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.
Sent: 05 May 2015 12:24 PM
I have purchased the Dremel 3000 Multitool Project kit. I am an avid DIY fan and make jewelry as a hobby. Problem is I cannot make head or tail of the instruction manual. I need to participate in workshops to become proficient using my Dremel.
I know that
www.DIY-Divas.co.za had Dremel
workshops earlier this year, but not sure if
there is going to be time to add more workshops
for later this year. However, you will find
plenty of trips, tricks and projects in the
craft section on www.Home-Dzine.co.za , and I
recommend that you try a couple of these to get
yourself more familiar with using the tools.
It really is super-simple once you understand the basics and you are going to have a lot of fun.
Sent: 03 May 2015 12:55 PM
Repairs to ceiling
Can a portion of Rhinolite ceiling be fixed diy? We've had severe water damage to our ceiling and I was wondering if it could be possible to cut out the damaged piece of rhinolite, exchange it with a new piece and then when all is in place paint the whole ceiling again in stead of getting a contractor to come and do it for me at an enormous amount of money?
This can be done if the piece to be repaired
is situated where battens (timber supports) are
located, as you can then cut out and attach the
new piece to the timber and use rhinolite tape
around the edges to hide the repair.
Alternatively, you may need to add a couple of
battens above the ceiling (attached to the
existing ones) to add support.
Must admit, it takes a bit of skill to cover up and plaster the repair so that it is an invisible join.
Sent: 01 May 2015 11:08 PM
Laminate on kitchen cabinets peeling
I had a fitted kitchen 10 years ago white gloss doors .The white gloss on the doors is like a plastic covering and it is all coming off to reveal the ugly looking chip wood underneath what can we do?
Unfortunately any laminate becomes brittle
with age and this will result in chipping (and
peeling if there is excess humidity in the
room). There is nothing that you can do to
repair these wrapped doors, especially if they
are chipboard wrapped doors.
The only solution would be to look at replacing the doors as and when you can afford to, or look at the option of having MDF doors made up and painting these with a water-based gloss paint - that way you can easily touch up with paint over the years if required.
Sent: 29 April 2015 05:09 PM
How to brighten up living room
I’m writing to you because I have like no idea of what to do with my living room - please help me. I’m wanting to brighten up my living room space by scatter cushions and curtains, I don’t know what will go well in terms of colour, with brown leather couches and white walls - see photo.
I see that the couch is
more of a dark tan colour, and considering that
it is winter it might be nice to add some warm
colours to the space. You can consider colours
like red, orange and a dash of yellow, or stick
to hues of one of these colours, maybe yellow
with gold. Whatever colours you choose
for the cushions, incorporate these into a small
rug for under the coffee table – or in
accessories for the top of the coffee table.
Sent: 28 April 2015 12:16 PM
Curtain rail for extra long windows
My sliding door is 4.08 metres and I would like to hang a curtain above it but with a curtain rail that extends a little over each side, so would probably need a curtain rail about 4.7m. I am also wanting a double rail so that I can hang a sheer curtain as well. I cannot find a rail longer than 4m though. What are my options?
You may need to hang two smaller rails and have a centre support where the two sections come together. The only hassle with this is that the curtains don’t always close completely. I have a similar problem and it works fine for me – I place the end hook on each side (at the centre) slightly in from the edge and this gives me just enough fabric to close the centre gap.
Sent: 26 April 2015 04:04 PM
Sealer for chalk paint for kitchen cabinets
I want to paint my wooden kitchen cabinets. I
am going to use chalk paint, to skip on the prep
work, but i don't want to seal with wax, as I do
all my own housework and don't have the time and
energy to have to re-wax.
I have read that one can seal the cupboards with other types of sealers as well and some sites even suggest using polycrylic floor sealers. What product is available in SA that can seal my cupboards, without yellowing them. This is important, as i am planning to paint white and don't want to end of with cupboards that look old and yellow.
Prominent Paints have a clear acrylic sealer
(approx. R450) for a 5 litre tin than can be
applied over the top. You will need to apply
three coats of sealer (allowing each coat to
dry) for kitchen cabinets. I make all my own
chalk paint, using matt acrylic PVA and
Polyfilla interior crack filler. Have painted
over sealed and varnished wood without any
problems. The matt white with white filler comes
out white and if you need to cover stains you
can apply an additional coat.
Alternatively, there are non-yellowing polyurethane varnishes available. I haven’t tried these so cannot confirm the non-yellowing. But a polyurethane varnish would be recommended for a kitchen where regular and heavy duty cleaning is required.
Sent: 24 April 2015 10:14 AM
How to achieve high gloss finish
Hi there, I have high gloss furniture that has discoloured after number of years, I want to use the rustoleum products to refurbish it. First the furniture has a high gloss finish, do I have to sand it first before I refurbish? Secondly which it the best product to use?
Achieving the level of gloss finish (varnish)
is a professional job. The table image you sent
looks like it has been treated with Shellac
The process of French polishing is not an easy one, as you will note from the instructions above, and not generally recommended for DIY unless you have extensive experience in working with Shellac. The best you can hope to achieve as a DIY project is a gloss finish using polyurethane varnish – and yes, you will need to lightly sand the existing finish with 180-grit sandpaper to de-gloss or remove the shine before re-finishing.
Sent: 23 April 2015 02:56 PM
Tiles suitable for fireplace hearth
I would like to put a hearth infront of my fire place which is on a solid miranti wooden floor,just to prevent sparks from the fire go onto wooden floor.Something I can make myself or not gona cost me a arm and a leg, marble is too expensive,can I put tiles or build a cement strip for the hearth.Can a person stain concrete cement to black?
The natural stone tile option would be the best option, and you can use black slate tiles if that is the look you are going for. Lay a fibre cement board over the meranti floor and mix the cement tile adhesive / grout with a latex additive to give it some flexibility and you should be OK.
Sent: 22 April 2015 09:05 AM
Where to buy corner sink
You website posted an article called 'Need an
extra bathroom?'. In the article you talk about
corner toilets. I am struggling to find a South
African shop that supplies these toilets (based
on my online searches).
Can you perhaps suggest any company that sells these? (I am based in Cape Town) Any help would be sincerely appreciated.
