint you can use Plascon RemovAll and a hard scrubbing brush. Once clean, paint with Rust-Oleum Enamel spray to prevent future rust. After using Rust-Oleum you will never use anything else... it's that good.
09 January 2013 11:19 AM
Best way to clean slate roof
What is the best way of cleaning a slate roof with moss? I have heard that pressure spraying can cause more damage than do good - is this true? I have also been told that spraying and then also paining the roof is a good option as it will help seal the roof should there be any small holes or damage from the pressure hosing down. Any advice would be appreciated.
Using a high-pressure spray can loosen the tiles, but I know that this process is used frequently and there is a right way and wrong way of doing it. You can attach a soft brush to the power spray - like the one used for washing cars - and this reduces the pressure and makes it easier to wash the roof down. Add some household bleach to the water to kill off any moss, which is a fungus.
Not sure I would want to paint slate tiles, and bear in mind that it will be an ongoing process once you start.
04 January 2013 02:52 PM
Best paint to use in a bathroom
What is the best paint to use in a bathroom? We are tiling halfway through the bath, so we need to paint the other top half preferably in a soft yellow. And one that will not cause any mould or issues on the wall.
You definitely need to use Plascon Kitchens & Bathrooms paint. Have just completed quite a few projects using this paint, both for the Home-Dzine website and the latest issue of Home-Dzine Online.
03 January 2013 03:33 PM
How to remove paint from pine coffee table
I have a pine coffee table that I would like to stain. Currently its painted black. (spray painted). Is there a way that spray paint can be removed? Do I just get normal paint remover?
Use Plascon RemovAll to take off the spray paint. It's an eco-friendly product that works like a dream.
03 January 2013 11:54 AM
How to clean slasto tiles in shower
The tiles on the shower floor and wall are tiled with slasto. Would it be safe to clean with diluted bleach and vinegar to remove the scum?
I wouldn't recommend using a chlorine-based product on natural stone. Rather visit www.TFC.co.za to see the range of slasto cleaners they offer and that are available on the shelf at your local Builders Warehouse. I am currently stripping/cleaning my tiles at home, as my entire house is done with slate tiles.
03 January 2013 11:44 AM
Advice on building a flat roof
We are planning to build a new house, but would like to have a flat roof instead of a pitched roof. Can you please forward me the do's and dont's.
IBR is not the best idea for a flat roof if you are building a home due to the zero-pitch angle. You should look at an option that has cement-fibre sheeting that is overlaid with an OSB or plywood sheet and then topped of with tar sheets that are heat-welded to the board and along joins. Flashing or seams are brought up the brick sides and heat-welded to prevent leaks
See more information here: http://www.home-dzine.co.za/diy/maintain-flat-roof.htm
24 December 2012 11:10 AM
Where to buy wood grain rocker
I was reading your site on applying a faux wood grain finish. Where would I be able to purchase a wood grain rocker - I live in Fourways, JHB?
You can order a wood grain rocker from: http://www.harlequin.co.za/accessories/graining-rocker_graining-comb.php
03 January 2013 08:55 AM
Dining room suite needs to be re-designed
I have very old furniture my lounge suite I would like to redesign if possible and then my dining room suite needs to be upholstered.
For the lounge suite - I do not mind if I make it into wood chips and make a chair out it or build it into something (more of sentimental value and I am not sure it is practical). Not sure of the type of wood it is made of but it is solid wood and currently breaking leg for leg.
The dining room suit is Kiaat and the chairs need to be repaired and reupholster.
These are definitely going to be a do-it-yourself projects. You might be able to find a handyman who can assist, but these projects are not something you can ask someone to do for you.
You will find plenty of tips and advice on the www.Home-Dzine.co.za website and you are more than welcome to get in touch with me re any assistance that I can offer. If you can send through some pics I might be able to help you get started.
01 January 2013 11:24 AM
How to restore parquet floor
I've just removed the carpet from my son's room so that I can restore the parquet flooring. Please send me a complete diy or tips on how to restore the existing parquet flooring from beginning to finish. Also the kind of glue/epoxy which I can use which won't cost an arm and a leg but is still of good quality. Thank you.
There are a couple of articles on the website that deal with parquet floors:
30 December 2012 08:08 PM
How to fix up aluminium furniture
I recently received an old 10 seater cast aluminum patio set. The paint has started to peel and I found at least one chair with cracks that must be repaired. How do I go about refurbishing the the set?
I do not have any welding experience, so I'll probably need a professional to fix the cracks. Can you point me in the direction of anyone that repairs cast aluminum cracks? What would be the best products to use to prepare, prime paint the set?
Firstly, you should be able to repair non-structural cracks yourself if you view the articles below on how to. For larger or structural cracks in aluminium you will need to find a handyman that does specialist aluminium welding.
You will need to remove all the paint from the furniture. If it has already started peeling, you will be wasting your time by painting over the existing finish as it may peel off in the future.
I would suggest that you try sanding first to see how brittle the paint is. If it is peeling it should be easy to remove the paint this way. Any hard to remove spots can be treated with Plascon RemovAll. Once down to the surface you can paint as detailed in the articles below.
There are a couple of articles on the website that will be of assistance:
01 January 2013 07:24 PM
How to fix leaks around skylight
What sealant can I use to seal th interior part of a skylight, as it leaks into the house when it rains?
Before sealing the interior of the skylight you need to fix up any leaks on the outside. You need to stop water from entering the roof in any way.
Rust-Oleum have just launched a fantastic new products called Leak Seal. I was given the opportunity to try out the product, and it's amazing. You can buy at your local Builders Warehouse or get in touch with the suppliers at www.tfc.co.za.
Once the outside leaks are fixed you can use silicone or acrylic sealer on the inside.