Q & A

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.

Full Name

Email

Your Query

 

 

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Marilyn

Sent: 18 May 2016 09:03 AM

Subject: Open plan bathroom/dressing room

We are toying with the idea to open plan our bathroom and dressing room. I need to know if this is practical. Does one need to take into account moisture for the cupboards? or because it is open plan evaporation takes place more quickly? What is the rule on this?

Hi Marilyn,

My bathroom and dressing room are semi-open plan. There is a 1/3 wall between the two, so that doesn’t really make much difference. I have had no problems with damp, but do keep the bathroom window open for ventilation and air flow. What is nice is that the dressing room is warm during the winter after having a hot shower!

Janice

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Sharon

Sent: 10 May 2016 09:26 AM

Subject: Z-clips or Z-rails

I'm looking for a frame-less wall hanging system for glass, for example aluminum french cleat or Z-clips or Z-rails in Gauteng area?

Hi Sharon,

I did some research over the weekend to see if I could find a local supplier of aluminium French cleat or Z-rails. For some strange reason there is no one supplying these locally. I have always made my own cleats using a piece of piece of board, and you may have to resort to this method.

Janice

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Karel

Sent: 15 May 2016 10:11 PM

Subject: Repairs to Cretestone

The newly repaired cracked walls have a cretestone Screed. The finish is lighter. What product can I apply to offer a yelllowing vintage look please? I will test some Sovereign Seal, have heard there is a Midas Vintage Finish, and have been recommended trying a varnish.

Hi Karel,

To be perfectly honest, this is not something I have done myself or had to advise on before. If in any doubt as to the best method to change the colour I would recommend that you get in touch with the manufacturer of the project for assistance:

http://www.gyproc.co.za/products/plaster/cretestone/

Janice

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Lynn

Sent: 13 May 2016 01:53 AM

Subject: Whitewash varnished finish

I've already varnished some new cypress, but now would like to whitewash it with a pale grey affect. Is this possible over a varnish? I know that it's okay to use stain over a varnish, but would whitewashing also work? What process would you suggest when whitewashing with a grey stain or paint?

Hi Lynn,

The varnish won't hold a paint finish and will wear off very quickly. It is better to sand away the varnish before painting. Alternatively, give the varnish a light sanding and apply a chalk paint. This paint sticks to almost any surface, but will not be transparent like whitewash.

Janice

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Bongeka

Sent: 05 May 2016 10:42 PM

Subject: Sunken lounge

We have decided on having a sunken/ step down lounge in our the house we are currently building - almost done. Please advise who can help us design one.

Hi Bongeka,

For this type of project, you need someone who can design and arrange to draw up plans for municipal approval. Find a local architect or architectural designer in your area that also offers to draw up plans and submit for approval.

Janice

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Charl

Sent: 04 May 2016 03:36 PM

Subject: Sliding barn door kits

Do you sell barn door sliding kits?

Hi Charl,

Hillaldam [ http://www.hillaldam.net/  ] provide a small selection of top sliding gear for timber doors, and they have dealers around the country.

In the article [ http://www.home-dzine.co.za/diy/diy-barn-sliding-door.htm  ] you will find basic instructions for making our own barn door sliding gear. It would work out far cheaper if you could find a local handyman to make the sliding system for you.

Janice

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Judith

Sent: 26 April 2016 07:47 AM

Subject: How to lighten dark grey paint

Dear Janice

We want to repaint the interior of the home. Currently the colour is a rich cream/yellow. The colour in mind must be light grey. We bought a good quality well-known brand of 20Lit and unfortunately when painted onto the wall it appears as a dark grey. Advice from the manufacturer was to add white tint in order to get a light grey. The salesman informed us that too much tint will weaken the quality of the paint and instead added 1Lit of white paint to no real effect. Please advise me what to do to get a lighter grey.

Hi Judith,

Adding 1 litre of white to 20 litre of grey definitely isn’t going to make much of a difference to the colour. I would split the 20 litre into 2 containers and add a litre of white to each. That should have more effect. If it is a very dark grey you might even want to add 2 litres to each container.

Janice

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Mandy

Sent: 22 April 2016 02:49 PM

Subject: Wallpaper on rough walls?

We are currently converting our garage into a home office and the walls have a very rough plaster and are in quite a state. Is there a heavy duty smooth paintable wallpaper that can be applied to the wall, as an alternative to rhinolite?

Hi Mandy,

There are vinyl wallpapers that are reasonably thick, but you are still going to have a problem if the wall is a rough plaster finish. I experienced a similar problem with our garage renovation and ended up applying a plaster finish (conventional plaster sand mix as opposed to Rhinolite) to smooth the wall. You will find that a day labourer and bought materials will work out reasonably inexpensive and well worth it.

Janice

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Lutri

Sent: 12 April 2016 07:30 AM

Subject: Whitewash walls

Do you perhaps no someone that can come and help me to white wash a wall. I am to scared to try it on my own.

Hi Lutri,

Your best bet would be to search your local classifieds, or do an online Google search to find a local professional painter or decorator that can do the project for you. It is daunting to attempt a large project on your own for the first time. We normally suggest that you tackle a few smaller projects first to get the feel for methods and techniques involved in any project.

Janice

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Catherine

Sent: 08 April 2016 08:35 AM

Subject: Bathroom Remodel

We are planning to remodel our outdated bathroom. Its long and narrow. My husband wishes to reposition the shower along side the window. The window is currently Meranti wood. Can you provide any advice whether this is a good idea considering dampness and air flow etc.? Should we look at replacing the window with for e.g. aluminium?