I did find quite a few references to corner
sinks, here is one you may find useful:
If they are not based in Cape Town they may have a branch close to you, or refer you to an alternative supplier.
Sent: 17 April 2015 07:15 PM
Repairs to ceiling
I had an electrical company fit downlights and they damaged a small section of my pine ceiling when installing the downlights. They came back to repair the damaged ceiling,a hole in the ceiling basically and used rhinolite to repair the hole. They said they have to wait for it to dry before they apply varnish. They have since not returned to apply the varnish. My dad has agreed to do it but I wanted to know if rhinolite was the correct material to be applied to the hole and if varnish is the appropriate coat following the rhinolite.
You would use gypsum board (a papered chalk
board) to install or repair a hole in the
ceiling, but if they left a home in the pine -
surely they should have filled the hole with a
piece of pine that matches the existing ceiling.
You can apply a tinted varnish to the gypsum board to try and disguise the damage, but if this fails I would demand that the contractor do a professional repair job.
Sent: 16 April 2015 01:24 PM
Maintain rubio monocoat
I had Rubio Monocoat cotton white installed/painted onto my miranti hardwood floor at my house.The installer did not tell me about the maintenance to the floor and also if it’s possible to seal (gaps) after the product has been installed to the wood. How do one remove scratches and pencil marks from the newly treated floor, how do one prevent from something like that from happening to the floor.
I did not even know that this product was
available in SA. Having looked at the supplier’s
website http://www.monocoat.us there is a
section that looks at installation and
maintenance for this product, and I would
recommend that you refer to their guidelines.
Sent: 15 April 2015 12:16 AM
Wrap doors are peeling on bathroom vanity
My bathroom vanity cupboard doors are a kind
of wood-look wrap, which are now beginning to
peel due to water getting under it. There are
some drawers too with the same problem. The
carcasses are perfect. Is there anywhere in
Johannesburg that I can have the doors and
drawer fronts re-wrapped preferably in a white
wood-look texture. The parts under the peeling
are fine except for the peeling itself which is
beyond repair. The carcasses are the usual white
good quality ones.
Some of the vanity doors are 2 hinged panels made to bend around to fit a bowfront vanity top. They fit perfectly, so I would prefer to re-wrap them rather than have them remade.
Unfortunately there isn't anyone that can
wrap old doors. The process of wrapping doors is
quite an involved one and the heat-shrink
machines are only used by companies that
actually manufacture doors or furniture.
You could try and remove the laminate completely and have the doors professionally spray painted, or spray them yourself using Rust-Oleum Gloss Enamel spray (at Builders stores).
Sent: 13 April 2015 01:51 PM
Cover up particle board
Please could you tell me the best way to ensure that contact paper sticks to particle board shelves in cupboards? Or do you have a better idea? Just want to cover the board shelves cos they look ugly. I have used gift wrap but it tears very easily.
You are going to find it very difficult to
stick contact paper onto particle board. The
looseness of the board means that the contact
paper doesn’t really stick.
Why not decoupage the particleboard shelves with a nice paper. Give the raw shelves a couple of coats of clear acrylic sealer or ModPodge. Apply liberally so that the sealer soaks into the surface of the board and then and apply the paper while the last coat is still wet. Leave for about an hour and coat with two more coats of sealer. This should work to cover the particleboard shelves.
Sent: 12 April 2015 06:31 PM
Does a screed floor need joints?
We are in the process of building our house and I'm wanting to use pratleypearl in the screed mix for the floors. The builder tells me we will need to cut the screed floor into sections so as to reduce cracking but as there's no sand in the mix and therefore little or no clay or moisture to expand or contract surely this won't be needed?
I haven't used this product previously, so I did a little research to find out a bit more about PratliPerl. In the instructions it doesn't mention anything about placing joints for expansion/contraction, and for most screed applications this is not required. However, I do know that joints are generally required for large areas and this will reduce the possibility of cracks later on.
Sent: 08 April 2015 12:09 AM
Advice on mounting kitchen cabinets
What size screws and type that i can use to mount kitchen wall units with a H - 930 mm,W -400 mm and D - 300 mm.
Thank you for getting in touch. To mount this
size cupboard you will need (6) fischer SX8
nylon wall plugs and (6) 5 x 65mm cut screws.
Drill the holes using an 8mm masonry bit and the
holes need to be 75mm deep.
Note: Depending on the thickness of the back, add this to the length of the screws. E.G. If the mounting board at the back of the cabinet is 12mm thick, add 12mm to the length of the screw needed. (65 + 12 = 77 – rounded off to nearest standard screw length = 75mm)
Sent: 31 March 2015 10:13 AM
Apply linseed oil to Rhinolite
Can one seal newly rhino lie walls with pure Linseed Oil. I remember seeing it on a programme hosted by Michelle Garforth during the building of their Eco House in Avianto? I am trying to aim for a screed look on the walls. Please can you give me more insight on the Steel floated / venetian Plaster type finish?
It is an oil-based product, which is what is used to seal rhinolite walls, but I can't image how it must smell - and for a long time. Linseed oil takes a long time to gas-off, and if it is a small space that is not open plan, it could take a very long time and overpower the room. Is there a reason why you want to put linseed oil on the walls rather than have them steel floated for a venetian plaster type of finish?
Here are some images for venetian plaster. After the final application but before the rhinolite has cured a steel float is run over the surface and you can achieve various effects or polish the walls.
Sent: 30 March 2015 01:21 PM
Cost to restore parquet floor
We have a room at home (10m x 10m for simplicity's sake) that is covered in an old carpet. There is Parquet flooring underneath. Typically, how much does it cost to pull up the carpet, sand and re-seal the parquet underneath?
The problem with costing this project is that it can vary dramatically on how much work needs to be done to restore the floor, and who does it. You could hire a handyman to do the work or have a professional restorer that specialises in parquet flooring undertake the job. My suggestion would be to have contractors come and offer no-obligation quotations on the job and, after checking references, make your own decision.
