Q & A

If you have a query relating to home improvement, home maintenance, home DIY or decorating a home then this is the place! Send your queries to our DIY Diva and we will answer them as best we can. If we don’t know - we’ll find out for you. Submit your question and we'll post and answer. In this way we can build up a comprehensive library of information that everyone will be able to access.

Full Name

Email

Your Query

 

 

Ottilie

Sent: 25 September 2016 05:03 PM

Subject: Malamine Kitchen Countertop

Hi Janice,

Thank you for the mail and info. I saw Builder’s Warehouse stock the Rust-Oleum spray paints for wood, plastic and metal surfaces, would any of them work on a melamine kitchen countertop? What sealant would you recommend for a top coat?

Hi Ottilie,

You actually need an epoxy paint to replicate the Rust-Oleum kit, but locally these come in limited colours. Regular paint won’t last very long on this type of surface and may even contaminate food.

Janice

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Tara

Sent: 24 September 2016 09:49 PM

Subject: Reupholster Couches

I want to reupholster 2 x 2 seater couches to a material that doesn't allow everything to stick to it (specifically cat hair). Could you give me a guestimate of what sort of costs I would be able to anticipate?

Hi Tara,

You would need to discuss fabrics with the upholsterer you select. This will have the greatest impact on the price to upholster, so I can’t really give you a guideline until you know what fabric will be used.

Janice

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Nathan

Sent: 21 September 2016 11:21 AM

Subject: Pool mosaic print

I have a fibreglass swimming pool and the mosaic print above the waterline has started to fade. So I requested quotes to have it replaced, but its so expensive. I want to check with you if I can tile over the print with mosaic tiles. If  possible, what bonding agents - do I use to stick the tiles to the the fibreglass and is it easy to do?

Hi Nathan,

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to apply tile around a fibreglass pool. Due to the nature of fibreglass, it isn’t a stable enough surface and the mosaic tiles will soon start to crack and fall off. I haven’t encountered a problem of this nature before. Perhaps you should get in touch with a supplier / manufacturer of fibreglass pools and ask for a solution and what they recommend.

Janice

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Bjorn

Sent: 21 September 2016 01:11 PM

Subject: Grout pen

Im looking for a product called a grout pen.

Hi Bjorn,

Plascon used to offer a paint Grout Pen as part of their range, but no longer have this available. However, if you have a large area to cover, you might want to consider this product: http://www.tubbydiy.com/product/tubby-diy-grout-sealer-kit/

Janice

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Lynda

Sent: 15 September 2016 05:56 PM

Subject: Stainless steel finish

Where can I source the stainless steel metal sheeting (used in your article about creating a stainless steel finish on a fridge)? Is there a self adhesive plastic sheeting that gives a stainless steel or aluminium effect that could be applied to kick plates on kitchen cupboards available in Cape Town?

Hi Lynda,

You have various options for applying a stainless steel finish to a refrigerator: Rust-Oleum have a stainless steel paint that is specifically designed for appliances and available at your local Builders. You can buy thin stainless steel sheet at http://www.laser-cutting-online.com/ Or, get in touch with www.gordons.co.za who have a self-adhesive vinyl that offers a stainless steel finish.
Janice Anderssen

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Carinne

 Sent: 15 September 2016 12:32 PM

Subject: Great website!

I just wanted to compliment you on a fantastic website! I am about to do some renovations to a flat I just purchased and your website has been fantastic in helping me envision what I can do with the space! So many other websites give very limited advice or are trying to promote one particular product. Being a South African website with prices and products applicable to us is a great help.

Hi Carinne.

Receiving comments like yours make all the hard work worthwhile ;-)

Janice

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Ben

Sent: 11 September 2016 09:10 PM

Subject: Painting knotty pine

I'm considering painting knotty pine ceiling in kitchen to bring in more light or would it be better to replace clad with Rhino board? All the cupboards are knotty pine.

Hi Ben,

As concerns your query, I think the decision you need to make is whether or not you want to sand and paint the knotty pine ceiling, or go to the trouble of removing the pine planks, mounting the RhinoBoard and then still plastering the joins and painting the ceiling. We have a couple of articles on the website that look at prep and painting for knotting pine:

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

http://www.home-dzine.co.za/decorating/decorating-pinepanel.htm

Janice

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Tanya

Sent: 12 September 2016 09:24 AM

Subject: Dull oak kitchen cupboards

I have solid oak doors in my kitchen and bedroom - probably 20 years old by the sea. They have become dull and lifeless, and parts are ingrained with black (probably) from the salty sea breeze.

What can I use Or do you have an article regarding this that I can refer to?

1. To get rid of the black
2. To bring back its shine and lustre

Hi Tanya,

Sounds as though the wood has not been maintained over the years and the wood itself is buried beneath layers of varnish or wax, causing the wood to dry out and become dull. My recommendation would be to strip / sand the doors back to the wood and then apply a quality sealer or wood maintenance product to the finish, such as one of the www.Woodoc.com  range of wood sealers.

Janice

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Janine

Sent: 12 September 2016 12:03 PM

Subject: Lawn aerators

Where can we find Lawn Aerators?

Hi Janine,

If you can’t find these at your local Builders, most equipment or tool hire stores hire these out on a daily basis.

Janice

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Hein

Sent: 12 September 2016 02:36 PM

Subject: Pine plywood

In regards to this plan: http://www.home-dzine.co.za/diy/diy-wheelie.htm What width of wood would be ideal for this project? I feel that 20 mm might not survive the weight of books and records.

Hi Hein,

Obviously, if you are going to be filling the shelves up I would recommend that you look at using a stronger board product. You could consider 19mm plywood or 18mm supawood as an alternative. Alternatively, look at fitting an extra upright section for added support.

Janice

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Chris

Sent: 06 September 2016 02:26 PM

Subject: How to get rid of bumpy walls

In your article on "How to get rid of bumpy walls", you mentioned use of a squeegee. Where would I be able to purchase this as the ones I have seen do not have the handles as reflected in the images noted in the article? Also, would I be able to use finishing plaster on previously painted rhinolite walls/ceiling?

Hi Chris,

Thanks for getting in touch. I must admit that I haven’t seen a similar squeegee at Builders, but you could also try looking at tile suppliers. This is a squeegee that they use when applying Rhinolite and drywall plasters. For technical advice, you will find links within the article for more information.

