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Sent: 26 December 2013 07:46 PM

Whitewash wood

Hi! I want to know which type of wood is best suited for whitewashed treatment?

Hi Navin,
You can whitewash almost any wood. However, because pine is a very light-coloured wood, it's sometimes better to stain and then apply a whitewash.



Sent: 11 December 2013 12:46 PM

How to waterproof supawood

I have a question no-one seems to be able to answer. How to waterproof supawood? I have a birdhouse and would love to keep it outside. Also, how to repair rising damp..

Hi Glenda,
There is no way to properly waterproof supawood and it will eventually swell if left outdoors. You can coat it with 3 to 4 coats of polyurethane varnish - both on the inside and outside - and making sure to fill every nook and cranny, but there is no guarantee as to how long it will last.

For rising damp you will find information here and can also speak to the guys at Builders Warehouse about their range of ABE and Coprox products that can be applied. However, you do need to solve the problem that is causing the damp before even attempting to treat the walls, or you will simply be wasting money and repeating the procedure endlessly.



Sent: 04 December 2013 10:39 AM

Problem with condensation and moisture

I have a problem with poor ventilation or humidity in 3 of my rooms in my house, bathroom, lounge and main bedroom. I’ve noticed mould starting to form against the steel windows frames and also the ceiling near the air vent. There is a serious problem, regarding ventilation, it’s cooler outside than inside the house, I also recently installed aerolite in the roof. I’ve got raised solid wood floors in my house, for security reasons we close the room doors at night, is there a way to solve this problem, and who can I speak to regarding this, I stay in the boland area, cape town.

Hi Marlon,
For some strange reason, newer homes are not built with ventilation blocks in the walls and, while these didn’t do much for heating/cooling a home, they were ideal for ventilation.

You could consider installing extraction fans in those rooms that suffer from poor ventilation. There are models that can be opened/closed to allow for venting excess humidity and moisture.



Sent: 03 December 2013 11:08 AM

Paint or spray inside oven

Good Day,
I am in search of a product (black) to recoat the inside of an electric oven. It has to be heat resistant and non-toxic. I also need a supplier’s name for the Southern suburbs of Cape Town in the Western Cape.

Hi Godfrey,
You won’t be able to spray any product on the inside of an oven. This surface needs to be powder-coated and baked in order to stay on and be non-toxic.



Sent: 03 December 2013 09:40 AM

Wood borer in oregon floor

I have oregon floors attacked by borer in a few small areas. I have locally killed the borer by painting/injection with chemicals and I now need to fill the holes. I have heard it can be done with a mix of sawdust and some sort of cement to harden can you advise please.

Hi Bernard,
You can fill up the holes by mixing Oregon pine sawdust and Ponal wood glue to make a gluey paste. If the holes are deep, build up in 5mm layers and let each layer dry before applying another layer.



Sent: 28 November 2013 11:56 AM

How to clean slasto

Hi Janice,
I have a few questions: how do we clean paint off unvarnished slasto paving? Also how to clean old cement paving slabs that has some rust on it.

Can we pave over the old cement slabs they have been down on the ground for years and seem quite stable i.e no movement. We painted old cement slabs under a covered patio and it works very well but not sure if painting the old cement slabs will also stand the test.

Hi Richard,
You can use Plascon Remov-All and fine steel wool to remove paint from the unsealed slasto. They also have a product in their range that removes rust, but try the Remov-All on the rust marks first.

If the cement slabs are stable as you say, there should be no problem with paving over them. I would suggest laying a bed of sharp sand over the top before laying the paving, as this will offer a bit more stability should there be slight movement.



Sent: 27 November 2013 11:01 PM

Stains on hob plates

How do I clean marks on a solid plate? Its a brand new hob.

Hi Carmen,
Unfortunately most stains on hob plates cannot be removed. The material used for the plates has a level of absorbency that takes in spills and makes the plates darker (or white). You can buy black wax sticks that can be used to refresh the plates, and these hide the stains and protect the plates.

With a new stove you normally have to condition the plates before use by turning on the highest setting, so that the protective coating on the plates burns in.



Sent: 26 November 2013 07:46 PM

Where to buy webbing to make mats or rugs

The mats made out of old towels - where can I get the nylon or rubber webbing. Been to a number of large fabric shops and craft shops in PE. No one has heard of it.

Hi Barbara

I know a couple of places up in Joburg, but not down in PE. You can buy online here and the price doesn't look to bad either.

I use rubber webbing - shown left - as this prevents the mats from slipping around on the floor. The rubber webbing costs around R80 per metre and I can make two mats out of that.



Sent: 22 November 2013 08:10 PM

Wooden screen headboard stains bed linen

I bought a wooden screen which I mounted on the wall as a head board. I think it has a wax seal from the feel of it. The problem is that it stains the bed linen. What would be the best way to stop it from staining. Should I add more wax seal, or try some other product?

Hi Thavarani,
You will probably find the that wood has been oiled, which will make it feel waxy and also stain your bed linen.

The best thing to do is wipe down with a cloth and mineral turpentine to remove the oil. After that you can stain and varnish with Plascon Ultra or similar.



Sent: 19 November 2013 04:25 PM

Fix hole in gunite pool

I've got a hole (right through) of around 5 x 5cm in my gunnite pool. How and with what can I repair it?

Hi Andmyn,
Firstly, what caused the hole in the first place? I am presuming that this is a below-ground pool and surrounding by soil. If it was me, since most pool manufacturers would offer their own advice that would normally involve quite an extensive procedure, I would try an epoxy putty such as Alcolin AquaMend or 2-part epoxy putty. You can apply this underwater if need be. You are going to need to apply in layers of 10mm thick and let each layer cure before applying the next layer.

This is not professional advice and does not replace any previously offered advice, but is something you could try before calling out the professionals.



Sent: 13 November 2013 08:48 AM

Stone floors that crumble

Need advice please - are frustrated with living area floors which are natural stone (leiklip)- the stone continuously crumbles, is uneven, and even though we use stone sealer it wears off looks dusty/dirty. Is there a product that works? My husband is thinking of removing and replacing with tiles but will be a massive job as the stone floor will have to be drilled and the roof actually removed for all the dust? help please!

Hi Monique,
You mention that the stone is crumbly, which means there is nothing that you can apply over the top, as this will also eventually crumble off.

The suggestion to remove and replacing is possibly the best one, and a permanent one. Sorry I could offer an easier suggestion.



Sent: 13 November 2013 10:18 AM

Restore or renovate a kist

I have a old storage kist. I want to make it looks nice again and maybe "swoosh" it up as an extra seating (almost like an ottoman). But i do not know what to do or where to start. Please assist!

Hi Marieando,
Most probably the first place to start would be to sand down the kist to remove old varnish or paint. Use 80 or 120-grit to remove varnish or paint, sand again with 180-grit and then sand smooth with 240-grit. Now it's ready for finishing with varnish or paint. You can paint with Velvaglo for a gloss finish, Double Velvet for a sheen finish that is washable, or Polvin matt and finish off with antique wax.

You will find tons of tips in our DIY and Decorating sections.



Sent: 05 November 2013 04:08 PM

Can I put tile border around carpet?

We were given a new piece of carpet. It is a very high quality carpet, berber to be specific. It was the end of a roll used in a remodel project. We were hoping it would fit perfectly in a room we are remodeling, however, it is about 6 inches to short.

We have seen in some high end homes wall to wall carpet with borders, some with tile borders and carpet in the middle. What are your thoughts? Is this something we could do? IF so, where would we find the information we need to do this project. We don't want to spend more than what the carpet would have cost to begin with, but we have lots of tile we could use, or we could buy enough carpet to border. Any help would be apprecitated.

Hi Crystal,
I have also seen quite a few homes that feature tile borders around the edge of a carpet.

This would probably be a great way to make use of the carpet and shouldn't cost too much. You will probably have to stick the carpet down with contact adhesive, since it can't me installed properly.



Sent: 31 October 2013 07:44 AM

Make my rental a 'home'

Greetings Home-Dzine team

Firstly, you guys rock!!! I am a DIY enthusiast (even though I've yet to tackle my 1st project) and drool over absolutely everything on your website.

We are a family of 4 (dad, mom, 18yr old son and 3yr old daughter) currently renting a flat in Simonstown (3-bedrooms with a passage ((incl cupboard)), lounge, kitchen and bathroom/toilet). We have a fantastic view of the bay and, as this is our second year in the flat, there are a number of areas I would like to tackle to make the place feel like 'home' and not just a rental.

- I absolutely love colour and feed off it, however, the walls are stark white and completely bare. We do have permission to paint it a light shade, however, we cannot go too bold. After very intense deliberation with my family, we finally decided on the following colour scheme: aquamarine, hints of coral, white and stone. How do I add pops of colour throughout the common areas without going overboard or breaking house rules?

- ALL of the BIC shelves (kitchen, bathroom and bedrooms) are lined with contact paper that has got to me! I have removed some of it, however, it's left a glue residue. I would like to leave the shelves bare so how do I remove the glue residue?

- The bics in the kitchen and bathroom have a blue countertop which will definitely clash with the colour scheme I have in mind. I would have loved to cover it in mosaic tiles (seen on your website), however, it won't work as it is a permanent solution. Do you have a temporary and inexpensive suggestion/s? Your valuable input will be greatly appreciated.

Hi Marrilynh,
Love the colours that you have selected to decorate with - all my personal favourites. I'm sure the owner/landlord won't mind if you splash some colour on one feature wall and you can always paint over it when you do leave. Keep the walls white with a feature wall of colour, and all the remaining colours can be added with accessories.

Buy or make a large canvas where you can splash on some of the colours you want to incorporate to tie all the colours together. Or paint up a coir or sisal rug with the colours. Both options aren't permanent, and if you do have to knock in a nail or two to hang the canvas - that's what crackfiller is for!

As concerns the glue left on the cabinet shelves, it all depends on what type of glue it is. Try running a steam iron - set on steam - over the top. Don't touch the surface, have it raised a couple of centimetres and let the steam do the work. Have a plastic paint scraper on hand to remove as you work.

Giving countertops a temporary finish is not an easy project, but one solution I can think of would be to try using contact self-adhesive paper. The only problem I see with this is that it would scratch easily. Another solution would be to have 6mm or 9mm PG Bison SupaWood cut to the size of the tops and paint this with Velvaglo. Secure this to the existing tops with some Pattex heavy-duty double-sided tape. Let me know if this works for you.

Good luck with all the work, and don't forget to share your before and afters!



Sent: 31 October 2013 11:13 PM

Uneven sandstone floor

I really hope that you can help me!! We have sandstone floor tiles throughout our house. My problem is that it is very difficult to clean (although sealed) in all the ridges and crevasses etc. My furniture is also forever wobbling around.

Are their any sanding machines or the like, that can sand the tiles down to an even surface? Where can they be found? And what is the correct way to seal sandstone tiles?

Hi Cornelia,
Had a similar problem with my slate tiles. You can use an angle grinder to sand down the uneven edges. You will need to be careful not to chip the surface, so a smooth, gentle sanding of the edges is needed.

After that you will need to use a sealer to finish off. Visit to see the range of sealers that you can use. All their products are available at your local Builders Warehouse.



Sent: 04 November 2013 01:27 PM

Engineered wood vs maculata floor

Dear Janice
I live in Johannesburg and am in the process of replacing my hardwood floors. The substructure must also be replaced, though I am unclear whether there was originally a damp problem (floors are 90 year old Oregon pine - sanded down very thin - would need to be replaced regardless).

I am getting competing recommendations between using Maculata versus an engineered wood. One flooring company has said that Maculata would move and shift given the weather conditions in Joburg. I really have no clue. Not as concerned about price as I am about doing the right thing. Do you have an objective opinion or know where I could get one?

Thanks so much for your thoughts. I really enjoy your site = particularly as a South African transplant. It is great to have a website unique to South Africa with specific recommendations and advice for people living here!

HI Laurie,
Not one to knock a product I don't know, I did some research:

All timbers expand and contract due to ambient conditions, as will engineered hardwood. Expansion gaps are allowed for this purpose.



Sent: 27 October 2013 09:42 PM

Off grid installation

I have myself DIY installed a 12V DC off grid lighting system (LED) in my house as a fall-over when we have Eskom outages. It works off a 110Ah 12V deep cycle-battery, with an off-shelf battery charger (AccuMate) to maintain it. The wiring is all 1,5 or 2,5mm sq multi-strand, routed separate and independent from any mains cabling, with separate switches, and using MR16 1,8W down lighters and 10W LED flood lights.