Sent: 30 March 2015 03:08 PM
Problems with Fired Earth paint
Please help. On Friday 27 March we purchased 5 liters of Fired Earth Sand Stone paint (colour pebble path) from Builders Warehouse - Gezina Pretoria, to start painting our boundary walls. The walls were previously been painted about 2 years ago with Fired Earth paint and to our horror it is a totally different colour to the swatch shown to us at Builders Warehouse (pebble path). What do we do, as we intent to paint the walls around the whole property with this paint. The sales person did not warn us that the paint colour on the sample would be any different to the paint in the tin.
I’m not an agent for Fired Earth, but if the paint in the tin is different from the paint that was mixed then they are at fault – not you. That is the whole purpose of the paint sample, although there may be slight (slight) difference. I suggest you get in touch with their head office, either via the www.builders.co.za website or via their facebook page.
Sent: 01 April 2015 10:46 AM
Shades sails for patio
Could you please assist me with your expert advice!
I would like to roof/cover my courtyard which is a rectangle with one curved long wall with a gate to garden. In summer it’s incredibly hot and winter the rain obviously buckets down, leaving the 2 dog kennels exposed. It would be great to utilise this space to braai or sit under some type of weather protection. It’s approx. 4m x 8m, so it’s quite big. I have had 2 quotes, one to erect a latte and pole roof which comes to a whopping R26 000 plus to Polycarb it is another R6000! The other quote was for two rectangle shade sails, installed with s/s fittings, which comes to around R19 000!
I cannot believe what they are estimating for
this small project ! A 5 x 5m shade sail costs
around R1000 at
Builders, or you could quite easily make
your own for around R500. They even have
rectangular shades at about R800. The sails can
be mounted to walls using anchor bolts and eyes
– also at
Builders. So all you really have to do is
drill holes for the bolts and set up the sails.
I will be making a shade sail for Easy DIY magazine later this year if you can wait.
Sent: 26 March 2015 09:52 AM
How to strip enamel paint
I unfortunately painted the bottom supports of my kitchen cupboards in white enamel. I would like to return them to their natural wood colour and just varnish then, but how do I go about removing the recently applied paint. Can I safely use a stripper(if so - which one do you recommend)or must I just sand as the paint is in awkward corners
You have the choice of using an eco-friendly paint stripper like Plascon RemovALL, which I must be honest takes a while to do the job and is quite messy. Or, you could use NitroMors chemical paint stripper. If using the latter DO wear rubber gloves, as this stripper is very, very potent and works almost instantly.
Sent: 25 March 2015 09:50 AM
Paint laminated cupboard doors
I have laminated kitchen cupboard doors. I would like to change them to the High Gloss doors, however far too expensive. Any advice what I can use
Remove the doors, give them a light sanding with 180-grit sandpaper and you can spray them with Rust-Oleum high gloss lacquer or protective gloss enamel spray paint. Rust-Oleum is available at your local Builders.
Sent: 22 March 2015 12:42 PM
DIY kitchen cabinets
I want to build cupboards for my study. What
I'll need is raw pine doors - the frame we will
build ourselves and then install the
pre-manufactured pine doors. I need 2 sizes -
the shorter ones for the top cupboards and then
taller ones for a big cupboards - just like a
Why not make your own pine doors as well. You can buy laminated pine shelving at any Builders or hardware store and then add moulding if you want to dress these up. There are plenty of tips and tricks in the Kitchen section on www.Home-Dzine.co.za for adding moulding, drilling or hinges, etc.
Sent: 21 March 2015 10:41 AM
Should I paint over imbuia?
Hi, is it terribly wrong to paint over imbuia and yellowwood kitchen cabinets? I want to paint them white to brighten up the kitchen but 2 painters so fat have told me it's wrong to paint over such valuable wood. Any suggestions please?
If there is one thing about paint – it’s not
permanent if you want to reverse the process.
Painting wood allows you to transform furniture
for a more modern finish but is doesn’t destroy
the timber. If anyone wanted to remove the paint
it would only require stripping with an
eco-friendly paint stripper such as Plascon
If you feel that painting the kitchen cabinets white would improve the look of a dated kitchen there’s no reason why you shouldn’t.
You can use any type of paint on the cabinets, which can be water-based enamel. Rust-Oleum spray paint, or even chalk paint with a wax sealer applied regularly.
You will find plenty of tips and tricks in the Decorating section on www.Home-Dzine.co.za
Sent: 18 March 2015 01:13 PM
Paint garage doors
Hi, we have brown roll up garage doors. We would like to change the colour to white, can you please advise how we would go about doing this.
I re-painted my badly stained (powder-coated) garage doors using Rust-Oleum protective enamel spray. However, I did find that this worked out expensive, even though it did provide a nice professional finish. I needed to use 6 cans of spray paint – and you may need to use more since the garage door is brown.
I used the spray because it didn’t require me to sand or prime to door beforehand. However, if you are prepared to do the prep work of sanding down the entire door you could use Hammerite or Metal Care primer and paint to re-finish the door.
Sent: 17 March 2015 10:23 PM
Instructions for moon crib
I would like to know if you have the instructions as to the making of the moon crib. I would like to make on for my niece who is going to have a baby soon
Unfortunately there aren’t any instructions for the crib, but it isn’t a difficult project if you look closely at the pics and break the sections into pieces.
I would recommend that you draw up a rough sketch of the size you want so that you know what timber/board you need and the sections to be cut.
Sent: 18 March 2015 06:04 AM
House flooding during heavy rains
Hope you are well. Our home floods during the rainy season, we have been told this issue involves municipality, but we wanted to do something at our home to prevent it. We stay in Montana Pretoria, Hope you are able to advise possible solutions, if not, do you know of consultanats who can assist? Thanks.
I know of someone who experienced similar problems in her area, and if it is caused by lack of flood drains or no flood drains at all, you definitely need to get in touch with your local Municipality to sort that out. Alternatively you need to hire a handyman or someone to dig out and lay drain pipes that will carry flood water away from your home.
Sent: 16 March 2015 04:02 PM
Cleaning artificial suede lounge suite
I have an almost-white artificial suede lounge suite which needs cleaning. How do I go about it?
If it is artificial suede you can clean this as you would normal fabric. However, because of the light colour I would recommend that you have the suite professionally cleaned - where they use a dry method.
