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.

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Your Query

 

 

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Alice

Sent: 04 August 2015 12:40 PM

Rug or Mat Painting DIY

Good day Janice,

I want to try painting a rug and have a few questions:

1) Does the rug keep the softness after being painted?
2) How does the colour hold after a wash?
3) What is the best type of rug that works for this project…material?
4) Do you think a fabric paint would work well for this?

Hi Alice,

To answer your queries:

1. The paint is stiff in the beginning, but it does soften up over time.
2. If you use a stiff brush to get the paint into the weave, and use a satin PVA or satin Rust-Oleum spray paint the paint will last a long time.
3. Natural materials (cotton, coir, sisal, etc) do tend to work better than synthetic materials.
4. I personally have not used fabric paints but for other projects have found that the colour is not quite as intense. So the choice would be up to you.

Janice

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Beverley

Sent: 01 August 2015 06:56 PM

Countertop for outdoor braai

I have just built a braai bar area on my patio and I need to get waterproof tops for the counters. I don't want to tile them, as I'm looking for a softer feel when placing plates, glasses etc. on them. Please could you advise what I could use apart from tiles?

Hi Beverley,

If you are looking for a softer effect for your braai area countertops, why not think about using wood rather than concrete or tile. Meranti is harder than pine and more durable for outdoors after being treated with a Woodoc exterior sealer, and if you buy direct from a timber merchant using Meranti can be cheaper than tile.

Janice

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Antionette

Sent: 01 August 2015 07:02 PM

Stiffened fabric panels

I would love to have the sliding screen shown on your website. I am not a DIY-person at all but could find someone to do it for me. Where would I find the stiffened fabric panels?

Hi Antionette,

If you are not really into DIY you might need to look at having someone make the screens up for you. You don’t have to use stiffened panels – you could also make a pocket at the base of the panels and insert a strip of steel rod (rebar) to weigh down the panels. I know that Game and Builders Warehouse have a curtaining section that might be able to offer suggestions and make up the panels for you.

Janice

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Beverley

Sent: 31 July 2015 11:21 AM

Stains on kitchen ceiling

Hi Janice,

I would like to know : a beer burst in the kitchen and unfortunately stained the ceiling board (around the light fitting). What is the easiest way to clean it off, because I tried clean green and now have a bigger circle and a bigger stain. I don’t want to paint the whole ceiling board because it is an open plan house and then it might look odd as that one ceiling board will look freshly painted and the others won’t…

Hi Beverley,

If you want to cover up the beer stain there isn’t much else that you can do besides painting the ceiling. If you have already tried c leaning, although I probably would have used handy andy – and it made the stain larger, painting is all that is left.
If possible, send me a pic and let me take a look to see if there is anything else I can suggest.

Janice

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Sylvia

Sent: 30 July 2015 10:06 AM

Remove stains from paving bricks

I live in a complex and recently the paved driveway's cracks were repaired. Unfortunately the concrete screeding /residue was left covering the bricks in large patches.Is there a product I can use to either remove this concrete from the bricks only or allow it to blend in so that the concrete is not so obvious. I thought of applying a rust accelerator to the bricks only. Would this work or do you have another suggestion. Thank you

Hi Sylvia,

Plascon have a Rust Remover / Concrete Etch product that could be used to remove the concrete patches. Alternatively, I have previously used pool acid to remove cement from paving bricks. However, you will need to perform a test beforehand, as some bricks use an oxide pigment for colour, and this will be affected by both products. Whichever product you use, handle with care, wear gloves and follow the instructions to the letter, as both are acids.

Janice

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Tendai

Sent: 29 July 2015 12:15 PM

Pattex mounting tape

It is really great to see a South African blogger because many at times you like the idea but can never get the materials because they are not available in SA. The Pattex No More Nails mounting tape that you recommended especially for rental properties can it easily come off. Thank you for such great ideas

Hi Tendai,

If you want something that sticks it’s not going to be something to can easily remove. There will be a bit of scraping involved to remove any excess tape off the wall. Alternatively why not use the plastic picture hangers that have small metal pins in. When you remove you can easily fill in the small holes with crack filler.

Janice

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Colleen

Sent: 29 July 2015 10:59 AM

Protect exterior doors

I live in Durban and need to replace an exterior door frame. What do I treat this frame with before installation to avoid it rotting? Do you have a suggestion of what I can use as as protection over the door and frame. This door is very exposed to the elements as it is a courtyard door exposed on both sides. Above the door is a wall of about 30cm.

Hi Colleen,

Would definitely recommend that you use Woodoc 55 exterior sealer. http://www.woodoc.com/categories/2/products  You can buy at your local Builders store. Apply to all sides, top and bottom as per the instructions on the tin.

Janice

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Sonja

Sent: 28 July 2015 02:40 PM

Biscuit joiner

Good day Janice,

I did the intro and advance woodwork course by you and I would like to know, I am starting to make some furniture and can only at this stage buy either a Kreg Jig or a biscuit joiner. I would like to know which one would you prefer is the best for joining wood?

Hi Sonja,

Of the two I would recommend the biscuit joiner. I recommended and demonstrated the Tork Craft model at the workshop:
http://www.tools4wood.co.za/product-category/power-tools/joining/biscuit-jointers/  Ask then to give you a price on the biscuits as well.

Janice

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Maryke

Sent: 22 July 2015 07:24 AM

Recycled glass countertops

Is there any recycled glass counter tops suppliers in South Africa? We have a vacation home which kitchen counter tops we want to replace and I am fond of the recycled glass!

Hi Maryke,

There was a company dealing in recycled glass countertops. However, and for some strange reason, the demand wasn't high enough to make it a viable operation. I was also contacted some time ago by another company that was looking to start up, but haven't heard anything in quite a while about this actually happening.

Janice

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Mia

Sent: 16 July 2015 04:10 PM

Plastic toilet cistern

I have a plastic toilet cistern fitted in the toilet of my flat. When it is full of water, it bulges and the lid does not fit over it, it basically sits half way over. Is there anyway to correct this?

Hi Mia

This is a common problem with plastic cisterns and it get worse as they get older. The only option would be to replace with a new plastic or porcelain cistern. If you are renting perhaps discuss this with the landlord / owner. A replacement plastic cistern shouldn't cost much at your local Builders store.

Janice

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Japie

Sent: 14 July 2015 09:44 AM

Stardust finish for cabinet doors

Good day. We are currently busy with a kitchen renovation, and the customer request us to spray the draw fronts to have a effect of "stardust" look. It had to match her granite top. The draw fronts are made from 19mm MDF. I am not sure how to do it, thus need some advice or recomendation. I have never done this before - but have sprayed MDF before but not with a effect.

Hi Japie,

This is an effect you will have to achieve by using a paint technique. The drawer front is painted in the base colour as per the countertop and then you would use a toothbrush to flick / apply a speckled (stardust) effect using lighter colours. You will probably need to practice a few times on some scrap board.

Janice

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Judith

Sent: 12 July 2015 03:09 PM

Sealer for wood

I stay in Tamboerskloof and my front door is permanently exposed to sun and rain. I intend sanding and varnishing the door and would like to know which product can be used to seal the door after varnishing to prevent watermarks.

Hi Judith,

I never recommend that varnish be applied to exterior wood. Woodoc exterior sealer (Woodoc 50 or Woodoc 55) would be the best products for your front door. You can buy Woodoc products at your local Builders and it comes in various colours. Visit www.Woodoc.com  for more information.

Janice

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Noeline

Sent: 07 July 2015 11:40 PM

Painting tiles

Is it worthwile to paint ceramic tiles in old bathrooms? I once saw an upgrade and it looked like painted tiles and not just nice tiles.It had that absolute home-made or unprofessional look.

Hi Noeline,

Painted tiles are just that, and I always tell those that want to paint tiles that it is a temporary solution. As a test I have painted tiles in my bathroom and it’s not something I would personally do if I had the option to remove and replace, or apply an alternative finish. If you want a professional looking finish you have to go through a lot of work, which includes replacing the grout so that it is also not painted, and for me, it is far better to re-tile. So if you are unsure – don’t do it.

Janice

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Theodora

Sent: 07 July 2015 01:55 PM

How to tint varnish

Janice may you please help me-I would like to tint a 5litre clear vanish so I would like to know how many bottles of tint am I suppose to use.

Hi Theodora,

You unfortunately cannot tint varnish, only sealer. If you want a coloured varnish you have to select from the colours on offer. However, if you use a sealer you can tint a clear sealer using a colour concentrate. Ask the guys at Builders to show you the Woodoc range.

Janice

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Natasha

Sent: 07 July 2015 10:54 AM

Paint existing brick paving

I was thinking of painting my excisting brick paving. Any ideas on this? any products available on the market. Its for a 15m2 area.

Hi Natasha,

Prominent Paints have a Paving paint that I have used extensively for painting my driveway and patio area. Use a paint roller and extension rod to make it easy to apply and a large paintbrush if you need to paint between cracks.

http://www.home-dzine.co.za/decorating/decorate-concrete-paint.htm

Janice

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Rachel

Sent: 06 July 2015 04:50 PM

Remove steel door frames

I want to know if I can remove the steel doorframes in my home and replace them with something prettier but am unsure if they are supporting structures.

Hi Rachel,

In some homes door frames are actually used to support the wall above and it all depends on how conscientious the builder was. What is more important is to determine whether or not the door is mounted in a load-bearing wall. If it is I would not recommend that you remove the frame until you have had someone investigate.

Janice

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Katy

Sent: 05 July 2015 06:05 PM

Clean carpets over parquet floors

I have carpets covering parquet flooring. I would like to remove a carpet in one room to see how the flooring looks and have it refurbished. It is a small room about 3 by 6 metres. Do you do this? If so can you quote me? Also, what is the best way clean my carpets so as not to damage the wood underneath?

Hi Katy,

You will need to source a local professional contractor to undertake this job for you. The best method for cleaning carpets over hardwood floors is to use a dry (low steam) method, and there are companies that specialise in this process.

Janice

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Kim

Sent: 03 July 2015 12:36 PM

Stain in fiberglass bath

I have a blue fiber glass bath tub and it has some type of white stain in it - do you know what I can use to remove it?