The only connection to the mains is the charger that is plugged into a normal 3-pin socket.

Can I do this myself, or is there a legal requirement for the installer to be a registered electrician, as for an on-grid (Eskom) 220v installation? I hope not!

Hi Colin,
If the only requirement is to plug-in the charger, then I don't see why you would need to services of an electrician. However, having said that, any electrical installation should have an electrical compliance certificate to prove it is properly installed.

My suggestion is that you speak to an expert in this type of field, and I not sure who that would be. I have previously liaised with Andrew Etzinger at Eskom on matters relating to solar power, and perhaps you should get in touch with him.

I would be interested to learn the outcome for future reference.



Sent: 28 October 2013 02:37 PM

DIY desk

Hi there,
I found this fabulous desk on 5rooms going for R3929 and I thought, 'DIY'!! you think it's doable?

Hi Reneilwe,

Most definitely doable.

If you used PG Bison 16mm MelaWood for this project (available at your local Builders Warehouse) you would use 1 sheet at a cost of around R900 - plus they have some great finishes for this product.

A sheet of PG Bison SupaWood would cost around R600 and you would then paint in your choice of colour.



Sent: 27 October 2013 07:24 PM

How to reupholster sofa

I have been given a two-seater sofa that needs recovering. Where do I start.

Hi Margaret,
That depends... do you want to completely reupholster or simply make a slipcover?

Since most furniture is manufactured in separate parts and then assembled, more often than not it can be taken apart. Once apart you can upholster the individual pieces and re-assemble. If it can't be taken apart it's obviously a bit more tricky.

Here are a couple of articles that might help with understanding how to start:



Sent: 23 October 2013 07:00 AM

Paint or stain Imbuia chair

I have an imbuia chair which I've sanded. Now I'm not sure whether to paint it or not. Attached is a picture. Would you have any ideas?. My room is creams, beige, off whites and my wall paint is fresh linen from Plascon.

Hi Sylvia,
If I look at the images you sent through I notice there is some dark wood on the wall and lamp stand. Rather than paint the chair and have it dissappear into the background I would recommend either:

1. Applying antique wax over the sanded finish or,

2. Using my liming wax method to lighten up the wood slightly.



Sent: 23 October 2013 03:10 PM

Cracks all over the floor

Hi Janice
I desperately need your help! The structure of the house is correct but they robbed the cement on the floors. Now I have a problem that the floor is cracking in every single room and I don't want to renovate without getting advice and knowledge. I don't want to be in the same dilemma again because now it's like I am starting from the beginning with this project.

Hi Phumi,
There is very little that can be done if there are cracks in every single room. The guys who did the job need to come back and re-do. Do you happen to know what was inside the foundation before they laid the slab or concrete over the floors? If they didn't use solid material the cracks could also be due to what has been used as packing for the foundation.

Unfortunately there are so many variables and since the concete is already down, you can't see what is underneath. You may just have to start from the beginning, but this time pay close attention to what they are doing. You can't put any organic matter, or rubbish, in the foundation and they have to use hard materials such as building rubble. If they haven't done this it could be what is causing the cracks.

At least get the same guys back to pour more cement.



Sent: 21 October 2013 04:07 PM

Painting my couches

Hi there
I am looking to maybe paint our couches a darkers shade,as the ones we have a too light and having a toddler makes it difficult to keep clean. Where can I purchase simply spray paint and how much do I need?

Hi Marjorie,
The product simply spray is no longer available locally unless you buy online. What about making slipcovers rather than painting them? I am planning to do this asap as a project. My kids and dogs have completed messed up mine and I have decided to cover them - just have to find the right fabric... cheap and durable! At least with slipcovers you can remove them and stick them in the washing machine.



Sent: 20 October 2013 08:53 PM

Can I cover up slasto?

Hi, I have slasto paving outside my front door. I hate the look of it, is there any design with pavers pebbles etc that can go over the slasto so I don't have to lift/remove it? The area is probably 2m wide and 3-4m long. Your help would be greatly appreciated

Hi Lauren,
It all depends on the condition of the slasto. If there has been zero movement and therefore no cracks in the slasto, you should have no problems with covering the top with a layer of cement screed to mount pebble pavers.

If there are cracks, these will affect any surface that you put on top and removing the slasto would be the best option.



Sent: 17 October 2013 08:02 PM

Heavy duty picture hangers

I really need to hang up some heavy picture frames and framed mirrors, please advise on the type of mountings I can use.

Hi Sagie,
If you use nylon wallplugs (Fischer) and screws for hanging your heavy pictures and mirrors you should have no problem. Nylon wallplugs are far stronger than plastic ones, and the plug will stay firmly fixed in the wall, allowing you to attach hangers or hang directly onto the nailhead.

Alternatively, you can use a French cleat.



Sent: 17 October 2013 02:45 PM

Upstairs too hot - how to cool down

Hi Janice
We recently bought a beautiful house. The upstairs of the house is built with drywall. The temperature upstairs is extremely hot. I would like to find out if there is any way that I can reduce the temperature naturally. I noted that there are no ventilation holes upstairs and was wondering if I just include them if that would do the trick. I would really appreciate your advice on this.

Hi Vimla,
There are several options you can look at to reduce the upstairs temperature. I installed ceiling installation when adding my upstairs lounge and this made quite a difference to the hot space.

Adding ventilation at the top of interior/exterior walls will also improve airflow, as hot air rises.

You can also look at filling the cavity in the drywall with cellulose-fibre insulation.



Sent: 15 October 2013 03:31 PM

Bitumen glue for parquet flooring

Please tell me where I can buy bitumen glue for parquet flooring?

Hi Roshana,
You should be able to purchase glue for parquet flooring at your local Builders Warehouse, although there are now better alternatives than using bitumen, such as Mosaic Wood Block Adhesive or similar.



Sent: 14 October 2013 03:02 PM

Rust-Oleum countertops transformations

Where in Cape Town can I find Rust-oleum Countertops Transformations?

Hi Yulene,
Apparently Rust-Oleum are not going to be launching the product in SA after all. They have looked at the options, and it is far cheaper to replace a countertop with PG Bison Formica LifeSeal countertops than to actually paint it with their countertop product.

You will find information in our kitchen section on kitchen countertop options:



Sent: 14 October 2013 12:25 PM

Painting MDF with oak laminate

Hi Janice
I have what i believe to be MDF with an oak laminate in my kitchen. I want to redo the entire kitchen in a french white type colour. Is it possible to paint the cupboard doors with Rustoleum? If so please explain the process. Also, my cupboard doors are flat and I prefer shaker style. Can I fix panels of MDF to the doors to get a shaker effect. Would it be better to just measure the doors and ger MDF cut to correct sizes and then colour them the way I like? I am changing the counter tops from Rustenburg (black) granite to a cream/light brown colour.

Do you do this kind of work with cupboard doors, can you quote me or refer me to someone who can. The alternative is to install an entirely new kitchen - an expense I'd like to avoid.

Hi Paula,
There are quite a few options for you to consider in our Kitchen Improvements section:

You will also find instructions for sanding down laminate/melamine for painting with Rust-Oleum spray paint, and ideas on how to add Shaker style to plain kitchen cabinets.

It would be better to have all the strips cut in advance using 9mm or 12mm PG Bison SupaWood and then these can be glued onto the cabinet fronts with No More Nails adhesive before lightly sanding and painting the entire door.

If you need assistance with this project, get in touch with Country Home Design.



Sent: 13 October 2013 07:54 PM

Remove cement splatter from windows

Hi there,
The builders left dried cement speckles all over our glass patio door which we haven't been able to remove. Is there a SA product that can remove this? Also, we've just laid Terracotta Tiles (and sealed) on our balcony patio and now the pigeons are pooping all over it leaving big White droppings as well as something that looks like berries - how can we keep cleaning the tiles without damaging them??? Any help you can give will be much appreciated!

Hi Beverley,
You can buy a glass paint scraper at your local Builders Warehouse that will remove the cement speckles from the glass door.

For the terracotta tiles, use a natural stone stripper to clean the tiles before applying a suitable sealer. The TFC range of products is excellent and the sealer will protect the terracotta tiles and allow for easy cleaning.



Date: Sun, Oct 13, 2013 at 2:04 PM

Restore yellowwood table

Hi there
I have this old square 8-seater knynsa yellowwood table that I started sanding... very half heartedly I must admit, because I don't have the right equipment and ran out of enthusiasm halfway. What sanding and sealing processes are needed? I want to keep the rustic look with all imperfections intact.

Hi Karen,
After the painting workshop I'm surprised that you haven't poured on the Plascon RemovAll to strip down the table - reduces the work by half. You can also take a look at Builders Warehouse to see if they have sanding sponges. They come in fine and medium grit and would be perfect for sanding those round legs.

After sanding you can apply Plascon Woodcare varnish in satin, gloss or high-gloss finish.



Sent: 09 October 2013 08:02 PM

Advice on colour for Plascon Micatex

We are painting our home and have chosen Plascon Dune for the exterior. I require paint for the exterior pillars and I wanted a shade or 2 darker. Any suggestions please?

Hi Hassana,
You can have Plascon Micatex tinted to almost any colour. I would suggest that you go to your local paint supplier and ask them to tint two shades darker. They will be able to give you a colour card to indicate colour options and then you can have the Micatex mixed to the exact shade that you like.



09 October 2013 11:52 AM

Plascon velvaglo in spray gun

Dear Janice
I want to spray paint (with spray paint gun) a beautiful old steel cabinet. If I use Velvaglo, can I dilute it with turps? Velvaglo has a gel basis and is not suppose to be shaken before use.

Hi Annene,
I wouldn't recommend Velvaglo for use in a spray gun - rather use Plascon Enamel Doors & Trim, or Plascon Sure Coat.



Sent: 08 October 2013 12:52 PM

Recipe for chalkboard paint

Hi Janice,

Thanks so much for the quick reply. What a pity. I have, however, found a recipe for making your own on pinterest. 2 Cups unsanded grout mixed with 1 cup acrylic paint of any colour. Going to try it!

Hi Herma,
Do try it... it works like a dream.  Just remember to condition the paint before you use it.  Cover with chalk and wipe off with a slightly damp cloth.



Sent: 08 October 2013 12:52 PM

Rust-Oleum tintable chalkboard paint

Hi Janice,
Thanks a lot for a always exciting online magazine. I always enjoy looking for new ideas!

Do you know where I can find the Rust-Oleum TINTABLE CHALKBOARD paint? Most hardware shops knows (at last) about the normal black paint and the spray paint, but have no clue when I ask about the tintable base.

Thanks a lot for your help (and inspiration).

Hi Herma,
Rust-Oleum had problems with the tintable paint. They couldn't get the colours right. So, only the black is available.



Sent: 01 October 2013 12:28 PM

Painting tiles in a shower

Can you paint the tiles in a shower?

Hi Zelna,
I will shortly be placing an article on the Home-Dzine website about this topic. I painted my tiles about a year ago as a test. The paint is now starting to peel off, even after following the instructions to the letter. I know that Rust-Oleum Tub & Tile Kit (available at your local Builders Warehouse) is an epoxy paint, and this is far superior to the product that I used. But in the end, if tiles are glossy, it is difficult for any paint to stick permanently.



Sent: 29 September 2013 05:09 PM

Subject: New home advice

Hi there.
I wonder if you might be able to assist. I am in the process of completing my new home. I am how ever at a bit of a loss in terms of exterior asthetics. Would you be able to assist?

Hi Wynand,
I think perhaps that you should get in touch with a landscape designer. At this stage of the building process they will be able to offer valuable advice and suggestions that can be incorporated into the design to enhance both the build and the surrounding area. They will also be able to advise on hard- or softscaping to suit your personal requirements.



Sent: 29 September 2013 10:40 PM

Subject: Tension rods

I wonder whether you can advise me on where to find tension rods? I've tried my local Builder's but they didn't know what I was talking about!

Hi Lynnsey,
What you are looking for can also be described as a Telescopic Tension Rod, or Adjustable Shower Curtain Rod. If they don't have a Builders, you could also try Gelmar.

I know you can buy online, but they seems very expensive to me.



Sent: 26 September 2013 12:11 PM

Spray fabric and upholstery

Hi there
I have suede couches, but with a toddler, they are a disaster!!! I want to clean them and then try to paint it a darker colour. Can you advise what paint to use.