Sent: 14 March 2015 08:54 AM
Outdoor patio sofa
Good morning Janice,
I was looking at this plan ( http://www.home-dzine.co.za/diy/diy-designer-patio.htm ) and wanted to find out what thickness of wood you would recommend? Guessing 20mm or 32mm but interested to hear your thoughts?
I actually made the patio sofa using 20mm meranti: http://www.home-dzine.co.za/diy/diy-made-designer-sofa.htm
Sent: 11 March 2015 12:42 PM
Whitewash imbuia furniture
I have inherited my folks dark wood lounge suite from the 70's. It's very good quality but I find it very dark and gloomy. I think the wood is Imbuia. Obviously I can re-cover the cushions but is it possible to strip the wood to a light colour or could I white wash it?
Whatever the wood, if you sand down to remove
any varnish – or use fine steel wool and mineral
turpentine to remove wax build up – you can
quite easily whitewash or paint with your choice
of paint. I like to use a matt paint for painted
furniture and then over this I apply either
Prominent acrylic sealer or
Woodoc antique wax.
You will find plenty of tips and tricks for this in the Decorating section on www.Home-Dzine.co.za
Sent: 04 March 2015 11:17 AM
Redo shower floor
Please could you let me know how to redo my shower floor? I have existing pieces of tile and cement making up the floor at the moment which i would like to cover if I can?
Since most shower floors have a fitted drain,
you will need to either remove the existing
floor and re-lay new tiles to fit around the
existing drain, or look at adding a section to
lift the drain (or fit a new drain) so that you
can raise the level.
It’s also important to use a latex-based additive to mix both the tile adhesive and grout instead of water, to ensure you have a waterproof base, and if you are going to be adding tile on top of tile use an etching solution on the existing surface to provide a better bond for the new layer.
Use a hammer and chisel at one part around the side until you have enough space to work this chisel at an angle and remove what’s left. If they are solid tiles you can sometime crack a tile, remove most of it an work from that point. Be careful when working around the drain hole – try to keep that intact. And also scrunch up a plastic bag and shove this down to drain hole to prevent debris blocking the hole.
Sent: 04 March 2015 02:36 PM
Advice with minor renovations
I am slightly overwhelmed by the process for more than minor renovations. We have an existing house that we need to do renovations on. These renovations include either building on a second bathroom or splitting a room to accommodate another bathroom. It will also involve bringing two possible internal walls down. My question: I have found architects to lack constructive design ideas and they have quoted expensive rates on just drawing plans up. Are they necessary? Can I rather use a draughtsman? Either way I will still need a structural engineer as far as I understand? What if I want a cost quote on 2 bathroom options before committing?
It can be an overwhelming process and an
expensive one, but there are ways to cut a few
corners here and there and bring down the cost.
My suggestion would be to first off have a
couple of home improvement or renovation
contractor look at the work that needs to be
done (quote on the job). During this process
they will let you know whether or not
load-bearing wall need to be removed and
reinforced, and may even offer drawing up plans
as part of their service.
Armed with this information you will know whether or not you need a structural engineer, and more often than not you don’t, and can then hire a draughtsman to draw up the plans.
Sent: 03 March 2015 03:35 PM
Tile over tile
I have a patio which is tiled with Corobrik Terrarosa tiles. To avoid removing the existing Corobrik tile, can I tile over the existing Corobrik Terrosa tile with new Corobrik terrarosa tiles.If so, can you suggest how it should be done?
It is not recommended that you tile over tile, however, if the existing tiles are in good condition and not glazed or too porous (such as natural stone or terracotta) you can get away with tiling over the top. You need to replace water in the tile adhesive with a suitable bonding liquid and I know that TAL offer a comprehensive range, so ask about the best one to use for your application.
Sent: 03 March 2015 01:39 PM
New seals for shower door
My shower door seals are worn out and no longer holding the the side glass. I need to replace all the seals including the sweep seal for the shower but am unable to find a supplier anywhere near Fourways or Gauteng.
Unfortunately there isn’t much that I can do to help. You could try www.plumblink.co.za or Google the manufacturer or supplier for the shower to see if they keep spares in stock. This is a common problem and one that I have received lots of enquiries. Over time the seals wear or become brittle and it’s a sad fact that it is almost impossible to source replacement seals.
Sent: 01 March 2015 12:43 PM
Colour matching my Charcoal roof tile
I would like an assistance with how to match my external wall sides with my charcoal concrete roof tile please…you have so grand colour but I can’t think of any colour that matches my roof
You will find that almost any colour will complement the charcoal roof tiles. However, my suggestion is that you visit your local Builders paint section or paint store and check out the colour swatches for different roof painting products.
Sent: 27 February 2015 03:51 PM
Removing aluminium door
My bedroom upstairs has a sliding door to what could have been a balcony but which was actually made into another small room. I would like to take out the sliding door because I want to recarpet the bedroom and it will be easier and look better to do it as one room. Is there an easy way to remove the sliding door myself or is it better to get a builder / contractor to do it?
Most aluminium sliding doors are easy to remove simply by lifting up and tilting out of the sliding mechanism. However, you will need to determine whether or not your door can be removed in this way. You may also need to fill in – concrete patch – where the track was fitted into the floor and this is probably best done by a local handyman.
Sent: 26 February 2015 04:34 PM
Painting an upholstered chair
I read your article on painting an upholstered chair with Acrylic PVA. I have a whole (white) lounge suite that I need to redo…can you perhaps give me some more details on doing this? What kind of Acrylic PVA (or would any brand do?) and do I need to mix anything into the paint before I start? I would really appreciate your guidance on this.
You can use any acrylic PVA but it must be matt. The sheen or gloss paint makes the fabric very stiff. You need to use a stiff brush like a shoe polishing brush as you want to ensure the paint is brushed into the fabric fibres. Have two new brushes – use one for painting and one for softening the fabric once the paint has dried completely. If you’re not sure how the colour will look or paint will feel, test on a piece of fabric underneath the couch.
Sent: 19 February 2015 09:31 AM
Repair chipped screed floor
I have white screeded floors that are now looking horrific as it is chipping and leaving grey patches. How can I rectify?
You may need to consider having a new screed applied over the existing floor if it is badly chipped, as any repairs you do will be visible. Alternative, use a product such as Polycell Rockset and cover this with an epoxy paint. If the screed floor was steel floated (leaving a polished finish) you may need to apply a concrete etch to the floor before doing any repairs. Did you have someone do the floor for you?