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

Janice

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Nnana

Sent: 07 September 2016 04:51 PM

Subject: Remove wardrobe made of bricks

I have been scouring the internet without success and I thought you might be of great assistance. I need to remove the wardrobes in my bedrooms which were built with the whole structure of bricks. I have a Ryobi grinder that I have been using for all the cutting tasks in the house - it's not the most powerful. I need to find out whether it will be possible to cut the brick wall  if I fit the correct cutting disc to it?

Hi Nnana,

Thanks for dropping me a line. Before you go cutting out all the bricks, you should start by knocking down and removing what you can and only using the angle grinder to cut any remaining bricks. Use a hammer and cold chisel and lay down a drop cloth, as this is going to be a messy and dusty project. This method will prevent straining the motor on your Ryobi grinder and also make it easier to get into tight corners.

Janice

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Roaan

Sent: 07 September 2016 10:12 PM

Subject: Kitchen countertop

I have been struggling with my kitchen countertop. I repainted it but it hasn't worked because I think the local hardware gave me the incorrect paint. Can you please tell me where I can buy a Rust-Oleum countertop kit. I live in Cape Town Northern suburbs. Even online ordering will be great. Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

Hi Roaan,

Thanks for getting in touch. Unfortunately, the Rust-Oleum Countertop Kit is not part of the range being imported to South Africa, due to the high cost. It was realised that it is far more cost effective to replace kitchen countertops. The Kit would have cost over R3000, while a new Formica Lifeseal countertop retails at between R600 - R800 per 3.6 metre length.

Janice

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Carmen

Sent: 08 September 2016 12:13 PM

Subject: Concrete countertops

Can you please send me a list of materials needed to make the concrete for kitchen counter tops.

Hi Carmen,

There are a couple of articles on the website that will assist you with the supplies:

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

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

Janice

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Margaret

Sent: 11 September 2016 04:57 AM

Subject: Replace old slasto

I have a patio with old slasto (slate). The slate is breaking up and I was wondering if I get all the loose pieces of slate out and put a layer of concrete over to let it dry and then tile over it, would it be okay? Or would I have to remove all the slate and old concrete in between?

Hi Margaret,

Unfortunately, you cannot apply cement over the top of the slate, because it is already an unstable foundation. It is recommended that you remove the slate tile and grout before tiling. Any substrate must be stable and in good condition for tiling, or you will end up with problems later on.

Janice

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Chelane

Sent: 02 September 2016 08:42 AM

Subject: French cleats

Do you know where I can get a french cleat from? We would like to hang pallets on our walls and I think this is a good way to do it or do you have other ideas? I'm not to sure what the weight is of the pallets, but they are quite heavy. If I use Fischer wall plugs would this hold maybe 40 kg on the wall?

Hi Chelane,

I haven’t seen ready-made French cleats anywhere locally, and that’s why I offer instructions for making your own.

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

http://www.home-dzine.co.za/diy-1/diy-easy-french-cleat.html

Depending on the weight of the pallets, you could also use large Fischer wall plugs (nylon not plastic) to mount the pallets directly onto the wall. If you use 3 x SX10 plugs, this should hold the weight.

Janice

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Darryl

Sent: 01 September 2016 08:37 AM

Subject: Filling the gaps in wood flooring

I would like some advice on filling in some gaps between my loft wood flooring. Is there any product that I can purchase that is large in quantity but not too expensive? I have done some research on the net and see that many product exist in the US but I see that the small hardware stores don’t seem to stock these. I did buy a wood-silicone based product but it costs around R50 and only covered about 1 or 2 line of gap. That would work out way too expensive to continue using. Any advice would be appreciated.

Hi Darryl,

To be honest, I am not aware of any product other than the acrylic or silicone sealer, which is available in a cartridge tube and applied using a caulking gun. The problem is that you need a filler that is flexible to allow for expansion and contraction of the flooring, and I don’t know of any other product (locally) that does this.

Janice

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Nnana

Sent: 29 August 2016 12:37 PM

Subject: Making a bed with MDF

I need to make a bed for my son but am confused on whether to use pine plywood (which I think looks a bit rough after cutting, even sanding) or MDF. Will MDF be able to withstand the screwing and unscrewing of a new DIYer.

 Hi Nnana,

SupaWood (MDF) will be the better option and be able to withstand more ‘attention to detail’ than plywood. If you do drill holes in the wrong place (which can happen), fill the holes with a bit of wood glue and top off with wood filler. You can also paint directly over SupaWood. Just sand the edges nice and smooth.

Janice

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Ally

Sent: 27 August 2016 12:07 AM

Subject: Roman blind

Please help me make my own roll up blind, made with wood on top, or any other way, I love making my own simple things.

HI Ally,

You can visit www.Home-Dzine.co.za and put Roman blind into the search feature. This will offer you quite a few options and designs for making your own blinds.

Janice

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Szymon

Sent: 26 August 2016 08:38 PM

Subject: How to make milk paint

Hi, Love the site and appreciate all the content! Just a question about your article on making milk paint. Can you suggest a place in SA where one can buy hydrated lime powder? Preferably not in industrial quantities?

Hi Szymon,

Due to the difficulty in sourcing hydrated lime, I have modified the article to make it easier for those wanting to make their own milk paint: hhttp://www.home-dzine.co.za/decorating/decorating-milk-paint.htm

Janice

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Janine

Sent: 20 August 2016 04:40 PM

Subject: Where to purchase Dylon dye

 Please could you tell me where you purchased the Dylon dye in South Africa. I am battling to find it anywhere.

HI Janine,

Thanks for getting in touch. It has been some time since I used Dylon dye for projects and I think they have now stopped distribution. However, you can try www.ladydye.co.za

Janice

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Brenda

Sent: 21 August 2016 04:03 PM

Subject: Paint over stone tiles

Can you paint over stone tiles? My entire bathroom is tiled, floors, half way up the walls, the shower all the way up to the ceiling, the basins and bath surrounds. It was built 15 years ago. The bathroom is in need of a re-vamp. We anticipated removing all the tiles and starting again which will prove costly, so the thought that painting the tiles could save us a lot of money.

Hi Brenda,

Unfortunately, you cannot paint over most natural stone tiles due to their porosity and nature, especially floor tiles. The paint will start to peel off very quickly and you will be wasting money by trying to paint them. Rather save up over time and look at replacing the tiles when you can.

Janice

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Keith

Sent: 14 August 2016 02:16 AM

Subject: Slice up wood bowl

I have several wooden bowls that I would like to slice into rings approximately 64cm in height. How best to do this is my question.