Hi Marelise,
Simply Spray is no longer available in SA, unless you buy online and it's very expensive. There isn't any other product that can be sprayed on, but why not make slipcovers for the couches?



Sent: 25 September 2013 08:11 PM

How to make interior doors look nicer

My interior door frames are steel with a window above . What can I do to update it as its really ugly and old fashioned.

Hi Yasmin,
There are a couple of options on the website:

I am also planning to do a project that adds decorative panels to a boring door, and I should add this in the next month or so.



Sent: 19 September 2013 07:28 PM

Can I apply clear coat over Velvaglo?

Can I spray clear coat over velvaglo satin sheen that has recently been sprayed on to a cabinet. If not, what steps do Ifollow to achieve a gloss finish?

Hi Theo,
I don't recommend spraying clearcote over the top of Velvaglo. You might end up with bubbling or cracking of the paint finish, as the two have two different compositions. In fact, I think I have tried something similar with disastrous results.

What I would suggest is de-glossing the Velvaglo finish with 180-grit sandpaper and then applying Plascon Enamel Doors & Trim, which has a high-gloss finish and is compatible with oil-based.



Sent: 18 September 2013 02:07 PM

Rhinolite ceiling falling down

Hi there
I had my bedroom redecorated about 18 months ago and the ceiling was Rhinolited. The rhinolite has suddenly just cracked and overnight is busy falling down. Please can you tell me if this is workman related or what else could cause this to happen. Thank you very much.

Hi Judy,
Very strange that it has taken 18 months to crack without any obvious cause. If this was a workman-related fault it would have done this long before. Have you checked above the room to make sure there are no leaks that might be affecting the ceiling? Or is any construction going on close to your home?



Sent: 16 September 2013 04:43 PM

Gloss finish for outdoor furniture

Good day ,
We would like to get high gloss polish as such for our out side furniture. do you supply this or assist in this matter ?

Hi Robyn,
Polish doesn't do well outdoors, as it degrades quickly with UV light. I think you may be referring to a sealer that can be applied to outdoor furniture for a gloss finish. I would suggest that you take a look at the Woodoc 55, which is an exterior sealer with a gloss finish.



Sent: 16 September 2013 10:52 AM

Floor wax polish remover

We are moving into a house that has parquet flooring. We need to remove the wax floor polish that was used before we can sand and reseal the floors. Please let me know the best and most eco-friendly way to do this.

Hi Tracy,
The most eco-friendly and effective method for removing built-up wax would be to use Plascon Woodcare Wax & Oil Remover. This product is safe and easy to use and completely biodegradable.



Sent: 11 September 2013 01:58 PM

Where to buy countertop paint

After looking at your website, you spoke about kitchen counter paint? I am redoing my kitchen myself and trying to find kitchen counter paint. I cannot find anyone who stocks this paint. I live in Durban. Do you know where I can buy this?

Hi Lauren,
Since writing the article I have been informed that Rust-Oleum Countertop Paint has not yet arrived in SA. The agents are looking to bring in this product, but are not sure of the demand.

If you think that a new countertop only costs around R800 - and countertop paint costs around R2000, it's definitely cheaper to replace a countertop rather than paint it.

If they do import this product it will be available at your local Builders Warehouse.



Sent: 11 September 2013 01:05 PM

Advice on dampproofing

I have had some damp proof work done and it doesn't seem to be working. Can you help with the best process and products to use please so that I can try and do this myself.

Hi Karey,
You will find a wide selection of articles on the website that will be able to assist you:



Sent: 03 September 2013 03:14 PM

Can I tile over wooden floor?

Good day
I need some information

Moving into an old house with carpet covering wooden floors so to start with we don't know how the wooden floors will look like, what will you recommend to rather put carpet again or to treat wooden floors. I assume it is not possible to file over wooden floors. Is it possible to put wood over wood?

And then we've got in the kitchen cables that comes out of the roof against the wall, what will you suggest to cover it

Hi Anneline,
It is definitely not advised that you tile over wooden floors. However, you can lay a subfloor, such a 19mm plywood panels mounted onto a PAR pine frame, over the wood floor and then tile onto this. The subfloor strengthens the floor and prevents cracking that would normally occur when laid directly onto the wood floor. My recommendation would be to get someone to do this for you, so that you have a guarantee should anything go wrong.

As far as the cables in the kitchen are concerned. You can purchase cable trunking - boxes with click on lids - that can be mounted onto the wall and be used to hide cables. You will find these boxes at Builders Warehouse.



Sent: 29 August 2013 08:51 PM

Can I tile over slate tile?

Good day Janice
I've been doing some maintenance and repairs to my house. Now, my question to you is, my verandah has slate tiles on which are very old and damaged. Can I tile over slate? Or not?I want to put new slate again. Would I have to remove all of this or is there a product to put over old slate and then just tile as usual?

Hi Ana,
It is never recommended that you tile over tile, but it can be done. However, where tiles are damaged it is better to remove these and start over, especially if there has been movement and tiles are loose.

If you use a cement-based or stronger tile adhesive designed for slate tiles, you might get away with simply laying new tiles over the top. Don't skrimp on adhesive and apply a thick layer to strengthen and bond. The old tiles also need to be clean of grease or wax.



Sent: 31 August 2013 10:10 AM

Stains on terracotta tiles?

I have a terracotta tile verandah which has become stained by pot plants resting on the tiles for long periods of time. The stain are cream coloured and seemingly impossible to remove. Have you any suggestions?

Hi Pat,
It could be that the wax applied to the tiles has degraded, which does go white when in contact with moisture.

I would recommend that you strip the tiles and then leave or reseal. There are a range of TFC products at Builders Warehouse that you can use to strip and reseal terracotta tiles.



Sent: 23 August 2013 09:49 PM

Restoration of bookshelf - chipboard?

I have only recently come upon your website in search of projects to do in my home and so far I love it. With a lot of people asking questions I thought I'd join them. I read an article on the different woods but for the life of me I don't know what I have here.

I've attached photos of a book shelf that was standing in a garage. Its base is now falling apart and the whole thing is skew. Is IS laminated wood or melamine? Another question is, how would one ever know if you can sand or not. You always say sand with 180 and then 240 and by the looks of it you can always sand. but this looks like is going to disintegrate when trying to sand. The doors I can rehang. What does on fix the skewness. Do I take small metal L brackets and screw them everywhere on the inside? And for the base, do I cut 10cm off to get rid of the rotten part?

Hi Louis,
Having looked at the pics I can confirm that the bookcase is made from chipboard that has a paper-laminate coating. This is the type of furniture that I refer to when talking about cheap and nasty chipboard - no offence meant. You will probably find that the only 'wood' on the bookcase is the moulding strips at the front, and the rest will be chipboard. Sanding this type of furniture is not an option, as you will simply sand away the paper-laminate finish leaving only bare chipboard behind.

My suggestions are:
- Place a sturdy backing board onto the back of the cabinet with panel pins. A masonite backing board (3mm) might be too thin if the bookcase is totally out of square and a 6mm or 9mm plywood will offer additional strength. Have the backing board cut to the size of the cabinet - as it should be when square at the corners. You can use a carpenter's square to check this.

- Replace the doors with 16mm PG Bison SupaWood doors.

- Prime the entire cabinet with Plascon Melamine Primer and then paint with Rust-Oleum 2X spray paint or Plascon Double Velvet or Velvaglo. Sand with 400-grit sandpaper between primer and paint.

However, if you look at what it's going to cost to makeover this bookcase/cabinet, it would probably be cheaper to build from scratch. You can use the old cabinet to size all the pieces to be cut and then have SupaWood or MelaWood cut to size for assembly.



Sent: 23 August 2013 03:34 PM

Affordable option for hardwood floors

I am thinking of having solid floors installed in my home, but the price is exorbitant. Do you know of a company that installs a less expensive wood, that is still hard and can handle a bit of traffic, which I would like to white wash? I really am not keen on laminate flooring, but the solid floor costs are hefty.

Hi Alison,
Hardwood flooring has always had a high price tag, and it continues to become even more expensive as hardwoods are imported.

Oregon Pine and Oak are the most common materials for hardwood floors, but you could also look at cheaper options such as those use for decking, such as Saligna (or Kiaat). rder/price_per_unit.html



Sent: 22 August 2013 11:17 AM

Drywall or brick wall?

Considering dry walling as opposed to a brick wall for my house. Can one finish it to look like a normal wall? Is it cheaper than a brick wall. What is the cost for a 4 meter, ceiling height wall with 1 door? The house is in Midrand Johannesburg

Hi Laurett,
I have a few drywall installations in my home. Not only were they less mess and fuss, they did work out cheaper than a convetional brick-plastered wall. Not sure of the cost today - you will need to contact a local contractor. This type of installation is becoming increasingly popular in SA, which also helps to bring down the cost.



Sent: 20 August 2013 07:25 AM

Solution to hide or screen ugly building

Just discovered your fantastic website and hoping you can assist

We live behind a block of flats which also has shops below ie we look onto chimneys, fans. We did have trees on the pavement blocking this but the trees have become so big and high, we had to trim back so that we could get some sun into the garden What suggestions (but not expensive) do you have to try block the sound from the fans and hide the ugly chimneys. We do have 7ft vibracrete walls So far my ideas would be to grow a hedge (approx 5 yrs before we will get any benefit) or thatch lapa but this will be really expensive

Hi Deirdre,
There aren't really any quick-fix solutions. You could consider buying trees that are already a certain height, so they wouldn't take as long to grow. I know I planted Brush Cherry to hide my next door neighbour, and these trees grew incredibly fast.

There are suppliers of trees that are already about 2 metres high. Alternatively, think about mounting a trellis on top of the existing wall and planting a quick-growing creeper.



Sent: 16 August 2013 12:50 PM

Re-use window frames

Morning Janice!
I'm busy building a new house, is it possible to use the old window frames onto the new house, because now they arer just lying around and new ones are so expensive. To think I have 7 huge window frames with glass and now I have to buy others again, its too much! How can I revamp them to look good as new again!! Please assist me Janice!! I'm desperate!!

Hi Lungile,
You can most definitely reuse the old window frames in the new house. What you might need to do is to fasten wire straps onto the top, bottom and sides of the frame, as I am sure these will come off when you remove. You will find galvanised steel at Builders Warehouse and can nail these on as straps. This will secure the frames into the surrounding brick and plasterwork.

Wipe down the frames with steel wool and mineral turpentine before sanding. Sand with 120-grit if there are scratches, etc and then smooth with 240-grit. Once installed you can apply a wood sealer for protection.



Sent: 20 August 2013 02:02 PM

Painting tongue and groove wall panelling

Hi Janice,
Doing a bit of research into T&G painting (you are correct - maybe in its day it was fashionable, but now!!). Will be following your tips, but is there likely to be any 'bleed-through', my T&G has many knots!

Hi John,

If there are lots of knots, as you mention, I would recommend using Plascon Wood Primer before painting over the T&G.



Sent: 15 August 2013 10:58 AM

Advice on plastering interior wall

Hi there
I need to re plaster an interior wall to prepare it for wallpaper. There was a damp issue which has been sorted and we will scrape the wall etc in prep.

Would it be best to plaster or to rhinolite the wall? I'm not too sure what rhinolite is about but, since the wallpaper is going over it, is it necessary?

Hi Kandi,
Definitely don't use Rhinolite if you are applying wallpaper. This stuff sucks up moisture like and sponge and won't let the wallpaper stick to the wall.

Rather use a conventional plaster mix for the project.



Sent: 13 August 2013 12:33 PM

Getting rid of black mould

Hi there
How do I get rid of black mould on my bedroom ceiling? I have two kids under 2years and I have tried almost everything. Help!

Hi Bridgette,
Before you can get rid of it, you need to find out the cause. Mould only grows where there is moisture or damp and a nice warm environment. Have you checked in the ceiling space to see if there is a leak above the room that would cause the damp to grow?

Once you have identified the cause, there are a couple of solutions you could try:



Sent: 05 August 2013 11:52 AM

Turn wooden shed into home office

Good morning Janice,
I read Home Dzine the second it arrives in my inbox, and refer to your site for just about any and every DIY project I undertake!

I am hoping you will be able to shed some light on this little project planned?! I have a garden shed - wooden, with one door and one opening window. The size is 1.8 x 2.4m. I am wanting to convert this space into a home office where I have my own little space and building costs are just way too much for us right now. I had planned on laminate flooring in whitewash, dry wall on the sides and maybe hardboard on the ceiling. This all seems to be the easy part. The problem part is replacing the wooden door with a French door or glass/wood door for extra light. How would we even start to go about this? The height seems very low on the current door - so finding a door that will fit the frame is probably near impossible. Any ideas or advice?

