Ask the Diva

If you have a home-related question, then this is the place! Send your queries to our DIY Diva and we will answer them as best we can. If we don’t know - we’ll find out for you. Submit your question and we'll post and answer. In this way we can build up a comprehensive library of information that everyone will be able to access. Fill out the form below or email us at homedzine@gmail.com.

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Clare
Wednesday, December 07, 2011 5:09 AM
Which tile sealer to use


Hi Janice
Please would you advise me re the best solution for my shower-the water apears to be seeping through the tiles and then the wall. I have used silicone around the edges, and would like to seal the tiles without detracting from their aesthetic appeal. What would be the best product? I have asked at our local hardware store but they were uncertain but can order in for me if I can give them a product name and manufacturer.

This has to be the best online magazine and I have found so many amazing tips and ideas, thank you to you and your team for so much inspiration & info re great tools-(my thumb is still recovering from being sandwiched between a fast moving hammer and the wall) Please consider running DIY Diva courses here in Montagu.

Kind regards
Clare
======

Hi Clare,

Thank you!
I would recommend the TFC (www.tilecare.co.za) range of sealers. Having used these myself I know they do what they are supposed to do. Apply according to the instructions for best results.

Janice
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Shahista
Tuesday, December 06, 2011 1:05 PM
What to use as room dividers


I am renting a bachelor flat & dont want to spend too much. I need advice on partitioning using wood, like melamine perhaps? How do I go about putting up the partition - it should be abt 1.5m x 2.5m Where can I purchase the boards?

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Hi Shahista,
It is going to be quite difficult for you to use a piece of partitioning as a divider, unless you also make a system to hold it up. A sheet of MelaWood is 2750 x 1800m in size and is quite heavy. Even after cutting to the size that you want, it will still be heavy.

A nice solution to room dividers is to use hollow-core doors, which you can buy at any Builders Warehouse at around R300 each. Attach three doors together with heavy-duty brass hinges and then paint the doors, or apply self-adhesive vinyl, or wallpaper them.

Janice
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Ida
Monday, December 05, 2011 3:00 PM
Making Your Own Furniture

Hi Janice
I have just bought a Dremmel Trio and would like to attempt to make a picture frame. Can you suggest where I can get picture framing supplies?

Regards
Ida
======

Hi Ida,

You're going to have so much fun!
You can buy a wide selection of pine trim and moulding at your local Builders Warehouse. I actually bought quite a bit this morning and they have a selection of designs, or plain strips if you prefer to add your own designs.

To dress it up you can also glue on thin strips or use polystyrene decorative cornice to build up a frame as fancy as you like.

Janice
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Janet
Monday, December 05, 2011 12:25 PM
What glue and sealer to use


I want to mount fun pictures (that have been printed onto card) onto wood blocks. What is the best glue for this, will it work with card and what do I use to seal over the top of the picture? Any advice on techniques and products would be useful!

Many Thanks!!
Janet
======

Hi Janet,
The easiest way to glue the card onto wood blocks is with

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  • adhesive, either in a tin or as a spray. Follow the instructions; apply to both faces, let sit for 5 minutes and then stick together. Finish off with 2 coats of clear acrylic sealer. I normally use Prominent Paints acrylic sealer, but you can also use Mod Podge. Use a foam roller to apply, sand lightly with 180-grit sandpaper and then apply the second coat.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Gosia
    Friday, December 02, 2011 11:32 PM
    Revamp patio floor



    I would like to revamp my patio floor, it has been paved a very long time ago and the cement grout has come out quiet a bit so a lot of dust gathers in the dents and it just looks awful. what options do I have without actually taking the old paving out as I dont have a big budget for this.

    Thank you
    ======

    Hi Gosia,
    I would suggest that you remove all the old grout between the tiles. You can use a hammer and chisel to do this. Vacuum away all the dust before re-applying new grout between the tiles. It's a fairly simple project that you can easily complete in a day - and won't cost a lot. You will find ready-mixed or powdered grout at your local Builders Warehouse. Simply mix, apply, let dry and then wipe clean.

    Janice
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    Natasha
    Thursday, December 01, 2011 10:17 AM
    What colour to paint my bedroom


    Your articale on the midas touch: I really love the \"Neutrals work well in this sophisticated living room\"as my bedroom accessories is slate grey with dark choc BIC. I really would like to do that to the wall. What was used and where would I buy the products from?

    Thanks
    Natasha
    ======

    Hi Natasha,
    The effect that you see on the wall is similar to: http://www.home-dzine.co.za/decorating/decorating-two-tone-patina.htm but you could also achieve this technique by using two paint colours and a few rags. Apply the base coat colour and then gently use rags to dab on a light amount of second coat over the wall. We use Prominent Paints for all our projects.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Gina
    Tuesday, November 29, 2011 10:23 AM
    Space for my dining table


    I was lucky enough to come across your website this week and have now subscribed to your free online newsletter. I am taking a chance here and would like to ask some advise. We are moving into a small town house in January and my dilemma is the entrance and the dining room area.

    From the photo you will see a white door in the back ground which is in actual fact the main front door. As you enter, you look directly into the guest toilet. You will also notice that the dining area is under the stairs. (This is not my furniture). We have a solid oak square dining table with 8 chairs. Would you be able to give me ideas on how to make the entrance a little more appealing and how I should try and place furniture in the dining area?

    Many thanks
    Gina
    ======

    Hi Gina,
    I would make the dining space a feature area rather than try to shove it under the stairs. I am not sure what is on the far left of the picture, but if you can utilise the space it would provide plenty of room for visitors to walk around the table. You could have a stunning display of fresh flowers on the dining table to welcome guests as they enter.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Marietjie
    Wednesday, November 23, 2011 4:22 PM
    What blinds for windows


    Hi
    I would like to know what blinds are the best to use at the coast? I want to make my own roller blind. Do you know if there is DIY kids available and where can I get them. What material is the best to use on roller blinds? I would like to use block out material.

    Marietjie
    ======

    Hi Marietjie,
    For the coast you will find that wood or plastic blinds are your best bet. They don't rust and require little maintenance apart from regular cleaning.

    Quite a few readers have

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  • ed me regarding a roller blind kit. I have
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  • ed Blind Time and they are prepared to supply the kits for those of you who want to make your own roller blinds. I am sure they will post to you in Durban. Blind Time: www.blindtime.co.za | sales@blindtime.co.za | Tel. 011 434 1075

    You can purchase a block out material at your local fabric store and attach this to the back of whatever fabric you choose for the blinds.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Shireen
    Thursday, November 24, 2011 11:48 AM
    Getting parquet to shine again


    I have parquet floors in generally good condition, except for some scratches. I'd like to restore the shine. What product and what process could I use to just buff it up to a shine?

    ======

    Hi Shireen,
    Pop into your local Builders Warehouse and ask them to direct you to the Genkem range of floor products. These are the best for floors. You will need a stripper to remove the old wax and will possibly have to do some light sanding with an Orbital or Random Orbit Sander and 220-grit sandpaper to remove scratches. Then apply new sealer.

    Janice
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    Angela
    Monday, November 21, 2011 2:02 PM
    What stripper for pine wood floor


    Hi there,
    I recently moved to a beautiful rented log cabin. Unfortunately the pine floors have seen better days. They are very badly scratched and the dirt is completely ingrained (from 10 years of dogs wandering in and out, I believe). I don't want to spend thousands of Rands sanding and re-sealing floors that I don't own. What can I use to thoroughly clean and then polish these floors? I'm sure there must be products that would help to restore at least some of their former glory?

    Regards,
    ======

    Hi Angela,
    You can buy was strippers at your local Builders Warehouse. You will probably find that after stripping the wax away the floor will be in reasonable condition, or at the worst, a condition that can be lightly sanded with an Orbital Sander and 120- and then 180-grit sandpaper. Or hire a floor sander for the day. You only want to give a light sanding and then re-apply wax or a sealer such as Woodoc 25 to provide protection.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Karyn
    Saturday, November 19, 2011 5:38 PM
    How to seal kitchen countertops


    Hi
    I would like to make kitchen counters with pages of recipes and then need to seal it so it is functional. What kind of varnish would do this.

    ======

    Hi Karyn,

    What a unique idea. Please DO send me pics. I would suggest that you use a polyurethane sealer for this type of project. It dries hard and if you apply 3 or 4 coats will provide adequate waterproofing and protection.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Glen
    Friday, November 11, 2011 10:42 AM
    Working with supawood


    Thank you for the most amazing website. I make TV stands,CD and DVD racks and use offcuts to make smaller bits of furniture. Lots of my ideas come from your site.

    I only work with Supawood and finish with a waterbased Black Satin Sheen paint. Am not very adventureous with different finishes. Maybe you could please also guide me on the various finishes that I could try on Supawood. I get many requests for units in a more natural wood brown colour. Can you please advise if I can use a stain or varnish on Supawood to get a mohogany or oak type finish. If so, what product/s and processes would you suggest I try. I have tried a black stain but it just soaks into the wood, especially the edges, and seems as though it would take a lot of stain to get a good finish. Very expensive.

    Thanks again for the awesome web site. Keep up the great work.

    ======

    Hi Glen,
    Thank you! So glad you enjoy the website.

    There are quite a few ways to make supawood look like wood, and the easiest way is to use a wood grain rocker and two colours of Prominent Paints acrylic PVA - one darker than the other. Paint on the lighter base coat and then dip the wood graining rocker in the dark colour and apply to the surface. Works like a dream - after a bit of practice. You can buy wood grain rockers from www.harlequin.co.za.

    Janice
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    Melissa
    Thursday, November 10, 2011 3:10 PM
    How to paint cherrywood cabinets


    Hi
    Would like to give my kitchen a new look as the cherrywood cabinets are very dark and dated. Would like to paint it cream. Please can you give me advise on what paint to buy. Would obviously need a primer but dread having to use enamel paint. Is this necessary or would acrylic paint be sufficient. Also what should I use for a final coat?

    tx Melissa
    ======

    Hi Melissa,

    You will find plenty of articles in our Kitchen Section that cover the topic of painting kitchen cabinets. I find the best paint to use is Prominent Paints UltraMatt in broken white. This is a nice soft cream colour. Finish off with two coats of Prominent Paints acrylic sealer. You don't need to prime the cabinets but do clean them well and give them a light sanding with 180-grit sandpaper before you start.

    Janice
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    Vicky
    Thursday, November 10, 2011 10:04 AM
    How to paint over slate


    I have an old slate fireplace and would like to paint it. What undercoat and what paint sould I use?

    Thank you!
    ======

    Hi Vicky,
    If you use the Rust-Oleum range of paints you won't need to apply any primer to the surface - simply spray on, and you will find Rust-Oleum at your local Builders Warehouse. For acrylic PVA I would apply a plaster or brick primer before painting onto the slate.

    Janice
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    Janine
    Wednesday, November 09, 2011 11:16 PM
    Chipboard floating floors


    Hi Janice
    I have a duplex garden cottage. Many layers of chipboard form the floor upstairs (floating floor?). Unfortunately this does mean that the surface is flexible. I did tile with large tiles using a flex adhesive, but the movement causes the grouting to break up and looks terrible. What would you advised? The tiles are new and I have an extremely tight budget, but I'm starting to think I may need to take them out.

    If there is no solution to the grout problem, what would you advise I use as a floor covering that will be most effective at a reasonable cost? There is also a bathroom involved, so carpeting is a possible concern.

    Thanks,
    Janine
    ======

    Hi Janine,
    Unfortunately there isn't much that you can do to repair the tiles already on the floor. If the entire floor is chipboard, there is too much movement. Have you considered luxury vinyl planks. I have been given samples of the new designs and they really do look like the real thing. These can easily be glued to the chipboard and won't crack at all and will be perfect for the bathroom too! You could also consider cork floor tiles, which are now available in SA.

    Janice
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    Loraine
    Tuesday, November 08, 2011 12:06 PM
    Lime washing floors


    Hi
    Firstly let me tell you how I look forward to your on line newsletter – it is filled with so much information.

    My husband and I have just recently built a Cape Cod type home at the beach in Yzerfontein, Cape West Coast which is just a shell. We are doing all the painting, cupboards etc – you can just imagine the amount of painting as everything is wood including the floors. We are very keen to lime wash these, but not sure how to go about it. Please can you let us know what we need to do and what products we need to use to obtain this finish on the floors inside and also on the verandah which is covered. I attach herewith some photos for you to see.

    Many thanks


    ======

    Hi Loraine,
    You are so lucky to be moving into a new home - and so gorgeous to boot!

    I have just recently posted an article on Lime Washing, and you may find this information useful for your floors. If you are looking to be eco friendly as you decorate, you could also take a look at how to make your own milk paint, which would also work well on the floors.

    Whatever finish you do, cover it with two coats of water-based polyurethane sealer to protect and ensure that you don't end up painting it every year! Alternatively, you could also wax over the painted finish.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Candice
    Monday, November 07, 2011 8:06 AM
    Remove glue from old floor

    My partner and I have recently bought a house, and decided to rip up the carpets this past weekend, as they are very old, dirty, and stink. What we found underneath was parkade flooring, I'm guessing it is maranti wood, and we were so happy about that. Unfortunately, the person who initially laid the carpets did such a good job, that there is quite a bit of glue around the edges and at the doorways. I've been told it might be Genkem. I would just like to know how to remove this glue without damaging the flooring, because we are very keen on keeping the parquet flooring.

    Thanks
    Candice
    ======

    Hi Candice,
    You are very lucky indeed - parquet flooring is extremely expensive and adds value to your home.

    The glue is either

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  • Adhesive (Genkem) or Bitumen. If it is a dirty yellow colour it's
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  • Adhesive and you can buy Genkem Bitumen and Glue Remover at your local Builders Warehouse. Follow the instructions, as this stuff is potent but works like a dream.

    If you can, please take before and after pics and send to me. It's a great idea for a project to show readers.

    Janice
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    Yodwa
    Friday, October 28, 2011 2:17 PM
    Loft conversion or build up


    We have a double garage and a braai area. We are looking to build up above the area doing a loft, as we think it will be much cheaper - until we did an online quote and the figure looks like it will be the same as making it into a double storey. The area is about 64 square meter. What do you think will be the best option and are they both similar in price?

    ======

    Hi Yodwa,
    You can only do a loft conversion if you already have a place to convert - normally a ceiling or attic. It sounds as though you want to build an entire structure above your existing garage/braai area. The cost is probably high due to the fact that the existing garage walls were not built to bear a load - the room you want to build on top of the garage - and additional re-inforcing has to be put into place.

    Speak to the builders about other options they can offer to enlarge your home. They might come up with a better idea.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Precious
    Friday, October 28, 2011 3:53 PM
    Can I replace kitchen countertops


    I would like to reface my kitchen countertops how can I do it without removing the existing one.