Sent: 22 February 2015 09:47 AM
Laminate on cabinets coming off
The wrap on my kitchen cupboards is coming off. It is very stiff and difficult to glue on. Any tips on how to do this?
The laminate has probably become stiff and brittle with age. You can try using a hairdryer or heat gun to soften the laminate and then use 5-minute epoxy glue to secure back in place. A spring clamp or quick clamp will come in handy to hold the laminate in place until the glue cures hard.
Sent: 20 February 2015 10:45 AM
Modernise a dated dining room suite
We would like to modernise it in some way if possible. I am relocating and will be living in an apartment. The apartment is quite modern, but the dining room could be a little dark. I thought of doing the table and chairs in a white?. Possible duco finish. I was advised not to as it would compromise the integrity of the Imbuia. What do you think.
Duco would definitely destroy the wood underneath. This type of paint blocks the surface and the wood dries out and becomes very brittle. If you invested in a Bosch PFS spray system you could apply an acrylic PVA paint that would not do as much damage and look just as good. I prefer to use a matt paint and then apply 3 to 4 coats of clear acrylic sealer over the top to protect. You will need to sand down with 80-grit (if varnished) or rub with mineral turpentine and fine steel wool (if oiled or polished). After this, sand again with 120-grit and then smooth with 240-grit. Wipe clean before painting.
Sent: 13 February 2015 08:26 AM
Epoxy resin for wood floor?
I am about to lay a pine wood floor and and wanting to protect it as it is a soft wood. Is there an epoxy resin out there that is recommended for this?
I I haven’t come across an epoxy sealer for floors but there are polyurethane varnishes that are specifically for use on wood floors, and you will find a fairly comprehensive range at your local Builders Warehouse. Pine is a softwood and you will need to take precautions to protect the finish. Put felt or rubber pads on legs or feet of furniture and ban heeled shoes!
Sent: 11 February 2015 09:07 AM
Permanent mouldy spot
I need a solution to improve/repair damp mouldy slasto that does not receive full sun for most of the day.
Not sure what you can do if there is damp in this area. Perhaps a regular scrubbing with warm water and household bleach will help to keep the mould under control. The only permanent solution would be to find the cause of the damp that is causing the mould.
Sent: 10 February 2015 12:36 PM
Connect a Generator to house circuit
How to connect a portable generator to the home distribution board so that I can switch between generator and Eskom power.
Only a qualified electrician can perform the necessary wiring to link a generator to your home electrical supply. This information is not available for public use.
Sent: 09 February 2015 09:43 PM
Standard length for curtains
What is the standard drop for curtains i.e. how far off the floor must I fit the curtain track?
The standard curtain length is 218cm, but you can also buy extra length curtains at many home décor stores. If you are mounting a new curtain track the height is determined by several factors:
- How high is the window from the floor
- What style of curtains will be hung, as this will also affect the height
- Does the room need longer drops to visually increase the height of a room
- What type of curtain track will be installed
More often than not it is better to mount the track with these considerations in mind and then have curtains custom made, or make your own, to fit the room.
Sent: 10 February 2015 07:52 AM
Liquid glass has yellowed
Hi there, I was wondering if you could give me some advice. I have painted a lamp table with pva and I also decoupaged a serviette onto the top which is a tapestry of a rose. My daughter suggested I get a piece of glass for the table but I had some liquid glass which I thought would work okay. I poured the resin onto the table and it worked out fine, with a couple of bubbles but nothing awful. I noticed around the edge of the serviette which I modge podged a few times before, the resin is slightly yellow. Is it possible to sand off the resin around the edge. I don't have power tools so I will have to hand sand it.
It could be that there was a reaction between the ModPodge (acrylic) and liquid glass (epoxy) that caused the yellowing around the edge. I think you might find it very difficult to sand away only a part of the liquid glass, and you will always notice the difference even if you do manage to sand it away. Send through a pic and let me see if I can offer any alternatives.
Sent: 08 February 2015 03:20 PM
Paint self-levelling concrete
DDo you know how we can actually dye or paint self-levelling concrete. http://www.home-dzine.co.za/kitchen/kitchen-screed.htm#
Thanks..love the blog by the way!
You can buy concrete stain for self-levelling concrete that hasn't been steel floated. If the concrete has been floated a concrete or epoxy paint would be the better option, and of the two the epoxy paint would be the most durable.
Sent: 06 February 2015 09:00 AM
Water run off against kitchen wall
My kitchen wall is situated at the bottom of a fairly steep slope and water run-off is very bad during heavy rainfall. There is also a gutter downpipe outside this same kitchen wall. I have installed a water tank under the downpipe to limit some of the water build-up. I have also installed a drain to limit water build-up. Both, I suppose, are helping to a very small degree, but I still get water seeping through the exterior kitchen wall (under my dishwasher), and the water also seems to be going under the house and coming up under other kitchen cupboards along an interior wall as well. I have googled this extensively and don't know what else to do. Could you advise?
It sounds like you are having a hard time with controlling water build up, and have definitely already put in place some practical solutions. You don't mention whether or not the area at the base of the wall has a concrete apron, as this would also help speed up water runoff and prevent the ground from soaking up water. If the water is gaining access through the walls you need to make sure that the ground is lower than the damp proof course (DPC) that is laid on top of the foundation. If the ground is higher than the DPC this could be why it is getting inside the kitchen walls. Probably going to be a difficult project, but you need to lower the level of the soil and lay a concrete apron at least a metre wide, that slopes away from the wall and directs soil away from the building.
Sent: 02 February 2015 01:42 PM
Paint quarry floor tiles
I have quarry tiles on my floors and they are badly discoloured with some staining. Is it possible to paint them and, if so, what should I use? Because I want to hide the discolouration I need a product that is not see-through.
Painting any floor tile is generally not recommended, but quarry tiles even more so. Paint does not last on floors and any painting done will be temporary. If you are desperate you could try using a paint designed for cement paving, but there is no guarantee that it will last.