Hi Kelly,
Thank you!! We are planning a future project to make a French door from scratch with Meranti, if you can hang on. Not sure when but it should be soon.

You mention hardboard for the ceiling, but you could also use OSB, plywood or gypsum board for this as well.

Once started, you will find the door to be easier than you thought. If the frame area seems small for the door, add a triangular shaped closed window at the top to visually increase the height and also let in more light. If you can, send me a pic of the area you want to cut out and I can make suggestions on the best way to proceed.



Sent: 02 August 2013 08:30 AM

Remove old wood floors and install concrete floor

Hi Home-dzine,
I have a problem, I recently purchased a very old house with raised wooden flooring, straight through the house, except kitchen and bathrooms. I would like to remove the flooring in the lounge and dining room and fill it up with old building rumble and level it with concrete and put a nice ceramic tile over it.

What do I need or what is the process in doing so in replacing raised wooden floors with tiles. Is there anybody I can speak to regarding this renovation problem.

Hi Marlon,
This is a job better left to the professionals, as the fill has to be compacted or you will end up with a cracked floor later on. Additionally, there are requirements as to the thickness of the slab required, and they may need to add reinforcing.

A general building contractor will be able to advise the process and cost, or you can look at installing a 'floating' concrete slab:



Sent: 31 July 2013 09:37 AM

Paint over wood panelling

How do I paint over wood paneling. My home has paneling in virtually every room (old home). The paneling is brown so this makes the house look dark. It seems to be pine paneling. I tried to put Velvaglo on one of the walls, but the paint scraps off quite easily. Before I do the other walls, I need to know if I am using the right paint? I did not put on a primer.

Hi Linda,
If the paint is peeling off the panelling, that is due to lack of surface preparation. I would imagine that the panels have been oiled or varnished. If oiled, you will need to clean with fine (Woodoc) steel wool and mineral turpentine - If varnished, sand down with 180-grit sandpaper to 'de-gloss' the surface for painting.

Plascon Velvaglo is an oil-based paint that is durable for trim, but not sure I would recommend for painting all the walls. Rather do the preparation, apply wood primer (just to be safe) and then paint with Plascon Double Velvet, which can be tinted in an almost unlimited choice of colours.



Sent: 30 July 2013 08:17 PM

Paint pine louvre bedroom cupboards

I have pine built in bedroom cupboards with louvered doors. It is varnished in clear. I would love to update it and was thinking of painting it white. I just have no idea where to start and if its going to be a big job to do on my own.

Hi Candi,
A nice project to tackle and it shouldn't take too much work or time.

Start off by sanding the doors with 180-grit sandpaper to 'de-gloss' them and provide a better finish to paint on. Also, by sanding to remove the gloss finish you can paint over the top with either oil-based or acrylic paint.

Use a paintbrush to get into the louvred areas and then lightly roll over this with a foam roller to smooth. Paint larger, flat sections with the foam roller.

If you are looking for a more rustic or shabby-chic look, use a paintbrush rather than a roller and after painting, sand the edges lightly with 120-grit sandpaper for a light distressed finish.

You can get ideas from



Sent: 28 July 2013 10:34 AM

Spray defy hob stovetop

Good day
Is it possible to repaint,re spray my Defy Gemini Hob and replace the solid plates?

Hi Michelle,
You can spray the top of the hob with Rust-Oleum High-Temperature spray. Give it a very good cleaning and lightly sand down with 180-grit sandpaper before you spray. You will find Rust-Oleum products at your local Builders Warehouse.

Finding replacement solid plates might be a bit more difficult, but it can be done. Try around your area for anyone who does Defy repairs, or get in touch with Defy directly.



Sent: 25 July 2013 09:04 AM

Paint kitchen countertop with marble look

I would like to paint my Kitchen countertop and do like a marble look, do you have a paint that you can recommend for me to use. I have also read on the internet to get a sealer over the paint something like Marine sealer (Varnish). Please can you assist as I would really like to do this project.

Hi Beverley,
Conventional paints aren't recommended for use on countertops and these surfaces require a 2-part epoxy paint, such as Rust-Oleum Countertops (which isn't available locally at this stage).

However, if you are prepared to give it a go, lightly sand the surface with 180-grit sandpaper and then use Plascon Melamine Primer. Use Plascon Velvaglo as the top coat and to give a faux marble finish.



Sent: 24 July 2013 08:17 PM

Choosing colours for home decor

I have a problem with my living room.i feel the colors are not coordinating. Couches are butternut-like in colour - walls are cream and coffee table and plasma unit are mahogany. What paint can I use to get nice look. Also the colour of accessories and ornaments - I don't know which ones to use.

Hi Sbongile,
It sounds like all the colours are not being pulled together. You have shades of orange on the sofa and mahogany, which has purple undertones, for the wood furniture.

A rug that has both orange and burgundy would pull all the colours together, as would a large artwork with these colours. You could also consider painting a feature wall behind the plasma unit in the same colour as the sofa. If you go with a rug or artwork, bring in accessories in a deep purple colour (see colour swatch).



Sent: 23 July 2013 04:45 PM

How to hang art

I really want to hang my children's school photos on my wall,but have no idea where to start,how to hang te different sizes and what to use to hang them. Please help

Hi Eleanore,
There are quite a few articles in the website that look at hanging art in different ways:



Date: Mon, 22 Jul 2013 07:55

Need help with choosing exterior paint colour

I renovated and need help with the colour of the very wide fascia boards. The walls are open red brick (Old Cape red) and concrete pillars in front of the house.

Hi Elbie,
You have obviously already decided not to go with white, which is an easy colour to maintain and touch-up as and when required

If you use Plascon Wall & All you can have this tinted in an unlimited range of colours from the Plascon Inspired Colour System. My suggestion would be to keep to the red side of the colour spectrum to tie in with the red brick of the walls.

Earthy colours such as the ones shown above are very modern and will add warmth to counteract the sterile feel of the concrete pillars.



Sent: 18 July 2013 11:40 AM

What paint for bathroom tiles?

Good day to you Home Dzine
I am wanting to paint my bathroom and was hoping you could advise me where I can purchase or even google swatches and colours for bathroom tiles

Hi Andrew,
There are two products that are specifically designed for painting over tiles.

Plascon Tile Primer can be painted over with Plascon Velvaglo, which comes in a wide range of colours.
Rust-Oleum Tub & Tile Kit is an epoxy paint that comes in white only. You will find all products at your local Builders Warehouse.



Sent: 17 July 2013 12:23 PM

How to restore chest of drawers

I have the typical chest of drawers. the drawers are still in perfect looking condition, but the top and bottom of the drawers looks horrible. The top has water damage, and the bottom is chipped. How can I fix it, can I paint it? If i can, what type of paint do I use, and what procedure do I follow?

Hi Elmien,
I would suggest that you sand with 120-grit on the top and base of the cabinet to try and remove as much of the damage as possible. Sanding should smooth out the chips as the bottom. Any remaining chips can be filled in with Alcolin QuikWood (see this article for details on how to use).

Sand again with 240-grit sandpaper for a nice, smooth finish and then wipe clean.

You can paint with almost any type of paint and you will find plenty of ideas here.



17 July 2013 01:00 PM

How to repair and paint chest of drawers

I have the typical chest of drawers. the drawers are still in perfect looking condition, but the top and bottom of the drawers looks horrible. The top has water damage, and the bottom is chipped. How can I fix it, can I paint it? If i can, what type of paint do I use, and what procedure do I follow?

Hi Elmien,
I would suggest that you sand with 120-grit on the top and base of the cabinet to try and remove as much of the damage as possible. Sanding should smooth out the chips as the bottom. Any remaining chips can be filled in with Alcolin QuikWood. Sand again with 240-grit sandpaper for a nice, smooth finish and then wipe clean. You can paint with almost any type of paint and you will find plenty of ideas here.



17 July 2013 12:45 PM

Good Day
I am so glad to have found your website. Not only has my house been changed to a pleasurable and tranquil home, my relationship has also evolved into the unexpected.

I have always been into arts and crafts and started at a young age doing little projects. We moved from a small space into a bigger house with more space to allow me to attempt at DIY Projects again. I have been moaning to my hubby, for the fact that I refuse to buy a bed stand as I believe I can make it myself and he would in turn brush me off. Every DIY Project I recommend, he turned me down saying it might be cheaper to get the end product without the hassle and time and blab la bla.

Until one day, I removed the (old cream ) chest of draws from the kids bedroom- sand it down good and gave it a bright green spray paint. I added some stencil art and replaced the handles. The end product looked brand new and like those that come from the expensive shops- the shops that you don't bother going in because you just know you can't afford it! Then I discovered copper colour spray and went on a high spraying my old vases and other pieces that added so much glam to my lounge. Sophisticated and cheap. In our sun room I did the pallet furniture but instead of the single seaters I did a day bed kind of thing, and sometimes I find him asleep on there. Now, most week- ends, he is asking me what is ''our'' next DIY Project.

We have so much fun doing this together and we both discovering our artistic sides and learning things about each other that we never knew existed. Even my 2 year old is open minded and recommended that we change his bed to a blue and red and mommy must draw cars on it. DIY Projects has made family time so exciting. Thank you for sharing your amazing thoughts and ideas with the rest of the world and making a positive change in the lives of mine and many others who are yet to discover their potential maybe once unknown to them.

Hi Candice,
I would love to see some pics of beautiful projects you have done. Your story is so inspiring and I am sure there are hundreds of DIY Divas out there who will read and do something.

Once you get started it's very hard to stop, and taking the next step to make your own furniture is one that I can recommend to anyone.

Thank you so much for sharing.



16 July 2013 08:49 PM

Paint plastic paint containers

Hope you can help

I got 20ltr empty paint bucket. I like to paint them to use for pot plants What pain can I use and will last for outside?

Hi Louise,
Rust-Oleum have a spray paint that is especially for use on plastic. Before you spray, make sure the bucket is clean and dry, and lightly sand with 400-grit sandpaper to ensure that the paint has a nice surface to adhere to.

You will find Rust-Oleum Paint for Plastic at your local Builders Warehouse and it is available in a wide range of colours.



16 July 2013 04:09 PM

Using Rust-Oleum on Melamine

Hi Janice,
Have you ever tried using Rust-Oleum spray on melamine? I have a "red alder" melamine desk in my office at home, that I would love to change to white, but am not sure how the paint will last.

Hi Linda,
Have used Rust-Oleum on melamine quite a lot. You need to lightly sand the surface with 180-grit sandpaper before you paint, and only spray on light, even coats - with drying time between each coat. Rust-Oleum 2X works well, but the Rust-Oleum Enamel spray range is excellent. It just takes a bit longer to dry.

As with any painted finish, there's no guarantee against scratches. I had a console table that I sprayed a few years back and which I gave away recently. It still looked good.



16 July 2013 09:34 AM

Want to cover up patio tiles

Hi there,
I am ABSOLUTELY in love with your ideas!!!!!

Please advise me... I stay in a townhouse complex and get more and more irritated with the light cream colour tiles the developers used for the patio ... have to clean them every day!

Is there a way one can screed over tiles? Do you come out for quotations? I would love to apply this to my patio as well as to my one bathroom (love the lace design).

Hi Amelia,
Thank you.

For your patio tiles I would get in touch with They have a wide range of cementitious products that can be used for various applications, and they would be able to advise which is the best for your situation. They would also be able to recommend a professional installer, or advise how best to DIY it.



13 July 2013 09:46 PM

Lay carpet over slasto

I want to lay carpet over slasto stairs. One side of the stair case is free standing and the slasto goes over the edge slightly. I am told I need to straighten the edge in order to lay the carpet neatly. The overhangs are between 5 - 20 mm. How do I cut the slasto?

Hi Carol,
I agree with the advice given. Slasto is very uneven and you may need to use an angle grinder to cut off at the overhang. Use a masonry cutting disk in the angle grinder to cut away. An alternative to this very dusty option would be to use a hammer and cold chisel, but this will take a lot longer and still make a fair amount of mess.

How are you going to be fastening the carpet down?



Fri, 12 Jul 2013 13:06:55 +0200

My weekend restore protect

Dear Home Dzine
I was looking for a serving unit for my dining room and couldn't find anything I liked or that was within my budget.I bought this cabinet from a trading store. I reckon it was in a library as it had numbers stuck on the draws. I stripped it as best as I could, spray painted it with an antique paint and tiled the top.