    ======

    Hi Precious,
    It's actually quite difficult to re-laminate kitchen countertops, whereas removing and replacing the countertops is a much easier projects. The cost of laminate to cover over your existing counters is not that much cheaper than buying new. You can buy new PG Bison Lifeseal countertops for around R800.00 per 3.6 metre length at your local Builders Warehouse.

    If you still want to re-laminate, follow the instructions for laminating kitchen doors.

    Janice
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    Theo
    Saturday, October 22, 2011 7:15 PM
    Remove glue from parquet floor


    Thank you for the web site,it helps me.I bought second hand wooden blocks and had no knowledge on how to create a beautiful floor.May you please explain step by step the procedure,starting on how to clean the tar that was used to glue them on the floor.

    Regards
    Theo
    ======

    Hi Theo,
    There are quite a few Bitumen and Glue Removers on the shelf at your local Builders Warehouse, and the staff should be able to assist in finding a suitable product. I normally recommend the Genkem one.

    Follow the manufacturer's instructions, and feel free to

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  • me if you have any problems.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Mariesa
    Thursday, October 20, 2011 12:54 PM
    Help sealing around bath tub


    I hope you have a solution for me. I'm busy doing pine panelling in my bathroom that will painted. The bathroom is very small, and to fit the bath from wall to wall they had to "carve" a little space from both sides of the wall. The problem now is that the panelling will end on the edges of the bath (where lots of water will be!!). What can I use or do to fill the gap between the bath and the wooden panels? I don't think I can put a strip as the bath has curves. I got recommendations to use wood filler, or white silicone and someone told me to mix tile grout with bonding liquid. I don't know what route to take - I'll really appreciate if you could help please.

     ======

    Hi Mariesa,
    The best solution for waterproofing around the bath is to use a Sanitary Silicone Sealer. This is available at your local Builders Warehouse and you should buy a quality sealer such as abe, Pattex, Sista or Deb Braven.

    Pack the gap with a material that is anti-mould - polystyrene should work - then apply the silicone sealer over the top. Not sure what else you can do here - it's a difficult spot to work with.

    Make sure that the surface is absolutely clean - wipe down with some acetone (nail polish) to clean - and 100% dry. Buy a cartridge and use a caulking gun to apply the silicone around the edges of the panelling and bathtub. If you cut the tip of the applicator nozzle at a slight angle, it makes it easier to apply. Additionally, put a strip of masking tape above and below where you will apply and peel this off once you have finish applying. That way you will have a perfectly straight and neat finish.

    Janice
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    Krishna
    Wednesday, October 19, 2011 9:40 AM
    How to remove polish from parquet floor


    I have parquet flooring which is still in very good condition except for a few scratches here and there, but the floor has a lot of polish and I need to get rid of all the polish from the floor and then repolish from scratch so it give it a kind of natural finish. Do you know a company that will remove the polish and just buff it for me.

    Your assistance will be greatly appreciated or what polish remover I can buy

    ======

    Hi Krishna,
    Unless you can find yourself a handyman to do the project for you, this is probably going to be a do-it-yourself project. Your local Builders Warehouse offers a selection of wax strippers that can be used to strip the wax from timber floors and they all use basically the same principle, which requires a fair amount of elbow grease.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Tracey
    Wednesday, October 19, 2011 2:31 PM
    How to remove cool drink stain from carpet


    Good day,

    I have two questions:
    1. My daughter spilled red cool drink on a very light brownish grey carpet. I only found it days later. How do you clean that?
    2. The builders left my house tiles in a very dirty state, how do you clean them after having new tiles put in? It is dull and looks like there is sand, dust or cement residue on them

    Thank you
    Tracey
    ======

    Hi Tracey,
    1. Cool drink is one of the hardest stains to remove, as it is a red colouring in the drink. What you can try is to mix equal amounts of ammonia and hot water and put this into a spray bottle. Spray the stain and then place a dry towel over the stain and stand on it to remove moisture. Repeat this a couple of times until all the colouring has been pulled out of the carpet. Note: Be sure to test the solution on your carpet before spraying the area.

    2. Common enough problem. Use a soft sweeing brush to clean the area. Have a bucket of warm water and plenty of cloths handy to wash the floors by hand. Change the water frequently as the cement powder will cloud and dirty the water and be spread back onto the tiles. If you keep the water clean as you go, it means you won't have to repeat this task.

    Janice
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    Glenda
    Sunday, October 16, 2011 3:24 PM
    Tiles are lifting - can I repair?


    I have a townhouse that I am renting out. I had the downstairs lounge/diningroom tiled as well as the stairs landing. After 7 years the tiles are lifting and cracking. Cannot get the same tiles. What can I do? Other than lift all tiles and re-tile? Can I avoid this? Is there not a cost effective solution, as I have good tenants and don't ask a high rental.

    ======

    Hi Glenda,
    Unfortunately there is no other solution if you are unable to find the same tiles. You will probably find that sooner or later the remaining tiles will come loose as well, so you might as way remove and replace in one shot. You can find affordable tiles out and about that won't cost you an arm or a leg, and if you are renting out, tiling is the best solution for easy maintenance.

    Janice
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    Thabied
    Tuesday, October 18, 2011 10:35 AM
    Where to buy stainless steel countertops


    I saw your comments on Stainless Steele Kitchen counter tops – can you give me some

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  • s as to where I can get this done.

    ======

    Hi Thabied,
    For stainless steel countertops to be installed you will need to get in touch with a catering supply company that specialises in this. If you plan to do-it-yourself, I can recommend Metals Centre for supply and cutting.

    Janice
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    Susan
    Monday, October 17, 2011 8:28 PM
    How to paint over painted tiles


    I have previously (2years ago) painted my kitchen tiles with Plascon Velvaglo paint which has worked very well but... it looks painted. Can I now re-paint over these painted tiles with Rust-Oleum Speciality Tub & Tile Refreshing kit?

    Your feedback would be appreciated.
    ======

    Hi Susan,
    That's probably the one disadvantage of painting tiles - the fact that they are painted. Rust-Oleum Tub & Tile is an excellent product. Not a paint, it's a 2-part epoxy that is very durable. Another alternative, seeing as the tiles are already painted would be to use one of the Rust-Oleum Gloss Enamel sprays.

    If I can give you a bit of advice. What you might consider, if not already, is to not paint over the grout. I use thin automotive tape to cover the grout and this does lend a more authentic look to the finish. If you previously painted over the grout, perhaps remove a small layer and re-apply before painting the tiles again. I recently did an article for Easy DIY magazine on this, using a Dremel MultiTool and Grout Removal attachment.

    Janice
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    Dominique
    Monday, October 17, 2011 6:39 PM
    Adding a ceiling to a wendy house


    Hi!
    I have just bought myself a large 6x6m wendy house which I am converting into a little home for myself. I have padded insulation but would like to put a ceiling in to create a neater look and to keep the insulation in place. I have thought of using 6mm supawood in strips and just screwing it into the rafters and giving it a nice coat of paint. Do you think Supawood would work for this purpose?

    Thank you for your time!
    ======

    Hi Dominique,
    You could use 6mm supawood for covering the ceiling and then paint. But also find out if you local store stocks cement fibre board, as this might work out substantially cheaper and it can still be painted.

    Janice
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    Kuben
    Friday, October 14, 2011 10:08 AM
    Is supawood poisonous?


    Hi Janice,
    1. I am currently making a cabinet out of Supawood. I have been reading on the internet that this is quite a hazardous material.
    2. What paints do I use that will not affect the chemical used to make Supawood?
    3. Also what is the steps in preparing to spray, I want a high gloss finish.
    4. A saleman gave me Plascon Plaster Primer (Oil Based exterior) for priming boards, is this correct?

    Thanks
    Kuben
    ======

    Hi Kuben,
    SupaWood is only hazardous if you don't wear a dust mask when sanding, but it's always sensible to do this when sanding any timber or board.

    Here are some tips on painting SupaWood, and you can use any type of paint. If you want to spray, first apply an acrylic basecoat - not sure why the heck he gave you plaster primer! - to seal the surface, lightly sand and then spray with Rust-Oleum Gloss in your choice of colour. Here are some spraying tips for you.

    Janice
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    Gary
    Thursday, October 13, 2011 12:46 PM
    What do I use to treat bamboo poles?


    What can one use to treat bamboo poles
    ======

    Hi Gary,
    You shouldn't actually need to treat bamboo poles, they are fairly weather resistant on their own. However, if you want them to retain shine and prevent ageing, treat as for wood and use a Woodoc 10 interior or Woodoc 30 exterior sealer.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Patricia
    Thursday, October 13, 2011 4:24 AM
    Subject: Budget Bathrooms


    I was really inspired by your article of budget bathrooms in the Get It Magazine Joburg West. My main bedroom is attached to a single garage, so we would like to convert that garage into our own en suite. I would like to know if there is a book for different designs or maybe I must find someone to come and design it for us.

    Thank you.
    ======

    Hi Patricia,

    If you have access to the Internet you will find far more ideas and inspiration online than you will in a single book. You will also be able to search for a particular style and get plenty of information on how to proceed, etc. We have quite a bit of information in our Bathroom section, and here's a link to some bathroom ideas on Google. You can also try: designer bathroom, bathroom ideas, bathroom layouts, etc.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Thandi
    Wednesday, October 12, 2011 8:30 PM
    Subject: Cracked wall


    Hi there,
    I am looking for a qualified expert or engineer to evaluate a crack in a property we may purchase. The crack is situated in an upstairs wall, with no cracking having occurred/noted on the downstairs wall (same wall). The crack seems to be 3-5mm wide, starting at the ceiling and tapering down (is about 1m long); the crack is vertical and slightly diagonal in nature (it not situated near a door or a window). We would like to understand the origins/ causes for this crack (is it simply the house settling, damp/temperature changes, etc) or whether it is a structural crack and what the best form of treatment would be.

    I would sincerely appreciate advise and help with this.
    Thandi
    ======

    Hi Thandi,
    This crack does sound like a settling crack, where one side of the property has settle ever so slightly lower. Because the crack is working down rather than up - that's good, as it's not going to do much harm and means that the foundations are still firm. Ask to check in the ceiling space to see where the crack starts. It might just be a case of chipping out and filling up to fix this problem.

    However, it's always good to get a professional opinion from a structural engineer - Google one in your location.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Virginia
    Wednesday, October 12, 2011 1:49 PM
    How to repair fibreglass bath tub


    Please help. I have a bath with a small crack in it and want to know if you perhaps have a product that I can use to fix it. I also want to change the colour of the tiles, walls, basin, bath and toilet It’s a fiberglass bath and the crack is about 15mm from the plug/drain on the right-bottom side.

    Thanking you in advance.
    Kind regards,
    Virginia
    ======

    Hi Virginia,
    It isn't easy to repair an acrylic fibreglass bath. You need to sand down roughly and then apply a fibreglass patch that has to be smooth on to match.

    You will find instructions here on painting sanitaryware and tiles.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Maggie
    Monday, October 10, 2011 4:17 PM
    Where to buy quick set cement


    I would like to know what type of cement the quick set cement mix. The type used to make the cement planters. Where do I buy it/ brand. Could I also use it in making stepping stones.

    Thanks
    ======

    Hi Maggie,
    You can buy FixIt Quick Set Cement at your local Builders Warehouse. It comes in a 1kg and 2kg sizes and sets rock hard in 10 minutes. You can definitely also use it for stepping stones. There is a nice stepping stone project in the attached issue.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Cindy
    Sunday, October 09, 2011 1:02 PM
    Smooth textured walls


    We are moving into an old house that has roughly plastered walls. We like smooth walls and want to fix this. What is the best option for a proper finish? Do we take off the paint and plaster them over or can we use rhinolite? We want to do it right the first time and not have problems later.

    Thank you
    ======

    Hi Cindy,
    You will find the easiest option will be to plaster over the texture. Any other methods will be extremely messy and a lot of elbow grease for the same result.

    Rhinolite is not recommend for general plastering. It is extremely absorbent and sucks up the slightest bit of moisture, including that in paint.

    Rather use Polycell Finishing Plaster that you can purchase at your local Builders Warehouse, or mix your own cement/sand plaster. A light sanding will be required for the former, but the latter can be applied over painted walls.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Satish
    Wednesday, October 05, 2011 9:18 PM
    How to clean and keep grout white


    I am going crazy cleaning the browning reddish blackish marks on the white grout in between glass blocks shower,The combination of C L R white vinegar and bleach cleans it but the fumes are killing me.Please help.

    ======

    Hi Satish,
    I recently completed an article for our local Easy DIY magazine on removing a thin layer of grout with a Dremel Rotary Tool and Grout Removal attachment - both available at your local Builders Warehouse. You only need to remove 3 to 4mm of grout and this allows you to reapply new grout, which is then sealed with grout sealer to prevent future stains.

    Bear in mind that you only have to do this once if you use grout sealer.

    Another option, albeit a lengthy process, would be to paint the grout with ceiling paint and then apply a water-based polyurethane sealer over the top.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Rozanna
    03 October 2011 10:35 AM
    Easy and affordable solution for windows


    Hi Janice,
    In my almost completed home, at the coast, the windows are far too numerous to do rails and curtains with my current budget so my idea is to make ‘blinds’ which I will Velcro to the window frame and a cord to draw it up. But then I saw a picture on your site and this would look smarter but I would still like to keep the workings of the opening and closing VERY simple and I think this is a sewn on rufflette down the sides of the curtain with a drawstring that pulls the curtain up on the sides. As I shall be letting the home to holiday makers, I would prefer not to have ‘working’ cords as they are easily broken and by having Velcro on the curtain and the window frame, the curtains can be removed and washed regularly.

    Is there a really easy way for me to construct the blinds as in this picture?

    Hoping to hear from you
    Many thanks for your inspirational mails
    Rozanna


    ======

    Hi Rozanna,
    I think the blinds in the blue and white room will look lovely. The style shown in the pic is a faux Austrian shade and you can easily make up the blinds on a thin batten, apply Velcro to the batten and top of window frame, and stick up. To create the ruffle, use a basting stitch down both sides of the fabric and then pull the ends until you are happy with the look. Bear in mind that these blinds remain half-down all the time - they cannot be raised or lowered. If you want to raise and lower then consider a Roman blind.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Michelle
    Thursday, September 29, 2011 3:16 PM
    Ideas for Shower walls


    We have a slow water leak behind the tiles in our en-suite bathroom shower and going to have to remove the tiles. We bought the house a year ago. The tiles are blue and we know we won't be able to find the exact same tiles to match them. We can't afford to re-tile the whole bathroom or shower.

    Is there anything else you can suggest we can do inside the shower area after we've fixed the leak? I mean is there a waterproof paint we can use on the walls or something?

    Please let me know,
    Many Thanks,
    Michelle
    ======

    Hi Michelle,
    Why don't you consider using mosiac tiles to create a design where the tiles will be removed. You can buy these for around R40 per sheet. This will probably be the easiest and most affordable method to fill the gap.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Bulelwa
    Wednesday, September 28, 2011 8:54 AM
    Seamless ceiling


    I do have another question for you. I have plaster board ceiling that has joins. I'd like to remove the joins and create a seamless ceiling. Someone advised me to buy the tape used to join drywall the plaster over the join.