Hi Catherine,

A few years ago I converted my bath into a bath-shower, and it is also next to a meranti window frame. I haven’t had any problems. You will need to apply a sealer (not varnish) to both the inside and outside of the window frame, and do this every 12-18 months, which is generally how wooden window frames should be maintained. I can recommend Woodoc 30 (matt) or Woodoc 50 for the project.

Janice

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Carlo

Sent: 08 April 2016 07:38 AM

Subject: How to fill wall alcoves

Hi Janice
The attached pic is from privateproperty and is similar to the unit I will be moving into. Sorry Im male so pretty useless at ideas! To me the attached picture epitomizes the dilemma… it looks pathetic

I was thinking of putting a form of cladding inside the recessed area. There are two such walls in lounge area and on the other wall I was thinking of putting in either floating shelves to make it a complete bookshelf or using plumbing pipe to build bookshelves. I suppose a nice side table with a mirror on the one would be nice but predictable. Its tough being single male moving into a place!

Hi Carlo,

The recess on the side where you want to mount your TV would be great for hiding cables. With cheap pine framing behind, you could mount a sheet of 12mm SupaWood [MDF] to cover up the recess, hang the TV and have all the cables and wiring behind the panel. Paint the panel wall in a colour taken from any accent colours you use in the room and make it a feature wall.

Use the second recess for shelving, as you mention in your original email to fit small shelves.

Janice

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Pieter

Sent: 03 April 2016 10:36 AM

Subject: Upholstery workshop

I want to learn more about doing upholstery, can you help me with a training session or direct me to some one
please.

Hi Pieter,

We offer basic upholstery as part of our Upholstered Ottoman and Headboard workshops. Alternatively, you will find plenty of tips, trick and techniques on www.Home-Dzine.co.za . Use the search function and enter upholster to see the variety of upholstery projects on the website.

Janice

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Peter

Sent: 30 March 2016 05:26 PM

Subject: Paint for concrete floor

I would like to paint my concrete floor.what kind of external floor paint is recommended? My roof is leaking during rainy seasons. The leaks are where wall and roof tiles meet. What sealer is recommended in that regard.

Hi Peter,

To answer the first question: There are specialist paints that can be used on concrete floors. What it is important is whether the floor is smooth or steel-floated / polished. On a smooth floor, and for a lasting paint finish, you will need to use a concrete etching before applying the paint. This erodes the finish ever so slightly and allows a proper bonding between paint and concrete.

For the roof leaks you don't mention if a metal flashing has been previously fitted over the joint [see second image here:
http://www.home-dzine.co.za/diy/maintain-flat-roof.htm  ]. In situations where tiles butt against a wall, this flashing ensures fast water runoff, and when combined with a membrane and waterproofing product, will prevent future leaks.
http://www.home-dzine.co.za/diy/maintain-annual1.htm

All the products required for both queries can be found at your local Builders store.

Janice

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Bernard

Sent: 30 March 2016 01:37 AM

Subject: Bath to shower conversion

I live in the US. I am inquiring on behalf of my parents who live in Cape Town. Do you do or do you know anyone who does tub to shower conversions? I realize that it may be difficult to give an answer in the abstract, but what is a ballpark figure to do a conversion?

Hi Bernard,

Any qualified plumber should be able to do a tub to shower conversion. For my own conversion it cost in the region of R2500 for a glass panel and shower fittings.

Janice

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Thinus

Sent: 22 March 2016 09:22 PM

Subject: Advice on paint colours

I would like to redecorate my new home in Terra Cotta colours to go with the natural brick outside and red roof tiles. Can you suggest different combinations of colours that complement each other? I am going to go with natural terra cotta colour tiles and white ceilings.

Hi Thinus,

We prefer not to offer advice on colour choices, especially where you want to match colours to existing features. Our recommendation would be to pop into your local Prominent Paint or paint store to select colour swatches in hues that you like, then take these home with you to compare with existing colours that you want to complement.

Janice

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Loraine

Sent: 22 March 2016 01:14 PM

Subject: How to paint exterior door

I want to paint an outside stable-style door with a paint techniques which I do with a Sheen paint and scrumble glaze. It needs to be protected from water damage. Please advise which products to usw and how to go about watersealing the door.

Hi Lorraine,

If the door needs protection from the elements, it would probably be best to use an oil-based enamel paint and oil-based scumble glaze.

Janice

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Dimakatso

Sent: 22 March 2016 11:14 AM

Subject: Spray paint office furniture

How do I spray paint office furniture - what paint do I use?

Hi Dimakatso,

On www.Home-Dzine.co.za  we offer ideas and inspiration for those wanting to DIY projects in and around the home. Rust-Oleum spray paints are available at Builders stores around the country and you can use local Google search to find a handyman or contractor to do the project for you, if you don’t want to DIY it. http://www.home-dzine.co.za/crafts/2012rocraft.htm

Janice

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Clementine

Sent: 22 March 2016 09:26 AM

Subject: Wood countertops

I need to order counter wooden top for my kicthen

Hi Clementine,

On www.Home-Dzine.co.za  we provide ideas and inspiration, as well as DIY projects where you can make your own wooden countertops. http://www.home-dzine.co.za/kitchen/kitchen-wood-countertops.html

If you don’t want to make your own and require these made or fitted, you will need to source a local handyman / carpenter.

Janice

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Dennis

Sent: 17 March 2016 06:21 PM

Subject: Reparing venetian blinds

You recently ran an article on repairing venetian blinds. Please can you advise where the replacement cords can be purchased. I live in Edenvale and have been unable to find a a retailer who stocks them.