The whole thing cost about R1100.00.

Needless to say, I'm very pleased with the results.


11 July 2013 08:42 PM

How to fit drawer under undercounter oven

I have bought a Defy 600 U oven Hob. My old oven had a warming drawer, but the new defy only has an oven. I want to buy or build a unit with a drawer underneath the oven. Do you know where I can get one or if I build one myself - can I use melamine? My colours are white units - Formica black counters. The stove is black.( I have enough white melamine and black Formica left to do this job as I have recently had the kitchen redone.I am worried about the weight of the oven on top of the drawer which will be on the floor. The hob fits into the old stove's place (which is above the oven) I have enclosed pictures of the old white stove and new black stove.

Hi Pam,
Had a similar project to do when we moved into our home. I removed the stove and fitted an oven/hob combination and built a drawer underneath.


Design the drawer so that it has a front panel that hides PAR pine supports mounted on top of the drawer box. This will support the weight of the stove and still allow you to use the drawer.



10 July 2013 02:36 PM

What material to use for panelling bathroom walls?

Good day
I am quite desperate for some advice from you if at all possible. I would love pine and groove panelling on my bathroom walls. The problem is all the conflicting advice I have been given. Some people say painted supawood is the best as it does not expand and contract as pine does. Others say the supawood would not be good in a bathroom as it can easily swell with the moisture content.

The carpenter doing the panelling says supawood. The builder renovating the bathroom says definitely not!! Rather pine. HELP!!!

Hi Lisa,
Both options can be a problem unless properly installed and sealed.

Pine has a tendency to contract and expand in a bathroom, while SupaWood absorbs moisture. My choice would be to install SupaWood panelling - have it raised about 10mm above floor level and then finish this off with a pine or meranti skirting that has been properly sealed or varnished to prevent moisture ingress.


Hi Janice
I honestly never thought I would get any reply and am so impressed that not only did you reply, but so quickly too. I really appreciate that and even more appreciate your advice. I was really at my wits end with the difference in opinions.

Your advice is the same as Easy life kitchens who installed our kitchen a couple of years ago, so I think I will go with that.

Many thanks again


08 July 2013 11:51 AM

Sliding door mechanism

Hi there
I'd like to install sliding doors for my bedroom cupboard - 1m wide. Could you advise where to purchase the sliding mechanism (tracks and rollers, etc) at an affordable cost please. I've already visited Raiel and City Doors and thought that R950 and R800 was pricey. I have melamine doors made up already. I live in Cape Town.

Hi Brian,
You can also buy the sliding door tracks at Builders Warehouse. Not sure of the cost but I seem to remember them being cheaper that the prices you mentioned.


Thank u so much Janice
I did price Hillaldam sliders at Builders Warehouse house earlier in the year and they were much cheaper. I just wondered about its efficiency and longevity as a consultant at City doors explained that their brand from Poland has bearings in the rollers and is more durable than just plastic wheels (of Hillaldam) I assume. Is this just sales pitch, and will Builders Warehouse product work just fine?

Hi Brian,
I installed the BW product about a year ago and have had no problems. Just check the weight allowance on the pack to make sure it will support your melamine doors. Or check with Hillaldam.



06 July 2013 01:45 PM

How to strip and seal slate tiles

I have a question that I would appreciate you assistance with. We have slate tiles installed in our kitchen. The tiles have been sealed, however the installers sealed these tiles without cleaning the tiles properly. We would like to remove the seal, clean these tiles and then re-seal them again. Can you recommend products or a company that could assist us?

Hi Steve,

Visit the website for details on the various strippers and sealers that you will find at Builders Warehouse. You can do it yourself or hire a daily labourer to help or handyman.



26 June 2013 10:14 PM

How to drill holes in porcelain tiles

Hi Janice,
Thanks for a magnificent magazine.

Bathroom renovations - currently stress mode!!

We have stripped our bathroom out and totally renovated, but without considering possible problems for the future. We installed some heavy and large porcelain tiles (900x450 mm) - tile cutting being an issue as well as a muscle building time - but my wife had set her heart on these tiles!!

I am now at the stage where I wish to add the bathroom accessories!! I cannot find a drill bit that will tackle the job of porcelain tile drilling. A 10 mm fixing is required for the accessories - within your industry knowledge, are you aware of any 'diamond tip' drill suppliers - have spent some time struggling with Ananzi, and found a company Diamond Products here in Gauteng which I will call, but any advise you can offer will be greatly appreciated.

Hi John,
There are a couple of products you might want to consider, and I have used both on porcelain tiles.

Tork diamond tipped hole saws come in different sizes, for cutting out holes for tap fittings and pipes, etc. The price ranges depending on the size, but it costs around R300 for the larger diameter hole saw. You need to use these in a quality 500W minimum rated power drill. I have used my Bosch PSB500RE for this without any problems. Here is a tip you will find useful.

For smaller holes, you can use a smaller-diameter hole saw, or a glass and tile bit - also shown in the tip above. A glass and tile bit costs around R50.

Both items are available at your local Builders Warehouse, but you will have to ask, as they are normally locked away in a glass cabinet. Ask for Tork diamond-tipped hole saw or glass/tile bit.



26 June 2013 01:02 PM

How to get rid of bumpy walls

Hello hello DIY Divas
I have decided to set myself projects in my house My first one is the spare room it drives me nuts that it is soooo boring So I am going to be sanding a single bed and white washing it, but ah ha I have awful stippled plaster walls *bleh* that stumps my creative flow Need to either find someone to teach me Rhinolite (looks tricky), paint ideas for these types of walls AND I want to make my own bedside tables with a bit of flair

Your suggestions would be greatly appreciated

Hi Mirikee,
DIY will definitely set you on the road to recovery and is just as addictive - in a good way.

You will find plenty of tips, tricks and techniques in the Decorating Section for painting furniture, and we do have a DIY project for bedside tables:

Applying Rhinolite is definitely not an easy project to do, esspecially if you want smooth walls. Even the professionals have a difficult job making bumpy walls smooth. Although messy, I have found that sanding walls is the best solution. And some sanders allow you to attach a vacuum cleaner hose.

You can sand the walls????? Tell me more

Hi Mirikee,
I sanded all my walls when I moved in. They were all bumpy with a popcorn texture and I hated it, so I took my sander and some 120-grit sandpaper and sanded them all smooth. I use a Bosch sander and attach tape the hose of my vacuum cleaner to the vacuum outlet and switch on so there's hardly any dust.



Sent: 25 June 2013 01:32 PM

Stencil for floor

Good day
I'm looking for floor stencils prices. We are in North West Rustenburg.

Hi Marlize,
You can find stencils at most craft and hobby shops, as well as at your local Builders Warehouse. Alternatively, you will find a wider selection if you buy stencils online.


Hi Janice
Can I use any stencils on the floor or must it be a special one to use on the floor

Hi Marlize,
You can use any stencil you like on the floor - even make your own if you want to:



21 June 2013 03:53 PM

How to fix up bad paint job

My home is the victim of a once upon a time bad interior paint job. Bad in the sense that the person painting didn't take care around fixtures, windows and even floors- in a few spots there are paint drops. This is driving me mad. Must I replace the fixtures and windows (and live with drops on wood and concrete) or is there a way to fix this? thanks.

Hi Lesley,
You shouldn't have to live with someone else's mistakes and there are ways and means to put things to right.

Grab yourself a small bottle of Plascon RemovALL. This eco-friendly paint remover will do wonders for removing the paint spots and you could also test an area on the fixtures as well, to see if Plascon RemovAll sorts this out at the same time.

A glass paint scraper - one with a fitted blade - will soon remove paint from the window frames and only costs around R50.



21 June 2013 01:07 PM

Fix interior doors with holes

Dear Janice
We moved into our first house last year. The previous owner left us with holes punched/kicked into every bedroom door! Some holes are extremely poorly mended and others not at all. They are a complete eyesore!

With the doors being hollow, is there anyway we can better repair the holes or would it be easier to purchase new doors (bearing in mind that the hinge recesses and the locks will need to be cut).

Hi Catherine,
Having two boys at home, I know how easily these doors can be broken and it's almost impossible to fix them up.

You can buy hollow-core doors at your local Builders Warehouse for around R300 and it's probably better to replace rather than attempt to repair. I have just completed an article on replacing an interior door and will post on the website over the weekend. It's not that difficult to do-it-yourself, or even hire a handyman for an hour to do it for you.

Alternatively, you can have a 3mm Masonite panel cut to fit over the sides of the door. This will need to be glued with No More Nails Adhesive or contact Adhesive and clamped until the glue sets.

Both options will cost around the same.



19 June 2013 08:16 AM

Patchy concrete

We had a new aluminum sliding door installed. The contractor patched up the concrete at the base of the door. When it rains, the patched concrete darkens considerably in colour whereby the older concrete doesn't. I'm concerned it is taking on water. Do I need to paint a sealant on it?

Hi Rogan,
It could be that the concrete has not cured properly - takes a couple of weeks before it really starts to cure.

I would apply a sealant in any case, as long as the concrete has been down for more than two weeks.

The TFC range of concrete products are available at your local Builders Warehouse:



19 June 2013 03:02 PM

Can I use rhinolite on bathroom walls

Good day
I am renovating my bathrooms and have decided to not tile the entire bathroom, but to paint the bathroom walls. Is this advisable for a bathroom? What paint should I use? Do you advise I rhinolith the walls first before painting?

My reason for wanting to paint the walls is that I do not want to be restricted to a specific tile in years to come, as I plan on staying in my house for a very long time. My bathrooms are a nasty colour (please see attached) so I'm buying all white bathroom utensils and would like the walls painted (see attached)

Hi Sumaya,
There is a lot of confusion about where and where not to use Rhinolite. This product absorbs moisture like a sponge and should definitely not be used in a bathroom.

Use Polycell Exterior to smooth out any defects in the walls and then sand smooth with 180-grit sandpaper. I specify Polycell Exterior for a bathroom rather than Interior, which tends to absorb moisture.

You will need to apply Plascon Plaster Primer over the bare walls before painting. You can paint walls with Plascon Kitchens & Bathrooms Paint, which comes in white and pastel tints, or Plascon Velvaglo (oil-based).

Alternatively, take a look at some of the cement-based products such as those on offer from or



20 June 2013 08:56 AM

Advice on lawn or buffalo grass

My Name is Anthea I moved in to my house last year. I dont have any idea what to do with the garden - its very sandy and rocky. As a single person I dont hve the finance but would love to have a lovely beautiful yard. I am staying in Port Elizabeth. I would really appreciate your advice on the grass type locally known as "koei-koei". I am not sure that is the correct spelling.

Hi Anthea,
You might want to take a look at Buffalo Grass. This type of grass grows reasonably fast when established using plugs or seedlings. Buffalo Grass grows in full sun or partial shade, and having looked at the images you sent through you need a hardy grass that can grow in sun or shade.

Once the lawn is established you can then look at adding beds and borders or creating a focal point.



19 June 2013 10:30 AM

Online planner for floor plans and design

Wondering if you could assist. I have a 143 sq meter upstairs space I need to design as best I could. Please can you suggest a design programme that a novice can use to play with and come up with plans. I don't think employing an architect at this point is affordable for we are only in the planning stages to figure out what we want and what it would cost. Can you make any recommendations.

Lighting in a house is very important to me, but this space is not facing north, although it is upstairs. This will influence the decision in what spaces we create hugely.

Hi Charlene,
I agree that it's better to have a concrete idea in mind before taking it to the next level. An architectural designer is expensive, so putting all your ducks in a row beforehand will save you in the long run.



10 June 2013 12:57 PM

Advise on staining of dining table and chairs

I'm an avid follower of your online magazines. Always wanted to attend one of your workshops but never got around to doing it!

I need your help with my dining table and chairs. I have just purchased my own place after many years of renting and have a whole different vision for the new place. I have taken a lot of ideas on colours from your magazine. My table is a bit outdated and I would like to have it stained to a darker colour or do a white was of the table legs and chairs and have a darker stained table top (you had this featured in one of your earlier magazines). It is a square eight seater table. The table is in an excellent condition.

Hi Waheda,
Once you get stuck in you can do it step-by-step and see it's not difficult - just time consuming.

You will need to use an Orbital Sander for the top. A multi-sander (iron-shape) only sands in one direction and doesn't leave a nice finish, especially on large flat surfaces, such as a tabletop.

