If you have a query relating to home improvement, home maintenance, home DIY or decorating a home then this is the place! Send your queries to our DIY Diva and we will answer them as best we can. If we don’t know - we’ll find out for you. Submit your question and we'll post and answer. In this way we can build up a comprehensive library of information that everyone will be able to access.
Sent: 17 March 2017 04:33 PM
Subject: Planter boxes
Question regarding planter boxes. I used CCA timber sealed with acrylic sealer. However I stumbled across an overseas article stating one should not use treated timber - do chemicals going into your soil/plants etc. Also not to seal the inside of the planter but only the outside for the same reason. If you line the inside with DPC sheeting aren't you preventing contamination? Assuming its true, is pine doesn't last. Meranti is expensive and doesn't stain as nicely and has less grain. Is it best to build a plywood box and then add trim to the outside?
When it comes to the Internet, you can end up going in circles and end up more confused than you started. I always try to apply some common sense to topics. I suppose treated timber could affect the soil pH to a degree, and putting in a liner would definitely alleviate this problem - as long as you place a gravel bed at the bottom to help with drainage. I use pine for all my projects, as Meranti is over my budget, and have had no problems, but as you say, plywood is cheaper and will last longer. I always use Woodoc exterior sealer to protect the timber.
Sent: 16 March 2017 02:27 PM
Subject: Sticky situation
What glue/adhesive can I use to stick foam to wood? And can it be purchased from builders warehouse?
You will find this SA website very helpful:
Sent: 15 March 2017 07:27 PM
Subject: Kitchen Cabinets
I really appreciate all the advice that you give on your site! I am trying my best to remodel my kitchen cabinets and was wondering with the trim suggestion of yours, if it can be done on melamine doors?
If you want to apply moulding or trim onto melamine doors, sand down the surface where the trim is to be glued until the melamine coating is removed. That way, the adhesive will stick properly.
Sent: 14 March 2017 04:33 PM
Subject: Cracked tiles
I have a lot of cracked tiles on my patio, the patio is huge and I cannot replace all the tiles.
You would need to employ a local handyman / labourer to do this work for you. Try looking in your local classifieds, or try www.handymandirect.co.za
Sent: 11 March 2017 09:55 PM
Subject: Granite countertops
I need to re-establish a sound structural (i.e. tensile) joint between two black granite counter-top slabs. What adhesive would you recommend, especially in relatively small quantities and ideally, to colour it black as well? if you cannot assist - what company might offer related technical advice?
To secure the seams on granite countertops, the generally recommended solution would be to use a 2-part epoxy glue. My suggestion would be to get in touch with the guys at www.Pratley.com, and ask for their advice as to what the best product would be, especially if you want this tinted black.
Sent: 09 March 2017 04:50 PM
Subject: Isoboard ceiling
Ek wil graag weet is ditsinvol om die gladde isoboard ceiling wat net elke 600mm v grove het in jou huis te sit en jy wil die v grooves op vul met filler sodat dit soos een aanmekaar ceiling is. Ek verneem dat met wind wat moonlik kan inkom kan veroorsaak dat die filler sal kraak of as bord nie teen vaste oppervlak soos bestaande pine ceiling kom nie. Ek wil graag weet of dit risiko is en op n spesialis dit moet doen die fillig.
Vir meer inligting oor Isoboard, besoek die Isoboard website. Hulle sal in staat wees om te adviseer indien vul in die groewe word aanbeveel of nie. http://isoboard.com/insulation/
Sent: 08 March 2017 08:06 AM
Subject: Toilet stains
I have a problem of stubborn toilet stains. Please can you give me some tips.
There are a few articles you can refer to for tips on removing toilet stains:
Sent: 06 March 2017 12:53 PM
Subject: Article on what to buy for toolbox
Would you consider adding an article to your website on the basic, but essential, contents of a home DIY toolbox? Especially for women like me who are starting out doing things themselves. e.g. recommendations on drills (I already saw mention of a Bosch one on your site), basic tools, etc.
I have done a few, but quite a while ago, so will definitely do an updated 'What’s in your toolbox?' feature.