Hi Dennis,

We have previously referred clients to http://www.blindtime.co.za/  who agreed to supply various blind supplies to readers. Perhaps get in touch with them to see if they are still willing to assist.

Janice

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Margie

Sent: 10 March 2016 09:15 AM

Subject: Brush strokes on paint finish

 I got someone in to paint my 3 bedroom doors. He bought water-based polyurethane. He painted the frames and sides of the doors with a paint brush and the doors with a roller. For some unknown reason he must have tried to touch up a small section with a brush. Now there are brush marks on it. If I just use a roller to go over the door will the brush marks go or do I need to sand the marks first. If so must I use water paper and what size. Thank you so much for your good advice.

Hi Margie,

I presume that you mean oil-based enamel paint. Going over with a roller will have no effect. But sanding prior to painting will remove the brush strokes. Use 400-grit sanding paper (wet) to lightly smooth the finish.

Janice

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Margaret

Sent: 21 September 2015 02:36 PM

Subject: Chalk paint on bedroom door?

Please could you tell me if I have to strip a meranti bedroom door that was last varnished about 8 years ago. I would like to paint it white with Plascon Velvaglo. I also looked at your chalk paint recipe. Would that work on an interior bedroom door? Velvaglo has a strong smell and it would be better to use something else.

Hi Margaret,

I would not recommend chalk paint for the bedroom door, since it isn’t easy to keep clean. However, Plascon now have a water-based enamel paint. Sand down the door to de-gloss the finish before application.

Janice

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Sandy

Sent: 04 March 2016 01:45 PM

Subject: Thermostat - installed or not?

On 18th Jan I asked local plumbers to go to my house as the water from the geyser was running out of overflow pipe. They came out and a copper pipe with a T valve was installed......I received a bill for R557.68

On the 19th I had to go in to them again and told them the water was still leaking by now dripping through the ceiling of the bathroom. They came out and told my son he opened/closed the valve and left. He wasnt in the ceiling for more than two minutes.

On the 20th I received an sms to say my account was now R845.98. I paid the full R845.98 immediately. I have now been receiving statements with Urgent stamped all over. When I phoned the plumbers they told me a new thermostat was put in. We have had hot and cold water all the time and only a pipe was leaking. How can either myself or them, prove that a new thermostat was installed because I know it wasnt and that I still owe them R557.68

Hi Sandy,

The plumber should provide you with a detailed invoice on what they did. If they removed the thermostat they should show you the old one. I do know that when a thermostat fails there is excess dripping water from the overflow pipe, but the plumber should have explained this and also should have given you the old thermostat as proof. Suggest that you ask them for a detailed report on what they did before you pay any further amounts. Also, pop into the ceiling space and see if the thermostat looks new.

Janice

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Marla

Sent: 02 March 2016 02:00 PM

Subject: DIY fence

On your easy garden fence what size wood did you use? We have a chain link fence that we want to do this to.

Hi Marla,

In our http://www.home-dzine.co.za/diy/diy-easy-fence.htm  the size of the planks are 67mm wide, but this will vary from region to region, so work out the height of your fence and see what local available materials are available for the height of your posts.

Janice

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Sylvia

Sent: 02 March 2016 09:31 AM

Subject: Paint concrete steps

Once again you to the rescue. I wish to paint all my exterior concrete doorsteps - to tone in with existing brickwork. At the moment they are painted white, to match window frames - but it shows every trace of dirt, paw marks,etc. (I think PVA paint was used). What kind of paint would you recommend-that would last,hide small cracks and possibly be dirt resistant. Is roof paint a good idea.I tried with a severe weather paint- but it just peeled off. Hope you can advise me.

Hi Sylvia,

Prominent Paints Paving Paint would probably be your best option. I have used this paint repeatedly for exterior projects with excellent and long lasting results. Visit www.prominentpaints.co.za  for more info and to find your nearest store.

Janice

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Annalise

Sent: 29 February 2016 01:48 PM

Subject: Colour for exterior paint

I would like to know what colour I can use on the outside of my house. main colour is clay art textured - a dark brown.

Hi Annalise,

My recommendation would be to visit your local Prominent Paint store to view the various colour options available to you. Let them know the style of house, the colour of trim and what your personal choices are.

Janice

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Cara

Sent: 01 March 2016 12:20 PM

Subject: Paint facebrick wall

We want to paint our very ugly porous brick interior and lessen the deep grooves between the bricks. Any advice would be much appreciated.

Hi Cara,

To fill up the voids between the bricks you will need to make up a mortar mix and let this cure for about 5 to 7 days. Alternatively, a heavy-duty tile grout (usually intended for heavy natural stone tiles) can be used.

I would recommend that you apply sealer over the bricks before painting. This will reduce the porosity of the brick. After this you can apply an acrylic paint in your choice of colour.

Janice

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Jackie

Sent: 26 February 2016 09:17 AM

Subject: Whitewashed ceiling tiles

I'm looking for somebody that can supply me the finished tin white washed ceiling tiles. I want to buy them for a wall.