Sent: 02 February 2015 09:10 AM
Replacement lid for toilet cistern
I hope you can help, I am looking for a lid for the cistern of my toilet, my little one knocked mine off and I have been told everywhere that you have to buy a complete toilet set - they do not sell the tops separate. Is this something that I can get from you? If not do you have suggestions as to where I can go?
I have to agree that you are going to find it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to buy a cistern lid. You could try getting in touch with the manufacturer if the toilet has a brand name.
Sent: 31 January 2015 12:34 PM
How to fix worn table top
I have a wooden table which has started to wear badly, down to the unprotected wood due to being in the sun and rain for a prolonged period of time. Do I need to sand it all down to the raw wood before treating it and sealing it or just give it a general sanding all over. I will need to restain it and seal it as the colour is patchy all over as it has worn.
You mention that the table has worn down to the wood, but you don’t mention what the table has on top. If it is varnish or laminate it is best to sand down to the wood and then apply exterior sealer (Woodoc) directly onto the wood surface. Three coats are applied according to the instructions and this will provide protection from the elements. Start with 80-grit sandpaper, the change to 120-grit to even out and finish with 240-grit to smooth the surface.
Sent: 01 February 2015 02:06 PM
Vinyl on glass sliding door
I have an aluminium framed patio door between my study and another room, which I don't know what to do with. The other room is an extension of the kitchen/work room. I'm thinking of moving my fridge into this room - close to the kitchen. The fridge will have to stand in front of the solid part of the sliding door. It won't be a problem in this room, but on the study side the back of the fridge will be directly in front of my desk. I have good lighting in the study and if I leave the sliding part of the door open, there will be enough ventilation, so I'm thinking of covering the solid part of the patio window with something funky. I have some rolls of vinyl wallpaperand was wondering if I could paste this onto the window on both sides. It would look really cool, because the colours would fit in with the colour scheme in both rooms. Can it be done?
If you plan of sticking wallpaper onto glass you will need to use a product such as spray adhesive to attach, as wallpaper paste will soon peel off. Alternatively, you could spray one side of the glass with Rust-Oleum Frosted Glass or Mirror Effect to block out the fridge. Another alternative would be to use self-adhesive vinyl in a frosted glass or similar finish - www.gordons.co.za - to cover the glass and hide the back of the fridge.
Sent: 01 February 2015 08:58 PM
Revamp of TV Unit, Advice and Products
I have bought a new Tv Unit and my old tv unit fits like a dream with the new one, only problem is, the new TV unit is Wenge of colour and my old one is a very light wood brown, it has laminated paper on. Must I paint it wenge colour to fit with the new unit or must I get laminated paper in Wenge colour? Please advice on what to do and where I can get tge right products from to do this?
Not sure if you are going to find laminated paper in Wenge, and it might be difficult to match the colour unless you spray it a solid colour. Rust-Oleum have a selection of 2X colours and you might find that satin espresso or walnut will be the closest. The other alternative would be to buy Formica laminate in Wenge and cut and glue this to the cabinet, but this is not easy to do unless you have done it before. You can ask at your local Timbercity if they sell Wenge or can order for you and some stores also cut to size. But you will need to take exact measurements.
Sent: 30 January 2015 11:21 AM
Spray paint has sticky finish
What can I use on supawood that wont stick and pull off the paint or varnish if it's placed on another painted supawood item. For instance if make placemats, I usually decoupage the front and'paint the back with acrylic paint and either a waterbased glazecoat or a water based varnish. At times when stacked on top of each other these boards stick to each other pull the paint off. What am I doing wrong? Also what varnish can I use on top of the modpodge that will seal the placemat and wipe easily with a damp cloth.
From experience I have found that after painting, say a day or two later, I use furniture polish or Mr Min and wipe the painting finish. This tends to reduce that tackiness that you sometimes get with gloss paints and varnishes. For the sealer coat, if you apply 3 to 4 coats of ModPodge there shouldn’t be any need to apply any other type of sealer if you only want to wipe clean.
Sent: 28 January 2015 08:08 PM
Empty my pool and save the water
I need to empty my pool to repaint and repair tiles. I need save the water , what do I do please give advice.
The question should be… where can I store the water emptied from the pool. You are going to need a very large storage container to hold the water while you repair the pool, so while the idea to save the water is a good one you need a place to store it, and this probably isn’t a possibility.
Sent: 28 January 2015 01:05 PM
Crack in bathroom basin
The basin in my bathroom has a hairline crack from one end to the other. Water leaks through so it is useless. Would you perhaps know of a way that will fix the problem. I will really appreciate any advice or assistance.
You can buy Alcolin AquaMend epoxy putty at your local Builders. This should at least offer a temporary solution – it has lasted 4 year so far in my pool – to fix the problem.
Sent: 25 January 2015 08:20 PM
How to mount shower panel to bath
I purchased a single bath screen from Game - instructions are clear, however, please to advise on the following: 1) how far from the edge of the bath must the screen be; 2) must the bottom of aluminium channel - which is same length as glass panel - be fitted right to bottom touching the bath or must extra space be allowed i.e. aluminum channel slightly raised off bath to allow for fitting of plastic/rubber seal strip which gets pushed onto down edge of door - to stop water coming out between bath and bottom of screen - after installation.
To answer your queries as follows: Mount the frame in the centre of the bath surround. If they supplied a rubber strip to fit underneath the channel, the frame will sit on top of this. For my own bath frame I placed the frame directly on top of the bath and finished off with sanitary silicone sealer to prevent leaks.
Sent: 22 January 2015 01:25 PM
How to mount drawer slides
Thank you very much for coming back to me. I am not sure how to calculate the size of the drawers when I use the slides to slide them in. How do you glue/fit the finishing edges once the wood has been cut? I want to work with melawood.
You will find instructions here for an easy way to mount drawer runners: http://www.home-dzine.co.za/diy/diy-4-drawer-runners.htm and you will also use ball-bearing drawer runners for the bath cabinets. To join the sections together without any visible jointing you can use dowels, a biscuit joiner or a pockethole jig, and you will find information about all these methods in the DIY section on www.Home-Dzine.co.za
Sent: 16 January 2015 12:33 PM
Where to find pallets
Firstly, THANK YOU for a stunning site! Do you perhaps know where I can find pallets in JHB/West Rand area?