Hi Keith,

This is a tricky one. I previously had to cut down an oval shaped vase and found the easiest method was to have some thick soft density foam on hand to support the curved shape of the vase. I then cut this with my mitre saw, or you could use a table saw. Not perfect but it did work.

Janice

Hi Janice
Thank you so much for the reply. I ended up using my jig saw which I clamped to a bench on its side and then built a platform the right height to support the bowl while I turned it against the blade. It worked OK but of course I lost some wood because of having to drill a hole in the bowl to accommodate the blade.

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Darryl

Sent: 15 August 2016 10:11 AM

Subject: Paint a hollow block wall

I would like to know if there are any paint products that I can use on a hollow block wall, to give it a rough finish ? I would like to cement wash the wall first and then paint with a rough-cast paint product. My wall is pretty big, and plastering it would be very expensive.

Hi Darryl,

Prominent Paints have a textured paint and you can add silica sand to the paint to make it even more textured. Mix regularly to ensure the sand doesn’t settle on the bottom and use a special roller for application. This is a hard, yellow foam roller that has lots of holes in it and is used for applying textured paint for a thick textured finish.

Janice

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Roxanne

Sent: 14 August 2016 11:33 PM

Subject: Seal chalk painted cupboards

I would like to seal my chalk painted kitchen cupboards with a clear water based satin polycrylic sealant. Please advise what i could use as I cant find anything in SA.

Hi Roxanne,

Rust-Oleum have a clear Top Coat Sealer that can be used over the top of chalk paint. Or you can use Woodoc Antique Wax. Both products can be found at your local Builders Warehouse. The Top Coat Sealer only has to be applied once, but the Antique Wax must be applied regularly.

Janice

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Unathi

Sent: 10 August 2016 11:40 AM

Subject: Barn door

I am looking to install a barn door in my pantry and need suppliers and installers around Johannesburg/ Pretoria. Can you recommend any?

Hi Unathi,

This project would either be a DIY project, or you could hire a handyman / carpenter to make it for you. Try www.handymandirect.co.za  or www.countryhomedesign.co.za.

Janice

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Andrew

Sent: 10 August 2016 11:46 AM

Subject: Plywood headboard

I am making a headboard out of a combination of 9mm plywood as well as PAR pine purchased from builders warehouse. I would like to preserve the reddish colour of the plywood used for the front of the headboard, but would also like to treat the headboard in some manner. The plywood has been cut into 10mm strips and glued together around the sides to give the effect of many boards stuck together as well as adding depth. What would the best way of protecting the wood be? I am thinking of oiling the plywood (the pine is just used for the structure). Would you recommend this - if so, any particular oils? Thanks a bunch. I really do love your website and it is what has inspired this DIY guy!

Hi Andrew,

If it’s for a headboard I wouldn’t recommended using an oil. A wax would be better, such as Woodoc antique wax (available at Builders). This dries and can be buffed to a satin finish and will not affect the colour.

Janice

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Judith

Sent: 04 August 2016 07:35 PM

Subject: Painting of cupboards.

We want to paint our bedroom, kitchen melamine cupboards. How do we prepare the surfaces and what good quality paint can we use. We want to use our Electric HVLP paint sprayer (PS-700) Ryobi 500 watt an therefore requires a thin paint to prevent clogging.

Hi Judith,

IIf you are going to use a paint sprayer you need to sand down the melamine finish to de-gloss the finish and wipe clean before painting. Apply a light, even first coat and let this dry before applying a light second coat. Check this (scrape the surface with a fingernail) before applying any additional coats. Use a quality acrylic paint such as Prominent Paint Select Sheen. My only concern is the watering down needed for the spray gun. Too much watering down and the paint won’t bond with the surface. Hence my comment to scrape lightly before continuing.

Janice

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Anthony

Sent: 01 August 2016 09:33 PM

Subject: Replace countertops

Need advice on how to replace kitchen countertops, doors and handles.

Hi Anthony,

If you visit the Kitchen Section on www.Home-Dzine.co.za  you will find plenty of advice, ideas and projects covering kitchen countertops, etc.

Janice

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Naas

Sent: 27 July 2016 10:41 AM

Subject: Putty cracking around frames

Our retirement village was fitted out with wooden window frames etc about 16 years ago. We do regular two yearly maintenance that consists of repairing the putty and revarnishing the outside woodwork. Lately we are experiencing a problem with the putty falling out within weeks after the repair. One has the impression that the putty dries out very rapidly and then cracks up. It almost looks as if the wood is so dry that it dries out the putty.We are very concerned about the situation and would like to implement the correct measures to protect the wood. Your advice will be much appreciated.

Hi Naas,

The main reason that the putty would crack is due to the fact that the wood frames expand and contract according to ambient conditions. This obviously means that the wood frames require a flexible framing solution. Some glaziers fit a wood strip around the inside of the frame to hold the glass firmly in place, while others use an acrylic sealer. See this article for more information:

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

Janice

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Celia

Sent: 27 July 2016 11:07 AM

Subject: Paper for lampshade

I need to find adhesive styrene or lampshade paper in South Africa but haven't been successful at all. Any idea who would be able to supply this?

Hi Celia,

Our local manufacturers are not willing to supply these materials, which leaves us with no other option but to source this product overseas and have it shipped to SA. Try https://www.amazon.com/Adhesive-Pressure-Sensitive-Styrene Lampshades/dp/B00UP0F0MS

Janice

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Carol

Sent: 25 July 2016 11:40 AM

Subject: Tiles falling off wall

The shower wall tile is breaking loose. What can be used?

Hi Carol,

You will need to remove the tiles that are coming loose and re-attach using tile adhesive and grout. Remove all the old adhesive and grout with a hammer and chisel. When buying tile adhesive ask the sales staff for a suitable bonding / waterproofing additive that is added to the adhesive and grout.

Janice

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Naas

Thanks for the advice. We have been recommending to owners to install the wooden strips, but the response is slow for cost reasons. We will have to address this in a different way since the deterioration cannot be allowed to continue.
We also suspect that people used varnish and not a good quality sealant in the past and we will also look into that.

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Judith

Rachel

Sent: 22 July 2016 04:50 AM

Subject: Grind glass using a Dremel

Can I grind glass (as in stained glass) or mosaic tiles with the Dremel, and which bit do I use?

Hi Rachel,

You can use a Dremel MultiTool and a diamond cutting disk to cut mosaic tiles, but it is extremely difficult to cut glass. I have tried on many occasions, but it chips and makes a lot of mess. You have to continuously add mineral turpentine to the surface of the glass to cut.