Hi Jackie,

I know that you can buy tin ceiling tiles, but I haven’t seen whitewashed tiles. Perhaps you should do a local Google search, or try sites such as www.gumtree.co.za

Janice

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Phil

Sent: 21 February 2016 01:10 AM

Subject: Painting steel patio furniture

I have metal exterior patio furniture. What can I apply to seal it? My wife painted it with a special waterbased glaze

Hi Phil,

Rust-Oleum spray paints can be applied to almost any surface. For outdoors you can use their Universal or Stops Rust range. I am sure you will find these products at Builders Warehouse. www.rustoleum.com

Janice

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Thea

Sent: 18 February 2016 09:24 AM

Subject: Paint technique on kitchen cabinets

I enjoy your website full of tips and ideas. Thank you so much. I want to ask you - years ago a painter helped me, and he used a technique painting the kitchen cupboards, in dipping the brush in thinners and then in the paint every time. He had a little bit of thinners next to the paint. The result was a wonderful smooth finish - much like the chalk paints effect one see today. And it is still lasting after more than 10 years. It still looks new, and is easy to clean. It covers very well in only one layer, much like Rust Oleum. The benefit is you use less paint, and the finish is very smooth. Now I want to paint the same way again, and no one knows about that way of painting (I can.t remember how much thinners to use etc.) are you aware of it?

Hi Thea,

Going by what you have explained, it sounds as though he used an oil-based paint, possibly eggshell enamel. The lacquer thinners allowed you to work with the paint for longer and also gave the oil paint a more viscous consistency.

Most of our oil-based paints these days are a gel formula, which is not quite the same as conventional enamel paint, but if you use an eggshell enamel you should be able to achieve the same effect. I know that paint manufacturers, including Plascon, still have the older formula oil-based enamel paints.

Janice

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Margaret

Sent: 21 September 2015 02:36 PM

Subject: Paint door with chalk paint

1. Please could you tell me if I have to strip a meranti bedroom door that was last varnished about 8 years ago. I would like to paint it white with Plascon Velvaglo. I also looked at your chalk paint recipe. Would that work on an interior bedroom door? Velvaglo has a strong smell and it would be better to use something else.

2. Please could you tell me how to fill bracket and keyhole gaps left after a door has been swopped to the opposite side of the frame. I had someone change the door and I am left the task of cleaning up. I am going to paint the door and frame white. Thank you so much for your advice.

Hi Margaret,

1. I would not recommend chalk paint for the bedroom door, since it isn’t easy to keep clean. However, Plascon now have a water-based enamel paint. Sand down the door to de-gloss the finish before application.

2. I have used Alcolin QuikSteel for this project. You can buy at Builders. This 2-part epoxy is kneaded together and then pushed into the gaps. It sets rocks hard - sand before it gets too hard for a smooth finish that can be painted over.

Janice

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Pat

Sent: 16 February 2016 07:13 AM

Subject: Hardware for Roman blinds

Please tell me where I can buy the hardware for roman blinds. I am referring to lifting system which uses only one chain instead of the multi cord system, I see them advertised overseas but have not been able to locate a supplier in South Africa.

Hi Pat,

Must be honest, I have always made my own Roman blinds with a simple loop and cord system. I am not aware of any local company that supplies parts for making blinds. I do know that some larger fabric stores offer parts and supplies, but you will need to ask around. Unfortunately, local blind manufacturers don't want us to make our own!

If the overseas supplier is reputable and shipping costs are reasonable, perhaps you should consider importing what you need. I have used several overseas supplies for parts that are not available locally.

Janice

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Karin

Sent: 11 February 2016 03:54 PM

Subject: Can I antique over Rustoleum spray paint?

I would like to spray paint pure gold Rustoleum on my primed furniture. then I want to give it an antique look by mixing acrylic with plascon acrylic scumble glaze and paint it over the gold and sort of rub it off. Will it work. or do I have to use enamel scumble glaze and paint.

Hi Karin,

I have done quite a few antique effects, but using artist's oil paints to achieve the antique effect. Because Rust-Oleum is a solvent-based paints, acrylic paints don't adhere well. So, use artist's oil paints instead. You also have a longer drying time that allows you to achieve a better and longer-lasting effect. You can use the oil scrumble glaze if you need to. I find oil paints take a while to dry anyway - giving you plenty of time to work your magic!

Janice

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Anita

Sent: 10 February 2016 06:18 AM

Subject: Painting paving

I need a quote on painting of paving. Approx 25s/m.

Hi Anita,

On www.Home-Dzine.co.za  we show ideas and inspiration. I have painted my paving using Prominent Paints Paving Paint as a DIY project. If you don’t want to do this yourself, you can hire local labour to do it for you.

Janice

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Faaiza

Sent: 08 February 2016 03:04 PM

Subject: Affordable decorator

I stay in an apartment. I would like to update it but unfortunately do not have the finances to call an expensive interior decorator or to put it new furniture. Do you perhaps know of anyone that would be kind enough to assist me at a reasonable low budget rate.

Hi Faaiza,

If you want to keep costs as low as possible, the do-it-yourself route is the best option and why we offer so many ideas for you on www.Home-Dzine.co.za. Even if you don’t do the work yourself and opt to hire a daily labourer that you can oversee, you will still save money by doing or making your own.

Janice

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Anel

Sent: 03 February 2016 03:30 PM

Subject: Advice on removing bathroom tiles

I would like to know what to expect if we want to remove the wall tiles in our bathroom? Is there anything that we should be careful off, or can we just go ahead and do it? We would like to paint the walls rather with water proof paint, if there are any on the market. Your advice re: this would be great or any nice and easy diy ideas. :-)

Hi Anel,

If you plan of removing wall tiles allow of plenty of mess. You need to chip the walls tiles off and then remove all the tile adhesive that stays behind. You will find handy tips here:

http://www.home-dzine.co.za/kitchen/kitchen-tile-kitchen.htm

However, if you aren’t going to re-tile the wall you will need to apply a finishing or skim plaster to smooth the wall. They have these products at your local Builders, and if you are unsure about how to apply a plaster finish – hire a handyman or plasterer for a couple of days to do the job for you.