Hi Kim,

It depends on whether or not the stain has bled into the fiberglass or not, and it sounds as though it has. It must have been some type or corrosive liquid to be able to stain fiberglass. You will need to do some investigation on the type of product that you can use to colour the stained bath.

https://www.google.co.za/?gfe_rd=cr&ei=E2nIVJjVCYOp8wen4IKoCw&gws_rd=ssl#q=fiberglass+repair+kit&tbs=ctr:countryZA&cr=countryZA

Janice

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Jean

Sent: 02 July 2015 05:48 PM

How to re-purpose interior doors

I have about 10 plain internal doors and I want to know what I can use them for in the house and garden do you any suggestions please

Hi Jean,

There are plenty of ways to re-purpose interior doors in new ways. On Home-Dzine we show how you can use hollow-core doors to make floating shelves, use doors as a desktop, or add decorative pine moulding to make a headboard.

 http://www.home-dzine.co.za/Home-Office/homeoffice-door.htm

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

Janice

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Joshua

Sent: 26 June 2015 10:50 PM

Advice on problems with geyser

In your article Geyser installation you state the following : "The intention of this article is to inform you, in the interests of safety, what you should and should not see if you happen to stick your head into the ceiling space to check out your geyser" and you end with "There must obviously be no signs of water! Any water lying in the trip tray is a sign of trouble." Surely this is not good enough. What if you do find water in the drip tray - where do you start ?

Hi Joshua,

Thank you for the comments. The article in question was written by Blockbuster Plumbing and offers comprehensive tips for geyser safety.

http://www.blockbusterdrain.co.za/default.htm

First off, if there is water in the drip tray (other than from the occasional drip) this could be an indication of a problem. You can imagine that a geyser is a closed system that heats water and generates steam and pressure. Water in the drip tray indicates a leak in the system, and it is recommended that you have a registered plumber or geyser installation company investigate the source of any leaks.

Janice

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Cheryl

Sent: 25 June 2015 11:30 AM

Revamp cottage window frames

Thank you for your advice on how to strip paint off kitchen cupboards-worked like a dream. My next problem is : I have metal cottage-type window frames that were re puttied and painted some time ago by a contractor. The putty / paint is on some frames all wrinkly and I would like to smooth it out. What do I use to do this without having to remove existing putty before I repaint. Beside sanding which helps a bit, can I use a silicon sealer or is there something that you can suggest.

Hi Cheryl,

Sanding is the best way to smooth the putty and paint. If you don't already have one, consider investing in a Dremel MultiTool.

 http://www.tools4wood.co.za/brands/dremel/

They have affordable models that can be fitted with a sanding ring that will make sanding around the frames much easier. Plus, these tools are handy for a wide range of projects in and around the home and you will find plenty on www.Home-Dzine.co.za. Once sanded smooth you can paint them again using an oil- or water-based enamel paint.

Janice

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Ria

Sent: 24 June 2015 02:18 PM

Plascon Grout Pens

According to your website, Plascon make grout pens, but I have looked ALL OVER and cannot find it anywhere. I contacted Plascon, only to learn that they have discontinued the range. Do you have any idea where I can get hold of some white and grey pens? I am renovating my townhouse and would like to clean the grout in the kitchen & bathroom (the easy way) before renting it out. I have tried cleaning it with Sugar Soap, but it is laborious and does not come clean.

Hi Ria,

It appears that Plascon have discontinued a lot of products. Now I can add grout pen to the list ! I would love to say I can help, but to my knowledge Plascon were the only ones manufacturing grout pens locally. I have heard of someone using a whiteout / tippex pen on grout, but is this also still available?

Janice

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Juilene

Sent: 17 June 2015 01:50 PM

Remove sticky glue

How do we remove the very sticky glue left behind on a brand new white dishwasher after taking off the sticker the manufacturer put on the door.

Hi Juliene,

There is a product called Goo Gone that is great for removing stickers from almost anything. It comes in a bottle and in a pen, so you can choose the one that works best for you. You will find at your local Builders.

Janice

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Nicolette

Sent: 21 June 2015 07:36 AM

Simply Spray upholstery fabric paint

Hi there, I would like to change the colour of an old wetherlys couch. I have just moved into a new home and would love to spruce up this once loved 2-seater. I have had a huge expense with moving, painting, decorating etc and therefore have a small budget. Would simply spray work? Where could I purchase the product? I live in Johannesburg.

Hi Nicolette,

Simply Spray is no longer available locally and you will need to order this product from the overseas supplier. Unfortunately, this makes the product very expensive if you add in the shipping cost, so it will probably cost you quite a bit to spray the sofa. Would it not be more cost effective to make or have a slipcover made for the sofa? There are plenty of tips and tricks on www.Home-Dzine.co.za  and you are more than welcome to drop me a line if you require assistance along the way.

Janice

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Quentin

Sent: 21 June 2015 06:28 PM

Expensive quote for kitchen reno

I am redoing my kitchen cupboards. Supplying all wood, fitting and screws etc. How could I determine a fair pricing for labour only. Joiner wants to charge my materials cost x 2 for labour. Meaning if my materials cost is R40k he x 2 for R80k Labour, I am confused, Please help!

Hi Quentin,

The quotation sounds a bit extreme to me, but not knowing how much work is involved it is difficult for me to advise. It is always recommended that you obtain 3 quotations for work that needs to be done, and that way you can make an informed decision as to the best quotation for the amount and type of work that needs to be done.

Janice

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Maisie

Sent: 18 June 2015 05:11 PM

How to protect rafia/cane furniture

I have some rafia/cane chairs that I want to protect from the elements - what do you suggest I spray them with and where could I get the suggested product? I live in Sea Point, Cape Town.

Hi Maisie,

The best way to protect your raffia/cane chairs would be to apply an exterior sealer to the furniture. Woodoc have Woodoc 55 exterior sealer that also protects from sea spray and ideal for use at coastal regions. You will find this product at your local Builders.

Janice

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Zibusiso

Sent: 18 June 2015 01:05 PM

Bosch PFS spray gun

I have a pfs 3000-2 and was wondering if I could use the acrylic wall paints with it? Namely some fired earth products namely Ultimate Coat or whispers (White). do I have to thin these paints if so the type of solvent (if it is not going to be water)recommended ratios of paint to solvent and settings on the sprayer if you have done this before.

Hi Zibusiso,

The newer PFS models are great for using with all paints, and you should not have to dilute these. However, from personal experience if the paints are very thick I would add enough water (perhaps 5%) to make the paint a bit more runny and prevent spattering.

Janice

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Natasha

Sent: 17 June 2015 09:24 AM

Filling gap between carport and wall

I have a 4cm gab between my carport and vibracete wall. Can I close that gap with waterproof membrane? Will it keep most of the rain out? Any idea how to remove old cement from existing paving? Any idea how I can seal the gaps between my vibracete slabs?

Hi Natasha,

A 4cm gap is quite large and you will probably need to use a polyurethane foam filler (at your local Builders) to fill up the gap for a more waterproof join. The expanding foam expands quickly to fill large gaps and this can then be left as is or covered up with a waterproofing product and membrane.

Pool acid can be used to remove old cement from paving, but test before you do the job, as it can also remove pigment from stained concrete paving blocks. Wear safety goggles and gloves and do not breathe the fumes when using pool acid. Neutralise with water.

Janice

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Shahista

Sent: 12 June 2015 11:22 AM

Hiding electrical cords on ceiling

Hi I have electrical cords running on the ceiling of my bedroom. I don't like truncking. What else can I use to hide them?

Hi Shahista,

What about removing the cornice and hiding the cords behind new cornice. Plain cornice is reasonably cheap.

Janice

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Yasmin

Sent: 11 June 2015 11:13 PM

What generator should I buy

Hope you can assist me please

I was wondering if you knew what a 2.2kva generator could power ,in terms of appliances and lights. ( lamp shades as well as downlighters )

Hi Yasmin,

Before you buy you need to check how many Watts the unit puts out. Each brand / model is different, as the quality is different, so ask the manufacturer / supplier to advise on the Wattage output. Once you know the Wattage output you can then look at the Wattage of each appliance to determine what you can run on a particular generator. You will need at least a 1600 Watt generator to run a DVR, TV, PC and about 5 CFL lamps. The generator should also have AVR (voltage regulator) if you plan to power up your TV or PC. You cannot have power fluctuations for these appliances. The salesperson should be informed enough to let you know what a particular generator can and cannot do.

Janice

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Jill

Sent: 09 June 2015 12:18 AM

Murphy bed instructions

I have scoured your site (which I LOVE, btw and am so happy I stumbled upon it today) for instructions on how to make a Murphy wall bed, but couldn't find. Have you made one? If so, where would I find your instructions?

Hi Jill,

I have previously assembled a Murphy Bed for my son’s bedroom – many years ago and for which I have limited pics. The problem with making a Murphy Bed is that it requires the lifting/lowering mechanism. Without this it is too heavy to lift or lower and the mechanism is the most expensive part of the bed. You can imagine trying to lift up a bed without any counterweight – almost impossible. There are limited alternatives but I will definitely look into this, as I receive many enquiries.

Janice

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Noeline

Sent: 08 June 2015 05:49 PM

Bathtub or shower

Hi, I would like to know what the latest trend in bathrooms are. I have a 4 bedroom L-shaped house. 1 bath+toilet+basin/1 bath+basin/1 toilet,with 3 bedrooms on one side of the house and 1 shower+toilet+basin with the 1 bedroom on the other side of the house. I want to renovate my bathroom,likes tot bath, but my kids say I should take out the bath and put in a shower as we are past 60 years of age and could easily fall. I think of what will sell the house best in the end. I am not too much in favour of a shower screen, it looks uneasy to reach the taps.

Hi Noeline,

The problem is that there are those who still favour a bathroom that has a bath, and preferably a shower as well. A bath/shower combination can be tricky as you get older – getting in and out all the time. When it comes to selling your home real estate agents still consider a bathroom with a shower (no bath) as a half bath, which is unfair but it is what it is. Why not try to see how the room can be modified to allow for a bath and a shower. Sometimes just moving things around a bit can free up some space for a small shower cubicle.

Janice

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Noeline

Sent: 08 June 2015 03:14 PM

Chalk paint gone hard

The lid of my annie sloan paint tin lifted and I did not notice it until this morning when I wanted to use it! I am heartbroken-can I still save the contents? I can hear a lump-like-sound when I shake the tin and the appearance is extremely thick.