Janice

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Envar

Sent: 22 July 2016 02:43 PM

Subject: Clean cement off paving

How can I clean cement and motar on clay brick paving?

Hi Envar,

You can buy muriatic acid at your local Builders. That dissolves the cement and makes it easy to scrub and then wash away. Test on an away first, as some bricks are poorly tinted and it may change the colour slightly. If they don’t have muriatic acid, pool acid works just as well !

Janice

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Paul

Sent: 21 July 2016 12:35 AM

Subject: Glass kitchen tops.

I am looking for glass kitchen tops.

Hi Paul,

There was a company offering recycled glass countertops here in South Africa, but they have since closed down. For 10mm thick safety glass you can contact any local PG or specialist glass supplier to have glass cut to size and fit.

Janice

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John

Sent: 20 July 2016 03:02 PM

Subject: Pockethole screws

Hi Janice, quick question regarding substituting Kreg screws with Eureka screws in Meranti? Sourcing the Kreg fine thread screws in the correct sizes is proving problematic. Was wondering if I could use smooth shank cut-screws, 3.5-4.0x40mm or the 4.0x40mm decking cut screw instead. If this is fine, would the screw head still sink deep enough to allow the hole to be filled with a dowel stick etc.

Hi John,

To be honest, I rarely use pocket hole screws for my projects. I try to go with a 3.5 head diameter and ensure the correct downward angle to prevent the head from sticking out. With this method you can still fit the pop-in fillers or make dowel fillers, with just a bit of sanding where necessary.

Janice

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Peter

Sent: 18 July 2016 11:14 AM

Subject: Stains in bath

Advice on bad brown staining in a bath due to borehole water and silt

Hi Peter,

Thanks for getting in touch. The problem with these types of stains is that the mineral deposits become embedded in the bath finish and are very hard to remove. You have two options here:

A cast-iron tub can be refinished, either professionally or using Rust-Oleum Tub & Tile Kit that you will find at your local Builders Warehouse. If it is an acrylic tub and you have already tried rubbing down the stains with vinegar, it will need to be replaced. Sometimes repeated rubbing down with vinegar and a soft sponge will help loosen the mineral deposits.

Janice

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Neli

Sent: 13 July 2016 02:45 PM

Subject: Room divider

I'm moving into a cute studio apartment and I'd love a white multi purpose room divider like the one shown here.

Hi Neli,

I am not sure if we have instructions for this particular unit on the www.Home-Dzine.co.za  website, but the design is simple enough if you plan to make yourself. You could modify the sections in the project below to make a larger unit:

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

If you are not looking to do this yourself, you could consider having a handyman / carpenter make it for you.

Janice

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Noeline

Sent: 14 July 2016 09:51 AM

Subject: Paint wooden tables

I am chalk painting wooden bedside tables, the paint is bleeding through, I re-prepped it and want to put stain block on before painting again.

Hi Noeline,

Rust-Oleum have a ‘Zinsser’ spray stain blocker that they should stock at your local Builders Warehouse. Alternatively, use a Wood Primer before painting.

Janice

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Phillipa

Sent: 13 July 2016 10:45 AM

Subject: Whitewash dark furniture

We are currently undergoing massive renovations at our home. We are creating
a beach style effect, very light. Our tiles which we have bought are cortex
white wooden look ones. However, my husband is very worried about all our
furniture it is dark imbuia and won't go with our new style. He is also not
a fan of annie sloan chalk paint. He loves the natural driftwood effect.
Could we change our imbuia wooden items to the natural lighter, greyer
driftwood look?

Hi Phillipa,

You could try a light whitewash over the furniture. This is simply a process
of adding water to white acrylic (matt) paint until you are happy with the
desired effect. After that you can seal or apply furniture wax to protect
the furniture. You will need to lightly sand the furniture before painting. Here are simple instructions for whitewashing:

http://www.home-dzine.co.za/diy-1/diy-pine-dining-table.html

Janice

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 Jay

Sent: 09 July 2016 01:38 PM

Subject: Barn doors - lifesavers!!!

Without your guide on barn doors I think I would have gone mad - THANK YOU! Do you perhaps know of stockists who sell the farmstyle top hanging bracket/hinges? I need 4 (2 per door) and although your guide is thorough I must confess that metal and myself aren't the best of friends especially when it comes to DIY. I contacted Builders Warehouse (nada) and Hillaldam (only sell the aluminum ones).

Hi Jay,

If you are looking for steel perhaps you should consider hiring a local welder to do the project for you. I have used guys before for various welding projects.

Or try www.countryhomedesign.co.za

Janice

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Jolande

Sent: 08 July 2016 11:36 AM

Subject: Lampshade frames

I have been searching for lamp shade frames new or second hand and don't know where to find / buy them.

Hi Jolande,

There used to be a company called The Lampshade Studio where you could buy all types of wire lampshade frames, but they appear to have closed down in 2015. You could try giving them a call to see if they still offer frames, or know someone else who makes them:

http://lampshadestudio.blogspot.co.za/

Janice

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Darryl

Sent: 22 June 2016 01:35 PM

Subject: Sika Cemflex for flat roof

Thanks for a great website.

For a flat roof, it is really necessary to waterproof with SIKA cemflex or just go with Bonding Liquid and rain seal? I purchased the SIKA cemflex and just need the required matte layers as well. What is the correct ratio of cemflex to concrete ? I know that it has to be a slurry, so how much concrete for a 5L tin of cemflex? And approximately how many square metres will that slurry be good for [ for a 5L tin ]? I believe that the matte needs to be soaked with the slurry and then placed on the floor [ which has the slurry mixture already ].

Hi Darryl,

Obviously, every roof is going to be different depending on how it is installed or the existing waterproofing. For all projects it is entirely up to the homeowner to decide what is best, but I like to refer to the adage…"You get what you pay for" This applies just as much to products as it does to services, or anything else.

Sika are a global leader in construction products that have been tried and tested. Bonding liquid and seal, on the other hand, is a great DIY product. There is a big price difference between the two for good reason. If you want a lasting and professional outcome it is always better to pay a bit more for a quality product. FYI… ABE also offer an excellent range of waterproofing products and can be found on the shelf at your local Builders.

Not having used this product myself, I did some checking. A slurry is generally a thick porridge consistency, but I did manage to find technical documentation that might provide more assistance.