Allow the plaster to cure for 5 to 7 days and then apply plaster primer. For a professional finish only use paints that are recommended for use in a bathroom, and ones that contain anti-fungal / mould.

Janice

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Aneesah

Sent: 29 January 2016 10:07 PM

Subject: How to fit shower in Wendy House

We need some advice. We putting in a Wendy, wooden floor with a shower in bathroom, any suggestions how we could waterproof the walls in shower to prevent cracking and rotting. We cannot put in bath so need to find a way to make a shower work, please help.

Hi Aneesah,

The easiest and most practical way would be to buy a complete shower cubicle and shower tray. All this would require is a sanitary silicone sealer be applied to all joins to ensure waterproof.

Another solution would be to build the shower using cement fibre board (at your local Builders). Build a sturdy frame using treated pine and clad this with cement fibre board. For this type of project, you can follow guidelines that they use in the US for shower installation, and you will find plenty of instructions on You Tube. However, not all the products used are available locally, so check beforehand.

Janice

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Caron

Sent: 28 January 2016 04:28 PM

Subject: Barn door with sliding runners

Hi Janice, Wondering if you could please help. My hubby and I are looking to buy a barn door with sliding runners for our pantry but cannot seem to find anyone in KZN who makes them. We unfortunately do not have the time to make it ourselves. Do you perhaps have any idea of a company or other. Willing to purchase in Joburg and have it sent down to us.

Hi Caron,

This might be a project for a handyman / carpenter if you are not in a position to make the door yourself. That way, it can be made to fit.

Do a Google Search for one in your local area.

Janice

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Marick

Sent: 27 January 2016 09:57 AM

Subject: Please help with some DIY advice - paint stripper

Hi there, I am hoping you can help with some DIY advice. I follow your website, and I'm a little desperate for advice.

We used paint stripper to remove PVA paint from a small section of brick and plaster wall in our bedroom, in preparation for applying dampseal. We did this on Saturday, but the smell is still overwhelming. After we finished I washed the wall with sugar soap, and three more times with plain water.

I have already tried reducing the smell with: baking powder, vanilla essence, coffee, oil burners. I also run the fan in the room, but nothing has worked. Last night we tried washing the wall with baking power, which seems to have made the smell worse. Bowls of vinegar also seems to make it worse.

I read up a little (should have done this before I started) and some articles suggest that I should neutralise the paint stripper. The ingredients of the paint stripper are: methylene chloride, ethanol, and mix-cresol. I found this online:

"When all the paint is gone, wash or neutralize the surface according to the manufacturer’s directions. Caustic strippers can be neutralized with vinegar and water. Solvent strippers can be washed off with mineral spirits."

According to what I found, methylene chloride is a solvent stripper; so it would seem I need to use mineral spirits (mineral turpentine). I don't want to make the smell worse, or create some kind of horrible chemical reaction. I have been advised that the paint stripper fumes are toxic. Can I sleep in the room while the smell is there?

Will applying dampseal 'lock' in the smell or will the smell go away?

Hi Marick,

Would have be a great idea to use Plascon RemovAll to strip off the paint – no fumes and eco-friendly. However, now you have a problem that might have been exacerbated by what you have already applied to try and neutralise the stripper, and water normally does it for most paint strippers here in SA, depending on the brand.

Use a scraper to try and remove as much of the remaining product as possible, wrapping the scrapings up in newspaper. I would not apply any more toxic or smelly products now, but would use a stiff scrubbing brush and soapy washing detergent in warm water to clean away what is left.

Dry the wall with a warm hairdryer and repeat the process if the smell still remains. You definitely want the want to be dry before you apply Dampseal, and sleeping in a room with toxic smells is definitely not good for your health.

Janice

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Herman

Sent: 26 January 2016 03:54 PM

Subject: Countertop Concrete

I am interested in building a table for a work space with a concrete counter top. Where can I buy counter top mix or what mixture do I need for this. I live in Pretoria.

Hi Herman,

You will find plenty of information on concrete tops in our Kitchen Section and may find the following articles useful:

http://www.home-dzine.co.za/home-Improvement/improve-diyconcretetops.htm

http://www.home-dzine.co.za/diy/diy-countertop.htm

Within the articles you will find links to sites that offer comprehensive details for cement mixes for this type of project.

Janice

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Nicola

Sent: 26 January 2016 12:56 PM

Subject: How to clean Nubuck

Hi there - I am considering purchasing a Nubuck couch. What products could I use to waterproof/protect the couch from spills and stains?

Hi Nicola,

I found a very useful article on caring for and cleaning Nubuck:

http://www.stepout.co.nz/shoe-care-advice/suede-nubuck/

Not sure what products you can apply over this as opposed to genuine leather, since this product is more like suede than leather and there isn’t a product that can be applied onto suede.

Janice

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Elmarie

Sent: 26 January 2016 01:05 PM

Subject: Mouldings for kitchen cabinets

I want to upgrade my old fashioned kitchen cabinets. I love the french style. I want to put some moldings on the cabinet doors before painting. Where on the web can I go search different styles and where can I buy it. I live on the West Coast therefor I do shopping in Cape Town. Where in Cape Town can I go buy it.

Hi Elmarie,

I buy quite a lot of mouldings in SupaWood, pine and extruded polystyrene at my local Builders Warehouse, and I’m sure you should find there.

Alternatively, use Google Search to try and find a local supplier of mouldings.