    Thank you in advance.
    Bulelwa
    ======

    Hi Bulelwa,
    Easier said than done. It's a specialist craft to be able to get that perfectly plastered ceiling - and many have failed. You'll need an expert to do this, or someone who can guarantee their work. Don't pay for it until it's done and you are happy. Alternatively, think about installing a stretch ceiling.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Elsie
    Tuesday, September 27, 2011 2:27 PM
    What flooring for entire home?


    I just bought a house with 3 different types of flooring, the kitchen and bathroom is tiles, the livingroom is wooden and the bedrooms are carpeted.My preferance is same colour tiles the hole house or wooden floors, 1st question is can i put wooden floors in the bathroom if so wat type/options are available. 2nd how can i redo the whole house with the same type of flooring without spending too much?

    Regards
    Elsie
    ======

    Hi Elsie,
    If you are looking at laying laminate floors throughout the house it is going to be quite expensive. However, you could do it room-by-room as and when you can afford it. The only problem is that laminate floor is not recommended for a bathroom. I have recently put down bamboo flooring, which also comes in a laminate-size plank and is very easy to lay, so you could consider this option instead of laminate flooring. Bamboo is not the same as laminate flooring, it is a solid sheet of bamboo that is extremely hard-wearing and durable.

    Alternatively, you could be looking at tiling throughout the house.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Rohinee
    Monday, September 26, 2011 8:53 AM
    Plastic over leather suite



    Dear Janice
    I recently bought a two seater leather couch and will like to have it covered in a plastic protective layer. I have seen this at drs rooms. Can this be done on leather? Can it be safely removed at a later stage? Where can this be done?

    Regards
    Rohinee
    ======

    Hi Rohinee,
    For this type of project you will need to get in touch with a company that specialises in furniture upholstery. However, if you regularly maintain the leather sofa it shouldn't need to be covered in plastic, which will make it very uncomfortable to sit on.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Chris
    Monday, September 26, 2011 5:47 PM
    How to paint a stained ceramic bath tub


    Some help please, I have an old ceramic bath that has seen better days, it has this permanent brown stain around it and I was wondering if you can help me find a DIY re-enamel product please.

    Thanks
    Chris
    ======

    Hi Chris,
    The easiest solution is to grab yourself a Rust-Oleum Tub & Tile Refinishing Kit. This is not standard paint, but a 2-part epoxy paint that cures to a rock hard finish.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Bulelwa
    Friday, September 23, 2011 1:59 PM
    How to lay plywood floor


    Hi Janice, I have some questions for you regarding using plywood as flooring. Am interested and exploring this option as flooring for an outside room. The room has concrete as flooring at the moment, in your article, you mentioned that any strong

  • CONTACT
  • adhesive would work. Is there a particular adhesive you would recommend? Now I'm worried about taking the floor out if there's ever a need, would this not be difficult? How would I prepare the concrete floor for installation? Just as sweep and mop? When I get to the door, what can I put at the end of the flooring as the door leads directly outside?

    Thank you in advance.
    Buli
    ======

    Hi Bulelwa,
    Before putting down the floor you need to install a moisture barrier. You should be able to buy this at any reputable hardware store. It is a soft, plastic membrane that stops moisture rising through the cement and into the wood. You don't necessarily have to use glue to fasten the wood down, in fact I suggest that you don't for this project. Simply have the plywood cut to size and lay over the membrane. Leave a 5mm gap around the perimeter edges and install skirtings to help hold the floor in place. Where the floor ends at the door you are obviously going to have a slight step. You can purchase aluminium tracking that is used at the end of tiles to finish off the edge.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Bulelwa
    Tuesday, September 28, 2011 10:23 PM
    Starting my own business


    I am an avid Home-dzine follower. I love your projects and have been using your advise on DIY projects. Friend have seen some of the projects I have made with your help and have asked me to make the items for them. I have an idea of starting a business making some of your projects and selling them to friends. However I would like to know whether I have permission to do so.

    Thank you
    Bulelwa
    ======

    Hi Bulelwa,

    You are more than welcome to use any of the projects we feature on the site and I wish you well in starting up a business. I really do believe that there is a lot of potential in South Africa for anyone wanting to start up a home-based business, whether it is making crafts or furniture. Good luck and let me know how it goes. You are welcome to drop me a line if you need any help.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Rouchelle
    Wednesday, September 21, 2011 4:52 PM
    Advice on painting interior and exterior


    Dear Janice
    Thank you for a great magazine and website! We want to embark on a painting job - interior and exterior walls.

    Questions:
    (1) Exterior walls- I visited the prominent paint website, but am overwhelmed by the variety. We like the "tuscan effect". We have quite a large area to cover as the previous owner painted everything pink (including the vibacrete in the front and at the back of the house). We therefore want a product which is cost effective (not the most expensive range), but we also do not want compromise on the quality. It needs to last us a couple of years.

    (2) Interior walls - Last year we had our interior walls smoothed by applying cretestone to get rid of the rough sandy textured walls (we bought an old house). The walls now have a very natural beige earthy look (which we like), but at some places white marks (almost like stains) are visible. We decided to paint the walls. Do we first need to apply something over the cretestone before we can paint or what do you recommend?

    Many thanks,
    Rouchelle
    ======

    Hi Rouchelle,
    We have done plenty of interior and exterior painting projects with Prominent Paints, and all have been - and still remain - a success. The key is in the preparation. I have attached the two projects that we did last year, that will help you get started on your exterior painting project.

    Having previously used their Textured paint range, the coverage on this product is very high and should provide good coverage over the existing pink. Apply with a paintbrush around the edges and a medium-nap roller over the walls for best finish. If the walls are already fairly bumpy, you could use a long-nap roller.

    For the interior walls; it's sounds as though you have some effloresence going on with the cretestone. This is a common problem and is caused by mineral salts in the cement. For this reason I would recommend that you use Prominent Plaster Primer as a preventative measure. Use a scrubbing brush on the white areas to remove as much mineral salts as possible before priming and then finish off with either Prominent Premium Matt, Satin or Sheen, depending on the finish that you want. Matt is obviously a flat paint and best for areas that do not need regular cleaning.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Therena
    Tuesday, September 20, 2011 8:06 AM
    How to repair an ottoman


    I have a pleather ottoman where all four corners were chewed off by my dog. I now wish to reupholster this but make it more a bench with sponge on top and piping on the side and then place this in my bedroom. How do I go about doing this.

    ======

    Hi Therena,
    What a shame that it has been so badly chewed. It should be easy enough to fix and modify as you want. Start by removing the old pleather by pulling out the staples. You may need to remove the feet if you can, but if not remove as much fabric around them as possible.

    Purchase 4 metres of pleather in your choice of colour. The length is fine but you will need to cut the width of the pleather to 80cm wide. Use a staple gun to fasten one end of the fabric to one side edge of the ottoman and then wrap the fabric around until it overlaps where you started. Fold under and staple in the same place.

    Tuck the pleather under the bottom and over the top, creating nice square corners and then stapling to the bottom and top. Cut a small piece of medium-thick batting to the size of the top, as well as a piece of pleather that is 4 cm bigger than the size of the top. Place the batting and pleather on the top, fold under the edges of the pleather so that it is neat and straight, and staple down to the top. The staples can easily by hidden by gluing on a piece of nylon strapping.

    Have a piece of foam cut to the size of the ottoman and cover this with pleather. Sew all the panels together to cover the foam.





    Janice
    ======

     

    Elma
    Monday, September 19, 2011 2:54 PM
    How do I remove soap scrum and hard water marks


    How do I clean soap scum and hard water marks from raw slasto tiles. I have black tile on my bathroom walls and it is now stained white.

    ======

    Hi Elma,
    The natural home remedy for soap scum and hard water or limescale is to use vinegar and a soft scrubber.

    Where stains have built into a thick layer, you can use a scraper that removes paint from glass to chip away as much as possible and then use the vinegar. An old toothbrush or scrubbing brush is best and you may have to do it a couple of times.



    Janice
    ======

     

    Beatris
    Monday, September 19, 2011 2:12 PM
    Most affordable place to buy melamine



    Hi
    I am looking for cheap white melamine sheets to make buily-in cupboards. I need the boards to be cut to size as well. All other places I have gone to are so expensive and I am trying to do some kitchen cupboards but on a very small budget.
    ======

    Hi Beatris,
    Depending on your location, the cheapest place to purchase laminate is at www.citiwood.co.za. Visit their website to find the closest branch to you.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Maggi
    Monday, September 19, 2011 8:43 AM
    Building with glass bricks


    Dear Sir/Madam,
    Kindly advice where I can get more info about the technique of building with glass bricks. Surfing the net, it seems possible to DIY. Can you confirm.

    Thank you
    Kind regards
    Maggi
    ======

    Hi Maggi,
    Having done several projects with glass bricks I can confirm that it is fairly easy - hard work, but not that difficult.

    I recently posted an article on the website that offer advice on building with glass bricks/blocks:

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

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

    Janice
    ======

     

    Carlo
    Sunday, September 18, 2011 2:11 PM
    Painting a cot


    My toddler is moving into a bed and i would like to refurb his cot for future use. It is the standard white which you get in the stores. How do i go about repainting it and what paint should i use. Any ideas of where to get the paint too will help.

    Regards
    ======

    Hi Carlo,

    The easiest way to refurbish a cot is to sand it down lightly with 120-grit sandpaper and follow this with 180- or 220-grit sandpaper. I prefer to use Prominent Paints - Premium or Ultra Sheen - for these type of projects, especially as the paint is low VOC and therefore better for children's furniture. Plus, the sheen is extremely durable and washable.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Cindi
    Saturday, September 17, 2011 6:26 PM
    How do I get rid of white stains on tile

    Hi
    I have a slate shower. When it was first installed I put a sealer on it. Well I guess it was the wrong one and didn't like water on it because it created a whitish looking film that actually looks like soap scum build up. I could get it off so we just kept using the shower that way. I have tried lots of things to get it off but to no avail including vinegar, lime away, lots of elbow grease with a brush, cleaners, soaps etc. If you have any tips I would sure appreciate it. thanks

    cindi
    ======

    Hi Cindi,

    You could be experiencing 'effloresence' or mineral salts that are leaching through the slate from the wall/adhesive behind. There are ways to get rid of this but it will eventually disappear on its own.

    If you are extremely desperate, muriatic acid is one way to reduce the occurence of effloresence, but bear in mind that this is an acid and not recommended or suggested. The stuff is downright dangerous and not something you want to mess around with in a confined shower space.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Phethile
    Friday, September 16, 2011 9:10 AM
    What colour for a kitchen splashback


    Hi Janice
    I have cherry kitchen cupboards and almost cherry tile splashback, I want to paint the tile splashback since it looks dark and dull. What colour can you recommend and any other advice can you suggest. I also like glass splashbacks. There is no other colour in the kitchen except the worktops are black and light wooden floor. I'm not sure about color but I want something that will lighten the kitchen and create a wow factor with contemporary style.

    Regards
    Phethile
    ======

    Hi Phethile,
    You can paint over the tiles on the splashback but I wouldn't recommend it. This is one area that gets constantly splashed with oil and cooking and paint will not be durable enough to take the constant cleaning and scrubbing. The best option would be to remove and replace the tiles, or one of the alternatives below.

    I know that CitiWood have a laminate that looks like brushed aluminium - it's absolutely gorgeous and would be perfect for fitting over the existing splashback. If you cut to size you can glue in place with

  • CONTACT
  • adhesive. This would be very contemporary and look stunning with the black countertops.

    You could mount a glass splashback over the existing tiles by having holes pre-drilled so that you can mount through the tiles and into the wall.

    Builders Warehouse have a range of metallic mosaic sheets that could be applied over the existing tiles, as long as the tiles are in good condition. Sand the surface of the existing tiles with 120-grit sandpaper to de-gloss before putting on the new tiles.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Neevashnee
    Wednesday, September 07, 2011 10:42 AM
    Want to fill in my swimming pool


    Good day
    I trust that you’re well. We have a huge swimming pool in our yard which we do not use and wish to cover up. Is there anyone who offers such a service?

    Kind regards
    Neevashnee
    ======

    Hi Neevashnee,
    I would imagine that this is not the type of projects that are done regularly - most people want a swimming pool installed.

    The most difficult problem is finding something to put into the pool to fill it up. Your best bet might be to get in touch with construction companies in your area who might be able to offer advice.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Roy
    Wednesday, September 07, 2011 9:02 AM
    Smelly carpet problem solved


    Hi there
    Just to let you know that I followed the advice in your newsletter about sprinkling baking soda on the carpet. One of our dogs is getting old in the tooth and had a mishap and we were unable to get rid of the smell. It worked!

    Thank you
    Roy
    ======

     

    Angelique
    Tuesday, September 06, 2011 12:52 PM
    Restore a rusty patio door


    Hi there,
    I have a old metal framed double glass door that leads out to my garden that needs to either be restored (or replaced). I'd rather try to restore and neaten it up a little before going through the expense of replacing a patio door. How would I go about restoring it? The putty is crumbled and the frame is a little rusted.

    Thanks for the wonderful September issue of DIY Diva, so inspirational.
    Have a wonderful day!
    Angelique
    ======

    Hi Angelique,
    As long as the metal frame is not eaten through by rust it should be easy enough to restore.

    Sanding the door
    You need to start off by removing all the old paint and getting rid of the rust.

    I would sand down the entire frame with 60- or 80-grit sandpaper and then follow this with 120-grit sandpaper.

    Rust-Oleum have a Rust Stripper that you can apply to the rusted areas. This works extremely well and will stop any rust from spreading. You will find the product at your local Builders Warehouse. Apply according to the instructions.

    Remove and replace putty
    Use a paint scraper or putty knife to remove all the loose putty. Sand with 120-grit sandpaper and then re-apply new putty. You will need to allow this to dry for a couple of days.

    Give the door a final sanding with 180-grit sandpaper so that it is ready for painting.

    Painting the door
    Prime the frame with steel primer. You can use enamel paint or you can use Rust-Oleum spray enamel to paint the door. If

    See the following articles on Home-Dzine:
    http://www.home-dzine.co.za/diy/maintain-replace-broken-window.htm
    http://www.home-dzine.co.za/diy/diy-window-pane.htm

    Janice
    ======

     

    Missy
    Monday, September 05, 2011 12:35 PM
    Excellent advice for mould


    Just to let you know that I followed your tips for mould in my bathroom. I used warm water and jik and then wiped over with tea tree oil. The mould in the shower has not come back. Thank you ever so much for your good advice.