Janice

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Paddy

Sent: 24 June 2016 01:08 PM

Subject: Paint shower tiles

I am looking for a reliable contact, someone that could use the epoxy shower tiling paint to upgrade my tiles.

Hi Paddy,

Unfortunately, I do not know of anyone first hand that could do this job for you. My recommendation would be to find a local painter/handyman with reliable references and that have previously worked with epoxy paint. Or try www.handymandirect.co.za 
Read the instructions beforehand and constantly check that the product is being applied correctly.

Janice

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Gina

Sent: 23 June 2016 08:18 PM

Subject: Revamp a pine bookshelf

Just found your website and love it :) I have an old pine bookshelf. I'd love to paint it white and either stencil the inner backboards or get wallpaper prints for the backboard areas, then use it in my dining area as a glass and liquor unit. What paint is best - not sure if high gloss or matt finish. The backboard I'd like to make a moroccan theme style , in line with my moroccan theme dining area.

Hi Gina,

You need to decide whether gloss or matt is best, but it is better to use a matt for the backing if you want to stencil onto this. You can make your own chalk paint:

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

Alternatively, there are various chalk paint manufacturers. I like using Rust-Oleum Chalked ultra matt paint (find at Builders).

If using wallpaper, perhaps you should look around for designs first. Then, if you can't find what you are looking for you know that a stencil is the only option. At least with stencils you can make your own custom designs using plastic or acetate sheets (buy at art and craft stores).

http://www.home-dzine.co.za/crafts/craft-ask-makestencil.htm

Janice

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Wendy

Sent: 23 June 2016 10:44 PM

Subject: Contact self-adhesive vinyl

Hi guys, I love 2nd hand furniture and I can't find a decent selection of contact paper. I am based in Melbosstrand. I would love to have a selection of striped contact papers. Who can I contact?

Hi Wendy,

You can get in touch with www.gordons.co.za  who are the local agents for Contact self-adhesive vinyl. They should be able to advise your nearest retail outlet.

Janice

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Darryl

Sent: 22 June 2016 01:35 PM

Subject: Repairs to flat roof

Thanks for a great website. For a flat roof, it is really necessary to waterproof with SIKA cemflex or just go with Bonding Liquid and rain seal?

Hi Darryl,

Obviously, every roof is going to be different depending on how it is installed or the existing waterproofing. For all projects it is entirely up to the homeowner to decide what is best, but I like to refer to the adage…”You get what you pay for” This applies just as much to products as it does to services, or anything else.

Sika are a global leader in construction products that have been tried and tested. Bonding liquid and seal, on the other hand, is a great DIY product. There is a big price difference between the two for good reason. If you want a lasting and professional outcome it is always better to pay a bit more for a quality product.

FYI… ABE also offer an excellent range of waterproofing products and can be found on the shelf at your local Builders.

Janice

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Hardus

Sent: 21 June 2016 04:31 PM

Subject: Wood burning tools

Hi there,

I am looking at getting started with wood burning but cant seem to find proper supplies ( wood burning pen, hardwood etc,).
Do you perhaps know where I can find these?

Hi Hardus,

I have done a variety of wood burning projects using a Dremel VersaTip and VersaFlame:

http://www.home-dzine.co.za/crafts/craft-dremel-solder-iron.htm

You can buy wood burning attachments for the Dremel VersaTip, and you should be able to buy both tools at Builders or Makro, or try online at www.tools4wood.co.za - For hardwoods, we provide a list of suppliers around the country:

http://www.home-dzine.co.za/diy/diy-buy-timber-board.htm

Janice

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Bruno

Sent: 21 June 2016 03:46 PM

Subject: Board for outside gate

Hi, can I use superwood outside for my front sliding gate. It would fit into a galvanised metal frame and be sealed well.

Hi Bruno,

SupaWood is super absorbent would quickly deteriorate. I would recommend that you look at commercial plywood or OSB (oriented strand board) as an alternative.

Janice

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Sandra

Sent: 21 June 2016 10:25 AM

SubjectPaint built-in cupboards

I had a new small bedroom with cubboards build in. It has superwood on one side and white melamine-like on the inside of cupboards/shelves. I want to paint the embossed doors and drawer fronts for a old distressed look in an ivory undercoat and a light brownish sandstone over the ivory and then a wax or varnish on top. (to give the old distressed look).

How do I go about this and what paint or wax/varnish should I use? They told me at Mica store that I can use chalkpaint, due to the expenses of that type of paint, I would like to know if there is a alternative way to get the desired finish look.

Hi Sandra,

Chalk paint would be the easiest method for painting the doors and would require very little preparation other than a light sanding. What’s nice is that it is very easy to make your own chalk paint:

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

I have used this method for quite a few projects and it works like a dream. Plus, since you use conventional acrylic paint, you can have this tinted to whatever colour you like. After painting I recommend that you either use Prominent Paints clear acrylic sealer or Woodoc antique wax to protect the finish.

Janice

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William

Sent: 17 June 2016 11:41 AM

Subject: Remove grout in slasto

I have old slasto paving. The grouting is cracking and needs replacing. How do I go about removing the old grouting, please?

Hi William,

You can use a hammer and chisel, or even an angle grinder, to remove the old grout. Personally, a hammer and chisel makes less mess.

Janice

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Chirene

Sent: 15 June 2016 09:10 PM

Subject: Stiffened fabric for blinds

You talk about stiffened fabric panels as room dividers. Where can one get them from?

HI Chirene,

There are many ways to make your own stiffened fabric to make your own panels. My method is to paint the fabric with Prominent Paints clear acrylic sealer. Once dry, this is a clear finish that makes the fabric stiff and ready for use.

Janice

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Sthembile

Sent: 15 June 2016 03:44 PM

Subject: Mitre saw for picture frames

Just wanted to ask if I can use a mitre saw to do picture frame? What is the other product I can use other than a mitre saw?

Hi Sthembile,

A mitre saw is obviously the easiest option. Any other method and the corner angles are not going to fit together nicely. At push, you could use a jigsaw, but would have to carefully cut the angles.

Janice

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Pat

Sent: 13 June 2016 07:24 PM

Subject: Fit euro hinges

I am using euro hinges on a bedroom cupboard, I want a 10mm overlap on either side. What is my measurement to drill for the hinge on the door using a forstner bit ?