For ideas you will find 1000’s on www.pinterest.com and we also have some great ideas on our website:

http://www.home-dzine.co.za/kitchen/Akitchen-index.htm

Janice

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Julie

Sent: 26 January 2016 09:05 AM

Subject: Attach mosaic to countertop

Hi, how do I attach mosaic tiles to a concrete screeded bathroom counter top? this will be my first time ever attempt. So I want to get it right. I have a bag of grout, is this all I use or do I need something else to lie the tiles on first?

Hi Julie,

You need a layer of tile adhesive on top of the countertop to bed the mosaic tiles in place. Since this area is also subject to moisture, use a bonding liquid to mix the tile adhesive instead of water. They can provide the correct product when you tell them what it is for.

Also use a waterproofing additive to mix the grout, as normal grout will absorb moisture.

Here are some tips to help you:

http://www.home-dzine.co.za/bathroom/bathroom-mosaicvanity.htm

http://www.home-dzine.co.za/kitchen/kitchen-backsplash-1.htm

Drop me a line if you need any help along the way.

Janice

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Geoff

Sent: 25 January 2016 02:03 PM

Subject: Where to buy Murphy bed?

Where can I purchase a Murphy bed lifting mechanism and legs in South Africa?

Hi Geoff,

Unfortunately, the company that used to import this item is no longer in business. I think it worked out too costly due to the weight and shipping costs for it to be feasible in this country.

Janice

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Cany

Sent: 25 January 2016 11:12 AM

Subject: Table saw for home DIY enthusiast

Hi Janice,

Thank you for your reply. Yes, that is exactly the issue I've been having - all the ones that are affordable (only ryobi or mac Afric) don't seem to be even worth the money you pay for them.

It just would be nice to use a decent table saw to make neat french cleats, faster dados, re-saw wood, and there are fortunes of nice jigs you can build (box joint jigs, super accurate mitre sleds, frame spline jig etc.)

I've currently made my own workbench with solid pine wood frames and legs and 2 MDF (supawood) boards for the top, routed 2 dados to fit tracks in - then created a step-insert rectangular hole in the middle for a router insert (mounted a Bosch 1400W router to a base plate) and another identical insert with a circular saw mounted to it to create a table saw. It is immeasurably more sturdy than any table saw I have seen, though the Ryobi circular saw is not very accurate so that hinders the accuracy of the cuts, naturally...

The problem with having wood cut (which I usually do regardless to fit into my car) is that Builders have not been cutting to my plans correctly (errors of a cm here or there but still very irritating) as well as not cutting square to the board.

Not sure what the solution for the DIYer is in this situation as, like you said, you need some serious power tool allowance to get something decent...

Hi Cany,

When we present our DIY Divas workshops I normally recommend that the Divas get in some practice with small projects, and then start making small pieces of furniture (such as upholstered storage ottomans, headboards, etc.) for profit. They can then use this money towards buying better quality, more advanced tools, to add to their collection.

I would love to see the table that you made – it sounds like something I could share with readers in the same position.

Janice

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Larry

Sent: 23 January 2016 03:15 PM

Subject: Product to repair concrete driveway

Hi could you recommend a product to repair a concrete driveway ,the small stones are starting to show through dont know if i must paint.

Hi Larry,

We do have quite a few articles on www.Home-Dzine.co.za that you will find useful:

http://www.home-dzine.co.za/diy-1/diy-repair-concrete.html

http://www.home-dzine.co.za/home-Improvement/improve-cracks-in-concrete.htm

You will also find a sizable source of information on:

http://www.concretenetwork.com/

Janice

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Meg

Sent: 23 January 2016 03:50 PM

Subject: Mirror finish from Rust-Oleum

Looking for mirror Rust-Oleum. Is it available here?

Hi Meg,

All products in the Rust-Oleum range, including the mirror finish, are available at your local Builders Warehouse. Alternatively, get in touch with www.spraymate.co.za  - the local agents for Rust-Oleum products.

Janice

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Thomas

Sent: 22 January 2016 03:26 PM

Subject: Do I replace plaster damaged by damp?

Hi there, hope you can assist. We recently bought and moved into our new home. The wall between our bedroom and bathroom had a bit of water damage. I resealed the bathroom tiles on the one side and damp sealed the wall (rough plaster finish) in the bedroom and painted. However after a few days, a brown rust like colour started showing in the bedroom and keeps showing even after repainting. The wall is completely dry. Do I need to chop off the plaster and re plaster the wall? Not too sure of my options here. I do have a 'whoflungadung' to match the plaster if I must.

Hi Thomas,

Before you go to the extreme of ripping off the plaster, give the wall time to completely dry out and then apply a stain blocker. I know that Kilz is now available in SA (at your local Builders), or there are some local alternatives. Try these first.

Janice

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Cany

Sent: 21 January 2016 10:36 AM

Subject: Article Suggestion

First off, I must say well done on creating a DIY-haven site for us all - I've found so many helpful articles and projects!

Just a thought for an article - I'm currently struggling to find a decent Table saw for a decent price in SA and was wondering if you would be able to write an article on a pricing review for table saws available here (we unfortunately don't have a wide variety like in the U.S.) and seeing as the table saw has been deemed a woodworking-shop essential tool, it would be good to find something that has decent accuracy and still doesn't ask you to take a second mortgage on your house...

Thanks so much again for all the efforts put in to this site!