Hi Noeline,

If homemade chalk paint is anything to go by, and they contain almost the same ingredients, your paint can no longer be used – especially if it is really hard already. Why not try our DIY recipe and save yourself some money. It really does come out like the expensive stuff!

Janice

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Cindy

Sent: 02 June 2015 10:49 AM

Remove tiled countertops

Good morning, I need to remove old tiles from a concrete kitchen counter top. I would then like to paint it. Any suggestions, please?

Hi Cindy,

To be honest, I’m not sure if this is going to be possible without damaging the concrete surface. Do you know if they used tile adhesive to secure the tiles, or did they simply add them to the concrete countertop while it was still wet? If the latter it is going to destroy the top if you remove the tiles.

Janice

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Belinda

Sent: 28 May 2015 03:14 PM

Rhinolite workshops

How do you use Rhinolite - I have heard of people having bad experiences. are there classes a person can attend to learn how to do it properly?

Hi Belinda,

RhinoLite is not easy to apply as a DIY projects and yes, I have also heard of plenty of bad experiences from readers. www.Gyproc.co.za  do offer training workshops for industry professionals, but not for consumers. They also offer a list of recommended contractors.

Janice

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Lynette

Sent: 28 May 2015 11:38 AM

Glass brick shower

Good morning Janice Trust you are well.

Thank you for a very informative DIY site. Awesome!

Please could you assist… I am redoing my bathroom, we will be taking out the bath and replacing it with a bigger shower area. I would like to use the glass bricks as a wall for the shower enclosure. Do I need to get curved bricks for the corners or not? The wall and floor will be tiled from top to bottom with a large tile. The inside of the shower area will have some décor of mosaic tiles, this will be the base of the shower floor and a panel from the ceiling to the shower floor in the centre of the shower area where the shower will be. My question is, do we first complete all tiling for the whole bathroom including the shower base etc, before we start building the glass brick enclosure?

Lastly, can we use grout to seal the glass brick on the floor tiles or do we have to use silicone, (not keen on this route don’t want the silicone to get mouldy or lifting from the floor tile).

Again… thank you for helping thousands of DIY peeps with your innovative ideas.

Hi Lynette,

I don’t think that the curved glass bricks are available in SA  http://www.aluglass.co.za/products/seves-glass-bricks so the wall will need a wide curve if you are using flat glass bricks. Dry lay a row of glass bricks before you start to see how a curve can be fitted into the space. I would also build the glass wall first and then tile around this area. Use a waterproofing additive in both the tile adhesive and grout instead of water.

Your local Builders or tiling merchant will be able to advise on the correct product to use. You also need to seal all joints with sanitary silicone sealer to ensure it is watertight. Sanitary silicone is designed to prevent mould growth and should only need replacing after 5 to 6 years, or when starting to deteriorate.

Janice

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Muriel

Sent: 25 May 2015 08:52 PM

Mould on pressed ceiling tiles

I have noticed mould developing on the pressed steel ceilings in the 2 bathrooms. How can I clean the ceilings? Are there any measures I can take to prevent this from happening?

Hi Muriel,

Before cleaning the ceiling tiles you need to find out what is causing the mould. Check for any leaks in the roof, since damp needs moisture and warmth for growth. There is no point in cleaning the tiles if you don’t find the cause. Once you have removed the cause you can use a solution of household bleach and warm water and a soft brush to clean.

DO wear a dust mask and gloves when cleaning.

Janice

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Catherine

Sent: 25 May 2015 04:59 PM

Sooty bathroom dilemma

Dear Home-Dzine Team.

We recently moved into a home, that is relatively close to a free way. We consequently receive a lot of soot and wind-blown dust through our bathroom windows which remain open through the day. What window dressing would you recommend to add style to the room, and prevent black dust on my white bath, without blocking too much light? Please help, the burglar guards look ghastly and the bathroom is stark!

Hi Catherine,

Something as simple as a sheer voile curtain – gathered up - mounted at the top and bottom on curtain line with hooks at either end will help to cut down on pollution, although you will have to wash them regularly. There isn’t really much that you can do to keep out dust and smog but you can limit it to a degree.

Janice

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Isabel

Sent: 24 May 2015 10:01 PM

Apply gold leaf to countertops

I would like to revamp our kitchen counter tops.... is it possible to gold leaf the tops? What advice would you give? The counters are currently formica tops.

Hi Isabel,

There are plenty of ideas in the Kitchen Section of www.Home-Dzine.co.za  but what is important is that whatever you choose has to be practical. If you apply gold leaf to the countertops you will need to cover this with a resin, such as liquid glass, and this will become a very costly exercise. Kitchen countertops need to take a lot of wear and tear on a daily basis. Is there a particular reason why you want to cover with gold leaf?

Janice

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Sue

Sent: 21 May 2015 03:02 PM

Should I paint slasto floor

I have bought a house to refurbish and sell on and am trying to keep costs as low as possible. There is slasto flooring throughout the house. I would like to keep this in the living area. Is slasto coming back into fashion and is it a good idea and possible to limewash slasto? If so what sort of paint would we use and who would do this type of thing?

Hi Sue,

There are still plenty of people who love the natural look of slasto, and as a natural stone it has plenty of appeal. But I do agree that it can look dated. My advice would be to strip and seal the floor to bring out the natural beauty and have a high shine finish and that should offer more appeal. Definitely would not suggest that you paint or lime wash the floor.

Janice

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Dolly

Sent: 20 May 2015 01:16 PM

Hang photos in bathroom

I want to hang photographs in my bathroom but I am scared that with steam these may be ruined. Is this possible as I tend to use hot water when I shower and bath, thereby resulting to a lot of steam.

Hi Dolly,

It is quite possible that photos will be damaged by steam or moisture if hung in the bathroom. You can place the photos between two piece of thin glass and then use silicone or acrylic sealer around the edge (at the back) to make a reasonably water-tight seal for the photos.

Janice

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Francesca

Sent: 14 May 2015 10:49 PM

Paint peeling off walls

I'm redecorating my hallway, stairs and landing and the walls weren't prepped properly when applying the silk emulsion and now the paint is coming off like wall paper, what is the easiest way to decorate over this without having to strip all the paint off, I had to do this with our living room and it took nearly 3 months to do, don't facing doing that again.

Hi Francesca,

Unfortunately there is no easy solution if the paint is not sticking to the wall. If you paint over this it will all eventually peel off. Stripping off the old paint is the only way to solve the problem if you want a lasting paint job.

Janice

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Sandy

Sent: 14 May 2015 12:10 PM

Paint melamine cupboards

Good morning, I want to paint my guest bedroom laminate cupboards but only the sides as the door as still in excellent condition. how should i go about it, my house is upmarket and i don't want it to look like a bad diy. can i spray it.

Hi Sandy,

Give the cabinet a light sanding with 240-grit sandpaper and wipe clean. You can paint the sides of the cabinet with Plascon Velvaglo water-based enamel using a foam roller. Don't overload the paint roller and roll until there are no bubbles on the surface. This will give you a professional finish that will not be visible if done properly.

Janice

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Francois

Sent: 12 May 2015 04:06 PM

Spray paint on glass

What spray paint can I use on glass / Perspex.

Hi Francois,

Spray paint does not stick to glass but if you are looking to have frosted glass and do a glass splashback (spray on the back) you can use Rust-Oleum Frosted Glass spray, or Rust-Oleum 2X Ultra Cover spray.

If it is for a small project you can use glass paint (available at craft / hobby shops).

Janice

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Marlon

Sent: 08 May 2015 02:20 PM

Repairs to faux leather sofa

I would like to enquire about a service or leather care method I can use on faux / Bycast / Bonded leather. It’s 2 x 2 seaters , I’ve recently noticed that the 4 cushions started to peel, what can I do to repair it and stop it from peeling, the whole floor is full of small pieces. I really don’t want to cover the pretty couches with an old cloth.Do one get something to spray on to protect the material,make it stronger and repair or take care of the peeling off leather cushions

Hi Marlon,

Fake leather is unfortunately just that. It’s a manufacture product made using synthetic materials, of which a large proportion are vinyl derivatives, made to resemble leather. While these products wear reasonably well, there is going to be a time where constant use will take a toll and the material becomes brittle. This usually occurs on the back and arm rests, as well as the front of the seat. There is not much that you can do about this. Applying a leather or shoe polish (similar colour) will offer a temporary fix up until you can afford to have covers made or look at buying new couches.

Janice

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Johann

Sent: 06 May 2015 09:35 AM

Plans for murphy bed

Have you perhaps got plans for the foldaway beds (murphy beds) please.

Hi Johann,

The company that handled Murphy Beds in South Africa has apparently closed down and you will only be able to obtain the necessary parts for these beds from overseas. Due to the size and weight of the mechanism it costs a small fortune to import. Sadly I would have to say that Murphy Beds locally are no more.

Janice

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Glyn

Sent: 05 May 2015 12:24 PM

Dremel workshops

I have purchased the Dremel 3000 Multitool Project kit. I am an avid DIY fan and make jewelry as a hobby. Problem is I cannot make head or tail of the instruction manual. I need to participate in workshops to become proficient using my Dremel.

Hi Glyn,

I know that www.DIY-Divas.co.za  had Dremel workshops earlier this year, but not sure if there is going to be time to add more workshops for later this year. However, you will find plenty of trips, tricks and projects in the craft section on www.Home-Dzine.co.za , and I recommend that you try a couple of these to get yourself more familiar with using the tools.

It really is super-simple once you understand the basics and you are going to have a lot of fun.

Janice

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Hannes

Sent: 03 May 2015 12:55 PM

Repairs to ceiling

Can a portion of Rhinolite ceiling be fixed diy? We've had severe water damage to our ceiling and I was wondering if it could be possible to cut out the damaged piece of rhinolite, exchange it with a new piece and then when all is in place paint the whole ceiling again in stead of getting a contractor to come and do it for me at an enormous amount of money?

Hi Hannes,

This can be done if the piece to be repaired is situated where battens (timber supports) are located, as you can then cut out and attach the new piece to the timber and use rhinolite tape around the edges to hide the repair. Alternatively, you may need to add a couple of battens above the ceiling (attached to the existing ones) to add support.