    Regards
    ======

     

    Sharnee
    Monday, September 05, 2011 9:11 AM
    Article on plywood flooring


    Hi Janice
    Firstly congratulations on an absolutely fantastic website - I am blown away by all the various things you have on the site. You have inspired me to greatness!

    I refer to your article on plywood flooring and want to know if this would be suitable for a covered patio. At the moment it is bare concrete and we have been trying to decide what to do - the plywood floor looks perfect. Can we use it?

    Keep up the good work!
    Sharnee
    ======

    Hi Sharnee,
    Thank you! If you are going to be putting the plywood floor in an area exposed to the elements, I would recommend that you use marine ply, which is unfortunately more expensive but the best choice for outdoors. If the concrete slab is in good condition, lay a moisture barrier between the concrete and the plywood before laying. I would recommend that you seal with Woodoc 30, 50 or 55, the latter if you live at the coast.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Boipelo
    Thursday, September 01, 2011 8:54 AM
    Making a vegie planter box


    Hi,
    We recently bought a house with a very spacious yard, problem is its mostly paved. I want to grow vegies and got an idea on the web to build a large planter box instead of removing someof the paving. Can you advise on how deep it needs to be (for spinach, onions, carrots and herbs) and which cheap but safe wod can i use in the construction.

    I love your website and all the good ideas i've picked up from you. I told my husband that i dont htink i will ever buy furniture again.

    Kind regards,
    Boipelo
    ======

    Hi Boipelo,
    It's so great to hear from our ladies that they will never have to buy furniture again! In the near future I will be showing you how to make a designer sofa, so keep an eye out.

    For the planter boxes you can use 16 or 18mm shutterply. It's actually quite cheap at around R250 per large sheet, and they can cut it to size for you.

    Make the planter at least 800mm high, to allow for onions and carrots.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Themba
    Tuesday, August 30, 2011 7:09 PM
    Can I tile over tiles?


    How do I cover up the tile walls without taking them down - as well as floor tiles

    ======

    Hi Themba,
    I do know of people who have applied tile over tiles, but I personally would not recommend this, as it would be too heavy and could fall off over time.

    You can apply 6mm plywood sheets over the tiles and drill through the tiles to fasten to the wall, and use 12mm plywood on floors, again fastening to the floor, but you would still need something over this that looks good. At the end of the day you will probably spend more than you would to remove the tiles and re-plaster, or apply new tiles.

    You could consider painting the tiles in a different colour and applying vinyl flooring over the plywood layer over the floor tiles. This would probably be most cost effective if you are desperate to hide the tiles.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Carol
    Tuesday, August 30, 2011 5:51 PM
    What to do with a dark passage in garden


    My neighbour is building a garage on the boundary so I have a long dark passage between our two garages

    What can I do to make this area presentable – I think it will even have too much shade to grow plants and the area will be accessed by the painter whenever the wall needs painting. I don’t think plants are a good idea. Maybe stones and an urn

    Thank you
    Carol
    ======

    Hi Carol,
    I like your idea of using stones and an urn, or a small waterfeature - a secret place to walk along. If you use white, or light-coloured stones it will brighten the space a bit, and you could add some shade loving plants here and there for a bit of colour.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Jay
    Tuesday, August 30, 2011 4:29 PM
    How to remove glue from kitchen cabinets


    Hi Janice
    I have a white kitchen with old wooden handles on the cupboards. I have replaced most of the handles that were screwed on with nice stainless steel handles to give it a more modern look. There are a few that are glued on, which I have now removed but I have a horrible yellow glue residue on the cupboards.

    I have tried to remove it with Turpentine, Thinners and Acetone with not much success!!! What else should I try (apart from elbow grease?) ?

    Kind regards
    Jay
    ======

    Hi Jay,
    If you've already tried acetone, there is one last option and that is to use Genkem Bitumen and Glue Remover (available at Builders Warehouse). If that doesn't work you may have to consider lightly sanding the surface with 180- or 220-grit sandpaper and then spraying with Rust-Oleum Gloss Enamel in flat, Satin or Gloss white.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Lauren
    Monday, August 29, 2011 12:15 PM
    Can I tile over formica


    Hi there, is it possible to tile directly onto a Formica countertop? If so how would I prepare the surface for tiling, as well as sealing and waterproofing it?

    Thanks
    Lauren
    ======

    Hi Lauren,
    There shouldn't be any problem tiling the countertop if you use No More Nails as the base adhesive, rather than tile adhesive. The reason for this is that tile adhesive does not bond well with Formica, but No More Nails does. You then apply grout as usual and you can use a Grout Sealer (available at your local Builders Warehouse) to protect and provide a moisture barrier.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Sam
    Monday, August 29, 2011 1:15 PM
    How to clean the cords on wooden blinds


    Hi Janice,
    I've got white wooden blinds in my two bedrooms. With the August dust the last couple of days, I noticed that the white string linked to the blind is dirty. Is there anything I can use to keep the string bright and clean?

    Many Thanks
    Sam
    ======

    Hi Sam,
    Unfortunately, if the blinds are wood, there isn't very much that you can do. I have aluminium blinds and soak them in the bathtub when they get grubby, but you can't do that with the wooden ones. If you have the patience you could try using takkie whitener on them by rolling them up and loosening the cords at the top.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Heather
    Friday, August 26, 2011 12:47 PM
    Where to buy self-adhesive vinyl with steam pattern


    Good day, in one of your articles you demonstrated how to get the frosted glass effect on a sliding door for privacy by using

  • CONTACT
  • self adhesive vinyl(steam effect). I would like to know where I can buy this vinyl. Iv'e already tried Builders Warehouse in Parow and apparently it has been dicontinued. Somewhere else you can refer me to, please?

    Thank you so much
    ======

    Hi Heather,
    I would suggest that you get in touch with www.Gordons.co.za, the local manufacturer for the product. They should be able to advise a local store that stock their products.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Sanjay
    Wednesday, August 24, 2011 09:30 PM
    Smooth finish on rhinolite


    Hi, thanks for your help n I am stuck at this point, the wall also has a wavey feel, so this could also help if they sandpaper it down. I like so uncertain if the sand paper will actual help, they was a existing wall which they just put primer on and rhino lite and it came out really bad, can send you other photos so. That you can see what I mean

    Regards
    Sanjay
    ======

    Hi Sanjay,
    You have to be very carefull as the Rhinolite is not very thick. The "waviness" should have been attended to while the Rhinolite was still wet and when they were "floating" or smoothing the surface. If it's possible, I would get the guys back to finish the job properly.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Sanjay
    Wednesday, August 24, 2011 8:51 AM
    Finish on rhinolite


    Hi, I just need some advice as I recently done some renovations and the rhino lite applied was not 100%. There are areas where it’s rough or smooth and like water marks, can this problem be patched up by sand papering the area or some other matter. Or do we have to redo the rhino lite?

    Regards
    Sanjay
    ======

    Hi Sanjay,
    There are too many contractors out there that claim to be able to apply Rhinolite, but the sad truth is that many can - but not for a perfect finish.

    You can use sandpaper to smooth down - I would recommend that you use a very fine paper (180- or 220-grit) and that you use an orbital or random orbit sander for the best results.

    Any water marks will disappear once painted over, bearing in mind that it is best to use a plaster primer before painting.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Colien
    Wednesday, August 24, 2011 4:24 PM
    Where can I buy roller wall


    Hi there
    Where can I purchase the Roller wall roller? I saw in your online home-dzine catalogue that it’s exclusive to home-dzine, so I went onto you website but can’t seem to find where to purchase the roller. Please advise.

    Thanx
    Colien
    ======

    Hi Colien,
    Thank you for your email. You can buy the roller wall kits directly from: http://www.rollerwall.com. Several readers have purchased and are extremely happy with the results and they ship directly to you.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Ann
    Tuesday, August 23, 2011 1:06 PM
    Stain on coffee table


    I have a big water stain on my oak coffee table as a result of a potplant where the water seeped through and i did not notice it immediately. How can it be removed to restore my coffee table? I have since removed the potplant. Your help will be appreciated.

    Regards Ann
    ======

    Hi Ann,
    Thank you for your email. Since the water has now been absorbed into the fibres of the wood there are a couple of options that you could try.

    1. Use mineral turpentine and woodoc steel wool to go over the surface of the wood a couple of time.

    2. If that doesn't work you may have to use a sander and 120-grit followed by 220-grit sanding pads on the surface.

    If the stain is black it could mean that rot has already set in. The black is caused by a fungus. You can buy Woodoc wood reviver and apply this according to the instructions.

    After the above you are going to need to finish off the table again. For a natural finish you can use Woodoc antique wax, but a more recommended option is to apply Woodoc 5 or 10 interior sealer for added protection and to ensure that this never happens again.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Nadia
    Wednesday, August 17, 2011 11:14 PM
    How to paint a formica tv unit


    Hi Diya diva,
    We just bought a new home and renovations have begun. I have a Formica tv unit which is oak in colour I want to save on costs and paint it black to match my decor. Can this be painted over? if so which paint do I use?

    Kind regards
    Ps.I love the Home Dzine site
    ======

    Hi Nadia,
    There is an article on the website http://www.home-dzine.co.za/crafts/craft-reader4.htm that shows how a reader transformed a melamine bookcase.

    Another alternative is to lightly sand the TV unit to de-gloss the surface and then use Rust-Oleum 2X spray paint to change the colour. They have black in matt, semi- and gloss and I personally prefer this method, as the finish is perfect. You can buy Rust-Oleum at your local Builders Warehouse.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Sanet
    Wednesday, August 17, 2011 10:56 AM
    How to do a paint technique


    Morning,
    What paint technique did you use to get the stripe paint effect on the wall on the attached picture.

    Regards
    Sanet
    ======

    Hi Sanet,
    The method you refer to use a dry brushing technique. I used masking tape and newspaper to block off the rectangle and then dry brushed the area with short brush strokes using a wide brush. The trick is to use apply the paint with different strokes. Dip the brush into the paint and rub onto newspaper to remove a lot of the paint and then apply.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Ansuya
    Tuesday, August 16, 2011 2:16 PM
    How do I add a face plate onto an electrical outlet - plug socket


    I want to add a faceplate onto the electrical outlet. There are black, red and copper cables in the socket! When I moved into my house there was no actual oulet there!

    ======

    Hi Ansuya,
    If you are simply placing a new cover over the outlet box all you have to do is:

    Switch off the power at the main Distribution Board
    Have a new cover plate handy - you can buy at your local Builders Warehouse
    Attach the red and black wires to the back of the new cover plate. Black is neutral [N] and Red is live [L].
    Screw the wires tightly in the sockets on the back of the cover plate. Make sure they are not loose and that the red and black wires do not come close to each other.
    If the copper wire is not attached to the outlet box you should ensure that it is fastened either to the box or to the back of the plug.
    Screw the cover onto the outlet box
    Switch on the power

    If you are in any way uncertain, ask a qualified electrician to do the job for you.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Shirlene
    Wednesday, August 10, 2011 12:07 PM
    Repairing built in cupboards


    Hi there,
    Hope you can assist me. Our built in cupboard doors are looking very tired. I was hoping to be able to strip off, not sure if it is melamine on the doors and paint them. On the one door is is already starting to "chip off". It looks like they are chipboard. If one can paint them, how do we go about it. Hopefully we can remove all the melamine/wrap.

    1. Do we have to prepare the chipboard, sanding etc.
    2. Do we have to seal it before painting
    3. What type of paint can we use


    Your assistance will be gratefully appreciated.

    Kind regards
    Shirlene
    ======

    Hi Shirlene,
    Not a good idea to remove the laminate layer as the chipboard underneath is pretty ugly. It's impossible to sand. What I would recommend is that you buy new edging from your local hardware store - it comes as iron-on or you can use

  • CONTACT
  • adhesive to apply. Remove all the old edging and apply new edging. If there are any chips on the front/back of the door, you can purchase Alcolin RepairItQuik, which is an epoxy-putty that is mixed together and then applied to fill cracks and gaps and will work perfectly to fill any chips in the door. Just before it is almost hard, sand with 120- and then 220-grit sandpaper for a smooth finish.

    If you can remove the doors (?) there is no better product that Rust-Oleum 2X spray paint, but this has to be done outdoors or in a well-ventilated space. Alternatively, Prominent Paints Sheen is a water-based acrylic that is fairly scrubbable.

    Before applying paint sand the surface of the doors with 180-grit sandpaper to provide a better bonding surface, wipe clean and then apply the paint. If you are using acrylic, use a foam roller for a brush-stroke free finish.

    All products, with the exception of Prominent Paints, are available at your local Builders Warehouse.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Shahista
    Monday, August 08, 2011 12:23 PM
    Decorating ideas for a rented flat


    Im renting in an open plan bachelor flat. How do I achieve privacy for my bedroom?

    ======

    Hi Shahista,
    Single-room living is always difficult, especially with the bedroom included in the same area.

    To add more privacy to the bedroom you could consider using panel screens - easy to make and very affordable if you do - that are either solid panels, or have fabric panels for a softer look. You will also find instructions of making a screen in the November 2010 issue of Home-Dzine Online magazine.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Leonor
    Monday, August 08, 2011 9:34 AM
    Can I paint built in cupboards?


    Hi there
    I had built-in cupboard built in my bedrooms. But now, 5 years later, I notice that the paint spray job was really badly done. The cupboard doors don't appear to have the same number of coats as some are white and some are not. I am considering respraying or painting them myself as it's quite expensive to get them sprayed. I understand that if I paint them I should use a sponge roller.

    Could you please advise what undercoat I should use and which paint. I had considered using Plascon Velvaglo but am not sure if this is OK.

    Please advise. Thanks so much for your website - love reading it.

    Regards
    Leonor
    ======

    Hi Leonor,
    Before you think about spraying, especially over an already very mismatched surface, I would give all the doors a sanding with 120- and then 180-grit sandpaper. You can buy an Orbital Sander for around R300 at your local Builders Warehouse and it will be worth the investment if there are lots of doors that need to be done.

    You don't need to remove ALL the paint, just enough to provide a nice flat (non-shiny) surface that is nice and smooth and ready to be painted. You can use a foam roller and Plascon Velvaglo, but today's acrylic sheen paints (see Prominent Paints) are just as washable and are water-based, which means that cleaning up is easier.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Marizaan
    Sunday, August 07, 2011 8:07 PM
    How to whitewash pine walls


    Hi
    How do I do a whitewash on pine walls? I have a log cabin but the knotty pine wood look inside is a bit too much for me. I would like to do a beach theme. How do I do it?

    ======

    Hi Marizaan,
    There is an article on the Home-Dzine website that discusses painting of pine panelling and also how to do whitewashing. By using both these articles you will easily be able to paint the walls in your log cabin. You can also try our recipe for milk paint if you want to stay eco-friendly.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Ruth
    Tuesday, July 26, 2011 1:57 PM
    Dremel tools


    Good day, just enquiring if the Dremel has a scroll saw or jigsaw system.