You can use Plascon Polvin white for the legs and chairs and finish this off with Woodoc antique wax. Sand down to remove the gloss from the varnish in all areas before painting. If you don't sand down to the wood you won't need to apply primer.

Any dark stain would look nice on the top in contrast to the white.



17 June 2013 10:06 AM

Shower and bath finish

Hi Janice
I would like to ask if I can use cemcrete products inside the shower and around the bath. We're living in the wooden house, the walls are covered with rhino-boards. The area inside the shower has got cement-fiber boards but not the bath area.

Could I use cemcrete on top of rhino boards? Should i use some kind of cementbased primer first? What other waterproof finishes could I use?. We don't want to use tiles.

Hi Renata,
Rhino board is very absorbent and not recommended for use in a bathroom, particularly around a bath. Cement-fibre boards are normally used in this situation.

The only concern I have is the stability of the boards and whether or not there is any movement that would cause the cemcrete to crack.

Another option would be to paint the cement fibre board with a cement-based paint-on coating. I know that Cemcrete have such as product, as do



Fri, 14 Jun 2013 17:57:33 +0200

How to restore shine to cemcrete floor

I have grey cemcrete on my lounge, dining, kitchen, bathrooms and passage areas. Which is the best product to use when cleaning it. I have also noticed that on the parts where there is traffic it has started to lose its shine.

Hi Dolly,
If the cemcrete was steel floated when laid, you will find it difficult to get back the shine, as it is the process of laying with a steel float that gives it a shiny finish.

Cleaning is done in the same way as a concrete floor and you can try using the RemovALL High Strength Cleaner & Degreaser, or if the floor has been waxed you can use a Stripper to remove wax build up before applying sealer. The sealer will add a certain level of shine to the floor as well.



09 June 2013 05:49 PM

How to treat wooden windows and frames

We just bought a sandstone house and all the windows are wooden. They are in pretty bad shape. I have just read on your site about all the diff varnishes but I have no idea what to use?

Can you give me some tips please? I know that we do not really want to go with the varnishing option.

Could I use paint stripper to get the access varnish of or will it damage the wood?

Hi Pieter,
The best treatment for exterior window frames is to use a sealer rather than a varnish. The difference between the two is only that is sealer is less viscous (thinner) than varnish, which allows it to penetrate deeper into the timber and provide better protection.

I always recommend the Woodoc range of sealers and you could use Woodoc 50 - or Woodoc 55 if you are at the coast.

Use Plascon RemovAll to strip off the old varnish. It will not damage the wood in any way.



Fri, 14 Jun 2013 16:24:35 +0200

Where to buy bent curtain rail for bay window

Please can you tell me who, in Johannesburg Northern Suburbs, can I get a bent curtain rod for a bay window from.

Hi Nicki,
Unfortunately I don't know of anyone that specifically supplies bent rods for bay windows - it's not something you can buy 'off-the-shelf' and usually has to be made to fit. A company that specialises in window treatments and interior design would be your best bet to ask and see if they can help.



06 June 2013 07:16 AM

Arched mirror with backlighting for bathroom

Hi Janice
Your arched mirror is the best thing ever and just what I was looking for! I have a very ordinary bathroom with no window and this arch would do perfectly. I want to make a false window so instead of the mirror behind, I would like to have an outdoor 'scene' plotted, laminated and placed behind the arch. I am thinking very hard about how I could have both a day and night scene on a board which would run in a slot behind the arch and I could pull out and reverse for day/night.

My questions to you are:
How could one light the arch in a bathroom situation? I am thinking safety here as the arch would be directly over the bath.

The arched mirror would look so good on my wall in the garden. Does one get all-weather mirrors? What type of timber would one use for the frame in an outdoor situation? How would you treat the frame outdoors to weatherproof it?

Do you know of anyone who would cut the arch professionally - I would think that cutting the frame out of a harder timber would be much more difficult?

Many thanks for a fabulous magazine!

Hi Shirley,
One option would be to make the false window so that it has a box behind that could contain lighting to light behind the laminate. Wiring could then be run from behind the box and through the ceiling to join up with existing wiring and obviously an electrician would have to do this part. Or you could make the outer frame wider to allow fitting small LED lights around the frame itself.

I wouldn't be comfortable mounting this on a wall over the bath, but if you do make sure it is securely mounted.

If you want to place a mirror frame outdoors you will have to make it thicker all around, so that you can use pine, which would be sealed as protection. Unfortunately we don't get outdoor doors here, but I think the ageing would add to the charm.

To have the frame cut precisely you would need to source a company that does CNC laser cutting.



05 June 2013 12:28 PM

Using supawood for bathroom furniture

Hi there,
I read your article on DIY bathrooms and see that you say to use PG Bison Supawood. My question though is how to seal the supawood if using it for the vanity - obviously moisture and wood don't gel well!

Hi Janine,
You need to have a vanity top which overlaps the cabinet and add washers to the base. If you paint the supawood and apply 3 to 4 coats over the entire finish and add a clear sealer coat, you shouldn't have to worry about swelling. My bathroom cabinet was built 4 years ago and is still perfect.



27 May 2013 08:33 AM

How high to mount flat screen TV

Good morning Janice
Thank you for practical and seemingly endless advice.

Two questions.
1. Please advise the correct height to hang a wall mounted TV.
2. Could you suggest designs for a wall mounted TV cabinet - simple and practical

Hi Loraine,
1. There is no set height for mounting a TV and the best height is one that is comfortable for viewing when sitting. The best way to work this out is to cut a piece of paper and use masking tape to position on the wall until you are happy with the placement. You obviously want a height where you don't end up with neck strain.

Here are some articles you may find of interest:



26 May 2013 11:19 AM

Rhinolite next to fireplace

Is it safe to have a fireplace chimney touching rhinoboard?will it catch a light,if so how do I solve the problem?

Hi Sajedah,
I would suggest that you get in touch with, who manufacture Rhinoboard. I don't think that Rhinoboard is fire resistant and there is no product that can be applied to make it so, but better to check directly.



27 May 2013 08:33 AM

What height to mount a TV

Good morning Janice
Thank you for practical and seemingly endless advice. Two questions.

1. Please advise the correct height to hang a wall mounted TV.
2. Could you suggest designs for a wall mounted TV cabinet - simple and practical

Hi Loraine,
There is no set height for mounting a TV and the best height is one that is comfortable for viewing when sitting. The best way to work this out is to cut a piece of paper and use masking tape to position on the wall until you are happy with the placement. You obviously want a height where you don't end up with neck strain.

Here are some articles you may find of interest:



27 May 2013 08:30 AM

Advice on upholstering old dining chair

Hi Janice,
I have long-backed chairs which have no cushioning at all, I would need to start from scratch. Perhaps I should consider having the cushions made? What do you think? Alternatively I could make the cushions myself, what would you use for the inner?

Hi Barbara,
Start off by adding nylon straps to the hole in the chair seat. You can buy strapping at any fabric store and you will need to do a weave (left to right and front to back) to cover the seat. Staple the straps in the same way as the strap on the chair.

For the chair seat have two pieces of foam cut to the size of the seat: 1 high density foam about 2cm thick and another medium density foam, also 2cm thick. These two pieces of foam will form the seat.

Cut the same foam layers for the back but you don't need the strapping for the back section.

To make a cushion cover; cut out a top, bottom, front and two sides. The back will be two sections with a zip down the middle.



26 May 2013 11:19 AM

Is rhinoboard fire resistant?

Is it safe to have a fireplace chimney touching rhinoboard? Will it catch a light - if so how do I solve the problem?

Hi Sajedah,
I would suggest that you get in touch with, who manufacture Rhinoboard. I don't think that Rhinoboard is fire resistant and there is no product that can be applied to make it so, but better to check directly.



23 May 2013 16:51:00 +0200

Advice on decorating my home

Hi Janice
I have a small kitchen and a lounge that is in out dated. How do I plan my kitchen make over and bring new life to my lounge. Lounge is rectangular shaped. Large windows, so I thought of a bay window and a large ceiling to floor shelving on the one side. Any ideas or book will be a blessing!

As you can see! Currently no pride and joy! Hate the rooms with a passion. I was thinking: Bay window boxes under the large windows! - Lounge Maybe a large wall shelf on the one side incorporating the TV and Mirror Thinking of painting it a light blue grey! Kitchen I want to go Silver appliance and ???

Hi Zonitha,
I think the window boxes would look very nice, especially once the shelf unit is installed. A light cream would tie in nicely with the existing decor in the room. A light blue grey won't really go with the existing colours that you have in the room, which are mostly earthy colours. You could even built in a section as a workstation, instead of having a separate desk.

In the kitchen why not paint the cabinets white and the appliances silver. There are some articles already in the Kitchen Section and Rust-Oleum have a stainless steel paint for appliances that should now be on the shelf at your local Builders Warehouse.



23 May 2013 10:29 AM

Pebble tile splashback


Just wanted to share a project that I did after reading you post of Bathroom DIY (easy pebbled wall) Project cost me R80-00 and the left over stones went into my garden.

Thanks Chantal. The kitchen splashback looks amazing.



22 May 2013 08:01 AM

Which drill to purchase

Hi Janice,
Please can you help me. I have recently got divorced, and am needing some help as to which power tools to purchase, as I now need to buy one of my own. Please can you tell me which drill is the best to purchase (Bosch, Ryobi etc) and which type of drill (I believe they have different chuck sizes for bigger and smaller drill bits). I am wanting to drill in concrete and wood. The cordless one is a bit too expensive.

Hi Sue,
If you are looking for a basic drill then I would definitely recommend the Bosch PSB 500 RE. This is a compact impact drill that isn't heavy like other models, which means it's easy to use for us DIY Divas! You can buy this model at Builders Warehouse.

This model has a keyless chuck and accepts any size of wood or masonry drill bit up to 10mm in diameter, which will cover 99.9% of DIY tasks in and around the home.



22 May 2013 09:20 AM

Damp and flaking paint in my townhouse

Good day,
My problem started about 6 years ago. I had the passage wall close to the guest bathroom sealed with damp sealer and re-plastered, but the problem is starting all over again, cracking the plastering. Basically ever room in my townhouse has a problem of flaking the paint of the wall, just above the skirting and around plug areas. It first makes a bubble and then starts flaking.

Hi Alta,
If you have continuous problems with bubbling and flaking paint from the ground up - rising damp - this is most likely caused by either a fault or non-existent DPC.

Alternatively, check the outside walls to ensure that no soil has built up higher than the DPC. Sometimes people forget that soil needs to remain at a level lower than the DPC, otherwise moisture from the soil will eventually seep into the walls.

On the passage wall, if the fault that was causing the initial leak was not corrected, no amount of waterproofing will prevent the problem from re-occuring. Did you find out what was the original problem causing the dampness in the walls - perhaps not enough sealing around the shower or even a leaky pipe in the wall?



20 May 2013 05:09 PM

How to fit a sliding door

Hi Janice
Hope you are all well and taking care. Some advice please. I have an opening to my lounge area that I would like to close as a lot of the heat from the fireplace get lost down the passage. The opening is 2035mmH and 1610mmW. My thoughts are around something that slides within the frame that can take maybe 3 pieces (door). Any suggestions most welcome

Hi Terence,
I like your idea - perhaps two panels 805mm wide - one fixed and one mounted on a sliding door track, so that the door can be easily slid open. You will find the sliding track mechansim at Builders Warehouse.



20 May 2013 07:31 AM

How to make glass photo frame

Good day
I would like to make my own floating glass photo frames for an A3 photo. How do I go about this?? Will builders be able to help me with the glass? And the frame? Please let me know what type of adhesive hooks or fixtures I will need to keep the glass plates together?

Hi Leanna,
You can have glass cut to size at Builders Warehouse - they use 5mm glass, which should be thick enough. You will also need a glass and tile bit (same diameter as nuts and bolts) to drill holes in the corners. See this article for details.



17 May 2013 11:18 AM

Large cracks and foundation movement

Love the website, brilliant ideas. I am in process of purchasing a property in Durban and have signed off on purchase and sales agreement already. I have now noticed that there were some cracks on the wall and the door frame in one room is skew, I then noticed about a 8mm gap between the skirting board and the flooring, it appears that the foundation has moved. What can i do here with regards to damage and sale if possible?

Hi Sharmin,
If you have already signed off on the documentation, that means you have also signed off on any defects that are in/on the property. It's not something the previous owners tried to hide, so cannot be claimed as 'hidden' defects, so not much you can do there.