I previously got my pallets from Builders in Strubens Valley, but I know that everyone else is rushing here and there to find pallets as well. It’s getting to the stage where pallets are becoming difficult to find and there are now companies making these up for those who want to buy them!
Sent: 23 January 2015 08:41 AM
Repair Defy stove
The warmer drawer on my 4 plate defy stove was left on for some time and baking gloves were inside and so they burned inside and the stove rubber and the outer surface of the stove burned also, I wanted to know where I can purchase the rubber and the spray paint and what kind of spray paint will be needed to fix it because it looks really horrible.
You can buy Rust-Oleum Appliance Epoxy spray at your local Builders. Not sure where you would buy the rubber seal other than at a Defy spares supplier or direct from www.defy.co.za
Sent: 21 January 2015 03:49 PM
New kitchen countertops
I currently have old kitchen tops of about 2 cm in my kitchen. To replace them you need to break it out, which means you will break the tiles. Is there a way/top which you can lay over the existing tops and work it off with an edging of some kind?
If the existing tops are only 2cm thick, you could use this as a base for mounting Formica LifeSeal or other countertops over the top. Is there a way to trim the edge of the existing tops flush with the cabinets and then have the new tops hang over. That way you could edge the old tops to match the cabinets and not even notice.
Sent: 21 January 2015 04:35 PM
I was going through the website as am embarking on a DIY bathroom renovation, re planning. Is there someone whom you can recommend that can design and plan a bathroom for me at a reasonable cost.
Unfortunately I can’t recommend anyone to do the job for you. I have previously done my own bathroom renos and only hired a plumber or handyman to help out with larger aspects of the project I wasn’t able to do myself. There are plenty of bathroom renovation contractors in Joburg and my recommendation would be to obtain two or three quotations and ask for references where you are able to get in touch with previous clients.
Sent: 19 January 2015 02:46 PM
Finding a reputable electrician / plumber
I really at my wits end trying to find and honest, competent and reasonably priced plumber and electrician. It seems that because I am a woman who lives alone they think they can pull the wool over my eyes. Do you have both a plumber and an electrician that you can recommend please?
I have previously used a service: http://plumberselectricians.co.za for both a plumber and electrician. This service has access to various plumbers and electricians that they call upon, depending on your location. The problem is that you will most probably not use the same ones that I do, as mine are dedicated to the Honeydew area.
I know how difficult it is to acquire a reputable contractor and that’s one of the reasons I established www.DIY-Divas.co.za. No two contractors will give the same quote and may even offer up a different explanation for the problem. It’s unfortunate but does happen. You are under no obligation to use their services and they offer a free quotation, so perhaps let two contractors call and offer advice and decide which seems the most honest and trustworth.
Sent: 19 January 2015 11:53 AM
I’m looking for the supplier details for the recycled glass counter tops, I am interested in the product and cannot seem to find one in Gauteng for a quote or pricing.
If you refer to the article you will find links and a list of suppliers for glass countertops in South Africa. http://www.home-dzine.co.za/kitchen/kitchen-new-tops.htm
I’m not aware of a particular supplier in Gauteng, but you could contact any glass supplier for information on their products that could be used for countertops.
Sent: 13 January 2015 06:23 PM
How to waterproof driveway
What is the best product that one can use
apply to seal/waterproof a flat concrete roof.
The roof is also our driveway and there is a
flat below, so the product needs to be durable.
I don't mind if I need to reapply the product
every couple of years.
We have tried the whole torch on membrane story but the leak has persisted. Someone also suggested we get a black mat (as used in dams) to place over our driveway, which currently has concrete pavers as a surface. Any idea where one can get this?
The best method is the bitumen coating (membrane and torch method), but if you have already tried this without success, my recommendation would be to get in touch with a reputable waterproofing contractor and let them assess the situation. Even if you don’t ask them to go ahead with the work, at least you know what they recommend and can proceed from there.
Sent: 12 January 2015 09:05 AM
Stains on travertine tiles
We are in the process of building a house. During the December holidays, painters were on site and spilled cooking oil on unsealed travertine tiles. We only found out about the spill this weekend. Please advise how one gets the oil stain off the travertine tiles.
You are going to find it very difficult to remove the oil from unsealed natural stone. You will find a range of TFC (Tile & Floor Care) products at your local Builders store that offer the best method of cleaning, stripping and sealing natural stone. Ask for advice on a TFC product that will break down grease and remove as much of the oil as possible before you apply a suitable sealer.
Sent: 11 January 2015 08:32 AM
Paint oregon pine furniture
I have varnished oregon pine bedroom which I would like to either paint or wax to give it a rustic or French look.
If you plan to apply paint to the floor you will need to de-gloss the finish by sanding with 180-grit sandpaper. There is no need to remove all the varnish, but you do need to remove the gloss before you can apply paint. For a waxed or whitewashed floor you need to remove all the varnish to get down to the wood. Do this by sanding with 80-, then 120-, and finally with 240-grit sandpaper.
You will also find helpful tips here: http://www.home-dzine.co.za/decorating/00DECORATE-index.html
Sent: 08 January 2015 10:45 AM
Best paint to use for project
I have two Imbuia Milkmaid stools which I would like to repaint a matt black - should I sand them down or use a paint remover to remove the old varnish. What paint will give me a good matt black finish, and must it have an undercoat.
It isn't necessary to remove the varnish if you give it a good sanding down with 120- and then 240-grit sandpaper to de-gloss the finish. I recommend Plascon SureCoat Matt Acrylic for the project and it is available in black.
Sent: 07 January 2015 08:08 PM
Contractor to cover tiled floor
I'm wondering if you could recommend a reputable contractor to replace or cover our existing tiled floors with polished cement/ screed?
I don’t know of anyone offhand, but I would recommend that obtain three quotations and make sure that they have references that can be followed up, preferably for work done over a period of a least a year. There are plenty of fly-by-night contractors who claim to do a good job, but the only way to truly find out is to ask someone who has had work done.
Sent: 07 January 2015 04:50 PM
How to lay self-levelling screed
Hope I am not troubling you. I came across your site when looking for Self – levelling cement screed flooring which I found very imformative. We are tossing and turning between doing this ourselves or getting a contractor. Do you have any idea where we can buy the products required in Durban? And is this something we can hope to do ourselves without making a mess of it?