Sent: 20 February 2017 12:15 PM
Subject: Glass table top
I Have a glass table with dimensions 1200 x 700 attached. I want to stick a gloss black vinyl under the glass to make the table black. Can you advise?
On www.Home-Dzine.co.za we provide ideas and inspiration, but not products and/or services. Not sure who would do this type of project for you, other than perhaps a company that fits window tint to motor vehicles.
Sent: 19 February 2017 06:48 AM
Subject: Ready made curtains
My husband and I are looking for ready-made curtains that are 2.9 to 3 m long. We are based in Johannesburg. Any chance there might be a place that sells extra length curtains to these specs?
Most larger fabric stores will make these up for you in the size that you require, and are only slightly more expensive than what you will pay for ready-made curtains.
Sent: 27 February 2017 11:50 AM
Subject: Is it easy to hang wallpaper?
I'm thinking of wallpapering a wall but the wall is not smooth - what can I do to fix this?
It's not a good idea to apply wallpaper over a rough or popcorn-textured wall, as the texture will mar the surface of the paper. If you really want to put up wallpaper, you will have to look at either sanding the wall smooth with a sander and 80-grit and then 180-grit sandpaper, or applying a finishing plaster over the wall.
Sent: 24 February 2017 11:50 AM
Subject: Pockethole or biscuit joiner?
I want to add to my workshop and can't decide between a pockethole jig or biscuit joiner. Which do you recommend?
Both a Kreg pockethole jig and a biscuit joiner are invaluable tools for any workshop, and each offers its own advantages. I like using both tools for different projects. The one benefit of a Kreg pockethole jig is that it can be used on narrow sections of timber or board, whereas a biscuit joiner is limited by the size of the biscuit. Look at the projects you plan to make and take this into consideration.
Cost is also a factor, with the biscuit joiner (Tork Craft) being slightly more affordable if you buy from www.Tools4Wood.co.za
Sent: 14 February 2017 11:50 AM
Subject: Wood graining tool
Please can you tell me where I can buy a wood graining tool.
You should be able to buy this tool from www.harlequin.co.za – they ship countrywide.
Sent: 15 February 2017 04:19 PM
Subject: Cordless drill
I have attended one of your workshops where the instructor recommended a small, cordless drill for basic to medium DIY projects. Can someone please tell me which drill it was?
Sent: 12 February 2017 08:12 PM
Subject: Mosaic a trivet
I have been asked to mosaic a trivet using a specific design. Generally when I do mosaic I use Pratliglo on the top to seal it and give it a nice glaze. Obviously this is not possible as a hot pot would definitely melt the Pratliglo or set the place on fire as I would imagine it would be highly flammable. Can you recommend anything else I could use to seal grout that would be heat resistant too?
I note that Pratliglo is a polymer resin, and able to withstand a fair amount of heat. Have you tried this with a hot pot, as I’m sure you should be able to use this for your project?
Sent: 11 February 2017 09:38 AM
Thank you so much for your article on the outdoor furniture:
I have built a beautiful set of chairs, but now have a problem on how and where to get the cushions made? Also what fabric did you use for out doors? I have gone to Fiona's Fabrics but they are quoting R10k to make the cushions for 3 couches. Any advice/help would be really appreciated.
To be honest, making the cushions wasn’t that difficult – and this by someone who isn’t great at sewing! If you can borrow a sewing machine, I have put instruction on the website for how I made my cushions. And you can buy outdoor fabric at Metro and Chamdor Faktry Sales.
Sent: 08 February 2017 06:25 PM
Subject: Shower door rollers
Looking for old style large shower door rollers.
On www.Home-Dzine.co.za we offer ideas and inspiration for homeowners, but do not supply any products and / or services. I would recommend that you try and determine the manufacturer / supplier for the door and see if the local agent can assist with spares.
Sent: 09 February 2017 01:53 PM
Subject: Paint or whitewash imbuia
I have a dark wood imbuia sideboard, is it possible to whitewash or paint it, Is that even a good idea?