Must admit, it takes a bit of skill to cover up and plaster the repair so that it is an invisible join.

Janice

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Carole

Sent: 01 May 2015 11:08 PM

Laminate on kitchen cabinets peeling

I had a fitted kitchen 10 years ago white gloss doors .The white gloss on the doors is like a plastic covering and it is all coming off to reveal the ugly looking chip wood underneath what can we do?

Hi Carole,

Unfortunately any laminate becomes brittle with age and this will result in chipping (and peeling if there is excess humidity in the room). There is nothing that you can do to repair these wrapped doors, especially if they are chipboard wrapped doors.

The only solution would be to look at replacing the doors as and when you can afford to, or look at the option of having MDF doors made up and painting these with a water-based gloss paint - that way you can easily touch up with paint over the years if required.

Janice

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Alice

Sent: 29 April 2015 05:09 PM

How to brighten up living room

Hi Janice,
I’m writing to you because I have like no idea of what to do with my living room - please help me. I’m wanting to brighten up my living room space by scatter cushions and curtains, I don’t know what will go well in terms of colour, with brown leather couches and white walls - see photo.

Hi Alice,

I see that the couch is more of a dark tan colour, and considering that it is winter it might be nice to add some warm colours to the space. You can consider colours like red, orange and a dash of yellow, or stick to hues of one of these colours, maybe yellow with gold. Whatever colours you choose for the cushions, incorporate these into a small rug for under the coffee table – or in accessories for the top of the coffee table.

Janice

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Anita

Sent: 28 April 2015 12:16 PM

Curtain rail for extra long windows

My sliding door is 4.08 metres and I would like to hang a curtain above it but with a curtain rail that extends a little over each side, so would probably need a curtain rail about 4.7m. I am also wanting a double rail so that I can hang a sheer curtain as well. I cannot find a rail longer than 4m though. What are my options?

Hi Anita,

You may need to hang two smaller rails and have a centre support where the two sections come together. The only hassle with this is that the curtains don’t always close completely. I have a similar problem and it works fine for me – I place the end hook on each side (at the centre) slightly in from the edge and this gives me just enough fabric to close the centre gap.

Janice

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Karen

Sent: 26 April 2015 04:04 PM

Sealer for chalk paint for kitchen cabinets

I want to paint my wooden kitchen cabinets. I am going to use chalk paint, to skip on the prep work, but i don't want to seal with wax, as I do all my own housework and don't have the time and energy to have to re-wax.
I have read that one can seal the cupboards with other types of sealers as well and some sites even suggest using polycrylic floor sealers. What product is available in SA that can seal my cupboards, without yellowing them. This is important, as i am planning to paint white and don't want to end of with cupboards that look old and yellow.

Hi Karen,

Prominent Paints have a clear acrylic sealer (approx. R450) for a 5 litre tin than can be applied over the top. You will need to apply three coats of sealer (allowing each coat to dry) for kitchen cabinets. I make all my own chalk paint, using matt acrylic PVA and Polyfilla interior crack filler. Have painted over sealed and varnished wood without any problems. The matt white with white filler comes out white and if you need to cover stains you can apply an additional coat.

Alternatively, there are non-yellowing polyurethane varnishes available. I haven’t tried these so cannot confirm the non-yellowing. But a polyurethane varnish would be recommended for a kitchen where regular and heavy duty cleaning is required.

Janice

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Dalila

Sent: 24 April 2015 10:14 AM

How to achieve high gloss finish

Hi there, I have high gloss furniture that has discoloured after number of years, I want to use the rustoleum products to refurbish it. First the furniture has a high gloss finish, do I have to sand it first before I refurbish? Secondly which it the best product to use?

Hi Dalila,

Achieving the level of gloss finish (varnish) is a professional job. The table image you sent looks like it has been treated with Shellac (French polishing): http://www.rogerenglandantiques.co.za/frenchPolish.aspx

The process of French polishing is not an easy one, as you will note from the instructions above, and not generally recommended for DIY unless you have extensive experience in working with Shellac. The best you can hope to achieve as a DIY project is a gloss finish using polyurethane varnish – and yes, you will need to lightly sand the existing finish with 180-grit sandpaper to de-gloss or remove the shine before re-finishing.

Janice

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Marlon

Sent: 23 April 2015 02:56 PM

Tiles suitable for fireplace hearth

I would like to put a hearth infront of my fire place which is on a solid miranti wooden floor,just to prevent sparks from the fire go onto wooden floor.Something I can make myself or not gona cost me a arm and a leg, marble is too expensive,can I put tiles or build a cement strip for the hearth.Can a person stain concrete cement to black?

Hi Marlon,

The natural stone tile option would be the best option, and you can use black slate tiles if that is the look you are going for. Lay a fibre cement board over the meranti floor and mix the cement tile adhesive / grout with a latex additive to give it some flexibility and you should be OK.

Janice

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Uwais

Sent: 22 April 2015 09:05 AM

Where to buy corner sink

You website posted an article called 'Need an extra bathroom?'. In the article you talk about corner toilets. I am struggling to find a South African shop that supplies these toilets (based on my online searches).
Can you perhaps suggest any company that sells these? (I am based in Cape Town) Any help would be sincerely appreciated.

Hi Uwais,

I did find quite a few references to corner sinks, here is one you may find useful:

http://www.plumblink.co.za/p020028/Vaal-700100-Kite-Corner-Basin-White-330X330.aspx

If they are not based in Cape Town they may have a branch close to you, or refer you to an alternative supplier.

Janice

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Cecilia

Sent: 17 April 2015 07:15 PM

Repairs to ceiling

I had an electrical company fit downlights and they damaged a small section of my pine ceiling when installing the downlights. They came back to repair the damaged ceiling,a hole in the ceiling basically and used rhinolite to repair the hole. They said they have to wait for it to dry before they apply varnish. They have since not returned to apply the varnish. My dad has agreed to do it but I wanted to know if rhinolite was the correct material to be applied to the hole and if varnish is the appropriate coat following the rhinolite.

Hi Cecelia,

You would use gypsum board (a papered chalk board) to install or repair a hole in the ceiling, but if they left a home in the pine - surely they should have filled the hole with a piece of pine that matches the existing ceiling.

You can apply a tinted varnish to the gypsum board to try and disguise the damage, but if this fails I would demand that the contractor do a professional repair job.

Janice

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Marlon

Sent: 16 April 2015 01:24 PM

Maintain rubio monocoat

I had Rubio Monocoat cotton white installed/painted onto my miranti hardwood floor at my house.The installer did not tell me about the maintenance to the floor and also if it’s possible to seal (gaps) after the product has been installed to the wood. How do one remove scratches and pencil marks from the newly treated floor, how do one prevent from something like that from happening to the floor.

Hi Marlon,

I did not even know that this product was available in SA. Having looked at the supplier’s website http://www.monocoat.us there is a section that looks at installation and maintenance for this product, and I would recommend that you refer to their guidelines.

http://www.monocoat.us/Maintenance/

Janice

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Maxine

Sent: 15 April 2015 12:16 AM

Wrap doors are peeling on bathroom vanity

My bathroom vanity cupboard doors are a kind of wood-look wrap, which are now beginning to peel due to water getting under it. There are some drawers too with the same problem. The carcasses are perfect. Is there anywhere in Johannesburg that I can have the doors and drawer fronts re-wrapped preferably in a white wood-look texture. The parts under the peeling are fine except for the peeling itself which is beyond repair. The carcasses are the usual white good quality ones.

Some of the vanity doors are 2 hinged panels made to bend around to fit a bowfront vanity top. They fit perfectly, so I would prefer to re-wrap them rather than have them remade.

Hi Maxine,

Unfortunately there isn't anyone that can wrap old doors. The process of wrapping doors is quite an involved one and the heat-shrink machines are only used by companies that actually manufacture doors or furniture.

You could try and remove the laminate completely and have the doors professionally spray painted, or spray them yourself using Rust-Oleum Gloss Enamel spray (at Builders stores).

Janice

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Kim

Sent: 13 April 2015 01:51 PM

Cover up particle board

Hello Janice
Please could you tell me the best way to ensure that contact paper sticks to particle board shelves in cupboards? Or do you have a better idea? Just want to cover the board shelves cos they look ugly. I have used gift wrap but it tears very easily.

Hi Kim,

You are going to find it very difficult to stick contact paper onto particle board. The looseness of the board means that the contact paper doesn’t really stick.

Why not decoupage the particleboard shelves with a nice paper. Give the raw shelves a couple of coats of clear acrylic sealer or ModPodge. Apply liberally so that the sealer soaks into the surface of the board and then and apply the paper while the last coat is still wet. Leave for about an hour and coat with two more coats of sealer. This should work to cover the particleboard shelves.

Janice

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Stuart

Sent: 12 April 2015 06:31 PM

Does a screed floor need joints?

We are in the process of building our house and I'm wanting to use pratleypearl in the screed mix for the floors. The builder tells me we will need to cut the screed floor into sections so as to reduce cracking but as there's no sand in the mix and therefore little or no clay or moisture to expand or contract surely this won't be needed?

Hi Stuart,

I haven't used this product previously, so I did a little research to find out a bit more about PratliPerl. In the instructions it doesn't mention anything about placing joints for expansion/contraction, and for most screed applications this is not required. However, I do know that joints are generally required for large areas and this will reduce the possibility of cracks later on.

Janice

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Mara

Sent: 08 April 2015 12:09 AM

Advice on mounting kitchen cabinets

What size screws and type that i can use to mount kitchen wall units with a H - 930 mm,W -400 mm and D - 300 mm.

Hi Mara

Thank you for getting in touch. To mount this size cupboard you will need (6) fischer SX8 nylon wall plugs and (6) 5 x 65mm cut screws. Drill the holes using an 8mm masonry bit and the holes need to be 75mm deep.

Note: Depending on the thickness of the back, add this to the length of the screws. E.G. If the mounting board at the back of the cabinet is 12mm thick, add 12mm to the length of the screw needed. (65 + 12 = 77 – rounded off to nearest standard screw length = 75mm)

Janice

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Michele

Sent: 31 March 2015 10:13 AM

Apply linseed oil to Rhinolite

Hi Janice

Can one seal newly rhino lie walls with pure Linseed Oil. I remember seeing it on a programme hosted by Michelle Garforth during the building of their Eco House in Avianto? I am trying to aim for a screed look on the walls. Please can you give me more insight on the Steel floated / venetian Plaster type finish?