    Look forward to hearing from you

    Ruth
    ======

    Hi Ruth,
    Dremel have recently launched an amazing tool - the Dremel Trio - that is a 3-in-1 tool that may interest you. It cuts, sands and routs all in one tool.

    We have used it at our www.DIY-Divas.co.za workshops and the ladies have loved it.

    You will find the Dremel Trio at your local Builders Warehouse.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Leila
    Monday, July 25, 2011 11:57 AM
    Ideas for old table legs


    Good morning
    I would like to know if I can get some advice on how to make a bedside pedestal with old legs(have attached a picture) could i make it into a victorian look?



    Thank you
    Leila
    ======

    Hi Leila,
    You lucky fish !! I am always hunting for legs.

    There is a project on the website that might provide you with some inspiration. You are going to need to build the frame for the bedside pedestal and then work the legs into the design. Also take a look at www.Shabby-Chic.co.za for a more vintage look. You can use supawood or plywood to make the frame and then match everything with paint or stain.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Lorraine
    Saturday, July 23, 2011 9:10 AM
    Where to buy spray adhesive


    Hi!
    I love this website, thank you for all the great tips and ideas.

    I would like to know where I could get spray adhesive in the Eastrand area? I want to cut out foil templates and decorate my sons bedroom cupboard. I also have a mirror, which we inherited when we bought our new place, its a huge mirror stuck on the wall. I would like to put a frame around it, what material can I use or can I get something readymade that I could just stick around it? Thank you.

    Lorraine
    ======

    Hi Lorraine,

    Thank you!

    You can buy Bostik or Alcolin spray adhesive at your local Builders Warehouse.

    For the mirror frame there are quite a few options. I have used polystyrene moulding to create a lightweight and affordable frame that can easily be stuck around the mounted mirror. Alternatively, you can use pine skirtings. Both options can be bought at your local Builders Warehouse.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Khensile
    Friday, July 22, 2011 10:31 AM
    Help with decorating my house


    I am 25 and have just finished renovating the house. I would like to buy some furniture for my lounge area, but have no idea what style I should go for. I thought of getting 2 big 2 seater couches and 2 wing back chairs, doing that whole mordern feel, or getting a corner couch with ottomans but I was told by my friend that the styles I want to go for are so classic and it would be something her mother would love. The thing is I want that great wow homely effect, the other thing is my dining room furniture I have cane cherry chairs which are light and love their colour to bits so I am also struggling with the colour for my furniture, I would have loved cream couches but I have a 5 year old so that isn't wise

    Please help, I am just about ready to give up

    ======

    Hi Khensile,
    Forget what everyone says and go with something that you love - after all, you have to live there. Choose the furniture arrangement that best fits into the space and allows you to do what you normally do in the room, whether it's watching TV or having friends round to chat.

    Classic is also timeless and less likely to look out of place as furniture trends come and go. If you design trendy be prepared to buy new furniture on a regular basis.

    If you want to go for cream, have slipcovered furniture that can easily be washed when it gets dirty - the perfect solutions where there are children at home.

    Hope this helps.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Taryn
    Thursday, July 21, 2011 7:13 AM
    Old sewing machine as garden table


    Hi there
    Thanks for the lovely newsletters!

    I have an old singer sewing machine table. The wood on the top is nothing fantastic and it has wrought iron legs. I would like to mosaic the top and put the table outside in the garden, in the full elements. I am concerned that with the rain, sun, wind, etc. here in PE the wood may swell and crack the mosaics. Is the solution simply to apply loads of varnish to all exposed wood pieces or is there something for serious I can do?

    Best wishes
    Taryn
    ======

    Hi Taryn,
    I think your idea is great but definitely no varnish. Rather use an outdoor sealer such as Woodoc 50, which is ideal for coastal areas. Apply to the entire table top before applying the mosaic. If you fill the mosaic with grout and seal the grout with Woodoc 50 you should have no problems if you give it a touch up every 18 - 24 months.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Angelique
    Monday, July 18, 2011 9:55 AM
    Solution for ugly walls


    Hi Janice.
    Thanks for the fantastic mag and all your great ideas. I've removed wall tiles in a small guest toilet, polly-filled the holes, sanded and then painted. The walls look uneven and really awful! Can you give me any advice on how to make the walls smooth so that they look better when painted.

    Thanks!
    ======

    Hi Angelique,
    The best option would be to use an orbital sander, 120- and then 180-grit sanding pads. Hand sanding never gets the surface flat - unless you try a sanding block - and you always see dips and bumps, but a sander works far better. If you have a Bosch sander - even better. They have a micro filter and removes a heck of a lot of dust when sanding indoors.

    If the entire wall is uneven be sure to use a flat/matt paint, as this will hide a lot of the defects as well.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Candice
    Wednesday, July 13, 2011 8:34 AM
    My lounge is very dark


    My partner and I have just bought a house. Attached to the living room is an extension that is used as a sun room, so not a lot of light comes in from that side, it mainly just stays in the sun room. Our house, i.e our living room, and the neighbours garage are less than a meter apart. The living room also only has a very small window facing the neighbours garage. My dilemma is the fact that my furniture is a dark charcoal grey, with dark reds and dark blues, which I love and don't want to change. How do I lighten up the space? I want to paint the walls and ceiling, but don't know which colours and texture to go for. I don’t mind painting in white, but find it so boring, and after years of renting I finally have the opportunity to go crazy with colour and not worry about a landlord. Also, I've seen where people hang mirrors outside (e.g I'd hang a mirror against the neighbours garage wall)to catch sunlight and allow it to come inside. Do you think this would be a good option? Please help, I don't know what to do.

    By the way, I love this site and am on it every day to get hints and tips. My partner thinks I’m crazy, but I’m practically crazy in love with this site. Great job, and keep it up.

    Candice
    ======

    Hi Candice,
    I like the idea of hanging a mirror on the outside wall to reflect light indoors and it should work as well. Frame the mirror with two tall plants, possibily potted conifers, to make it a feature and interesting if you look through the window.

    Your colour scheme doesn't necessarily need to change. What colour are the walls at the moment? Don't think of white walls as boring - think of them as a blank canvas. They would not only lighten up the space, but make your interior colour of dark red and blue look even more dramatic. As an alternative you could opt for a light grey - in the blue spectrum - to lighten up without having white walls.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Bulelwa
    Tuesday, July 12, 2011 10:23 PM
    Starting my own DIY business


    Good day you
    I am an avid Home-dzine follower. I love your projects and have been using your advise on DIY projects. Friend have seen some of the projects I have made with your help and have asked me to make the items for them. I have an idea of starting a business making some of your projects and selling them to friends. However I would like to know whether I have permission to do so.

    Thank you
    Bulelwa
    ======

    Hi Bulelwa,
    You are more than welcome to use any of the projects we feature on the site and I wish you well in starting up a business.

    I really do believe that there is a lot of potential in South Africa for anyone wanting to start up a home-based business, whether it is making crafts or furniture.



    Good luck and let me know how it goes. You are welcome to drop me a line if you need any help.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Steven
    Tuesday, July 12, 2011 3:54 PM
    Dowel joints

    Hi Janice

    I've just finished reading the July on-line edition. One thing eludes me, how do you drill true for your dowel joints? I have seen various dowelling jigs available but these all seem to cost a small fortune. I use the centre markers that came with a pack of hard wood dowels.

    On another note, a tip worth remembering is that ratchet belts available in the automotive section are an excellent substitute for sash clamps.

    brgds
    Steven
    ======

    Hi Steven,
    I do all my dowel joints manually. Both holes drilled to half the depth of the dowel - drilling one hole and then using a dowel centre to mark for the other hole. The tip is to keep the drill straight up.

    Great idea about the ratchet belts

    Janice
    ======

     

    Leanna
    Monday, July 11, 2011 7:11 AM
    Where to buy floating shelf and timber


    Good morning
    I am looking for sturdy floating shelves – in the Gauteng area... or a place where I can purchase dark mahogany veneer wood for making my own head board..

    Regards
    Leanna
    ======

    Hi Leanna,
    You will find a step-by-step project for making your own chunky floating shelves in the August issue of Easy DIY magazine, which is on sale at your local Builders Warehouse, Builders Express or Builders Trade Depot at the end of this month. It is a very simply project to do and you will have the most amazing chunky shelves for your home at a very affordable price.

    Alternatively, your local Builders Warehouse stocks a range of ready made floating shelves.

    For your headboard we suggest that you visit your local Timber City to find out if they stock commercial plywood, pine plywood that can be sanded and stained to a dark mahogany using Woodoc sealer and stain concentrate, or MelaWood, which is a laminated board product that is available in a selection of finishes.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Phiali
    Monday, July 11, 2011 5:30 AM
    Can I use milk paint over existing paint?


    Good day
    I have read your article on milk paint and found it very interesting! I just want to find out if you can paint over existing paint with milk paint or if you have to strip all the existing paint off the furniture paint and then apply the milk paint to the raw wood? I would also like to know if there is any other finish you can apply over the milk paint instead of Antique Wax.

    I would also like to know what the colour of the paint will be if you add no powdered colour?

    Kind regards
    Phiali
    ======

    Hi Phiali,
    The best practice when using milk paint is to remove all the existing paint on the surface. As a natural paint, it adheres better to a porous finish. You don't necessary have to sand all the existing paint off, but enough to remove as much paint as possible.

    Milk paint needs to be sealed to provide a washable finish. You don't have to use antique wax, you can also use clear acrylic sealer or polyurethane varnish.

    The final colour of natural milk paint is a creamy white, or slightly broken white.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Cheryl
    Sunday, July 10, 2011 3:19 PM
    Congrats


    I’m in the U.S.A. but have to tell you how much I have enjoyed your online ezine over the past several years as a fresh take and different perspective on décor. I have recommended your mag to hundreds of people when I blogged on Barbara Jennings Staging site Decorate-Re-decorate. Sadly despite lots of visits I was nearly the only writer and she dismantled the forum after a couple years. Not so much into rustic but the pallet ideas were impressive especially in light of the crashing economies we are enduring.

    Cheryl
    ======

     

    Shahista
    Monday, July 04, 2011 2:43 PM
    Ideas for decorating a small flat


    I have a very very small bathroom. I would like to send you pics of it. I desperately need advice on what to do. I am renting. But this bathroom just looks bad. Please help.

    ======

    Hi Shahista,
    The problem with rented flats is that landlords do as little as possible to make them look attractive.

    1. Make a cabinet that fits around the sink. It will be a freestanding unit, so only have three sides and be open at the back. Two doors on the front and you can use this for storage. A very affordable option would be to make this out of cement fibre board and fasten together with brackets and No More Nails. Your local Builders Warehouse will cut everything to size for you. On the top you can add mosaic tiles around the sink to add some colour to the bathroom. I would also have a piece of cement fibre board above the back of the sink, also with mosaic tiles, that can be glued onto the tiles there. You can easily remove when you leave.

    2. Make a box to cover that geyser above the bath. If you are handy with tools you can design the box in such as way that it covers the geyser and comes down the wall where the pipes are to create storage shelves.

    3. If the floor tiles are ugly, think about putting vinyl flooring down. It only cost around R250 per metre and will make the bathroom look much better.

    4. Give the room a coat of white paint and use a grout pen to refresh the grout between the wall tiles. The rest is purely cosmetic work that you can do by adding rugs, curtains and accessories to make the place look more like home.

    If the flat is grubby, repaint with fresh white paint and that will make a big difference.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Yodwa
    Monday, July 04, 2011 12:43 PM
    How to cover up knotty pine ceiling


    Hello, we currently have knotty pine ceiling and we looking to change because we want something plain white. We don't want to remove the wood or paint it but want to put ceiling boards underneath the boards. We got two quotes for labour - the first guy said we should get a 9.5 mm board as the current structure is uneven so the boards will not show that. The other guy said to get a 6.4mm board same reason. Both guys mentioned skimming the boards once they are up but now we confused, as they are both saying different things. We went to see the boards at the shop - the 9.5mm is very thick and the 6.4mm seems okay.

    What will be the best option?
    ======

    Hi Yodwa,
    The 6mm board should be sufficient to hide the knotty pine ceiling. The trickiest part of the whole process is skimming the boards once they are up so that you do not see the seams and I would not recommend this. The knotty pine ceiling - being wood - has some expansion and contraction going on all the time, and this can easily can the skimmed seams. I would rather go for a traditional ceiling that has aluminium or plastic inserts between the seams.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Lynne
    Tuesday, June 28, 2011 9:18 PM
    Painting shiny cabinets


    I have wall units which are dated. They are in the Salt box style, and have a laminate covering (not real wood). Would it be possible to paint over a semi shiny surface like this, as I would dearly like to update them as the shape of the units are very nice? Please advise.

    Thank you
    ======

    Hi Lynne,
    You can easily paint over the cabinets. Give them a light sanding with 180-grit sandpaper to remove the semi-shiny surface - not too much as you only want to get rid of the glossy layer to make it possible to paint.

    For painting you can use Rust-Oleum 2X spray paint, or enamel paint, or even acrylic PVA sheen paint. Buy Rust-Oleum at your local Builders Warehouse.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Yolande
    Tuesday, June 28, 2011 10:48 AM
    Remove stubborn Novilon


    Please I need some info as to how I can safely remove old stubborn novilon from my bathroom floor. Is there a chemical (if I have to) that I can use or a safer way to remove it.

    ======

    Hi Yolande,
    You can try to lift up as much as possible with a paint scraper. A heat gun or hairdryer [hot] will also help to soften stubborn glued sections.

    You can also use Genkem Bitumen and Glue Remover [available at your local Builders Warehouse] if you have difficulty removing what's left.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Alex
    Monday, June 27, 2011 1:45 PM
    Stain concrete floor


    Hi
    We are busy planning our floors for our new house and would like to have concrete floors. We have a very tight budget and need assistance in possibly colouring and finishing off the floors ourselves. Can you advise how best this can be achieved.

    The concrete will be done professionally - we just want to treat it ourselves hopefully.

    Thanks Alex


    ======
    Hi Janice
    I'll discuss the pigment options as you have suggested - we noticed a liquid coloration in one of the building stores the other weekend - can't remember the name - and this seemed to soak into the concrete and then u can seal after this. Ideally we would like a smooth yet textured surface - not too shiny as we have young kids!! Of a natural tone - so a browny/stone colouration. We used to work in a lodge where the staff mixed paraffin and melted wax to apply to the concrete and this sealed and produced a lovely sheen- we thought of sealing the once coloured cement with this application! All quite trial and error!!

    Any hints?
    Alex
    ======

    Brilliant advice - thanks Janice.
    Will let you know how i get on! Will be a good workout - all that polishing!!

    ======

    Hi Alex,
    Be aware that most of the colouring options are actually incorporated into the concrete mix when it is laid. The most common is the use of various coloured pigments or powders that add specific colours. Of course, you could always paint the concrete floor afterwards, but I would recommend that you discuss the pigment option with whomever will be doing the floor.