You can paint over any wood, and the idea is that the paint will enhance or update the piece, but that it can be taken back to wood later. Not everyone loves to paint solid wood furniture, but older pieces are dark and heavy, and especially imbuia, and using chalk paint or a whitewash really gives it a new life. You will find plenty of advice and tips on different methods in our Decorating Section on www.Home-Dzine.co.za.
Sent: 08 February 2017 11:21 AM
Subject: Wendy house
If I want to build a 6 x 12 wooden wendy house in the back of my parents yard, do I need any approved plan or paperwork?
In most municipalities, a freestanding deck doesn’t require plans. However, if the deck abuts a wall you will need plans. It’s always better to check with your local Town Planning before you build, as it varies from region to region.
Sent: 08 February 2017 09:14 AM
Subject: Rust-Oleum products
Do you sell the Rust-Oleum Rock Solid floor coating product range?
Sent: 07 February 2017 05:58 PM
Subject: Hilti products
I was wondering if they were still selling the Hilti nails in South Africa? I've run out of mine and can't find them anywhere. If they still sell the nails, I'll try to find a way so that they can be delivered to Belgium.
Hilti have pulled out of the DIY market and now concentrate more on contractor tools. I haven’t seen any accessories for the Hilti Hammers for a long time. Sorry I can’t be of more help.
Sent: 06 February 2017 01:23 PM
Subject: Strip surface of walnut table
I need to strip a walnut table surface of existing dressing/oils etc so as to prepare it for reapplying whatever would be the most suitable finish. I have had it for 40 years and always used teak and natural oil, but there were marks on it that I tried to remove and rub clean with vinegar/water, leaving lighter areas, thereafter the oil did not absorbed on lighter patches. I have also used sandpaper and steel wool and not sure if I have done all that is necessary on these areas to ensure that whatever is stopping the absorption is removed completely and well-prepared before I apply the final materials, I have been told to apply wood stripper. Help, guidance would be appreciated.
Have you tried using Mineral Turpentine and fine steel wool? This is what I use to removed sealer and oils for wood finishes, especially after sanding. If you don’t want to have to continue applying teak oil, Woodoc have an excellent range of interior sealers: www.Woodoc.com.
Sent: 04 February 2017 07:21 PM
Subject: Ripple paint
Where can I buy ripple paint that you apply with a trowel?
I know that Prominent Paints have a Ripple paint. Have previously applied this with both a trowel and a ripple roller (big yellow foam roller).
Sent: 30 January 2017 01:18 PM
Subject: Pegs and brackets
Where can I select or purchase pegboard pegs and brackets ( different shapes and sizes)?
There are a couple of suppliers to try:
Sent: 31 January 2017 08:21 AM
Subject: Rust treatment
I want to treat rust on a corrigated galvanised iron roof. I have Plascon Metalcare rust converter but instructions on the label say it cannot be used on galvanised iron. What can I use?
There are quite a few products available at your local Builders store that can be used to remove rust from galvanised iron:, Fired Earth offer the following advice:
Sent: 27 January 2017 04:22 PM
Subject: Timber deck
We have a timber deck approx, 140m² that needs attention and maintenance. We need an expert to come in and give the deck a complete overall i.e. sanding, cleaning and coating. Can you recommend someone?
Re-doing a deck is a project that any competent handyman can do for you, and you will need to find a local contractor. There used to be a couple of sites for sourcing a handyman, but these no longer appear to be operating, so make use of www.Google.co.za or similar local search engines.
Sent: 26 January 2017 11:33 AM
Subject: Upholster couches
I have a lovely set of couches that I absolutely love but they are however getting a little flat and I wanted to find out from you if it is possible for you to fill them up and make them nice and perky like they used to be. And if it is possible how much would it cost me?
Thanks for getting in touch. However, on www.Home-Dzine.co.za we offer ideas and inspiration, and advise for those that want to do-it-themselves. For your couch you would need to find a local upholsterer that could do the project for you if you don’t want to do-it-yourself.
Sent: 26 January 2017 08:16 AM
Subject: Screed flooring
I've read your section on screed flooring and found it to be very informative. What is the cost per square meter on average?