Hi Michele

It is an oil-based product, which is what is used to seal rhinolite walls, but I can't image how it must smell - and for a long time. Linseed oil takes a long time to gas-off, and if it is a small space that is not open plan, it could take a very long time and overpower the room. Is there a reason why you want to put linseed oil on the walls rather than have them steel floated for a venetian plaster type of finish?

Here are some images for venetian plaster. After the final application but before the rhinolite has cured a steel float is run over the surface and you can achieve various effects or polish the walls.

Janice

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David

Sent: 30 March 2015 01:21 PM

Cost to restore parquet floor

We have a room at home (10m x 10m for simplicity's sake) that is covered in an old carpet. There is Parquet flooring underneath. Typically, how much does it cost to pull up the carpet, sand and re-seal the parquet underneath?

Hi David,

The problem with costing this project is that it can vary dramatically on how much work needs to be done to restore the floor, and who does it. You could hire a handyman to do the work or have a professional restorer that specialises in parquet flooring undertake the job. My suggestion would be to have contractors come and offer no-obligation quotations on the job and, after checking references, make your own decision.

Janice

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Beverley

Sent: 30 March 2015 03:08 PM

Problems with Fired Earth paint

Please help. On Friday 27 March we purchased 5 liters of Fired Earth Sand Stone paint (colour pebble path) from Builders Warehouse - Gezina Pretoria, to start painting our boundary walls. The walls were previously been painted about 2 years ago with Fired Earth paint and to our horror it is a totally different colour to the swatch shown to us at Builders Warehouse (pebble path). What do we do, as we intent to paint the walls around the whole property with this paint. The sales person did not warn us that the paint colour on the sample would be any different to the paint in the tin.

Hi Beverley,

I’m not an agent for Fired Earth, but if the paint in the tin is different from the paint that was mixed then they are at fault – not you. That is the whole purpose of the paint sample, although there may be slight (slight) difference. I suggest you get in touch with their head office, either via the www.builders.co.za website or via their facebook page.

Janice

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Rose

Sent: 01 April 2015 10:46 AM

Shades sails for patio

Hi Janice

Could you please assist me with your expert advice!

I would like to roof/cover my courtyard which is a rectangle with one curved long wall with a gate to garden. In summer it’s incredibly hot and winter the rain obviously buckets down, leaving the 2 dog kennels exposed. It would be great to utilise this space to braai or sit under some type of weather protection. It’s approx. 4m x 8m, so it’s quite big. I have had 2 quotes, one to erect a latte and pole roof which comes to a whopping R26 000 plus to Polycarb it is another R6000! The other quote was for two rectangle shade sails, installed with s/s fittings, which comes to around R19 000!

Hi Rose,

I cannot believe what they are estimating for this small project ! A 5 x 5m shade sail costs around R1000 at Builders, or you could quite easily make your own for around R500. They even have rectangular shades at about R800. The sails can be mounted to walls using anchor bolts and eyes – also at Builders. So all you really have to do is drill holes for the bolts and set up the sails.

I will be making a shade sail for Easy DIY magazine later this year if you can wait.

Janice

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Cheryl

Sent: 26 March 2015 09:52 AM

How to strip enamel paint

I unfortunately painted the bottom supports of my kitchen cupboards in white enamel. I would like to return them to their natural wood colour and just varnish then, but how do I go about removing the recently applied paint. Can I safely use a stripper(if so - which one do you recommend)or must I just sand as the paint is in awkward corners

Hi Cheryl,

You have the choice of using an eco-friendly paint stripper like Plascon RemovALL, which I must be honest takes a while to do the job and is quite messy. Or, you could use NitroMors chemical paint stripper. If using the latter DO wear rubber gloves, as this stripper is very, very potent and works almost instantly.

Janice

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Rhodancia

Sent: 25 March 2015 09:50 AM

Paint laminated cupboard doors

I have laminated kitchen cupboard doors. I would like to change them to the High Gloss doors, however far too expensive. Any advice what I can use

Hi Rhodancia,

Remove the doors, give them a light sanding with 180-grit sandpaper and you can spray them with Rust-Oleum high gloss lacquer or protective gloss enamel spray paint. Rust-Oleum is available at your local Builders.

Janice

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Daleen

Sent: 22 March 2015 12:42 PM

DIY kitchen cabinets

Hi there,

I want to build cupboards for my study. What I'll need is raw pine doors - the frame we will build ourselves and then install the pre-manufactured pine doors. I need 2 sizes - the shorter ones for the top cupboards and then taller ones for a big cupboards - just like a kitchen.

Hi Daleen,

Why not make your own pine doors as well. You can buy laminated pine shelving at any Builders or hardware store and then add moulding if you want to dress these up. There are plenty of tips and tricks in the Kitchen section on www.Home-Dzine.co.za  for adding moulding, drilling or hinges, etc.

Janice

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Christine

Sent: 21 March 2015 10:41 AM

Should I paint over imbuia?

Hi, is it terribly wrong to paint over imbuia and yellowwood kitchen cabinets? I want to paint them white to brighten up the kitchen but 2 painters so fat have told me it's wrong to paint over such valuable wood. Any suggestions please?

Hi Christine,

If there is one thing about paint – it’s not permanent if you want to reverse the process. Painting wood allows you to transform furniture for a more modern finish but is doesn’t destroy the timber. If anyone wanted to remove the paint it would only require stripping with an eco-friendly paint stripper such as Plascon RemovALL.

If you feel that painting the kitchen cabinets white would improve the look of a dated kitchen there’s no reason why you shouldn’t.

You can use any type of paint on the cabinets, which can be water-based enamel. Rust-Oleum spray paint, or even chalk paint with a wax sealer applied regularly.

You will find plenty of tips and tricks in the Decorating section on www.Home-Dzine.co.za

Janice.

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Marilyn

Sent: 18 March 2015 01:13 PM

Paint garage doors

Hi, we have brown roll up garage doors. We would like to change the colour to white, can you please advise how we would go about doing this.

Hi Marilyn,

I re-painted my badly stained (powder-coated) garage doors using Rust-Oleum protective enamel spray. However, I did find that this worked out expensive, even though it did provide a nice professional finish. I needed to use 6 cans of spray paint – and you may need to use more since the garage door is brown.

I used the spray because it didn’t require me to sand or prime to door beforehand. However, if you are prepared to do the prep work of sanding down the entire door you could use Hammerite or Metal Care primer and paint to re-finish the door.

Janice

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Yvonne

Sent: 17 March 2015 10:23 PM

Instructions for moon crib

I would like to know if you have the instructions as to the making of the moon crib. I would like to make on for my niece who is going to have a baby soon

Hi Yvonne,

Unfortunately there aren’t any instructions for the crib, but it isn’t a difficult project if you look closely at the pics and break the sections into pieces.

I would recommend that you draw up a rough sketch of the size you want so that you know what timber/board you need and the sections to be cut.

Janice

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Rodney

Sent: 18 March 2015 06:04 AM

House flooding during heavy rains

Hope you are well. Our home floods during the rainy season, we have been told this issue involves municipality, but we wanted to do something at our home to prevent it. We stay in Montana Pretoria, Hope you are able to advise possible solutions, if not, do you know of consultanats who can assist? Thanks.

Hi Rodney,

I know of someone who experienced similar problems in her area, and if it is caused by lack of flood drains or no flood drains at all, you definitely need to get in touch with your local Municipality to sort that out. Alternatively you need to hire a handyman or someone to dig out and lay drain pipes that will carry flood water away from your home.

Janice

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Cathy

Sent: 16 March 2015 04:02 PM

Cleaning artificial suede lounge suite

I have an almost-white artificial suede lounge suite which needs cleaning. How do I go about it?

Hi Cathy,

If it is artificial suede you can clean this as you would normal fabric. However, because of the light colour I would recommend that you have the suite professionally cleaned - where they use a dry method.

Janice

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David

Sent: 14 March 2015 08:54 AM

Outdoor patio sofa

Good morning Janice,

I was looking at this plan ( http://www.home-dzine.co.za/diy/diy-designer-patio.htm ) and wanted to find out what thickness of wood you would recommend? Guessing 20mm or 32mm but interested to hear your thoughts?

Hi David,

I actually made the patio sofa using 20mm meranti: http://www.home-dzine.co.za/diy/diy-made-designer-sofa.htm

Janice

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Susan

Sent: 11 March 2015 12:42 PM

Whitewash imbuia furniture

I have inherited my folks dark wood lounge suite from the 70's. It's very good quality but I find it very dark and gloomy. I think the wood is Imbuia. Obviously I can re-cover the cushions but is it possible to strip the wood to a light colour or could I white wash it?

Hi Sue,

Whatever the wood, if you sand down to remove any varnish – or use fine steel wool and mineral turpentine to remove wax build up – you can quite easily whitewash or paint with your choice of paint. I like to use a matt paint for painted furniture and then over this I apply either clear Prominent acrylic sealer or Woodoc antique wax.

You will find plenty of tips and tricks for this in the Decorating section on www.Home-Dzine.co.za

Janice

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Gervais

Sent: 04 March 2015 11:17 AM

Redo shower floor

Please could you let me know how to redo my shower floor? I have existing pieces of tile and cement making up the floor at the moment which i would like to cover if I can?

Hi Gervais,

Since most shower floors have a fitted drain, you will need to either remove the existing floor and re-lay new tiles to fit around the existing drain, or look at adding a section to lift the drain (or fit a new drain) so that you can raise the level.

It’s also important to use a latex-based additive to mix both the tile adhesive and grout instead of water, to ensure you have a waterproof base, and if you are going to be adding tile on top of tile use an etching solution on the existing surface to provide a better bond for the new layer.

Use a hammer and chisel at one part around the side until you have enough space to work this chisel at an angle and remove what’s left. If they are solid tiles you can sometime crack a tile, remove most of it an work from that point. Be careful when working around the drain hole – try to keep that intact. And also scrunch up a plastic bag and shove this down to drain hole to prevent debris blocking the hole.