However, I would have a civil engineer inspect the property before you move in just to make sure.



11 May 2013 06:20 PM

Painting Wood Ceiling

Hi there
I want to paint my varnished pine wooden ceiling. I have tried using Plascon Coating Remover For Wood on a section of it but unfortunately due to the mess this product makes as well as the labour that goes into removing the varinish with this, and the size of the ceiling, it is not an option. Sanding is also not viable as, in addition to the mess this makes, it would have to be done by hand as there are support beams very close to one another over the whole ceiling, so an electric sander cannot be used. Is there any way to paint over the existing varnish without sanding it at all (its very large) or stripping the varnish?

Thank you for any advice you can offer.

Hi Charmaine,
A quick-fix solution would be to paint over the varnished finish with an oil-based enamel such as Plascon Velvaglo. I suggest Velvaglo as it has less tendency to 'yellow' over time.



09 May 2013 03:51 PM

Glue hessian to cupboard doors

My bedroom cupboard doors was painted a few times, I redecorated my room and thought of covering the doors with hessian material. What glue would I use for this?

Hi Corrie,
I would use Alcolin Sprayable Adhesive to attach the hessian onto the doors. Spray the doors and hessian separately and, after about 15 minutes - place the two together.



08 May 2013 05:46 PM

What saw to cut large boards?

Dear Janice,
I managed to purchase a few of the power tools for beginning with my project. I managed to find a timber shop that sells mostly large boards of pine and Supawood, but they do not cut it for you. I need your advice on the kind of saw that will assist in cutting such wood, which is also affordable. I went to Builders Warehouse and they recommended a circular saw and then I went and searched the internet for what it can do and such - but as a beginner, it just gets more complicated every time they try to explain.

Hi Nnana,
A circular saw is probably the best tool for you to use, especially if you want to make lots of long cuts. If you are only making short cuts, then a jigsaw will be fine.



08 May 2013 11:43 AM

Painting pine or supawood

Dear Janice,
I would like to know how difficult it is to paint raw pine (chest of drawers) or supawood? I am wanting to paint it white. Is it an absolute mission or not so much (for somebody like me who has only ever painted a wall or two)??

Another question : If I buy a raw pine chest of drawers (from Mistry's), would I be able to spray paint it to a white finish (not whitewash) with Rust-Oleum? Also, would I be able to change the "knobs" on the drawers of a chest of drawers to "update" the look (maybe to silver look handles)? They are wanting to charge me an extra R1700 to stain it white and put other handles on.

Hi Beverley,
I made a console table out of pine and sprayed it with Rust-Oleum 2X gloss apple red. The finish is absolutely gorgeous and there is no reason why you won't get the same result with white paint. Spray on light even coats and allow each coat to dry before applying the next coat. The more coats you apply the less you will see the wood grain underneath.

Believe it or not, Builders Warehouse have some gorgeous knobs and handles at around R15 to R45 each that would be perfect for updating the look - and it definitely won't cost anywhere near what Mistrys want to charge.



07 May 2013 04:36 PM

Cosmetic fix for cracks in toilet

Hi Janice,
I am looking for a ceramic finishing kit to hide some hairline cracks in my toilet bowl. This is merely a cosmetic application. Please let me know if you have a product for this. It is a brand new toilet. I installed 2 and bumped one while installing.

Hi Grant,
You will probably need to use an epoxy paint to hide the scratches and this will be available at your local Builders Warehouse.



07 May 2013 03:20 PM

Can I apply wallpaper to rough walls?

Hi there
I was wondering if you can assist! I need to prepare a wall for wallpapering that is very rough. Is Rhinolite the best product to use?

Hi Michelle,
Rhinolite not the best answer as it absorbs moisture from the wallpaper paste and paper will peel off. However, if you Rhinolite and apply a finishing plaster AND THEN a bonding liquid, this should solve the problem.

Best bet is to check with the guys at the store, or read the package. Alternatively you will have to plaster or sand the roughness away.



07 May 2013 10:47 AM

Make my own glass splashback

Hi Janice
I am glad to see that there is someone who is prepared to share some valuable ideas,...especially aimed at DIY people. I would like to have a picture or design placed behind my toughened glass to create a splashback, and need your guidance. What type of picture is suitable and how should it be printed? Does one need to apply some form of water proofing etc? I am wanting this spash-back to form part of my shower, so in other words,.instead of having tiles around my shower, I would like to have glass. Your ideas and guidance would be greatly appreciated.

Hi Donnavin,
Sounds like a totally unique idea and should look great. If you create a watertight seal around the glass - using a sanitary silicone sealer - you will be able to mount the printed image behind the glass. There are quite a lot of printing suppliers and services that can transfer your image onto a thin plastic laminate, as for sign printing, and this would prevent the image from absorbing moisture.



03 May 2013 01:11 PM

PVC pipe projects

Hi Janice,
I subscribe to your magazine and your Facebook page. I just love all the ideas. Your recent article "Gazebo made from PVC pipe" prompted me to investigate what else I can make from PVC piping. I found a plan for a toy house ( which I would like to build for my daughter using 1" PVC Pipe and fittings. The problem I have is that I cannot source the Slip Tees, 3 way corner, 4 way corner and crosses. I've been to Builders Warehouse and they only have the 90 degree elbow and straight Tees. Upon further googling, I found that I should actually use furniture grade PVC. Do you perhaps know where I can get these? If you know of any place, please let me know where I can obtain the specialised fittings.

Hi Wardieya,
If you are planning to cover the PVC pipes with some kind of material it isn't necessary to buy furniture-grade PVC. You might try getting in touch with plumber's supply companies such as: who might have, or be able to tell you where to buy, the fittings you need.



03 May 2013 06:58 AM

Want to spray wall with glitter

I want to paint a wall in my room with glitter, have you any idea what to do

Hi Desiree,
Rust-Oleum have just launched a glitter spray that should you now be able to buy at your local Builders Warehouse.



30 April 2013 09:27 PM

What fabric for vertical blinds

Good day,
I currently have vertical blinds in my bedroom. The blinds have become shabby and I now want to re-make blinds with a fabric. I was thinking of using a cream block-out lining or canvas to make blinds.... could any of these work....? Kindly please advise on this or any other fabric I should/could use that will hang straight as a vertical blind.

Hi Susan,
There are plenty of fabrics that you could use. Canvas and linen are both ideal. You might want to stiffen them up a bit with starch. Ask at your fabric shop what they recommend.

You will find plenty of ideas and projects in our Decor Section



29 April 2013 10:56 AM

Fix up broken tiles in bathroom

Hi there
Any advice PLEASE. I'm going to rent out my house but the tiles in the bathroom are half broken because I had the pipes installed into the walls and the bathroom looks terrible. I'm on a very tight budget and was thinking of removing the tiles (which are tiles half wall in any case) and just painting it nicely but now the agent says it's not a good idea because it lowers the rental value??

Your take on this please!

Hi Mandy,
For some silly reasons South Africans still think that a half-tiled bathroom is how it should be, and the agent in correct in this sense.

If you can't match the existing tile, is there anyway you can replace the broken tiles with mosaic sheets - without it looking obvious? Perhaps send me a couple of pics and I might be able to give you a better idea.



24 April 2013 03:40 PM

Replace roof and add IBR sheet

I am planning to replace a leaking asbestos roofing over my double garage with one bedroom and toilet attached to it. I would like you to advise between using IBR roof sheeting or tiles. Which one is better.

Hi Ndileka,
Firstly, if it is asbestos on the roof you need to use special safety precautions to remove. Asbestos has been found to be a toxic and dangerous product and is banned in most countries around the world. Wear rubber gloves and a dust mask and clothing that fully covers your arms and legs before removing the sheeting, or have someone remove it for you who knows how to do it properly.

IBR would probably be the most affordable option and you could also lay this over the existing framework. You will find roofing caps and sheets at your local Builders Warehouse.



23 April 2013 04:37 PM

Isoboard or rhinolite

Can you please let me know what are the benefits of ISO board ceilings vs ordinary Rhino board that needs to be skimmed?

Hi Simone,
There is a big difference between Isoboard and and Gypsum or Rhinolite ceilings. Firstly, Isoboard is a thermal insulation that does not need to be finished or skimmed, whereas gymsum is a paper covered board that requires a finish to be applied over the top.

Obivously Isoboard is more expensive, but it all depends on whether or not your home requires additional insulation or already has ceiling insulation fitted.



23 April 2013 11:41 AM

How to remove layers of paint and fill holes

I have recently bought a old warn out book shelf with a cabinet underneath. I want to restore it and fix it up. Can you tell me whats the easiest way to remove paint on the wood, secondly it has a few holes, what do I use to fix those?

Hi Sherinne,
The easiest way to remove layers of paint is with Plascon RemovALL - an eco-friendly paint stripper that is easy to use. Any holes can be filled with with Alcolin Wood Filler, or Alcolin QuikWood for larger holes and dents. You will find both these products at your local Builders Warehouse.



17 April 2013 04:41 PM

Block out draughts through wooden doors

Please can you help. We have wooden doors with gaps which allow the gale force winds to scream through the house. Is there a way to insulate the doors please? Perhaps something to stick on ?

Hi Kim,
There is a self-adhesive foam rubber weatherproofing strip that you can buy at Builders Warehouse. I had exactly the same problem with my wooden sliding doors and I stuck the strip down between the gaps to block the draughts coming in.

See more details here:



17 April 2013 01:49 PM

Zen Bathroom - Paint that is a sealant as well

Greetings Janice
Firstly, what a fabulously fun, informative and inspiring experience I am having every time I read your online Home-Dzine magazine! It is fabulous and how awesome to see how the DIY Divas are progressing with their projects! I am passionate about Decor and Design and what I love about your Home-Dzine magazine, is the step-by-step photographic illustrations, simplicity and detailed description on how to do proceed with each project!

I am presently transforming my old bathroom into a Zen Bathroom. I have attached a photograph of the incomplete Zen Bath. The Tap fittings will be fitted on the right-hand side ledge and the water will cascade into the bath via an opening beneath the tap fittings.

However, my dilemma is this, although a sealant was added to the cement when the bath was cemented, I am wanting to know what type of paint I can use that also contains a very strong permanent sealant with which I can paint in-and-around the bath, ensuring no water leakages?

Furthermore, I am not tiling the inner seating area and side walls of the bath. I will only be tiling the side and back walls. The white basin will be fitted onto a black marble slab.

To you and your Team - keep up with your trendy magazine which is like a breath of fresh air! And, do not forget, stay awesome and keep on shining and smiling!

Hi Lynn,
The Zen bathroom is going to look amazing once finished. If you get the chance, please send pics that I can share with readers.

As regards sealing the concrete bath surround, I recommend that you get in touch with the guys at - they have a massive range of products that you could use for this application and could suggest the right product and finish that you are looking for to enhance or complement the look you want.



17 April 2013 01:58 PM

Where to buy Dremel Moto Saw

Good afternoon
Thank you for a great magazine, I love reading it and trying the ideas and projects. I have also done two of your DIY Divas Workshops at Builders Warehouse and enjoyed it very much.

I have recently read about the new Moto-saw from Dremel on the Home-Dzine website but have been unable to find one in the local shops. (Cape Town) Do you know where I can purchase one. I am a huge Dremel fan and use my rotary tool and attachments for everything except cooking but I am sure I will be able to find an application for it.

Can you please tell me where I can find a Moto-Saw?

Hi Sylvia,
You may find that not all the stores have ordered their stock yet, but you can buy online at They deliver countrywide and offer fantastic prices on the Dremel Tools range. Tell them that you are a DIY Diva and ask if they will offer a discount, especially as we send plenty of business their way. Here are the details and pricing for the Dremel Moto Saw.



17 April 2013 09:56 AM

Brown stain on ceiling

Hi Janice,
I have noticed on the bathroom ceiling, there are brown marks that are developing. What could be the cause and how can we sort it out now before it becomes a bigger issue.

Also is there any place that you may advise, we can print our photo shoot pics Onto canvas - East Rand Jhb.

Hi Michelle,
Sounds like there is a leak in the ceiling space above. Could be a leaky pipe or the geyser dripping onto the ceiling board. You will need to go up into the ceiling to see if you can see where the leaks are. Once you know where the leaks are coming from you can call in a plumber, add a geyser tray, etc.

For printing photos onto canvas try one of these.