Unfortunately, that’s like asking how long is a piece of string. There are so many factors to take into consideration. You could probably work on a rough estimate of between R200 and R250 per square.
Sent: 24 January 2017 09:11 AM
Subject: Re: Dremel cutting wheels
I've been experimenting with the different bits and cutting wheels that came with my Dremel 3000. The cutting wheels that were included didn't seem to be doing the job, unless I had it turned up super high which, like you said resulted in melting.
I agree that a cutting wheel is the easiest and fastest way to cut through plastic. Having done a CD project before using my Dremel 8200, I found that you could reduce the melting around the edges by adjusting the speed. Or, like I mentioned before - just sand away any melted plastic. The Dremel 3000 is an entry-level model, so doesn't quite achieve the same high speed as an 8200, but a diamond cutting wheel should make the difference if you use on high speed, and you can also use these wheels for cutting almost anything
Sent: 25 January 2017 06:24 AM
Subject: Tar driveway
I'm looking for a tar sealant, our tar driveway is busy disassembling. What do you recommend?
I found quite a few products that can be used to seal tar or asphalt. Not sure if you can buy these at your local Builders or hardware store, or if you have to buy them direct from the supplier.
Sent: 21 January 2017 11:59 AM
Subject: Kitchen countertop
I need my kitchen countertop relaminated. Is this something you can help me with? It's 1x1.5m, 1x1m, 0.5x0.5x2m are the estimated dimensions.
On www.Home-Dzine.co.za we offer ideas and inspiration. For this type of project, you will probably need to search for a local handyman / carpenter to do the job for you.
Sent: 20 January 2017 07:43 PM
Subject: Custom made door
I need a custom made door (perspex maybe) for an en-suite-bathroom. The measurements are: width 77cm x height 205cm. There is no frame.
On www.Home-Dzine.co.za we provide ideas and inspiration. For a Perspex door you will need to either get in touch with a company that supplies Perspex, or a local handyman that can arrange the cutting and fitting for you.
Sent: 20 January 2017 09:42 AM
Subject: Polished concrete flooring
I would just like to find out about a price for polished concrete flooring with exposed agregate?
Here on www.Home-Dzine.co.za we offer ideas and inspiration, but do not provide projects and or / services. There are plenty of contractors that deal with polished concrete and a local Google search will put you in touch with someone in your area.
Sent: 20 January 2017 12:37 PM
Subject: Prevent flooding
I have a storm water drain running under my simplex patio as there is a natural stream flowing through. There is an ugly wall built on the patio to prevent flooding, but it is taking up a lot of space and I'd like to move it back or change it to a feature wall somehow - and perhaps create a water feature to give it a wow factor - any suggestions? The wall takes up half the patio, I have thought of trying to move it back and maybe incorporating planterboxes or something like that - just not sure if this massive wall is really necessary!! The stream is probably about 6-8ft down from patio level. The stream runs through Ballito KZN down to the ocean which is about 80m from this unit. I want to remove the carport style pergola as well and move the gutter to open up the space + bring light indoors. Also thinking of creating a waterfall or fountain using the water from the stream.
Have taken a look at the photos, but it is still difficult to assess the situation. However, it would be my suggestion that you get in touch with your local town planning to find out if you can even touch the wall. They have safety and municipal regulations that apply to storm water drains, and it may be that you are not allowed to move or change the wall if it is offering protection. Did you build the wall or did the town planning build the wall? Furthermore, you will not be able to make the stream a water feature, as this may compromise the flow and cause future complications. All-in-all, it would be far better to have any improvements approved and know that what you do is OK than have to worry about removing them later.
Sent: 20 January 2017 07:29 AM
Subject: Glass bar counter top
Can you perhaps forward contact details of a glass top supplier or two. I am looking at possibly using a glass top on a bar counter.
As concerns glass suppliers, this differs from region to region, so it’s best to use Google search to find a supplier in your particular area. For a glass top you should opt for a 10mm thick safety or tempered glass top.
Sent: 17 January 2017 03:58 PM
Subject: Removal of rust
Please advise a product to use for removing rust on mild steel.