Janice

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Janine

Sent: 04 March 2015 02:36 PM

Advice with minor renovations

I am slightly overwhelmed by the process for more than minor renovations. We have an existing house that we need to do renovations on. These renovations include either building on a second bathroom or splitting a room to accommodate another bathroom. It will also involve bringing two possible internal walls down. My question: I have found architects to lack constructive design ideas and they have quoted expensive rates on just drawing plans up. Are they necessary? Can I rather use a draughtsman? Either way I will still need a structural engineer as far as I understand? What if I want a cost quote on 2 bathroom options before committing?

Hi Janine,

It can be an overwhelming process and an expensive one, but there are ways to cut a few corners here and there and bring down the cost. My suggestion would be to first off have a couple of home improvement or renovation contractor look at the work that needs to be done (quote on the job). During this process they will let you know whether or not load-bearing wall need to be removed and reinforced, and may even offer drawing up plans as part of their service.

Armed with this information you will know whether or not you need a structural engineer, and more often than not you don’t, and can then hire a draughtsman to draw up the plans.

Janice

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Logan

Sent: 03 March 2015 03:35 PM

Tile over tile

I have a patio which is tiled with Corobrik Terrarosa tiles. To avoid removing the existing Corobrik tile, can I tile over the existing Corobrik Terrosa tile with new Corobrik terrarosa tiles.If so, can you suggest how it should be done?

Hi Logan,

It is not recommended that you tile over tile, however, if the existing tiles are in good condition and not glazed or too porous (such as natural stone or terracotta) you can get away with tiling over the top. You need to replace water in the tile adhesive with a suitable bonding liquid and I know that TAL offer a comprehensive range, so ask about the best one to use for your application.

Janice

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Soya

Sent: 03 March 2015 01:39 PM

New seals for shower door

My shower door seals are worn out and no longer holding the the side glass. I need to replace all the seals including the sweep seal for the shower but am unable to find a supplier anywhere near Fourways or Gauteng.

Hi Soya,

Unfortunately there isn’t much that I can do to help. You could try www.plumblink.co.za or Google the manufacturer or supplier for the shower to see if they keep spares in stock. This is a common problem and one that I have received lots of enquiries. Over time the seals wear or become brittle and it’s a sad fact that it is almost impossible to source replacement seals.

Janice

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Jeremia

Sent: 01 March 2015 12:43 PM

Colour matching my Charcoal roof tile

I would like an assistance with how to match my external wall sides with my charcoal concrete roof tile please…you have so grand colour but I can’t think of any colour that matches my roof

Hi Jeremia,

You will find that almost any colour will complement the charcoal roof tiles. However, my suggestion is that you visit your local Builders paint section or paint store and check out the colour swatches for different roof painting products.

Janice

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Karen

Sent: 27 February 2015 03:51 PM

Removing aluminium door

My bedroom upstairs has a sliding door to what could have been a balcony but which was actually made into another small room. I would like to take out the sliding door because I want to recarpet the bedroom and it will be easier and look better to do it as one room. Is there an easy way to remove the sliding door myself or is it better to get a builder / contractor to do it?

Hi Karen,

Most aluminium sliding doors are easy to remove simply by lifting up and tilting out of the sliding mechanism. However, you will need to determine whether or not your door can be removed in this way. You may also need to fill in – concrete patch – where the track was fitted into the floor and this is probably best done by a local handyman.

Try www.handymandirect.co.za

Janice

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Elmine

Sent: 26 February 2015 04:34 PM

Painting an upholstered chair

Hi Janice

I read your article on painting an upholstered chair with Acrylic PVA. I have a whole (white) lounge suite that I need to redo…can you perhaps give me some more details on doing this? What kind of Acrylic PVA (or would any brand do?) and do I need to mix anything into the paint before I start? I would really appreciate your guidance on this.

Hi Elmine,

You can use any acrylic PVA but it must be matt. The sheen or gloss paint makes the fabric very stiff. You need to use a stiff brush like a shoe polishing brush as you want to ensure the paint is brushed into the fabric fibres. Have two new brushes – use one for painting and one for softening the fabric once the paint has dried completely. If you’re not sure how the colour will look or paint will feel, test on a piece of fabric underneath the couch.

Janice

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Sen

Sent: 19 February 2015 09:31 AM

Repair chipped screed floor

I have white screeded floors that are now looking horrific as it is chipping and leaving grey patches. How can I rectify?

Hi Sen,

You may need to consider having a new screed applied over the existing floor if it is badly chipped, as any repairs you do will be visible. Alternative, use a product such as Polycell Rockset and cover this with an epoxy paint. If the screed floor was steel floated (leaving a polished finish) you may need to apply a concrete etch to the floor before doing any repairs. Did you have someone do the floor for you?

Janice

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Terry

Sent: 22 February 2015 09:47 AM

Laminate on cabinets coming off

The wrap on my kitchen cupboards is coming off. It is very stiff and difficult to glue on. Any tips on how to do this?

Hi Terry,

The laminate has probably become stiff and brittle with age. You can try using a hairdryer or heat gun to soften the laminate and then use 5-minute epoxy glue to secure back in place. A spring clamp or quick clamp will come in handy to hold the laminate in place until the glue cures hard.

Janice

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Kathy

Sent: 20 February 2015 10:45 AM

Modernise a dated dining room suite

Hi Janice

We would like to modernise it in some way if possible. I am relocating and will be living in an apartment. The apartment is quite modern, but the dining room could be a little dark. I thought of doing the table and chairs in a white?. Possible duco finish. I was advised not to as it would compromise the integrity of the Imbuia. What do you think.

Hi Kathy,

Duco would definitely destroy the wood underneath. This type of paint blocks the surface and the wood dries out and becomes very brittle. If you invested in a Bosch PFS spray system you could apply an acrylic PVA paint that would not do as much damage and look just as good. I prefer to use a matt paint and then apply 3 to 4 coats of clear acrylic sealer over the top to protect. You will need to sand down with 80-grit (if varnished) or rub with mineral turpentine and fine steel wool (if oiled or polished). After this, sand again with 120-grit and then smooth with 240-grit. Wipe clean before painting.

Janice

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Paul

Sent: 13 February 2015 08:26 AM

Epoxy resin for wood floor?

I am about to lay a pine wood floor and and wanting to protect it as it is a soft wood. Is there an epoxy resin out there that is recommended for this?

Hi Paul,

I I haven’t come across an epoxy sealer for floors but there are polyurethane varnishes that are specifically for use on wood floors, and you will find a fairly comprehensive range at your local Builders Warehouse. Pine is a softwood and you will need to take precautions to protect the finish. Put felt or rubber pads on legs or feet of furniture and ban heeled shoes!

Janice

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Keith

Sent: 11 February 2015 09:07 AM

Permanent mouldy spot

I need a solution to improve/repair damp mouldy slasto that does not receive full sun for most of the day.

Hi Keith,

Not sure what you can do if there is damp in this area. Perhaps a regular scrubbing with warm water and household bleach will help to keep the mould under control. The only permanent solution would be to find the cause of the damp that is causing the mould.

Janice

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Aubrey

Sent: 10 February 2015 12:36 PM

Connect a Generator to house circuit

How to connect a portable generator to the home distribution board so that I can switch between generator and Eskom power.

 Hi Aubrey,

Only a qualified electrician can perform the necessary wiring to link a generator to your home electrical supply. This information is not available for public use.

Janice

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Peter

Sent: 09 February 2015 09:43 PM

Standard length for curtains

What is the standard drop for curtains i.e. how far off the floor must I fit the curtain track?

Hi Peter,

The standard curtain length is 218cm, but you can also buy extra length curtains at many home décor stores. If you are mounting a new curtain track the height is determined by several factors:

  • How high is the window from the floor
  • What style of curtains will be hung, as this will also affect the height
  • Does the room need longer drops to visually increase the height of a room
  • What type of curtain track will be installed

More often than not it is better to mount the track with these considerations in mind and then have curtains custom made, or make your own, to fit the room.

Janice

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Margaret

Sent: 10 February 2015 07:52 AM

Liquid glass has yellowed

Hi there, I was wondering if you could give me some advice. I have painted a lamp table with pva and I also decoupaged a serviette onto the top which is a tapestry of a rose. My daughter suggested I get a piece of glass for the table but I had some liquid glass which I thought would work okay. I poured the resin onto the table and it worked out fine, with a couple of bubbles but nothing awful. I noticed around the edge of the serviette which I modge podged a few times before, the resin is slightly yellow. Is it possible to sand off the resin around the edge. I don't have power tools so I will have to hand sand it.

Hi Margaret,

It could be that there was a reaction between the ModPodge (acrylic) and liquid glass (epoxy) that caused the yellowing around the edge. I think you might find it very difficult to sand away only a part of the liquid glass, and you will always notice the difference even if you do manage to sand it away. Send through a pic and let me see if I can offer any alternatives.

Janice

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Simon-Pierre

Sent: 08 February 2015 03:20 PM

Paint self-levelling concrete

DDo you know how we can actually dye or paint self-levelling concrete. http://www.home-dzine.co.za/kitchen/kitchen-screed.htm#

Thanks..love the blog by the way!

Hi SP,

You can buy concrete stain for self-levelling concrete that hasn't been steel floated. If the concrete has been floated a concrete or epoxy paint would be the better option, and of the two the epoxy paint would be the most durable.

 Janice

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Sharon

Sent: 06 February 2015 09:00 AM

Water run off against kitchen wall

My kitchen wall is situated at the bottom of a fairly steep slope and water run-off is very bad during heavy rainfall. There is also a gutter downpipe outside this same kitchen wall. I have installed a water tank under the downpipe to limit some of the water build-up. I have also installed a drain  to limit water build-up. Both, I suppose, are helping to a very small degree, but I still get water seeping through the exterior kitchen wall (under my dishwasher), and the water also seems to be going under the house and coming up under other kitchen cupboards along an interior wall as well. I have googled this extensively and don't know what else to do. Could you advise?

Hi Sharon,

It sounds like you are having a hard time with controlling water build up, and have definitely already put in place some practical solutions. You don't mention whether or not the area at the base of the wall has a concrete apron, as this would also help speed up water runoff and prevent the ground from soaking up water. If the water is gaining access through the walls you need to make sure that the ground is lower than the damp proof course (DPC) that is laid on top of the foundation. If the ground is higher than the DPC this could be why it is getting inside the kitchen walls. Probably going to be a difficult project, but you need to lower the level of the soil and lay a concrete apron at least a metre wide, that slopes away from the wall and directs soil away from the building.