Hi Cany,

Thanks for the suggestion. To be honest, even with all the DIY projects that I do, I don’t use a table saw and see no need for one. I previously owned a Ryobi Table Saw, which lasted for just over a year before it fell apart. I never felt safe using this saw either, since everything felt loose or wobbly. If you are prepared to invest R8000 up you can buy a decent table saw – you just need to decide if it is worth the expense.

If you can have all your wood and board cut to size, this eliminates the need for a table saw. Most smaller cuts can be done with a jigsaw, or a circular saw.

Janice

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Jackie

Sent: 18 January 2016 04:15 PM

Subject: How to Faux Lusterstone

I recently came across a product on a stencilling called Faux Effects Lusterstone for a Moroccan wedding blanket as a wall hanging. This product doesn't seem to be available in SA. Do you perhaps know of another similar product that is readily available here (I'm in CT).

Hi Jackie,

After reviewing the article and having done a similar project some years back, if you are unable to find the plaster a matt acrylic or chalk paint also works well. The idea is to stiffen the fabric and paint does achieve this without cracking once dry. Perhaps try this with a small project before tackling a large one.

Janice

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Zonet

Sent: 16 January 2016 09:34 PM

Subject: Where to buy paint flakes

So glad I found this page :-) Where in Johannesburg can I buy paint 'flakes/chips'? I See this is mainly used on concrete flooring for a marble effect, however I want to use it for something else. I cant find a local supplier, please advise.

Hi Zonet,

The only flakes or chips that I know of are the ones that are supplied or included when you buy epoxy kits. I haven’t seen separate loose flakes or chips anywhere else.

Janice

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Chantel

Sent: 10 January 2016 03:05 PM

Subject: Brick floor

Thanks, Janice! Truth be told, I a looking for something cheap! I made a ridiculous offer on a beach house in need of several renovations and now the offer has been accepted! While I am not trying to cut corners, I will have to see what are the cheapest, but most visually pleasing, options. Do you maybe know how difficult/costly it is to lower a floor? Then I can use half-size pavers maybe.. I must say, I do like the look of a brick floor!

Hi Chantel,

It would be very difficult to lower the level of the floor. Plus, concrete slabs are set to a specific thickness is accordance with building regulations, so I’m not sure if you are even allowed to do this.

Why not shop around to see who has special offers on tiles or laminate flooring. I know that Builders have some great specials from time to time and you might just pick up a bargain and avoid going to extremes to floor the beach house. I have done articles on plywood floors, and this would also be very affordable if you can find decent plywood.

http://www.home-dzine.co.za/home-Improvement/improve-plywood-floor.htm

Janice

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Chantel

Sent: 10 January 2016 11:33 AM

Subject: Flooring advice

I am looking for some guidance. I want to use the brick tiles (cladding) to tile the interior floors of my house including kitchen and bathrooms. I plan to seal them after installation but am concerned with the ability to carry weight and movement as well as being uneven. What do you think? Will this work?

Hi Chantel,

Must be honest, I would be worried about putting wall cladding on the floor. It just isn’t manufacturing for the purpose and you could end up with a big problem on your hands. If you’re looking for something different and out of the ordinary, concrete and wood tiles look stunning:

http://www.home-dzine.co.za/bathroom/bath-concrete-tiles.html

Janice

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Colinda

Sent: 09 January 2016 06:14 PM

Subject: Built-in room divider

Love love love your site! useful as well as beautiful :) We are looking for a room divider exactly like the one on your post about modern room dividers, the one with steel rods and two boxes.. I clicked on the site below but it says the site doesn't exist; is there a South African company who can do it?

Hi Colinda,

Thank you. The room divider you refer to is definitely a DIY project, as I haven’t seen anything like this locally. If you don’t think you could tackle this project yourself, a handyman / carpenter or shopfitter should be able to make a built in divider for you, since the materials can be sourced in SA.

Janice

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Gugu

Sent: 06 January 2016 11:34 AM

Subject: Wendy House DIY Insulation

What is the best insulation one could use for a wendy house which is to be used as Domestic quarters? Also what is the best cover one could use to cover the insulated roof to make it neater on the inside?

Hi Gugu,

Isoboard would probably offer a practical way to clad and insulate a wendy house, and could also be applied as a ceiling as well. I know that some Builders stores stock this product, or get in touch with http://isoboard.com/insulation/  to find your nearest stockist.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cw5Iy96bwps

Janice

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Ramona

Sent: 05 January 2016 09:39 AM

Subject: Paint bubbling

I bought a 60 year old house. I have tried painting my walls but due to the layers of paint and wall paper, the wall bubbles and is like thick rubber. I would like some advice on how to proceed to wall paper and paint the walls, as I would like to create some feature walls with wall paper, use some paintable wall paper and paint as well.

Hi Ramona,

Although it may seem like a lot of hard work, the best way to proceed would be to get rid of the wallpaper and as many layers of paint as possible. Painting over this is only going to cause more problems down the line, especially if you already have problems with bubbling. Removing the existing wall covering will also help you to discover whether or not there is any damp in the walls, which could also cause bubbling.

Janice

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Kim

Sent: 04 January 2016 09:47 AM

Subject: Dirt on painted walls

Good day. Firstly, what a great website! thank you. I would like to paint my wooden skirting boards white. What is the best, quickest and easiest method to paint them? Also, we recently painted the house grey with Dulux paint that was not cheap! I am so irritated with the quality of Dulux! The walls get so dirty so quickly. What can you recommend to help with this? Should we repaint with some sort of gloss that will not allow dirt to show so much.