Hi Pat,

Nowadays there are too many variables for hinge types to be able to give instructions across the board. Different makes and hinge styles confuse the drilling and mounting process. My suggestion to you is to have a couple of scrap boards – one to serve as the side and one as the door – and cut out / drill holes for the brackets that you have until you achieve the correct mounting. Then you can transfer this to the actual door.

Janice

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Stephanie

Sent: 11 June 2016 11:10 AM

Subject: Spray paint safe for food?

I love the Candy Stand Idea and really want to make it, My questions is about the spray paint you used, is it safe for foods? I want to fill the cups with opened candy

Hi Stephanie,

All spray paints are solvent-based, and a quality paint such as Rust-Oleum is also lead-free. My recommendation would be to spray the inside of the containers with spray ‘n cook or similar product, so that the open candy does not stick and will not peel away the paint.

Janice

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Andre

Sent: 10 June 2016 01:24 PM

Subject: Dye for leather furniture

Hi Janice

Is there any other leather dye product that I can get locally.

Hi Andre,

If you are looking at standard colours, such as tans and browns, you can obtain this from a shoe repair store, or from suppliers such as www.buco.co.za  that specialise in saddlery and leather supplies.

Janice

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Marilyn

Sent: 10 June 2016 01:26 PM

Subject: Mould on walls

Hi Janice
I have mould on my walls in the cottage.I had someone do damptreatment which cost me about R30.000 which came with a 10year gaurantee but the guy passed away since.I have since use and pool acid which help but the mould comes back.He did not really do any investigations as to the cause. Guess he was just wanting to make a quick buck as he saw I was a lady.
Someone told me the mould may cause the wall to collapse is this true?

Hi Marilyn,

Don't panic. Yes, damp can cause extensive damage to walls if left untreated for a long period of time. When the contractor did the damp proofing did he find the reason for the problem, or did he simply apply the product and hope for the best.

It is important to stress that the reason for the damp needs to be resolved before applying any damp proofing, as this is a cosmetic treatment and will not solve the existing problem. You mention that you spent a considerable sum on having a damp treatment done, but to avoid any further damage you should at least obtain three quotations from reputable companies. This will help you determine the cause and also give you options for the solution.

Janice

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Garnett

Sent: 07 June 2016 06:57 PM

Subject: Spray stacking chairs

Hi - I was given 4 Pipe by Starck stacking chairs, polyethylene construction. These are awesome chairs, but we found yesterday that they made us itchy, as tho' the materials are breaking down. Is there anything we can do to secure/protect/rehab them? As is, we cannot use them anymore. Thank you for ANY help.

Hi Garnett,

You could try spraying them with Rust-Oleum 2X or Spray Paint for Plastic. That should offer a bit of protection.

Janice

Janice, thank you for your response. I'll give that a try. These are stupidly expensive chairs (4 for $1,000) that I found at Good Will and they really are perfect for what I want. I don't want to toss them.

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Marie

Sent: 01 June 2016 03:38 PM

Subject: Paint garage doors

Good day. I would like to find out whether 2 green Chromadek garage doors can be painted into another colour. What paint must be used if we do it DIY.

Hi Marie,

Yes, you can paint the doors in another colour. Any paint suitable for metal would be suitable. If there is any rust, this needs to be treated before application of the paint. And it’s always a good idea to give the existing finish a light sanding with 120-grit sandpaper using an orbital sander, especially if the paint is very old. The surface must be clean and dry. Apply metal or steel primer and then use a paint specifically for metal, or an oil-based paint.

http://www.prominentpaints.co.za/products/ranges/ultra/prominent_ultra_gloss/

http://www.prominentpaints.co.za/products/ranges/ultra/prominent_ultra_satin/

http://www.prominentpaints.co.za/products/ranges/premium/prominent_premium_satin/

Janice

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Melissa

Sent: 30 May 2016 10:54 PM

Subject: Hanging pictures in a rental

I found your website via my search about picture hanging strips, and your post on using Pattex products in rental homes came up. I'm looking to hang several small to medium frames in a collage sort of project, and really don't want to have to faff with making holes for each one! The Pattex tape is the only thing I’ve come across so far for the job, but my concern is this: What happens when you want to remove the picture?

Thanks for a lovely site :)

Hi Melissa,

As long as your frames are not going to be heavy, Pattex Heavy Duty Tape should be fine. When you remove from the wall, sometimes the tape does stick and have to be scraped off. Or you can use a rag and mineral turpentine to rub off any remaining tape.

Janice

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Sharon

Sent: 30 May 2016 04:50 PM

Subject: Rope Dividers

Please can you put me in touch with someone who can supply rope dividers for our office in Woodstock, Cape Town.

Hi Sharon,

On www.Home-Dzine.co.za  we offer ideas and inspiration, both local and international. However, I do not know of anyone locally that could make rope dividers, and this would be more of a DIY project. Perhaps get in touch with a local handyman to see if this is something they can do, or perhaps refer you to someone who can.

Janice

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Gerald

Sent: 30 May 2016 11:09 AM

Subject: Restoring furniture

I have an old coffee table that was hand made by my wife’s Grandad some 25 years ago. The top has been made from Imbuia wood. It appears he may have varnished it all those years ago. However it now needs to be restored as the “varnish” has worn off and the remaining varnish has gone yellow/orange. I am considering sanding it down to as much bare wood as possible and then treating it in some way.

I am not a great varnish fan as it flakes over time and also gives that shiny layer over the wood look (almost like a piece of glass on top of the surface look). I would like to get a more wood natural bare wood finish but have it protected, as it is a coffee table. I was wondering if I should use an oil to protect or maybe a wax or if you can suggest something that can protect as well as give a natural bare wood finish. Your thoughts are greatly appreciated.

Hi Gerald,

It’s always nice to hear that people are restoring old furniture to its original glory. I would recommend that you do sand away all the old varnish and get back to the bare wood. I’m also not a fan of varnish – it doesn’t allow the wood to breathe. To bring out the beauty of the imbuia, I suggest that you use Woodoc 5 Polywax sealer. This is a matt sealer that is hardly noticeable once applied, but is absorbed deep into the cells of the wood to revitalise. Apply according to the instructions on the can and find the product at almost any hardware store.

Janice

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Michelle

Sent: 30 May 2016 08:50 AM

Subject: Chalkboard wall

I just read your page on making your own chalk paint... but it just shows it on furniture. can this be used effectively for a wall to write on? are there any other considerations when painting a wall or hard board to be used for writing and drawing?