Janice

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Cathy

Sent: 02 February 2015 01:42 PM

Paint quarry floor tiles

I have quarry tiles on my floors and they are badly discoloured with some staining. Is it possible to paint them and, if so, what should I use? Because I want to hide the discolouration I need a product that is not see-through.

Hi Cathy,

Painting any floor tile is generally not recommended, but quarry tiles even more so. Paint does not last on floors and any painting done will be temporary. If you are desperate you could try using a paint designed for cement paving, but there is no guarantee that it will last.

Janice

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Meryl

Sent: 02 February 2015 09:10 AM

Replacement lid for toilet cistern

I hope you can help, I am looking for a lid for the cistern of my toilet, my little one knocked mine off and I have been told everywhere that you have to buy a complete toilet set - they do not sell the tops separate. Is this something that I can get from you? If not do you have suggestions as to where I can go?

Hi Meryl,

I have to agree that you are going to find it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to buy a cistern lid. You could try getting in touch with the manufacturer if the toilet has a brand name.

Janice

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Anita

Sent: 31 January 2015 12:34 PM

How to fix worn table top

I have a wooden table which has started to wear badly, down to the unprotected wood due to being in the sun and rain for a prolonged period of time. Do I need to sand it all down to the raw wood before treating it and sealing it or just give it a general sanding all over. I will need to restain it and seal it as the colour is patchy all over as it has worn.

Hi Anita,

You mention that the table has worn down to the wood, but you don’t mention what the table has on top. If it is varnish or laminate it is best to sand down to the wood and then apply exterior sealer (Woodoc) directly onto the wood surface. Three coats are applied according to the instructions and this will provide protection from the elements. Start with 80-grit sandpaper, the change to 120-grit to even out and finish with 240-grit to smooth the surface.

Janice

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Ria

Sent: 01 February 2015 02:06 PM

Vinyl on glass sliding door

I have an aluminium framed patio door between my study and another room, which I don't know what to do with. The other room is an extension of the kitchen/work room. I'm thinking of moving my fridge into this room - close to the kitchen. The fridge will have to stand in front of the solid part of the sliding door. It won't be a problem in this room, but on the study side  the back of the fridge will be directly in front of my desk. I have good lighting in the study and if I leave the sliding part of the door open, there will be enough ventilation, so I'm thinking of covering the solid part of the patio window with something funky. I have some rolls of vinyl wallpaperand was wondering if I could paste this onto the window on both sides. It would look really cool, because the colours would fit in with the colour scheme in both rooms. Can it be done? 

Hi Ria,

If you plan of sticking wallpaper onto glass you will need to use a product such as spray adhesive to attach, as wallpaper paste will soon peel off. Alternatively, you could spray one side of the glass with Rust-Oleum Frosted Glass or Mirror Effect to block out the fridge. Another alternative would be to use self-adhesive vinyl in a frosted glass or similar finish - www.gordons.co.za -  to cover the glass and hide the back of the fridge.

Janice

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Nadine

Sent: 01 February 2015 08:58 PM

Revamp of TV Unit, Advice and Products

 I have bought a new Tv Unit and my old tv unit fits like a dream with the new one, only problem is, the new TV unit is Wenge of colour and my old one is a very light wood brown, it has laminated paper on. Must I paint it wenge colour to fit with the new unit or must I get laminated paper in Wenge colour? Please advice on what to do and where I can get tge right products from to do this?

Hi Nadine,

Not sure if you are going to find laminated paper in Wenge, and it might be difficult to match the colour unless you spray it a solid colour. Rust-Oleum have a selection of 2X colours and you might find that satin espresso or walnut will be the closest. The other alternative would be to buy Formica laminate in Wenge and cut and glue this to the cabinet, but this is not easy to do unless you have done it before. You can ask at your local Timbercity if they sell Wenge or can order for you and some stores also cut to size. But you will need to take exact measurements.

Janice

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Michelle

Sent: 30 January 2015 11:21 AM

Spray paint has sticky finish

What can I use on supawood that wont stick and pull off the paint or varnish if it's placed on another painted supawood item. For instance if make placemats, I usually decoupage the front and'paint the back with acrylic paint and either a waterbased glazecoat or a water based varnish. At times when stacked on top of each other these boards stick to each other pull the paint off. What am I doing wrong? Also what varnish can I use on top of the modpodge that will seal the placemat and wipe easily with a damp cloth.

Hi Michelle,

From experience I have found that after painting, say a day or two later, I use furniture polish or Mr Min and wipe the painting finish. This tends to reduce that tackiness that you sometimes get with gloss paints and varnishes. For the sealer coat, if you apply 3 to 4 coats of ModPodge there shouldn’t be any need to apply any other type of sealer if you only want to wipe clean.

Janice

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Vadi

Sent: 28 January 2015 08:08 PM

Empty my pool and save the water

I need to empty my pool to repaint and repair tiles. I need save the water , what do I do please give advice.

Hi Vadi,

The question should be… where can I store the water emptied from the pool. You are going to need a very large storage container to hold the water while you repair the pool, so while the idea to save the water is a good one you need a place to store it, and this probably isn’t a possibility.

Janice

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Ahmad

Sent: 28 January 2015 01:05 PM

Crack in bathroom basin

The basin in my bathroom has a hairline crack from one end to the other. Water leaks through so it is useless. Would you perhaps know of a way that will fix the problem. I will really appreciate any advice or assistance.

Hi Ahmad,

You can buy Alcolin AquaMend epoxy putty at your local Builders. This should at least offer a temporary solution – it has lasted 4 year so far in my pool – to fix the problem.

Janice

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Susan

Sent: 25 January 2015 08:20 PM

How to mount shower panel to bath

I purchased a single bath screen from Game - instructions are clear, however, please to advise on the following: 1) how far from the edge of the bath must the screen be; 2) must the bottom of aluminium channel - which is same length as glass panel - be fitted right to bottom touching the bath or must extra space be allowed i.e. aluminum channel slightly raised off bath to allow for fitting of plastic/rubber seal strip which gets pushed onto down edge of door - to stop water coming out between bath and bottom of screen - after installation.

Hi Susan,

To answer your queries as follows: Mount the frame in the centre of the bath surround. If they supplied a rubber strip to fit underneath the channel, the frame will sit on top of this. For my own bath frame I placed the frame directly on top of the bath and finished off with sanitary silicone sealer to prevent leaks.

Janice

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Helen

Sent: 22 January 2015 01:25 PM

How to mount drawer slides

Hi Janice

Thank you very much for coming back to me. I am not sure how to calculate the size of the drawers when I use the slides to slide them in. How do you glue/fit the finishing edges once the wood has been cut? I want to work with melawood.

Hi Helen,

You will find instructions here for an easy way to mount drawer runners: http://www.home-dzine.co.za/diy/diy-4-drawer-runners.htm  and you will also use ball-bearing drawer runners for the bath cabinets. To join the sections together without any visible jointing you can use dowels, a biscuit joiner or a pockethole jig, and you will find information about all these methods in the DIY section on www.Home-Dzine.co.za

Janice

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Sally

Sent: 16 January 2015 12:33 PM

Where to find pallets

Firstly, THANK YOU for a stunning site! Do you perhaps know where I can find pallets in JHB/West Rand area?

Hi Sally,

I previously got my pallets from Builders in Strubens Valley, but I know that everyone else is rushing here and there to find pallets as well. It’s getting to the stage where pallets are becoming difficult to find and there are now companies making these up for those who want to buy them!

Janice

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Nothando

Sent: 23 January 2015 08:41 AM

Repair Defy stove

The warmer drawer on my 4 plate defy stove was left on for some time and baking gloves were inside and so they burned inside and the stove rubber and the outer surface of the stove burned also, I wanted to know where I can purchase the rubber and the spray paint and what kind of spray paint will be needed to fix it because it looks really horrible.

Hi Nothando,

You can buy Rust-Oleum Appliance Epoxy spray at your local Builders. Not sure where you would buy the rubber seal other than at a Defy spares supplier or direct from www.defy.co.za

Janice

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Almarie

Sent: 21 January 2015 03:49 PM

New kitchen countertops

I currently have old kitchen tops of about 2 cm in my kitchen. To replace them you need to break it out, which means you will break the tiles. Is there a way/top which you can lay over the existing tops and work it off with an edging of some kind?

Hi Almarie,

If the existing tops are only 2cm thick, you could use this as a base for mounting Formica LifeSeal or other countertops over the top. Is there a way to trim the edge of the existing tops flush with the cabinets and then have the new tops hang over. That way you could edge the old tops to match the cabinets and not even notice.

Janice

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Lisa

Sent: 21 January 2015 04:35 PM

Bathroom renovations

Dear Janice

I was going through the website as am embarking on a DIY bathroom renovation, re planning. Is there someone whom you can recommend that can design and plan a bathroom for me at a reasonable cost.

Hi Lisa,

Unfortunately I can’t recommend anyone to do the job for you. I have previously done my own bathroom renos and only hired a plumber or handyman to help out with larger aspects of the project I wasn’t able to do myself. There are plenty of bathroom renovation contractors in Joburg and my recommendation would be to obtain two or three quotations and ask for references where you are able to get in touch with previous clients.

Janice

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Rosalyn

Sent: 19 January 2015 02:46 PM

Finding a reputable electrician / plumber

Hi Janice

I really at my wits end trying to find and honest, competent and reasonably priced plumber and electrician. It seems that because I am a woman who lives alone they think they can pull the wool over my eyes. Do you have both a plumber and an electrician that you can recommend please?

Hi Rosalyn,

I have previously used a service: http://plumberselectricians.co.za  for both a plumber and electrician. This service has access to various plumbers and electricians that they call upon, depending on your location. The problem is that you will most probably not use the same ones that I do, as mine are dedicated to the Honeydew area.

I know how difficult it is to acquire a reputable contractor and that’s one of the reasons I established www.DIY-Divas.co.za. No two contractors will give the same quote and may even offer up a different explanation for the problem. It’s unfortunate but does happen. You are under no obligation to use their services and they offer a free quotation, so perhaps let two contractors call and offer advice and decide which seems the most honest and trustworth.