Hi Kim,

I presume you are referring to exterior walls? Must admit I am not a fan of Dulux. I have used Micatex and Prominent Paints Textured, the latter has been on the exterior walls for almost 10 years and can be washed down if it gets grubby. You could try using a soft brush and soapy water to clean the walls, or a high pressure hose if it’s very dirty – but when using high pressure test on a small area before you blast the walls!

If it is interior walls you could also try washing down with soapy water or Polycell liquid sugar soap. Unless it is matt paint, you should be able to clean walls. If it is matt paint consider applying a coat of Prominent Paints clear acrylic sealer. This will leave a satin finish that can be wiped down.

For the skirting board query. Best way is to use Plascon water-based enamel paint and apply with a paintbrush. Apply wide masking tape above and below to skirting to contain mess and for easy clean up.

Janice

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Kirsty

Sent: 04 January 2016 12:17 PM

Subject: Where to buy veneer

Hi. I was reading you article on how to Reface kitchen cabinets. any idea where i can but the veneer, or laminate from. 2. is it possible to paint cupboards that are already laminated?

Hi Kirsty,

You should be able to buy veneer boards at any Timbercity outlet, or use Google search for your nearest supplier.
Have this morning posted an article on painting kitchen cabinets, so pop onto the www.Home-Dzine.co.za website for more info.

Janice

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Pat

Sent: 03 January 2016 04:22 PM

Subject: Acid free glue

I am a graphite artist and instead of framing my work under glass in the traditional way, I now first spray the side with the drawing with several coats of artists fixative. When this is dry I mount the drawing onto hardboard which I have sealed with PVA glue; (Ponal which I doubt is acid free). I currently use Acrylic Gloss gel to stick the paper to the board but is horrifically expensive. Once dry, I rub beeswax over the drawing which gives it a lovely glossy finish.

I find at the moment that I am having trouble with air bubbles forming under the artwork even though I roll from the centre outwards with a roller to try to eliminate them. I think my problem could be that while the front of drawing paper (I use quite heavyweight paper) is quite thick after coating with fixative, the back is, by comparison thin, which could result it the formation of unevenness when stuck down. I thought that if I could seal the back of the drawing paper as well (with cold glue - much cheaper than artists fixative), the two sides would be more even in thickness. Would really appreciate your expert input.

Hi Pat,

I know that Rust-Oleum have a fixative that will probably be cheaper than the one you are using at the moment:

http://www.rustoleum.com/product-catalog/consumer-brands/specialty/matte-finish

It might be worth giving this a try to see if it solves the problem. You can buy at Builders, or get in touch with www.spraymate.co.za to find a local stockist.

Janice

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Ray

Sent: 03 January 2016 07:06 AM

Subject: Rust-Oleum Chalked paint

Thanks for the helpful website - I enjoy reading often. I do, however, find that sometimes products mentioned - like the rust-oleum chalked paint - is nowhere to be found at builders. Would you know where I can find a tin ? I'm in the western cape.

Hi Ray,

Thanks for the comment. I have copied the local agent ( wwww.spraymate.co.za ) on this mail so that they can come back to you and let you know your nearest source of supply for Rust-Oleum Chalked paint.

Janice

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Nadia

Sent: 01 January 04:25 PM

Subject: Antique finish for picture frame

I have a craft related question, I bought a picture frame, it is covered with what looks like scrapbook paper and then on top of that is a layer of varnish/spraypaint that creates a texture what feels like it is 'sandblasted' and it creates a yellowish cover whick make it look vintage. Do you know of a product that would give that effect that I can buy?

Hi Nadia,

From your description it sounds as though the frame was given several coats of Mod Podge, or clear acrylic sealer. However, this dries clear and eventually yellows with age. You can create a vintage effect by using a tea bag to tint water and gently brush this over the surface of the paper before applying sealer. Have some newspaper handy and dab the brush almost dry before brushing the paper finish.

Janice

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Maureen

Sent: 01 January 2016 10:37 PM

Subject: Rope rugs

1) I am very keen on making a rope mat for my passage way which is comprised of different sized circles, the instructions recommend hot gluing the circles to each other, however, I feel this will come undone with the wear & tear of traffic. Any other suggestions?
2) I see you recommend Builders Warehouse for rope, went there but the selection is very small & the price outrageous! Again, any other suggestions?

Hi Maureen,

If you want the rope rugs to last a better option would be to use embroidery thread and a blanket stitch to join the coiled rope section together. As for price, Builders does offer the best price that I have yet come across for various rope products.

Janice

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Jason

Sent: 01 January 2016 07:09 AM

Subject: Great website

Love your site. Your site offers so much information that I have been looking for as a NewB, DIY'er. I've spent awhile tracking the right tools, tips n ticks and your site frequently is my go to point.
Appreciate your site, thank you.

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Portia

Sent: 28 December 2015 10:54 AM

Subject: spray paint for glass

Please advise if rust oleum spray paint can be used on glass jars and if it is safe to store food or kitchen stuff. And where can I find this spray in Pretoria? And which one works better?

Hi Portia,

You can use Rust-Oleum spray paint on the exterior of glass jars, but do note that it is not a permanent finish and cannot be cleaned in a dishwasher. Rust-Oleum products are available at your local Builders store.

Janice

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Janine

Sent: 01 January 2016 02:50 PM

Subject: Lustrolite for table top?

Could I use the Lustrolite product on top of a table for a great new look.

Hi Janine,

There are no technical specs for this type of application, so I am not sure how to advise you. The product is expensive for just a table top so I would recommend that you contact the supplier directly to ask for their advice.

There is a link within the article to Lustrolite and to Bathroom Bizzare.

Janice

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