Hi Michelle,

Please bear in mind that chalk paint is not the same as chalkboard paint. If you want to spray a wall or piece of board to make a chalkboard, you will need to use Rust-Oleum Chalkboard paint or spray paint – available at your local Builders Warehouse.

Janice

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Charl

Sent: 04 May 2016 03:36 PM

Subject: Barn sliding door kit

Do you sell barn door sliding kits?

Hi Charl,

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

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

Janice

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Rehana

Sent: 04 May 2016 12:43 PM

Subject: Building on property line

I need some sound advice. We have a single storey house with a garage attached. The outer wall of the garage is the boundary wall between us and our neighbour. We are about to build on top of the whole house, including on top of the garage and our neighbour has no problem with that. We were told by someone that, when we extend upwards, we have to build 1m away from the boundary since we shouldn't be looking into the neigbour's backyard. However far away we are, we will still be able to look into the neighbour's yard. In any case, we will be using glass bricks along that wall for our privacy as well as our neighbour's. Besides that, there is the safety issue if we should leave 1m open - someone can then just climb onto the bottom storey and access the top storey.

Hi Rehana,

My suggestion would be to have an architect or architectural designer, or even a qualified draughtsman, take a look at what you have in mind and then make recommendations as to the best way to proceed.

Janice

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Moyenene

Sent: 03 May 2016 01:16 PM

Subject: Can I paint over enamel paint

Can I paint over enamel with another enamel paint without applying an universal undercoat?

Hi Moyenene,

Yes, you can paint over enamel with new enamel paint. It is recommended that you give the old finish a light sanding with 180- or 240-grit sandpaper to ensure proper bonding between the old and new paint.

Janice

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Hazel

Sent: 01 May 2016 09:45 AM

Subject: Wood panels for guest bathroom

I want to wood panel my guest cloakroom up to shoulder height. I'm nervous of using pine as it warps. I'm thinking Nutec tongue and groove or is tongue and groove available in the plastic wood. Is supawood better?

Hi Hazel,

The easiest and most affordable method would be to use 3mm SupaWood panels. However, this doesn’t really give you the look of real wood. Depending on your location you can have the panels cut to size at your nearest board and timber merchant. You can also consider pine tongue and groove, but unpack and lay flat on the floor for a couple of days before you mount. These panels are much thinner than pine planks, which do tend to warp quite a bit.

Nutec is a composite product but will probably work out quite expensive.

Janice

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Matholoana

Sent: 29 April 2016 08:44 AM

Subject: Problems with plumber

Whenever taps in a shower,basin,bath or toilet is used,a banging/rattling sound follows in the roof or wall respectively.I got a plumber to come and fix it.They installed a non-return valve.But the problem did not stop. Please help.

Hi Lerato,

The plumber should come back and release any air trapped in the pipes, and also check that pipes are securely mounted onto walls or beams.

Janice

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Shirley

Sent: 26 April 2016 08:33 AM

Subject: Fabric for children's bedding

Hi Janice

Thank you so much for coming back to me so promptly, so much appreciated. I went onto the link and it was an overseas supplier and they said currently “out of stock”, but requested that I insert my email address in case it comes into stock again – the price was in dollars. Are these comforters or preferably duvet covers as I would want to transport them abroad for my 2 granddaughters (or something similar) not available anywhere in South Africa perhaps?

Hi Shirley,

Our local stores stock very little in the way of exciting bedding for young children and little girls, so unfortunately we have to look at importing these goods. Perhaps you may want to consider making a duvet cover yourself, and there are some wonderful fabrics at:

http://www.studiocollection.co.za/

Janice

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Marilyn

Sent: 18 May 2016 09:03 AM

Subject: Open plan bathroom/dressing room

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

Hi Marilyn,

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

Janice

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Sharon

Sent: 10 May 2016 09:26 AM

Subject: Z-clips or Z-rails

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

Hi Sharon,

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

Janice

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Karel

Sent: 15 May 2016 10:11 PM

Subject: Repairs to Cretestone

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

Hi Karel,

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

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

Janice

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Lynn

Sent: 13 May 2016 01:53 AM

Subject: Whitewash varnished finish

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

Hi Lynn,

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

Janice

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Bongeka

Sent: 05 May 2016 10:42 PM

Subject: Sunken lounge

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

Hi Bongeka,

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

Janice

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Charl

Sent: 04 May 2016 03:36 PM

Subject: Sliding barn door kits

Do you sell barn door sliding kits?

Hi Charl,

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

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

Janice

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Judith

Sent: 26 April 2016 07:47 AM

Subject: How to lighten dark grey paint

Dear Janice

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

Hi Judith,

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

Janice

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Mandy

Sent: 22 April 2016 02:49 PM

Subject: Wallpaper on rough walls?

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

Hi Mandy,

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

Janice

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Lutri

Sent: 12 April 2016 07:30 AM

Subject: Whitewash walls

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

Hi Lutri,

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

Janice

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Catherine

Sent: 08 April 2016 08:35 AM

Subject: Bathroom Remodel

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

Hi Catherine,

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

Janice

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Carlo

Sent: 08 April 2016 07:38 AM

Subject: How to fill wall alcoves

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

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

Hi Carlo,

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

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

Janice

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Pieter

Sent: 03 April 2016 10:36 AM

Subject: Upholstery workshop

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

Hi Pieter,

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

Janice

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Peter

Sent: 30 March 2016 05:26 PM

Subject: Paint for concrete floor

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

Hi Peter,

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

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

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

Janice

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Bernard

Sent: 30 March 2016 01:37 AM

Subject: Bath to shower conversion

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

Hi Bernard,

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

Janice

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Thinus

Sent: 22 March 2016 09:22 PM

Subject: Advice on paint colours

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

Hi Thinus,

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

Janice

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Loraine

Sent: 22 March 2016 01:14 PM

Subject: How to paint exterior door

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

Hi Lorraine,

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

Janice

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Dimakatso

Sent: 22 March 2016 11:14 AM

Subject: Spray paint office furniture

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

Hi Dimakatso,

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

Janice

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Clementine

Sent: 22 March 2016 09:26 AM

Subject: Wood countertops

I need to order counter wooden top for my kicthen

Hi Clementine,

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

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

Janice

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Dennis

Sent: 17 March 2016 06:21 PM

Subject: Reparing venetian blinds

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

Hi Dennis,

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

Janice

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Margie

Sent: 10 March 2016 09:15 AM

Subject: Brush strokes on paint finish

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

Hi Margie,

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

Janice

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Margaret

Sent: 21 September 2015 02:36 PM

Subject: Chalk paint on bedroom door?