There are quite a few products that can be used for removing rust, all of which can be found at your local Builders store.
Sent: 16 January 2017 09:24 PM
Subject: Spray over enamel paint
I painted supawood with enamel paint. Is it possible to put primer over it and spray paint it with 2k paint rather?
You can spray over the top of the oil-based enamel paint, but you will need to sand this with 120-grit and then 180-grit sandpaper to de-gloss the finish before you do. If you applied a water-based enamel paint you only need to give a light sanding before painting.
Sent: 13 January 2017 03:50 PM
Subject: Barn door
I am looking for the barn door sliding track and accessories. Do you have the various styles and finishes?
This project would either be a DIY project, or you could hire a handyman / carpenter. to make it for you. Try www.handymandirect.co.za or www.countryhomedesign.co.za. If you are looking for steel fittings, perhaps you should consider hiring a local welder to do the project for you.
Sent: 13 January 2017 11:59 AM
Subject: Mitre saw
I am loving the plans for a mitre saw bench and want to build one. My mitre saw brand differs from the one you are using and I can't determine the height of the storage caddies from the drawing, can you please supply me with more information / measurements if possible?
The storage caddies on either side of the saw on my mitre saw bench are 70mm high, but you can quite easily adjust the height of these to match the plate height of the saw.
Sent: 13 January 2017 03:29 PM
Subject: Liquid sander
Is it advisable to use a liquid sander on an antique piece of wood furniture that I intend to paint?
I try to avoid using liquid sander if possible, plus it isn’t necessary. If a piece is properly sanded by mechanical methods, you shouldn’t need to spend more on this product. Wood primer and then paint is all that is required, unless using chalk paint, and then you can leave out the primer.
Sent: 13 January 2017 10:59 AM
Subject: Paint colour
I would love to know what the paint colour is, used in the living room below:
This is exactly what happens when you view colour on a screen. Having viewed the page, I can confirm that none of the colours on the page are green. I would recommend that you pop into your local paint store and look at paint swatches before deciding on a colour. You can even print out the page to take along with you. Additionally, take it home and look at under different types of light. Very often the colour you see on the swatch can appear different once painted onto a wall – it all depends on the amount of light in the room and how different light affects the paint colour.
Sent: 08 January 2017 08:38 AM
Subject: Spray paint laminate kitchen
I'm looking at spray painting my laminate kitchen but not very handy myself. Can you advise on someone who can assist us?
For this type of job, you will need to find someone in your area that deals with spray painting kitchen cabinets. Unfortunately, I do not know of anyone first hand, but a Google search should provide you with options.
Sent: 07 January 2017 12:30 PM
Subject: Cracks on leather couch
I need your professional advise regarding my leather couch. Mid last year, the couch has started to crack, not normal cracks but more like its dry, scuff and powdering of the leather so whenever I sit on it, small leather particles stick to my clothes. What I want to find out is if this is restorable or do I need to re-upholster my couch. Please advise. I can send pictures if need be.
Leather couches require ongoing maintenance to keep the leather supple and soft. Without this, the leather will dry out and could crack. Once it has reached this stage there is very little you can do. You can try applying a leather restorer to see if it has any effect, but failing this it will probably need to be upholstered or replaced.
Sent: 04 January 2017 06:35 PM
Subject: Renovating small kitchen
Would like a quote for renovating a small kitchen on a budget.
Visit our Kitchen Section for ideas and inspiration for your kitchen renovation:
Sent: 04 January 2017 11:17 AM
Subject: Repainting window sills
The paint from my house's window sills is peeling. I would like to repaint them. Can you please suggest what products I need to use and the process I need to follow to get window sills looking great again? Thanks for the quick response! Have you ever posted something about relaying paving? The paving at house is uneven in place and I would like to relay the paving bricks.
First, you need to use a paint scraper to remove all the old paint and then a sander and 80-grit sandpaper to remove any remaining loose paint. If you are down to the plaster finish you should apply a plaster primer. If there is still paint you can simply paint over the top of this. Any exterior paint is suitable for painting windowsills. I recently featured my driveway re-do:
Sent: 29 December 2016 08:38 PM
Subject: Woodwork classes
I have recently gained some interest in woodwork, however never had any experience in it (never attended a school that offered this as a subject). I would like to get some experience and hopefully new skills in this. Could you send some course details such as curriculum, prices and possible dates on your next courses. I eagerly await your reply.