    Concrete polishing is definitely a job best left to the professionals, as they use a special diamond-studded polishing disc for the task.

    What type of finishing did you have in mind that you want to DIY ?

    Janice
    ======


    Hi Alex,
    TFC - Tile and Floor Care have a concrete colour that is poured onto the finished concrete. It only adds a very subtle amount of colour and I have used previously on concrete paving stones.

    Talking about the paraffin wax - any wax will work. The concrete is very absorbent but plenty of buffing will be required if you don't want a slippery surface. TFC also have a concrete sealer that I have tested on slate tiles, this will seal without any slippery wax residue. Might be a good idea to visit the TFC website and see the full range that they have - all of which are available on the shelf at your local Builders Warehouse.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Sydney
    Monday, June 27, 2011 8:39 PM
    Walls cracking


    Externals of my house were rhinolite, painted and now they are cracking. Can you please help me, its becoming very bad.

    Sidney
    ======

    Hi Sidney,
    I think that you may be mistaken. Rhinolite is definitely not intended for exterior use - only for interior walls and ceilings. If Rhinolite has been put out outside walls it's definitely going to crack and fall off. You will need to remove all the rhinolite and have the walls properly plastered.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Monica
    Monday, June 27, 2011 2:51 PM
    DIY Divas workshops


    Good day Divas
    I have never used power tools before but would very much like to register for the basic woodwork course - is it advisable to attend such a course with my limited to no experience with power tools.

    ======

    Hi Monica,
    That's exactly what the workshops are all about - providing you with the confidence, knowledge and skills to be able to do-it-yourself.

    I would recommend that you do attend a Beginners Power Tools workshop before tackling the woodworking, as you will become more confident using the various tools involved.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Paul
    Monday, June 27, 2011 3:15 PM
    Furniture slipping on floor


    What can I put on sofa feet to stop the furniture sliding around?

    ======

    Hi Paul,
    You can buy small rubber or silicone pads at your local hardware store that will fit to the bottom of legs or feet and prevent the furniture from slipping and sliding around.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Steven
    Monday, June 27, 2011 4:44 PM
    Blocked drains


    Hi Janice
    June Magazine great as usual.

    BTW have you come across a product called 'Balcotan Rapid' by Brummer adhesives? An architect friend recommended it for my bamboo counter tops as these required 3 doweled joints. I have never used a polyurethane adhesive before: my previous exposure had only been puffing foam. This stuff sets fast and even better it foams out so any irregularities in the joint are filled there and then. It is activated by moisture so slightly moistening both surfaces before bonding speeds up the reaction.

    There is a big down side for the avid DIYer like my self. Balcotan adheres to and stains skin. Note to self : wear gloves next time!

    On another note, is there anything on the market which will de-grease drains? My external kitchen drain has a complicated arrangement of a fat trap and a series'U'-bends. As this is nearly 40 yrs old there is unfortunately a fair build up of grease inside the pipe. Every few months we have to call out a plumber to 'plunge' the drain to re-open it. My only other option would be to excavate and install an inspection eye. I'm trying to avoid this as I'm not too keen on removing brick paving and then retro fitting an inspection port into a clay pipe

    ======

    Hi Steven,


    Thank you!

    I regularly de-clog my drains with vinegar and baking soda - kinder to the environment and works like a dream. You just have to do it on a regular basis to keep the drain as grease-free as possible. Mix the two together and don't breathe in as you pour down the drain !

    Janice
    ======

     

    Nasreen
    Sunday, June 26, 2011 7:43 PM
    Bumpy ceiling


    I have installed new ceilingboards in my kitchen but the handyman made a huge mess-up and put too much rhinolite between the joins.Even after all the sanding the joins look uneven and bumpy. I thought painting would help but it still looks terrible. Please help. What do I do to ensure a smooth join?

    Thanks for all your help.
    ======

    Hi Nasreen,
    I receive so many similar complaints and the problem stems from the fact that the contractors or handyman have no idea how to finish the boards properly. An adhesive net tape is applied over the gap and then the rhinolite applied over the entire ceiling, not just the strips. The only solution to the problem is to get the handyman to come out and finish the job by plastering the entire ceiling, otherwise you will never get rid of the gaps.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Lizette
    Monday, June 20, 2011 11:03 AM
    Paint a microwave?


    Hi Janice
    I would really like to know how to 'restore' a microwave oven. Mine is so old but working fine. From all the using and cleaning through the years, the paint came off on the inside, and started to rust in places already. I know there must be a way to fix it...special paint? advise me??

    Thanx again!!!
    ======

    Hi Lizette,
    I'm afraid there isn't any way to fix up the inside of a microwave. They have a special coated finish that reflects microwaves and this is not a product that can be bought.

    I would honestly recommend that you replace the microwave - if only for safety's sake.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Neville
    Tuesday, June 14, 2011 6:11 PM
    Its only one small little room and its driving me insane!


    Thank you for such an amazing web site

    I am busy with a domestic project and my client has an upstairs lounge that is awkward and small. The space has slanted wall and is really small. Could you advise me on awkward small spaces. I have designed the rest of the house quite comfortably but this one little room is driving me insane. Creative block maybe? The carpet that has just been installed in the room is a deep chocolate brown (this can not be removed)and I am going to add a warm grey to the interior walls and L shaped couch. Is this advisable ? My client is stuck on grey and I do feel it works , maybe a little reassurance would be great. Seeing that the space is small I have decided to use perspex for the additional coffee table and side tables as to not clutter the space. I will wall hang the accessories to achieve the uncluttered environment. Please can you give me a little nudge in the right direction.

    Warm Regards
    Neville
    ======

    Hi Neville,
    We all suffer from 'blocks' now and again. It can drive me mad when I want to do something and simply cannot!

    I do love the idea of grey walls with the chocolate carpet - on the red side of course. I would suggest that you paint the ceiling in the same colour as the walls - it tends to lessen an awkward slanted wall and doesn't let it intrude into the space as much. Your idea to use a perspex table is great - another way to visually free up space.

    It sounds as though you already have all the bases covered and are going in the right direction.

    Janice
    ======

    You are amazing thank you! I had an amazing nights rest and I am going to take this room on today and get it designed and done.

    Thank you again for the website you have helped me out in remembering a few fundamentals that I forget now and again. I am one of those interior decorators that has no shame in asking. Perfecting ones craft is completely about collaboration.

    Thanks again
    Neville

    ======

     

    Colette
    Monday, June 13, 2011 2:08 PM
    Where to mount art on a wall


    Hi Janice,
    I really need your help to settle and "argument" between my husband and myself.

    I have attached a photo of our lounge wall - with the lcd screen. and I would just like advice on whether it is a good idea to put picture/art/photos on top and/or on the side of the screen. I hope the attached photo works.

    thank you,
    Colette
    ======

    Hi Colette,

    Oh oh. Someone is going to be upset with my answer!

    Definitely not above the LCD screen - it will make it look too busy and out of proportion, whereas on the side it will add to the height of the speakers and appear more balanced.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Lizelle
    Sunday, June 12, 2011 9:02 PM
    Painting my furniture


    Hi Janice,
    My husband and I are in the process of building our first home ~ very exciting times!

    We have decided that we would like all our furniture in the house to be high gloss white. Unfortunately living in the Eastern Cape does not offer many options for this sort of furniture. We have therefore considered taking our current dark brown furniture (some of which is solid pine and other modular items purchased from various stores) and painting that white. We were told to purchase a tile and melamine primer for the items that were not pine and to then use velvaglo and we should get the desired effect. Unfortunately after trying this on an item that we won't be using, we ended up with a white "cellulite" look! Not at all what we were hoping for. I've read a few of the articles on your site and see that you often refer to the Bosch PFS. Would this give us the desired high gloss effect? We would really appreciate it if you could advise us on the best way to achieve the look we're seeking...

    Lizelle
    ======

    Hi Lizelle,
    Exciting times indeed!

    The easiest way to give your furniture a high-gloss look would be to use Rust-Oleum 2X white gloss spray - you can buy this at your local Builders Warehouse. Take the pieces outdoors to spray and you will only need two coats at the most. That way the finish is brush stroke free and will defnitely not look like cellulite!

    Not sure why you need tile or melamine primer. Simply give the furniture a rub down with 180-grit sandpaper and then spray - all your furniture including the pine.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Martin
    Friday, June 10, 2011 10:15 PM
    Replace a broken roof tile


    Hi Janice
    I need to compliment you and your website. I read the article on roof maintenance and decided to walk around my house to check things out and noticed that some of the cement stuff was breaking off on the one corner. Grabbed the ladder and also noticed that a roof tile had slipped out of place, luckily before the heavy rain the next day.

    You save my house from what could have been a lot of damage and for this I thank you.

    Martin
    ======

     

    Lawrence
    Friday, June 10, 2011 7:41 AM
    How to wire a plug


    If you are to train a person on "how to" one should try and use the correct terminology. I know nearly everyone refers to it as a plug, but in fact it is a plug top. Most DIYers also call a wall socket as a plug - So you plug a plug into a plug.

    In fact a wall socket is a switched socket outlet (SSO) - sometimes called a power point.

    Regards
    Lawrence
    ======

    Hi Lawrence,
    Thank you for your email. We welcome critisicm where due. However, I would direct you to Crabtree Electrical, one of the world's most respected electrical suppliers, and where a 3-pin plug is inserted into a socket.

    Janice
    ======

    Janice
    I agree, I like Crabtree. So I have to humbly and reluctantly apologise to you. I am very rarely wrong when it comes to electrical matters but it seems this one of them. I even checked my old editions and they confirmed that they always called it a plug, whereas I have always known it as a plug top.

    Regards
    Lawrence

     

    Chetna
    Wednesday, June 08, 2011 9:14 PM
    Foil wrap kitchen doors


    What is the difference between supawood foil wrap doors and melamine impact doors in the kitchen in terms of durability, cost and practicality?

    ======

    Hi Chetna
    Both foil wrap and melamine doors offer high durability in the kitchen. I have melamine doors with high-impact edging in my kitchen and it still looks good after four years. Foil wrap allows for more design options as the door is wrapped in a thin layer of foil.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Melissa
    Tuesday, June 07, 2011 1:10 PM
    How to paint oak kitchen cabinets


    I would like to paint my oak kithen cupboards white? What is the best way to go about this?

    Kind regards,
    Melissa
    ======

    Hi Melissa,
    The most important part of the project will be the preparation.

    1. Use mineral turpentine and Woodoc steel wool to lightly rub down the cabinets and carcass facings, and any other areas to be painted to remove dirt and built up grime, as well as any wax or sealer products that may have been previously used on the cabinets.

    2. Lightly sand with 180- or 220-grit sandpaper and wipe clean with a lint-free cloth and mineral turpentine.

    For painting there are two options:

    - Remove the doors and spray with Rust-Oleum gloss or matt enamel.
    - Use a foam roller to apply Prominent Paints non-drip enamel.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Amanda
    Tuesday, June 07, 2011 2:33 PM
    Hang a curtain rod without screws


    Hi
    I need to hang curtain rod in my bathroom, but are too scared to drill as I might crack the tiles. Is there a product I could use just to stick it to the tiles?

    Regards
    Amanda
    ======

    Hi Amanda,
    It all depends on how heavy it will be with the curtains added. There are some really strong adhesive products on the market, such as 2-part Bostik and Pattex epoxy glue, which would work. You definitely need to attend one of our DIY-Divas workshops so that we can show you how to drill into tiles without breaking them!

    Janice
    ======

     

    Sumaya
    Monday, June 06, 2011 2:00 PM
    Paint bathroom tiles


    Hi Janice
    I would like to paint my kitchen and bathroom tiles, they are old and hideous, see attached.

    You have mentioned, from the archives, to use either Rust-o-leum Painters Touch or Prominent paints. Which product would you prefer? I’m also concerned about painting the tiles within the shower? Will this work as the shower will constantly be wet?

    Kind Regards
    Sumaya

    ======

    Hi Sumaya,
    I agree - the tiles definitely need painting or replacing!

    Both Prominent Paints non-drip enamel and Rust-Oleum spray gloss enamel would work for painting the tiles. Prominent enamel would probably easier in such a small room, as the spray paint can be a bit overpowering. DO take the time to sand the tiles with 180-grit sandpaper before painting, and apply a light first coat with a foam roller. Allow the paint to dry overnight before applying a second coat if required.

    As regards the shower, it doesn't always work and the paint tends to peel over time, but make sure the tiles are 100% dry and sand before painting.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Melanie
    Tuesday, May 31, 2011 17:02 PM
    Problem painting supawood


    Hi Janice,
    Your website is soooo inspiring. Every month end I pop into builders warehouse for my materials to make at least one project a month. However, your projects look awesome but how do you get supawood to look so good? Mine always looks blotchy!!!!

    Thanks for the good work - yours is my favourite website!!!!

    Melanie
    ======

    Hi Melanie,
    Thanks for getting in touch regarding your problems with finishing supawood. I have now posted an article that discusses painting supawood. The trick is to polish the ends of the board with 220-grit sandpaper before painting - it stops the board being so absorbent and sucking up all the paint.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Anisha
    Monday, May 30, 2011 3:36 PM
    Have made a cot for our baby son


    Hello Janice,
    Thank you for the wonderful site and the advice. With your help, hubby and I have three-quarters of a cot. It is a most rewarding experience to be able to build this for our son who is due at the end of September.

    We are confident it is the right decision to do it ourselves, as we now have a cot for a single bed, which means he can sleep in it for a long time, without us needing to buy a bed. We used pine and with much care and finishing and attention to joints we have been able to create a good cot.

    Thanks again for your help and taking the time to reply.
    Anisha
    ======

     


    Donavan Monday, May 30, 2011 9:11 AM
    Where to buy wood grain rocker


    Hi,
    I have seen you use a wood grain rocker in one of your projects, can you please tell me where I could buy one from and approx.. how much they cost.

    Oh and by the way I’m a big fan of your website!!!
    ======

    Hi Donavan,

    Thank you - it's great to hear that readers love the website.

    You can buy a woodgrain rocker from www.harlequin.co.za. They cost around R300 and they can post to you.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Shane
    Wednesday, May 25, 2011 10:24 AM
    Restore steel ceilings


    We have just bought a home, the bathroom has a steel / metal fancy ceiling - however the previous 2 or 3 owners may not have understood the value of maintaining the structures. This ceiling is painted with PVA of some sort may be a couple of layers because I can see the cracks developed between the paint.

    Please advise me on the best way to remove this paint and treatment of possible rust. Do I have to paint an undercoat on this type of ceiling when ready to paint. I have purchased Plascon Vevaglo for the bathroom, is this the correct product?

    ======

    Hi Shane,
    Having just completed a kitchen in an old home with pressed ceilings, I know what you mean about the layered paint. You also need to be careful with the paint as it does contain lead.