Must be honest, I have received a lot of queries from homeowners who have attempted this as a DIY project, only for it to go wrong. There are too many variables involved to guarantee success and it would be my recommendation that you let a reputable contractor do the job.
Sent: 05 January 2015 04:47 PM
Help with yellowwood table
I have a yellowood table which is full of stains etc. I would like to restore the top and seal it so that it does not stain. Please help with a procedure I can follow. It will be my first piece of woodwork .
You don't mention if the table has been previously oiled, varnished or waxed. The first step would be to use fine steel wood and mineral turpentine to clean the table. This alone might remove quite a bit of the damage. If there are still stains after this process you will need to sand with 120- and then 240-grit sandpaper.
For a dining table the best product to use is a polyurethane varnish, as this is able to resist a reasonable amount of heat as well. Plascon have an excellent range of Woodcare products for interior wood.
Sent: 01 December 2014 07:12 PM
Advice on settling dispute
Please could you assist in settling a dispute. If a builder has not specified in his contract or any additional documentation that he will fit any new soap holders, toothbrush holders, shower shelves, soap dishes, toilet roll holders and bath towel rails; is he expected to do this as part of the contract.
We have renovated two bathrooms for a client (the 2nd one is almost complete) where we had to remove all the old ceramic soap dish holders; ceramic toilet roll holders ; towel rails and shower roses, but did not include in our contract that we would either supply or fit any new fittings relating to these items (except we would fit the new shower roses and arms that client should choose). My client in the meantime has purchased new soap dish holders, toothbrush holders; towel rail holders and shower cubicle shelving and is expecting us to fit all of these and absorb these into our costs.
In my opinion, and that of many of my building colleagues, this is a decorating item, and does not form a part of the contract unless specifically mentioned in writing in the contract or any addendum thereto. We are not talking a huge amount of money, but we have gone the extra mile here by supplying the same client with many other fixtures and fittings, and repairs that we have not charged for, and we now feel we are being abused.
Could you please provide me with your feedback, as I would like to respond to the client as soon as possible with another take on the matter.
This is a catch-22 scenario: you did not specify in the contract that these smaller items would be fitted, but because these are part of the final design the client expected that they would be fitted. Both parties are right and wrong at the same time and it is going to be very difficult to sort out unless one party gives in.
You mention that the fitting of bathroom accessories was not specified as part of the contract, but does the contract cover the renovation or improvement of the bathroom, in which case small items like these would automatically be covered.
While I can side with you if you have already gone out of your way to satisfy the client, would it not be a quick and easy solution just to drill a few holes and mount the accessories. Better to have a very satisfied client and a good reference.
Sent: 29 November 2014 01:58 PM
Fitting parquet flooring blocks
I have just fitted wooden blocks on my floor. What can I use to seal the gaps in between them and on the edges before I sand them?
Hi Professor Arosi,
When fitting blocks for flooring there should be no gaps between the blocks. The only gaps should be around the perimeter of the room, with spacers fitting to allow for expansion and contraction of the wood, and which can be covered up with skirtings.
Gaps between the blocks can be filled with an acrylic sealer in a matching colour, but this is definitely not an ideal solution.
Sent: 03 January 2015 12:21 PM
Can I use MelaWood for countertop?
I found the perfect colour for my kitchen worktop but it
is melawood. The colour is Etimo. Can I use melawood for a
worktop? This colour does not appear to be available in any
other material. Is there anything you can suggest?
I used Etimo for my kitchen cabinets. You could have problems using melawood for the countertop. The material used to laminate the doors is nowhere near as thick and tough as the Formica laminate used for countertops.
There are other options:
Melawood is manufactured by PG Bison, but Sonae Novobord also have an excellent range: http://www.sonae.co.za
Sent: 02 January 2015 03:21 PM
DIY outdoor patio set
I came across your website in December and immediately my husband and I started planning when we could make your DIY dining or patio set. I thought I would send you a photo of our end result. We made slight changes to suit our patio and we are so happy with it. We are busy browsing your website to find our next project.
Thank you so much for sharing your project, which, by the way is amazing. I do so love it when readers share their projects and hope that you will share any future projects as well, perhaps even with step-by-step how you did it. Good luck with the next one!
Sent: 02 January 2015 02:17 PM
DIY removing carpets
I have full floor carpets throughout my home (old & dirty!). I discovered when I lifted one corner that there is wooden parquet floors underneath. I need to rip out the carpets and restore the wooden floors. What can I use to remove the carpets without damaging the floors and clean them?
What a surprise to find parquet floors underneath your old carpets. These floors have become valuable and sought-after if they are restored to their original beauty.
If it was easy to lift up a corner you should be able to remove the carpet in the same way. You might have to remove skirtings if you find it difficult to lift up, and will also find carpet strips (metal strips with nails) that are nailed to the floor to hold the carpet in place. Where you encounter these carefully prise out the nails and try and fix the holes in the blocks underneath with a tinted wood filler that you can buy at your local Builders.
If the underfelt sticks to the blocks you can use a spray bottle filled with water to lightly dampen to make pulling the felt away from the blocks easier, without wetting the blocks too much. If the underfelt was glued to the floor you can buy Genkem glue remover at your Builders as well.
Sent: 02 January 2015 2014 04:37 PM
Advice on painting kitchen floor
I would like to find out how to paint my kitchen floor. The floor was originally tiled, then a screed was laid and then painted with a product specially made for floors, Fired Earth Trendy Floors and on top of that Bonding Liquid. But what a flop.The floor is cracking badly and the paint start to come off 2 days afterwards. We will have to remove the paint and screed and start again.
Sounds like you had quite a bit of fun with the floor!
Floors are always a problem and a tiled floor even more so. Painting a tiled floor is definitely not a permanent option, unless you look at using an epoxy paint product such as that used on factory floors. The only problem with this is the limited colour choices.
If you have already gone to all this trouble, would it not be better to rip out the tiles and put down new tiles to match your style and décor. There are so many gorgeous tiles now available with the introduction of inket-printed tile designs that resemble wood floor, whitewashed wood, etc.