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

Hi Margaret,

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

Janice

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Sandy

Sent: 04 March 2016 01:45 PM

Subject: Thermostat - installed or not?

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

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

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

Hi Sandy,

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

Janice

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Marla

Sent: 02 March 2016 02:00 PM

Subject: DIY fence

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

Hi Marla,

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

Janice

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Sylvia

Sent: 02 March 2016 09:31 AM

Subject: Paint concrete steps

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

Hi Sylvia,

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

Janice

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Annalise

Sent: 29 February 2016 01:48 PM

Subject: Colour for exterior paint

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

Hi Annalise,

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

Janice

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Cara

Sent: 01 March 2016 12:20 PM

Subject: Paint facebrick wall

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

Hi Cara,

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

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

Janice

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Jackie

Sent: 26 February 2016 09:17 AM

Subject: Whitewashed ceiling tiles

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

Hi Jackie,

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

Janice

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Phil

Sent: 21 February 2016 01:10 AM

Subject: Painting steel patio furniture

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

Hi Phil,

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

Janice

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Thea

Sent: 18 February 2016 09:24 AM

Subject: Paint technique on kitchen cabinets

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

Hi Thea,

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

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

Janice

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Margaret

Sent: 21 September 2015 02:36 PM

Subject: Paint door with chalk paint

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

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

Hi Margaret,

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

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

Janice

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Pat

Sent: 16 February 2016 07:13 AM

Subject: Hardware for Roman blinds

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

Hi Pat,

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

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

Janice

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Karin

Sent: 11 February 2016 03:54 PM

Subject: Can I antique over Rustoleum spray paint?

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

Hi Karin,

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

Janice

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Anita

Sent: 10 February 2016 06:18 AM

Subject: Painting paving

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

Hi Anita,

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

Janice

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Faaiza

Sent: 08 February 2016 03:04 PM

Subject: Affordable decorator

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

Hi Faaiza,

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

Janice

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Anel

Sent: 03 February 2016 03:30 PM

Subject: Advice on removing bathroom tiles

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

Hi Anel,

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

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

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

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

Janice

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Aneesah

Sent: 29 January 2016 10:07 PM

Subject: How to fit shower in Wendy House

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

Hi Aneesah,

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

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

Janice

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Caron

Sent: 28 January 2016 04:28 PM

Subject: Barn door with sliding runners

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

Hi Caron,

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

Do a Google Search for one in your local area.

Janice

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Marick

Sent: 27 January 2016 09:57 AM

Subject: Please help with some DIY advice - paint stripper

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hi Marick,

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

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

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

Janice

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Herman

Sent: 26 January 2016 03:54 PM

Subject: Countertop Concrete

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

Hi Herman,

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

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

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

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

Janice

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Nicola

Sent: 26 January 2016 12:56 PM

Subject: How to clean Nubuck

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

Hi Nicola,

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

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

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

Janice

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Elmarie

Sent: 26 January 2016 01:05 PM

Subject: Mouldings for kitchen cabinets

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

Hi Elmarie,

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

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

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

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

Janice

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Julie

Sent: 26 January 2016 09:05 AM

Subject: Attach mosaic to countertop

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

Hi Julie,

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

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

Here are some tips to help you:

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

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

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

Janice

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Geoff

Sent: 25 January 2016 02:03 PM

Subject: Where to buy Murphy bed?

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

Hi Geoff,

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

Janice

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Cany

Sent: 25 January 2016 11:12 AM

Subject: Table saw for home DIY enthusiast

Hi Janice,

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

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

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

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

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

Hi Cany,

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

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

Janice

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Larry

Sent: 23 January 2016 03:15 PM

Subject: Product to repair concrete driveway

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

Hi Larry,

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

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

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

You will also find a sizable source of information on:

http://www.concretenetwork.com/

Janice

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Meg

Sent: 23 January 2016 03:50 PM

Subject: Mirror finish from Rust-Oleum

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

Hi Meg,

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

Janice

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Thomas

Sent: 22 January 2016 03:26 PM

Subject: Do I replace plaster damaged by damp?

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

Hi Thomas,

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

Janice

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Cany

Sent: 21 January 2016 10:36 AM

Subject: Article Suggestion

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

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

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

Hi Cany,

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

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

Janice

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Jackie

Sent: 18 January 2016 04:15 PM

Subject: How to Faux Lusterstone

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

Hi Jackie,

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

Janice

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Zonet

Sent: 16 January 2016 09:34 PM

Subject: Where to buy paint flakes

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

Hi Zonet,

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

Janice

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Chantel

Sent: 10 January 2016 03:05 PM

Subject: Brick floor

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

Hi Chantel,

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

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

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

Janice

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Chantel

Sent: 10 January 2016 11:33 AM

Subject: Flooring advice

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

Hi Chantel,

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

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

Janice

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Colinda

Sent: 09 January 2016 06:14 PM

Subject: Built-in room divider

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

Hi Colinda,

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

Janice

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Gugu

Sent: 06 January 2016 11:34 AM

Subject: Wendy House DIY Insulation

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

Hi Gugu,

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

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

Janice

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Ramona

Sent: 05 January 2016 09:39 AM

Subject: Paint bubbling

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

Hi Ramona,

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

Janice

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Kim

Sent: 04 January 2016 09:47 AM

Subject: Dirt on painted walls

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

Hi Kim,

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

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

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

Janice

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Kirsty

Sent: 04 January 2016 12:17 PM

Subject: Where to buy veneer

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

Hi Kirsty,

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

Janice

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Pat

Sent: 03 January 2016 04:22 PM

Subject: Acid free glue

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

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

Hi Pat,

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

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

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

Janice

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Ray

Sent: 03 January 2016 07:06 AM

Subject: Rust-Oleum Chalked paint

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

Hi Ray,

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

Janice

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Nadia

Sent: 01 January 04:25 PM

Subject: Antique finish for picture frame

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

Hi Nadia,

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

Janice

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Maureen

Sent: 01 January 2016 10:37 PM

Subject: Rope rugs

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

Hi Maureen,

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

Janice

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Jason

Sent: 01 January 2016 07:09 AM

Subject: Great website

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

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Portia

Sent: 28 December 2015 10:54 AM

Subject: spray paint for glass

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

Hi Portia,

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

Janice

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Janine

Sent: 01 January 2016 02:50 PM

Subject: Lustrolite for table top?

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

Hi Janine,

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

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

Janice

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