    It's going to be difficult, but you need to remove as much of the old paint as possible. Working in small sections with an eco-paint stripper such as RemovAll will be the best option so that you don't damage the ceiling.

    Any rust can be treated with Rust-Oleum Rust Stripper (at your local Builders Warehouse or get in touch with www.tilecare.co.za) and I would suggest that you use their range of spray enamel for the ceiling, as it has a Stops Rust formulation that will prevent the rust from coming through the paint.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Andrea
    Tuesday, May 24, 2011 8:06 AM
    Paint not sticking to hardboard or backing board


    Hi Janice,
    I am busy revamping a old bookshelf and the plan is to paint it white and add a black and white stripped backing. As backing I bought the pressed brown backing board and painted it with a white water-based gloss paint giving it 24hrs to dry. I then used masking tape to paint the black stripes. But, after letting the black paint dry, most of the white paint came off when I removed the masking tape. Why does that happen and how can I prevent it?

    Thanks a million
    Andrea
    ======

    Hi Andrea,
    The reason is probably because you are using a gloss paint and no primer. Hardboard is not very absorbent and paint only sits on the surface. You need to apply a primer before painting to give a better key. Alternatively, lightly sand the board with 180-grit sandpaper before painting.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Lynda
    Monday, May 23, 2011 11:27 AM
    Log or tongue and groove wendy house


    Hi there
    I want to buy 2 wendy houses and rent out as garden cottages. I have got quotes on the Log Wood Wendy houses, knotty pine Wendy houses and the louvre wood Wendy houses. Obviousy the log wood is more attractive and more expensive but I want to keep my costs down. What is the downsize of getting either the knotty pine or the louvre wood wendy houses? Are they just as durable as long as they are regularly treated? Can they be stained to be a darker wood?


    Many thanks
    Lynda
    ======

    Hi Lynda,
    You will find that the tongue and groove (louvre) construction is definitely not as sturdy as the log wood. Over time it tends to expand and contract and you will find gaps occuring between the planks, even if treated regularly.

    I would definitely spend a little more, especially for a garden cottage and go with the log wood.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Vanessa
    Thursday, May 19, 2011 3:29 PM
    Leather finish for a trunk


    Hi Janice,
    I have found the chest that I was looking for at Lotters Pine. So now I need to bling this myself. How do I cover this with leather material. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    p.s love your web site
    ======

    Hi Vanessa,
    There are two options that you could consider:

    1. Use Rust-Oleum Classis Leather kit http://www.home-dzine.co.za/crafts/craft-rust-oleum-kits.htm

    2. Purchase a thin pleather (faux leather) and cut to size. Use

  • CONTACT
  • adhesive to attach this to the surface of the chest.

    Rust-Oleum also have various metallic paints that you can use to spray any bands or straps, or you could use Guilder's paste.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Alvira
    Thursday, May 19, 2011 1:22 PM
    How to make a fold-up bed


    Do you know or can you explain how to make a bed in a cupboard. One of these that you fold up and close behind doors. I'm very much interested in something like this even if it is without the fancy mecanism you need.

    Thanks
    ======

    Hi Alvira,
    If you take a look at the Murphy Bed and how it is installed, you can get an idea of how to make your own fold up bed. The problem you may have is finding the right hinges for the bed for lifting up and down. These hinges are extremely strong and highly compressed, which is what makes lifting up and pulling down so easy. It will be very difficult to lift up the bed without these hinges.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Leila
    Thursday, May 12, 2011 10:52 AM
    How to brighten a kitchen


    I would ike to know how would I create more light in a kitchen that does not have an outside window - There is no natural light coming in.

    ======

    Hi Leila,
    If you paint cabinetry and walls in a light shade it will instantly add a lighter and brighter atmosphere to the kitchen, as will adding under-cabinet strip lighting. You will find plenty more ideas in the Kitchen Section on Home-Dzine.co.za.

    Janice
    ======

     



    Sheik
    Friday, May 06, 2011 12:22 PM
    Where to buy wallpaper


    I would like to know where I can buy wallpaper in Cape Town.

    Warm regards
    ======

    Hi Sheik,
    Definitely at your local Builders Warehouse - they have an amazing range of modern vinyl wallpapers that really are stunning and affordable (R199 per roll). Pop in and have a look at the range.

    Janice
    ======

     



    Helen
    Wednesday, May 04, 2011 2:54 PM
    How to mix the right cement


    Can you advise please?
    I have started to mould a gulley for outside drainage. I used bricks (which I will take away) to keep the form, but think my concrete sides might be a bit thin for longterm use. Do you know what concrete mix one should use for a waterproof outlet/ reception gulley? Is there a mix I can use after the initial mould has dried?

    Thanks
    Helen
    ======

    Hi Helen,
    You need to go for a fairly strong concrete mix for this type of project, otherwise the constant drainage of water will eventually erode and crumble. 1 bag cement : 2 bags sand with some small gravel thrown in for good luck. The sides should not be less than 10mm thick - use boards or planks to make a form around the bricks.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Cathrina
    Tuesday, May 03, 2011 3:48 PM
    Tiles coming loose


    Hi
    I have laid new tiles in a new flat but after 3 years the tiles have come loose and there is white powder at the back of the tile. Is there a solution or must we take out all the tiles?

    Thank for a super magazine
    ======

    Hi Cathrina,
    It could be that you laid the tile too quickly on the new cement floor. The floor would have absorbed moisture from the cement adhesive, forcing it to dry too quickly and which would also explain the powder on the back of the tiles.

    You will definitely have to lay the tiles again, but at least this time the floor has had three years to cure!

    Janice
    ======

     

    Annette
    Tuesday, May 03, 2011 8:19 AM
    Wallpaper supawood and mounting flat screen TV


    Hi there!
    I have just found your mag online and I am super impressed!
    Do you perhaps have an article with step by step directions to put wallpaper on superwood and fasten to a wall – this is to act as a “splashing panel” or headboard. – Will it then also be strong enough to hold picture frames?

    And how do you fasten the superwood to the wall if you don’t want “screws” etc showing ?

    And how would you do it if you want the superwood to “stand out” – for example – we want to put the wallpapered superwall on a wall and then fasten the flat screen tv to the superwood with the connections actually behind the superwood …

    Thanks so much!!
    Annette
    ======

    Hi Annette,
    Thank you! There is actually an article on exactly that in the latest May issue of Home-Dzine Online - page 14. If you use 16mm supawood, it will definitely be strong enough to hold picture frames.

    The easiest way is to use keyhole brackets at the back. Mark the opening with a pencil and then use a drill bit (8mm) to drill two holes to a depth of about 5mm. This then hooks onto screws that you mount into the wall with wall plugs.

    If you want the board to stand out, you can use a batten-type mounting system, which is probably the best way to go if you are mounting a flat screen TV as well. It will be able to take a lot of weight. Put a batten at the top and at the bottom so that the board sits level.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Lizette
    Saturday, April 30, 2011 12:24 PM
    Waterproof a bathroom and shower


    I have NO budget left to the shower/toilet for my Granny flat. I do have some bits and pieces of tiles that I could use for the shower floor. I would like to paint the walls until budget allows for tiling, but I need to know which paint etc I should use. Also I will be using a sliding door to the bathroom, how can I make it water and damp-proof?

    Kind regards
    Lizette
    ======

    Hi Lizette,
    For the shower wall, as long as you do the proper preparation you should be OK to use an enamel paint in this area. Sand the walls, apply a coating such as Prominent Paints Damp Cure to the wall before painting with enamel/oil-based paint.

    You can easily create a faux mosaic effect or paint technique using various materials. A kitchen sponge is perfect for mosaic squares. Simply dip into the paint and apply to the wall in different colours or a mosaic design. That will at least look good until you are ready to put tiles up. You will also find ideas in the Bathroom and Decorating sections on Home-Dzine.co.za.

    For the sliding door you can use an acrylic or silicone sealer and an expanding foam sealer for larger gaps. Once again, apply a damp proofing primer before you paint.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Stan
    Monday, April 18, 2011, 9:20AM
    Leaky gutter

    Hi Diva,
    With all the rain we have been having Ive noticed more than a few leaks in our gutters. How do I fix these?

    Many thanks for a great website - keep up the good work.

    Stan
    ======


    Hi Stan,
    You read my mind! I am posting an article this week on repairing a leaky gutter. In the meantime, get yourself some A.B.E Cold Laykold Tape and then follow the step-by-step instructions in the article.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Rita
    Thursday, March 31, 2011 4:18 PM
    Paint veneer furniture


    Hi Janice
    I have an old dining room table would it be possible to paint / spray paint over it to give it an update look.

    Look forward to getting good news from you.

    Regards
    Rita
    ======

    Hi Rita,
    You mention veneer furniture but a lot of people get confused between veneer and laminate. If we go on the assumption that the table is laminated, which is common for most furniture today, all you have to do is lightly sand the table with 180-grit sandpaper and grab some Rust-Oleum 2X to spray a completely new colour. You can buy Rust-Oleum products at your local Builders Warehouse.

    DO spray outdoors
    DO cover everything surrounding with a drop cloth


    Janice
    ======

     

    Elizabeth
    Thursday, March 24, 2011, 8:05 AM
    How can I remove stains (white rings) from table


    Please assist. I have an antique wooden table that has white stains on the top. I do not want to spoil the table as it is very precious to me. What can I do?

    Thank you for your assistance
    Elizabeth
    ======

    Hi Elizabeth,
    It is very common on waxed furniture to find white rings on the surface, either from hot cups or wine glasses that have been placed on top. That's why it is always a good idea to use coasters on waxed furniture. What happens is that the composition of the wax changes when heat or alcohol is applied. It becomes powdery and changes colour to white. The easiest solution is to purchase Woodoc steel wool and mineral turpentine at your local Builders Warehouse. Woodoc steelwool is not like ordinary steel wool - it is very fine. Lightly rub the area that is stained with the steelwool lightly wetted with mineral turps. This will remove the white ring and you can then re-apply Woodoc Antique wax to the surface.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Graham
    Tuesday, March 22, 2011, 3:06 PM
    Seal cornice around ceiling



    I have recently installed new cornice around the ceiling and want to seal around the edges. Having used silicone sealer before I know that you can't paint over this. What do you recommend?

    Thanks
    Graham
    ======

    Hi Graham,
    You can use Pattex Acrylic Sealant to seal around cornice. As an acrylic, it is easily painted over and the paint will not peel off as it does with silicone sealant.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Adele
    Tuesday, March 22, 2011 10:16 AM
    Tiling bathroom walls


    Hi Divas,
    I just wanted to let you know that I have just finished tiling my bathroom and it looks wonderful. Thank goodness for the Basic Tiling workshop - you saved the day!

    I do have one question. Is there a sealer that I can use on the grout to stop it getting dirty?

    Thank you so much
    Adele
    ======


    Hi Adele,
    So glad that you found the workshop informative. Yes, there is a sealer that you can use. It is a spray sealer that you can purchase at your local Builders Warehouse store. Not sure of the name, but ask them for spray tile sealer.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Sharon
    Thursday, March 17, 2011 3:22 PM
    Peeling sealer around bath


    I re-siliconed around my bath but it has totally come off and cracked with black stuff seeping through between the bath and the tiles around the bath. What do I need to do to get rid of the black suff and get the silicone to stick?

    ======

    Hi Sharon,
    That 'black stuff' is actually mould. To remove the old sealer use acetone (nail polish remover) and a plastic knife to scrape away all traces of sealer. Wash the area with 50/50 bleach and warm water to kill the mould. Wipe the area again with lacquer thinners to ensure that the surface is clean. Wipe dry several times with a paper towel.

    Apply a line of masking tape above and below where you will apply, and then gently squeeze silicone sealer around the bath. Use the tip of your finger to smooth Remove the masking tape after about 5 minutes.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Paula
    Friday, March 11, 2011 10:22 AM
    Decorating walls in a rented house


    Hi Janice
    I'm looking for some help (again!) for a house that we're renting. The house is quite dark with lots of walls in dark unplastered; rough brick which isn't sealed and which I'd like to cover up with something that we can remove relatively easily and restore to its current status when we vacate. Any cost effective suggestions?

    Paula
    ======

    Hi Paula,
    If you are renting it is difficult to do much with brick walls. Why not make up large colourful canvasses that can be hung (on one nail) to try and brighten the rooms up, and go for lighter furnishings.

    Janice
    ======

    Suki
    Thursday, May 12, 2011 9:49 AM


    Regarding Paula's query about covering the brick walls in a rented home, I once used hessian netting threaded onto a curtain net wire string between two nails to cover an ugly wall. It warmed up the room and provided a place to pin photographs and other (lightweight) decorations, which was a nice side benefit. Maybe this could help, too?

     

    Shamilla
    Thursday, March 10, 2011 11:04 PM
    Remove vinyl floor tiles


    Hi there,
    My kitchen and pantry has vinyl floors which I would like to remove. Was told tiles will be very expensive, as I don't want to do too much changes altogether. Can I remove vinyl, can I do a marble effect for my kitchen? Want to keep the current cupboards, to expensive to change, going to do my own renovations. Advice please: Remove vinyl floors to paint marble effect. Can I paint on vinyl cupboards?

    Thanks
    ======

    Hi Shamilla,
    You can easily remove vinyl. Use a paint scraper to lift up a corner to start off and then rip, pull, peel and scrape off as much of the vinyl as you can. You can use Genkem Bitumen and Glue Remover to remove any glue on the floor and you will find the product at your local Builders Warehouse.

    Consider attending one of theDIY-Divas Paint and Paint Techniques workshops for advice on a marbleing effects for the floors.

    You will find plenty of articles in the Kitchen section for painting kitchen cabinets. By vinyl cupboards I presume that you mean foil wrap doors and you will need to give these a light sanding with 120-grit sandpaper - just enough to remove the glossy layer so that the paint can adhere properly.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Roslyn
    Tuesday, March 08, 2011 1:35 PM
    Weatherproofing around window frames


    Our home is Nutec board with timber framework, built in 1975 on high brick foundations. I am busy with repairing worn/rain damaged sheets and sealing window areas and joints. Would it be a good idea to “stipple” the walls using a cement & ? (a waterproof sealant) –(finished product called ‘slush’ walls). Using this method I’m told, will reduce the chances of water leaks around our window areas and the joints. We live in Southern Suburbs close to vlei areas (Zeekoevlei and Princess vlei)

    Kind regards
    Roslyn
    ======

    Hi Roslyn,
    It is difficult to advise without actually seeing the problem but I would recommend that you rather use weatherproofing strips, silicone sealant or waterproof foam sealant around the areas that been to be filled in. The problem with a stipple is that you have to create a 100% bond between the old and new surfaces and it still may happen that moisture gains access and the stipple will fall off.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Colleen
    Monday, March 07, 2011 7:14 PM
    Where can I buy beadboard


    Hi Janice
    Do you know where I can purchase 'Bead Board' - None of the places I have inquired at seem to stock it.