We offer a variety of workshops as part of www.DIY-Divas.co.za, the majority of which focus on DIY related topics. You will find full details on the website, and new workshops for 2017 will be loaded at the end of January. However, if you are more interested in carpentry and woodwork, you should sign up with your local Woodworking Association. These associations offer a wealth of information for those wanting to learn carpentry and woodworking.
Sent: 02 January 2017 08:28 PM
Subject: Transfer pictures
Please could you tell me how I can transfer pictures onto wood and what products do i need to use? I watched a u tube tutorial and they used a product called Gloss gel medium. Or do you know where i can go for classes?
Believe it or not, you don’t need fancy mediums to transfer wording onto wood – try this easy method:
Sent: 01 January 2017 06:55 PM
Subject: Paint stripper
Dropped paint stripper on my front door white facias panel. It has left a lump, will it be damaged?
Many paint strippers are chemical-based and can do a fair amount of damage to plastics and similar materials, but not sure what you are asking.
Sent: 28 December 2016 03:24 PM
Subject: Garden deck
Do you perhaps know of an alternative to this modular DIY decking company? http://www.home-dzine.co.za/garden/garden-deck-squares.htm They seem to no longer be in existence.
I am looking for something more like this:
Have you tried:
I don’t think that our local market is large enough to sustain more than one supplier, and this is the case for many international products.
Sent: 14 December 2016 04:17 PM
Subject: Butcher's block
What type of beeswax can I use on my butcher's block and where in the Western Cape is it sold?
You can use beeswax or butcher’s block oil. I know that www.Tools4Wood.co.za supply the latter, and they can ship to Western Cape.
Sent: 13 December 2016 12:58 PM
Subject: Driftwood look
Quite easy to do. Follow these instructions where I used the technique for my dining table:
Sent: 13 December 2016 02:18 PM
Subject: Wall folding bed
I am looking on how to build a wall bed/folding bed.
There used to be a local supplier for the Murphy Bed mechanism needed to make a fold-up bed, but they have since closed down. Since the mechanism is very heavy, it is not cost effective to look at having this shipped to SA, and without this you can’t make a fold-up bed.
Sent: 05 December 2016 03:25 PM
Subject: Paint countertop
How do I order the Rust-Oleum Countertop Kit and where do I see the different colour options? Where are your branches?
The Rust-Oleum Countertop Kit is not available in South Africa, due to the high landed cost for the product. It would have worked out at close to R3000 for the kit, whereas it only costs around R800 to replace with Formica Lifeseal Countertops.
Sent: 12 December 2016 09:08 AM
Subject: Colour of couch
Good day, I am wanting to change the colour of my couch. Kindly advise what paint I can use. Is it better to spray or use a paint brush. Most importantly where can I purchase the dye.
Previously, a product called www.simplyspray.com was available locally, but this is no longer the case. However, you can still order this product online and have it shipped to SA. I have previously used Rust-Oleum 2X satin spray paint for dining chairs and acrylic PVA on a chair, and you will find instructions here for the projects:
Sent: 01 December 2016 08:48 AM
Subject: Metallic paint
How do you apply the Fired Earth Metallic Paint? I saw on the tin that one can use a lambs wool roller or a brush. However, if one wants the brushed look would you only use a brush?
Yes, use a synthetic brush for a brushed effect on a wall. The tin should offer all the instructions necessary for proper application of the product. I have also forwarded a copy of this mail to Builders, to see if they have any additional information for the product.
Sent: 01 December 2016 08:35 AM
Subject: Etching paste
I'm urgently looking for brown etching paste to use for glass.
I haven’t seen brown etching paste, but etching paste is available from most larger craft and hobby stores. If you have difficulty sourcing this product, get in touch with www.brasch.co.za or www.dala.co.za to find your nearest retail outlet.