Janice

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Warren

Sent: 19 January 2015 11:53 AM

Glass countertops

I’m looking for the supplier details for the recycled glass counter tops, I am interested in the product and cannot seem to find one in Gauteng for a quote or pricing.

Hi Warren,

If you refer to the article you will find links and a list of suppliers for glass countertops in South Africa. http://www.home-dzine.co.za/kitchen/kitchen-new-tops.htm

I’m not aware of a particular supplier in Gauteng, but you could contact any glass supplier for information on their products that could be used for countertops.

Janice

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Lyse

Sent: 13 January 2015 06:23 PM

How to waterproof driveway

What is the best product that one can use apply to seal/waterproof a flat concrete roof. The roof is also our driveway and there is a flat below, so the product needs to be durable. I don't mind if I need to reapply the product every couple of years.
We have tried the whole torch on membrane story but the leak has persisted. Someone also suggested we get a black mat (as used in dams) to place over our driveway, which currently has concrete pavers as a surface. Any idea where one can get this?

Hi Lyse,

The best method is the bitumen coating (membrane and torch method), but if you have already tried this without success, my recommendation would be to get in touch with a reputable waterproofing contractor and let them assess the situation. Even if you don’t ask them to go ahead with the work, at least you know what they recommend and can proceed from there.

Janice

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Dhanesheri

Sent: 12 January 2015 09:05 AM

Stains on travertine tiles

We are in the process of building a house. During the December holidays, painters were on site and spilled cooking oil on unsealed travertine tiles. We only found out about the spill this weekend. Please advise how one gets the oil stain off the travertine tiles.

Hi Dhanesheri,

You are going to find it very difficult to remove the oil from unsealed natural stone. You will find a range of TFC (Tile & Floor Care) products at your local Builders store that offer the best method of cleaning, stripping and sealing natural stone. Ask for advice on a TFC product that will break down grease and remove as much of the oil as possible before you apply a suitable sealer.

Janice

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Lynne

Sent: 11 January 2015 08:32 AM

Paint oregon pine furniture

I have varnished oregon pine bedroom which I would like to either paint or wax to give it a rustic or French look.

Hi Lynne,

If you plan to apply paint to the floor you will need to de-gloss the finish by sanding with 180-grit sandpaper. There is no need to remove all the varnish, but you do need to remove the gloss before you can apply paint. For a waxed or whitewashed floor you need to remove all the varnish to get down to the wood. Do this by sanding with 80-, then 120-, and finally with 240-grit sandpaper.

You will also find helpful tips here: http://www.home-dzine.co.za/decorating/00DECORATE-index.html

Janice

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Annette

Sent: 08 January 2015 10:45 AM

Best paint to use for project

I have two Imbuia Milkmaid stools which I would like to repaint a matt black - should I sand them down or use a paint remover to remove the old varnish. What paint will give me a good matt black finish, and must it have an undercoat.

Hi Annette,

It isn't necessary to remove the varnish if you give it a good sanding down with 120- and then 240-grit sandpaper to de-gloss the finish. I recommend Plascon SureCoat Matt Acrylic for the project and it is available in black.

Janice

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Lauren

Sent: 07 January 2015 08:08 PM

Contractor to cover tiled floor

I'm wondering if you could recommend a reputable contractor to replace or cover our existing tiled floors with polished cement/ screed?

Hi Lauren,

I don’t know of anyone offhand, but I would recommend that obtain three quotations and make sure that they have references that can be followed up, preferably for work done over a period of a least a year. There are plenty of fly-by-night contractors who claim to do a good job, but the only way to truly find out is to ask someone who has had work done.

Janice

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Lisa

Sent: 07 January 2015 04:50 PM

How to lay self-levelling screed

Hi Janice

Hope I am not troubling you. I came across your site when looking for Self – levelling cement screed flooring which I found very imformative. We are tossing and turning between doing this ourselves or getting a contractor. Do you have any idea where we can buy the products required in Durban? And is this something we can hope to do ourselves without making a mess of it?

Hi Lisa,

Must be honest, I have received a lot of queries from homeowners who have attempted this as a DIY project, only for it to go wrong. There are too many variables involved to guarantee success and it would be my recommendation that you let a reputable contractor do the job.

Janice

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Ivor

Sent: 05 January 2015 04:47 PM

Help with yellowwood table

I have a yellowood table which is full of stains etc. I would like to restore the top and seal it so that it does not stain. Please help with a procedure I can follow. It will be my first piece of woodwork .

Hi Ivor,

You don't mention if the table has been previously oiled, varnished or waxed. The first step would be to use fine steel wood and mineral turpentine to clean the table. This alone might remove quite a bit of the damage. If there are still stains after this process you will need to sand with 120- and then 240-grit sandpaper.

For a dining table the best product to use is a polyurethane varnish, as this is able to resist a reasonable amount of heat as well. Plascon have an excellent range of Woodcare products for interior wood.

Janice

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Laura

Sent: 01 December 2014 07:12 PM

Advice on settling dispute

Please could you assist in settling a dispute. If a builder has not specified in his contract or any additional documentation that he will fit any new soap holders, toothbrush holders, shower shelves, soap dishes, toilet roll holders and bath towel rails; is he expected to do this as part of the contract.

We have renovated two bathrooms for a client (the 2nd one is almost complete) where we had to remove all the old ceramic soap dish holders; ceramic toilet roll holders ; towel rails and shower roses, but did not include in our contract that we would either supply or fit any new fittings relating to these items (except we would fit the new shower roses and arms that client should choose). My client in the meantime has purchased new soap dish holders, toothbrush holders; towel rail holders and shower cubicle shelving and is expecting us to fit all of these and absorb these into our costs.

In my opinion, and that of many of my building colleagues, this is a decorating item, and does not form a part of the contract unless specifically mentioned in writing in the contract or any addendum thereto. We are not talking a huge amount of money, but we have gone the extra mile here by supplying the same client with many other fixtures and fittings, and repairs that we have not charged for, and we now feel we are being abused.

Could you please provide me with your feedback, as I would like to respond to the client as soon as possible with another take on the matter.

Hi Laura,

This is a catch-22 scenario: you did not specify in the contract that these smaller items would be fitted, but because these are part of the final design the client expected that they would be fitted. Both parties are right and wrong at the same time and it is going to be very difficult to sort out unless one party gives in.

You mention that the fitting of bathroom accessories was not specified as part of the contract, but does the contract cover the renovation or improvement of the bathroom, in which case small items like these would automatically be covered.

While I can side with you if you have already gone out of your way to satisfy the client, would it not be a quick and easy solution just to drill a few holes and mount the accessories. Better to have a very satisfied client and a good reference.

Janice

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Thulani

Sent: 29 November 2014 01:58 PM

Fitting parquet flooring blocks

Good day

I have just fitted wooden blocks on my floor. What can I use to seal the gaps in between them and on the edges before I sand them?

Hi Professor Arosi,

When fitting blocks for flooring there should be no gaps between the blocks. The only gaps should be around the perimeter of the room, with spacers fitting to allow for expansion and contraction of the wood, and which can be covered up with skirtings.

Gaps between the blocks can be filled with an acrylic sealer in a matching colour, but this is definitely not an ideal solution.

Janice

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Elsabe

Sent: 03 January 2015 12:21 PM

Can I use MelaWood for countertop?

Hi,

I found the perfect colour for my kitchen worktop but it is melawood. The colour is Etimo. Can I use melawood for a worktop? This colour does not appear to be available in any other material. Is there anything you can suggest?

Hi Elsabe,

I used Etimo for my kitchen cabinets. You could have problems using melawood for the countertop. The material used to laminate the doors is nowhere near as thick and tough as the Formica laminate used for countertops.

There are other options:
Melawood is manufactured by PG Bison, but Sonae Novobord also have an excellent range: http://www.sonae.co.za

Janice

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Michelle

Sent: 02 January 2015 03:21 PM

DIY outdoor patio set

Dear Janice

I came across your website in December and immediately my husband and I started planning when we could make your DIY dining or patio set. I thought I would send you a photo of our end result. We made slight changes to suit our patio and we are so happy with it. We are busy browsing your website to find our next project.

diy outdoor patio set

Hi Michelle,

Thank you so much for sharing your project, which, by the way is amazing. I do so love it when readers share their projects and hope that you will share any future projects as well, perhaps even with step-by-step how you did it. Good luck with the next one!

Janice

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Christina

Sent: 02 January 2015 02:17 PM

DIY removing carpets

Hi there,

I have full floor carpets throughout my home (old & dirty!). I discovered when I lifted one corner that there is wooden parquet floors underneath. I need to rip out the carpets and restore the wooden floors. What can I use to remove the carpets without damaging the floors and clean them?

Hi Christina,

What a surprise to find parquet floors underneath your old carpets. These floors have become valuable and sought-after if they are restored to their original beauty.

If it was easy to lift up a corner you should be able to remove the carpet in the same way. You might have to remove skirtings if you find it difficult to lift up, and will also find carpet strips (metal strips with nails) that are nailed to the floor to hold the carpet in place. Where you encounter these carefully prise out the nails and try and fix the holes in the blocks underneath with a tinted wood filler that you can buy at your local Builders.

If the underfelt sticks to the blocks you can use a spray bottle filled with water to lightly dampen to make pulling the felt away from the blocks easier, without wetting the blocks too much. If the underfelt was glued to the floor you can buy Genkem glue remover at your Builders as well.

Janice

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Hannelie

Sent: 02 January 2015 2014 04:37 PM

Advice on painting kitchen floor

Hi Janice

I would like to find out how to paint my kitchen floor. The floor was originally tiled, then a screed was laid and then painted with a product specially made for floors, Fired Earth Trendy Floors and on top of that Bonding Liquid. But what a flop.The floor is cracking badly and the paint start to come off 2 days afterwards. We will have to remove the paint and screed and start again.

Hi Hannelie,

Sounds like you had quite a bit of fun with the floor!

Floors are always a problem and a tiled floor even more so. Painting a tiled floor is definitely not a permanent option, unless you look at using an epoxy paint product such as that used on factory floors. The only problem with this is the limited colour choices.

If you have already gone to all this trouble, would it not be better to rip out the tiles and put down new tiles to match your style and décor. There are so many gorgeous tiles now available with the introduction of inket-printed tile designs that resemble wood floor, whitewashed wood, etc.

Janice

 

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