    Regards
    Colleen
    ======

    Hi Colleen,
    Beadboard is very popular overseas but never quite seemed to hit it off here. I would recommend that you get in touch with your local Timbercity to find out if they can obtain for you. I know that Hearth & Home use to manufacture beadboard, but they have since gone out of business.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Sharon
    Thursday, February 24, 2011 1:37 PM
    Want to make a TV stand


    Hi Janice,
    I would like to make my own t.v. stand, sony 42" please could you send me a simple design, and can I use mdf?

    Thanks
    ======

    Hi Sharon,
    I have just completed a TV unit as a project for the new books 'DIY for Divas' and DIY vir Divas' that is due for launch in May. However, I changed my mind and ended up making another one (typical woman!), so will be posting the project on the Home-Dzine website shortly. Will mention in the newsletter.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Sue
    Wednesday, February 23, 2011 4:29 PM
    How to fix a wooden floor


    Please help I am single no man/husband influence. I need to know how to fix my wooden floor. There is a carpet in my room and under that is wooden floors I started to lift the carpet. But it seems like the under filled of the carpet is glued to the wooden floors. How can remove the under filled that is stuck to wooden floors.

    Regards
    Sue
    ======

    Hi Sue,
    You can purchase a bitumen glue remover - manufactured by Genkem - at your local Builders Warehouse. If, that it, they have used bitumen glue. It normally is the case for older wooden block or parquet floors. A more recent installation could have been stuck down with

  • CONTACT
  • adhesive and that it a bugger to remove. You will have to use a paint scraper to lift the blocks up and then use the scraper to lift up any remaining blocks and scrape away any old glue.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Janice
    Monday, February 21, 2011 7:36 AM
    Where to buy roller blind kit


    Quite a few readers have

  • CONTACT
  • ed me regarding a roller blind kit. I have
  • CONTACT
  • ed Blind Time and they are prepared to supply the kits for those of you who want to make your own roller blinds.

    Blind Time: www.blindtime.co.za | sales@blindtime.co.za | Tel. 011 434 1075

    Janice
    ======

     

    Tania
    Wednesday, February 16, 2011 1:55 PM
    Ideas for a conservatory


    Hi Janice
    Please could you do an article or give me some guidance on decorating and ideas for a conservatory / bar area? We are in the process of renovating our patio into an indoor/outdoor conservatory and would like to create a relaxed entertainment bar area - but without the heavy formality of old school bars. We are thinking of using a colour scheme of white and brights (oranges, yellows, greens, blues, reds, etc).

    I've done some research but cannot find inspiration for our modern bar and entertainment room. Mostly I've come across the heavy wood kind of decor which is not the look & feel we are hoping to achieve in our new space.

    Please spread your magic and inspire us to create a great area :)

    Thanks, Tan
    ======

    Hi Tan,
    Thank you for getting in touch.

    Haven't previously done anything on this topic and it might be nice to do some research to see what comes up.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Melanie
    Wednesday, February 16, 2011 11:12 AM
    Painting a brick fireplace surround


    Hi Janice,
    Thanks for the e-mag; brilliant ideas every month and something for everyone. Well done!

    We've just moved and we're renting. I've attached pictures of our retro fireplace... golden touch and all. I want to replace the mantle with a chunkier one but most importantly, I want to paint those bricks! I'm not looking for a stand-out feature, just a more natural/neutral look and since I'm not big on painted bricks... your opinion would be much appreciated. Paint or spray? Colour?

    Many thanks.
    Melanie
    ======

    Hi Melanie,
    Before you make any changes... Have you checked with the landlord for permission?

    I would grab some Plascon RemovAll to get rid of the paint on the bricks. It might take a couple of treatments but you will definitely remove the paint.

    For the mantle you can easily use pine or meranti for a chunkier look. Have 2 or 3 boards cut to the size you need and glue these together to make a thicker board. Clamp together when gluing so that you have no gaps. Any small gaps can be filled with wood filler and sanded smooth before you paint or seal.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Lauren
    Monday, February 14, 2011 1:13 PM
    Paint tiles in shower?


    Hi There
    I saw the bathroom weekend makeover page on this site and was wondering if it is possible to paint the tiles on the inside of a shower as they get water on them often.

    Many Thanks
    Lauren
    ======

    Hi Lauren,
    Most paint manufacturers would not recommend that you paint the tiles in a shower. However, it all depends on the type of tiles that are on the wall. If they are a matt (non-glazed) tile, you can paint with an enamel or oil-based paint. The tiles will need to be scrubbed clean with a degreaser such as Cleen Green. Do not apply too thick, if necessary apply a thin first coat and then a top coat.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Marilize
    Friday, February 11, 2011 3:04 PM
    Wooden furniture outdoors


    I would like to leave a std wooden patio dining set outside (no patio cover) - what is the best way to protect the furniture - just normal varnish ever so often or is there a product from eg. Rust Oleum on the market I can use to weatherproof?

    Many thanks! x
    ======

    Hi Marilize,
    I never suggest using varnish for outdoors - always use a sealer, such as Woodoc 30 or Woodoc 35 for all outdoor furniture. Apply to all exposed areas, as well as the underside of the table, and pay particular attention to the base of each leg - as this is where moisture will be absorbed. If possible, put plastic or metal caps on the bottom of each leg to lift it slightly (approx 5mm).

    Janice
    ======

     

    Celeste
    Thursday, February 10, 2011 17:15 PM
    How to finish off wallpapered bedroom


    Hi Janice
    At a recent woodworking workshop you talked about chinese chipboard and bisonboard. Please tell me again what the difference is. I want to make furniture for my son's bedroom and do not want to buy the wrong product.

    Thank you
    Celeste
    ======

    Hi Celeste,

    I always tell everyone to be careful when buying board products, as there are some lower grade products on the market. When buying chipboard be sure to specify that you want PG Bison BisonBord. The difference is that BisonBord is a stronger product that has been pressed under higher pressure and is less prone to breaking apart after being screwed together.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Martin
    Tuesday, February 08, 2011 9:45 AM
    More information for us guys please


    Your advice is excellent, your projects are great and your magazine is amazing. I only have one request - please do more stuff for us guys! Do a male bedroom or a den or a music room (for me).


    Keep it up

    Martin
    ======

     

    Rosie
    Wednesday, February 02, 2011 4:11 PM
    How to finish off wallpapered bedroom


    Hi …. DIY Diva
    Wanting some room advice … got all excited and put up a wall paper in my bedroom now I don’t know how complete it. Do I buy a headboard, what colour? Lampshades? One or two side tables?

    Im confused … Please advise

    Thanks Rosie
    ======

    Hi Rosie,

    Definitely a headboard, the poor bed looks lost against that stunning wallpaper. If you can, I would suggest a headboard like the one they are doing at www.DIY-Divas.co.za (pic below) that you could make yourself.

    Plus you also need a sidetable or two - in black or dark brown, with a lampshade that matches the curtains.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Annake
    Monday, January 31, 2011 12:36 PM
    How to re-glaze ceramic tiles


    Hi Janice,
    I'm moving into a new townhouse soon and would very much like to know if there is a product availabe in South Africa that can be used to reglaze tiles? I read on the internet that a acrylic-urethane resin can be used.

    Kind regards
    Annake
    ======

    Hi Annake,
    This is a very interesting question and one that I am sure quite a few homeowners will be interested to find out about.

    Here's a thought... If you can paint tiles surely you can also apply a polyurethane varnish to tiles as well. You would need to do proper preparation though. Degrease and scrub tiles, lightly sand with 180-grit sandpaper and then apply the polyurethane with a foam roller or a sprayer, such as the Bosch PFS spray system. However, if you do use a spray system some intensive cleaning would be required afterwards.

    Why not try it on a small area.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Sharon
    Monday, January 31, 2011 10:30 PM
    How to make a floating shelf


    Hi Janice,
    Quite a while ago you had an article on how to make a hanging shelf out of a door, I have an offcut of a self, which I want to use as a floating shelf, it is a solid piece of very good and hard solid type of board, what type of wall bracket should I use, and would I have to drill into the shelf.

    Regards
    Sharon
    ======

    Hi Sharon,
    The problem with fitting solid board as a floating shelf is that you won't be able to find brackets, so you will have to 'make a plan' as I am wont to say on a regular basis!

    In order to mount the shelf you will need 2 or 3 long, steel threaded rods of about 30cm in length and 3 nuts. You will drill a hole in the wall to a depth of 10cm and a diameter equal to the size of the nuts. Put a nut on the end of each threaded rod and insert into the holes. Fil the hole with Fischer or Pattex anchor fix adhesive and let dry.

    Now you will drill 3 holes to the diameter of the threaded rod, and to a 20cm depth in each shelf. Slot the shelf onto the rods and viola! You just saved yourself about R600.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Ayanda
    Friday, January 21, 2011 2:47 PM
    Outdoor bar ideas

    Dear All
    I am always overwhelmed by the beauty of all the projects I see on your magazines. Currently my husband and I need to build a built-in bar inside the lapa to make it beautiful and user friendly and we want to do it ourselves together with our close family. Can you send me something that we can use to assist us with that?

    Kind Regards
    Ayanda
    ======

    Hi Ayanda,
    Thank you so much.

    Making your own outdoor bar is a great way to get all the family involved, and there are many ways to build one. It all depends on the materials that you want to use.

    For example:
    Build the frame for the bar out of pine, clad the sides with mosaic/stone sheets that you can purchase at your local Builders Warehouse and top off with granite (cut to size), concrete top, tiled top or you can use Formica LifeSeal laminate if the unit is protected from the elements.

    A quick and easy way to build a bar is to buy ready-made pine cabinets to fit into the space. Don't use chipboard or supawood for outdoors as this will quickly rot. Pine needs to be sealed with a suitable product such as Woodoc 30 for exterior. Click here for an idea on how to ...

    If you have some experience at building, brick is still an affordable and attractive way to make a built-in braai. Draw up a plan beforehand so that you can work out how many bricks you need and design for built in appliances, etc.

    You can build the bar out of teak, pine or now the new bamboo boards, which are absolutely gorgeous. (www.simply-bamboo.co.za)

    Hope this gets your imagination going - and good luck with the project!

    Janice
    ======

     

    Karen
    Wednesday, January 19, 2011 2:46 PM
    How to clean granite countertops

    I recently replaced my granite tops. How do I keep them clean? Used commercially available products but it leaves a dull haze over the granite.

    ======

    Hi Karen,
    Granite is heat resistant, scratch resistant and immune to household acids such as citrus fruits and vinegar, but there is one method to clean granite countertops to keep them looking good. Use isopropyl rubbing alcohol - available at your local pharmacy - and add 3 tablespoons into a small spray bottle with a couple of drops of liquid dishwashing detergent and then fill this to the top with water. This is not only the best granite countertop cleaner but also the most inexpensive. Spray on and polish the surface by rubbing in a circular motion with a soft duster.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Ronel
    Wednesday, January 19, 2011 9:58 AM
    Replace wood window frames


    I need to replace some windows but I am worried that the putty won't dry in the rainy weather. It rains almost everyday at the moment. Should I rather wait for the rainy season to pass?

    Thanks
    ======

    Hi Ronel,
    If you can wait - do, as the putty will take forever to cure. You will also find that the timber frames will swell when it is wet and you could end up sanding off too much to make them fit.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Sumaya
    Monday, January 17, 2011 2:18 PM
    Liquid wallpaper


    Hi,
    Please explain to me what liquid wall paper is? I was going to get myself normal wall paper when someone mentioned liquid wall paper from newwo.co.za. Is this cheaper?

    ======

    Hi Sumaya,
    I came across liquid wallpaper a few years back - from www.rollerwall.com - and know that several people have ordered directly from them. The process involves a special roller that has a specific design on it. This roller allows you to roll-on paint for a continuous design from wall top to bottom, creating a faux wallpaper - or liquid wallpaper. I think the idea is a good one but wallpaper will always have it's place.

    They don't give a price on the www.newwo.co.za website but you can always check out the www.rollerwall.com site and times the price x 8 to get an estimated cost.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Anisha
    Tuesday, January 04, 2011 12:13 PM
    How to treat timber front door


    Hello Janice,
    I am hoping you can help. We have a solid wood front door. The door is on the weather side and is rained upon and bright sun, as per the weather conditions for the day. The wood has cracked into fine hairline cracks. Now everytime it rains, the water comes pouring in through these fine cracks. I thought wood filler would work, but the cracks are too fine to get the filler in there. I think the door is made from meranti, and it has been stained , and probably sealed when it was first installed. I do not think the previous owner did any further upkeep on the door.

    Is there anyway we can fix this door?

    Your help is appreciated.
    Kind Regards,
    Anisha
    ======

    Hi Anisha,
    Wood doors and windows need regular maintenance to prevent them from cracking and be able to weather extremes. If the previous owner has done nothing, then the door definitely needs some TLC.

    1. Sand down the door with 180-grit sandpaper to remove dead surface material and traces of old varnish or sealer. Wipe clean.

    2. Use Woodoc 50 (inland regions) or Woodoc 55 (coastal regions). This isn't a varnish but a sealer that is absorbed into the wood and won't crack or peel.

    Don't worry about filling fine hairline cracks, the Woodoc sealer will sort that out.

    3. Apply a liberal first coat to the front, top, bottom and sides of the door. If you can't remove the door from its hinges, do the best you can at the bottom of the door, as this is where moisture gains access and causes the wood to swell.

    4. Let the first coat dry and then lightly rub with Woodoc steelwool. This removes excess sealer from the surface and allows the second coat to be absorbed. Let dry and then apply the third and final coat.

    You should ideally do this every 18 to 24 months, or more often if possible.

    Janice
    ======

     

    Anisha
    Wednesday, January 05, 2011 3:39 PM


    Good Morning Janice,
    Thank you so much for that info. I was beginning to think we would have to replace the door. We’ll be having fun with DIY again this year.

     

    Nadia
    Monday, January 03, 2011 11:28 AM
    I Need some serious advice


    Can I varnish the facebrick at the front of my house?

    My lounge is a long rectangular room with a dining room table at one end and a fireplace in the middle of the two front windows - What can I do?

    ======

    Hi Nadia,
    1. No - you can't use varnish but you can use brick Sealer. Varnish will eventually flake and peel off, whereas sealer will be absorbed into the brick. You can purchase Brick Sealer at your local Builders Warehouse or Builders Express.

    2. In the lounge - accessories. If you add a rug (almost the same colour as the couches or a gold/ochre colour) to the seating area it will create a more comfortable space. I would stain the coffee table black to contrast with the curtains and couches. From the pics that you sent you could also hang up some artwork to fill up the room a bit. At the moment it's all about the couches and curtains.

    If you go with a gold/ochre coloured rug, add black and gold/deep yellow accessories - and pop a gold or black cushion on the sofas. You will find that this will create a lot more interest in the room.

    Janice
    ======