16 April 2013 11:28 AM

How to make a textured wall smooth

I would like to smooth over my rough/textured walls. Do you know of a DIY product that will allow me to do this so that I can apply wall paper/art to the wall?

Hi Michal,
If it's not a bathroom or room with high humidity you can use Polycell Finishing Plaster or Rhinolite to provide a smooth finish.

Alternatively, use a Random Orbit Sander and 120-grit sandpaper to smooth the wall. I know this sounds messy, but I did the same in one room and held the sander in one hand and the vacuum cleaner in the other... it worked!

Both finishes will need to be primed with plaster primer before applying



15 April 2013 11:13 AM

Can I use Micatex on wood?

Good day,
We are busy to do some repairs at home and on the outside we have wooden finishes that needs urgent attention. We have a part of the house exterior with wood that forms part of the wall. How can we treat it and can we paint it with Micatex we are using on the outside of the house?

There are two wooden pieces under each other on top of the wall just under the roof (this was added instead of two rows of bricks), and it's beginning to rot at the ends. I searched and found nothing in South Africa. In the website you drill out the rotten wood and fill the parts in with the repair kit. Is there anything available in South Africa that is available to use.

Hi Ansie,
Plascon Micatex is not recommended for use on wood, as it isn't aborsorbed into the wood to offer protection for outdoors. However, Plascon do offer quite an extensive Woodcare range that you could use. Sand the wood with 120-grit and then 180-grit sandpaper, or use fine steel wool, before applying a Woodcare product.

There is an epoxy you can use on wood, it is called Alcolin QuikWood. Before using the epoxy repair treat the wood rot with Plascon Woodcare Weathered Wood Restorer.



15 April 2013 11:55 AM

Help decorating bedroom for toddler and little girl

Please help! I have a small bedroom with small bathroom for my son and my daughter. The wall is blue and I'm confused how to add any decoration or put wallpaper. Where do I put the bed and a cabinet.


Hi Sara,
The room is very dark in the photos, but I also think that the dark colour of the blue is not helping brighten up the room. If you do add wallpaper, look for a nice light print pattern that with help to brighten up the space.

Wherever you place the furniture try to arrange it so that it's not directly under the air conditioner in the room. You could place the girls bed against the far wall, so that the bottom of the bed is under the aircon and then see how the cot fits into the space. If you can squeeze the bed into this space it will leave the rest of the room to arrange whatever furniture has to fit.

Another alternative would be to leave the bottom half of the room in the blue but add a lighter blue or white on the top half of the wall (or wallpaper if you prefer).



14 April 2013 04:40 PM

What paint to use for Shabby Chic furniture

Thanks for your fabulous web site.

I've been painting old oak and pine furniture that is 30 years old and tired. I wanted a Benjamin Moore type Ivory White colour, which we obviously cannot get in this country. I tried Plascon Ivory White but it turns into a Pale Grey when I tint it in Velvaglo. I've also tried White Canvas but am not too happy with its grey tinges as well. I'm probably wanting something with a more creamy tint... Have you any suggestions? I just want a lovely warm off white not with blue or yellow undertones.

Hi Carol,
For a lot of our Shabby Chic furniture pieces that are creamy or ivory white we use the Rust-Oleum Distressed Ivory kit (buy at Builders Warehouse) . It's a bit pricey, but this latex paint actually goes a lot further than our local acrylic paints do and with one tin I have painted a 2 metre diameter oak table, six chairs and a sideboard.

The only other suggestion would be to visit the Plascon Inspired Colour System and find the closest colour match that way. They can then mix up the perfect colour for you.



12 April 2013 03:55 PM

How to cast a concrete bath

What will I need to build concrete bath and how do I do this? I had two conventional baths and they both cracked. Have not made one yet but want to. I want to make a corner bath and use the bath that I have there at the moment as a mould. I just don't know what cement and material I will need to do this.

Hi Maryka,
What shape of concrete bath are you trying to make? You should read this article:



11 April 2013 10:52 AM

Can I use Rhinolite in bathroom?

Good day.
Just wanted to say thanks for the website it is great.

The first question I have for you if you do not mind... I have plastered my bathroom walls about 1 month ago and all looks fine but there is here and there small little spots that I am not happy with. I want to know can I use rhinolite on the walls and then paint over that so that I can get a smooth effect. Or do you recommend anything. I have two air vents in my bathroom but none in the other bathroom. Is that still used or can I close that vents.

Hi Morne,
Don't use Rhinolite in the bathroom - it soaks up moisture like a sponge. Rather use Polyfilla Patching Plaster.

It all depends on whether or not the bathroom needs the vents. These are normally great for circulating air and preventing moisture or condensation in a bathroom. However, they don't even install these in newer homes.

If the bathroom is not used all the time, then go ahead and close them up.



10 April 2013 02:35 PM

Painting knotty pine

I have a home that was built 30 odd years ago and the decro is pretty much of the same time. What I'd like to do is keep the the architecture but modernise it a bit. We have a fireplace made from rocks, the roofing in the kitchen, lounge, TV room is pine and Meranti wood, the floors are slate. Can you give me any advice?

Hi Meliza,
Thanks for getting in touch. It's always difficult to offer advise without seeing the space and perhaps you could send me some pics.

In the meantime, there are plenty of ideas on the website and I can offer a little advice going on what you have said about the house.

- You can paint the knotty pine ceiling to lighten up the rooms and this alone will make a dramatic difference.



08 April 2013 10:37 AM
Need to fix edging on bedroom cupboard

Hi there,
I would like to know how to repair the top of one of my bedroom cupboards. The beading (if you call it that) is coming off and the top boar" of the cupboard is sagging. The screw that was holding the board in has stripped and it is sagging badly. I tried to nail in another screw, but it isn't working.

Hi Beverley,
It's hard to advise without actually seeing what needs to be done, but it sounds like to need to replace the edging strip on the cupboard.

If you need to re-attach the board at the top, try filling the old hole with a small blob of wood glue and jamming in a couple of toothpicks. Let it dry and you should then be able to put the screw back in place.



05 April 2013 06:09 AM

Signs of damp in home I want to buy

Hi Janice
I am looking at buying my first home, and it is the cute little place in Midrand. However, the house has water damage on the interior against the southern wall. The current tenants state that before the moved in 2 years ago, they had the owner fix the problem, but the damp keeps on pushing through. Is there a way to stop/treat or fix it? I love the house but don't want to sit with something that can become a big unsightly issue later on.

All I know is that the damp is not everywhere - very inconsistent, small areas and one large area in the bedroom. The height of the damp also varies - roughly 30 cm up in the entrance hall, and 40cm - 70cm up the wall in the bedroom.

It seems that the plastic sheeting for the foundation and inner wall seal was not done correctly? Additionally I could not spot any damp on the exterior walls?

Hi Leanna,
Doesn't sound as though the original owner did fix the problem if the damp is still there. If the original damp proof course (DPC) was not done properly, or missed out, you could be in for continuous problems. There is no way to fix this other than have a contractor come in and drill holes all around the bottom walls to inject a compound that prevents rising damp and it is very expensive.

Over time the damp will attract mould inside the wall cavity, which will spread to the interior walls and can be a serious health hazard.

Sorry to be the bearer of such bad news, but that cute little house could become a nightmare in the future.



04 April 2013 12:31 PM

How to remove layers of varnish

Good day
I have an old wooden lounge suite which I would like to modernise. How do I go about scrapping off the old vanish. I would like to lime wash the furniture. What tools would I need and what would be the best paint that you will recommend.

Hi Nadia,
The best way to remove layers of old varnish is to use Plascon RemovALL. This is an eco-friendly paint stripper, so it won't strip off your skin as well ! Depending upon how many layers of varnish there are, you may have to apply more than once. After that, give it a light sanding with 240-grit sandpaper before you limewash.



27 March 2013 09:50 AM

Where to buy Rust-Oleum Leak Seal

Hi there,
I'm looking for a type of liquid rubber spray that I can use to seal small water leaks. Please could you advise where I could get it?

I have quite a bit of damp coming through some walls ... what would your advice be on stopping this ongoing problem?

Hi Valda,
You are referring to Rust-Oleum Leak Seal. Find the product at your local Builders Warehouse, or get in touch with for a supplier in your area.

Before treating damp you need to find the cause, or it will be an ongoing problem.

Once you have remedied the cause you can apply a waterproofing product to the area. Builders Warehouse offer a selection of suitable products from Coprox and ABE and other suppliers.



26 March 2013 11:49 AM

Restoring an old home

Hi Janice,

Am a huge fan of your work and website!

I had to drop a note regarding your latest home improvement note on your website regarding restoring an older home.

I am currently restoring a +/- 50 year old double story in DBN. Just bought it from an elderly man who himself bought it 1976, from the original owner. The house looks as if it was never touched since then, which is fantastic. In any case, I am busy with a room by room project, and have been compiling photo’s and progress, for which I am planning to send through to Home-Dzine once my first room is complete – approximately 2 weeks time.

Restoring an older home is a challenge, but extremely rewarding, even more so than having built my first house from scratch.

I will be in touch, and thank you for a great website.


26 March 2013 08:18 AM
Can I do my own screed floor?

Here we go:
ONE: I love screed-like floors and am considering pulling up my carpets to expose the concrete beneath. Would this be possible? Is there a way to finish this - I don't really want to paint or stain it. I just want to rip up the carpet and apply a product over the top of the concrete.

TWO: my toilet is leaking from the back, the round-thingys seal is gone, I think. Do I need to get a plumber for this? Or is it relatively easy to do myself?

Oh, sorry - one other question: I have had 3 quotes to have skirting boards done in the just-renovated dining room: it is frightfully expensive. Can I not just measure and have them cut somewhere? I'm sure I'd be able to install them myself...????

Hi El,
Firstly, here's what you need to do on the toilet, and NO, you don't need a plumber:

I am also pulling up my carpet in the lounge and will be screeding the floor in order to put down luxury vinyl tiles. You can buy pigment powders at your local Builders Warehouse that can be added to the screed to add tints if you don't want to paint the concrete. Polishing is extremely expensive and you would need to put down more than a screed for this option.

Here's a link for self-levelling screed but bear in mind that this option is only for if you want to put something down on top of it.

When you rip up the carpets you will see that most slabs are very roughly finished. BUT, If it is in good condition you might be able to get away with applying a matt or satin polyurethane sealer over the top and leave it at that.

If you want a purely concrete finish, find yourself a local handyman that can do this for you, as it is extremely messy and must be done right. And bear in mind that the room will be out of bounds for about 7 days for the cement to cure. They will mix concrete to lay a thick slab over the existing floor and you will find more information here for mixes and instructions.

It's actually very easy to install skirtings and you can buy them at your local Builders Warehouse. They come in long lengths and various designs or profiles. What you will need is a compound mitre saw, jigsaw or circular saw that will allow you to cut the mitred edges - where the corners join together.

Depending upon how much the guys want to charge, it might be cheaper to buy your own tools and DIY it:



25 March 2013 08:19 PM

What to use instead of turps?

Please can you tell me what to use in place of toxic turps. I use it all the time and it effects my skin and eyes.

Hi Colleen,
I have stopped using turps all together and use Plascon RemovALL to clean my paintbrushes after using oil based paints. But the best way is to change to acrylic paints and you simply wash the brushes in warm water.



23 March 2013 01:23 PM

Different types of geysers

We recently wanted to redecorate our en-suite, and bought tiles and a new basin and tap. The contractors we asked for quotes however all said that we have the wrong geyser for the new single tap we wanted to install, and that we needed a high pressure geyser. What type of geysers are available, and what are the differences between a low and high pressure geyser?

Hi Llewellyn,
There are basically three types of geyser systems that are installed locally. In many older homes you often find gravity-fed geysers which use gravity to allow the flow of water through the system, and this flow is low pressure. A low pressure system (400kPa) and a high pressure geyser (600kPa) pursh water through the system, and the problem with your setup is that there isn't enough pressure in the system for the new tap.

You may have to look at installing a new geyser, which is not a bad idea if you are planning to install new taps throughout the house. Visit Kwikot for more information on geyser systems available.



22 March 2013 06:44 AM

Where to buy bi-fold door kits

Hi Janice.
Great site thank you. Please advise where I can buy a Bifold door kit in Sandton?

Hi Julie,
I would recommend that you get in touch with, who manufacture these systems. They should be able to advise of a supplier in your area.

Alternatively, you can now order most products from overseas. If you are interested, I will be featuring a project on the website in the future that shows how to make your own bi-fold doors using a aluminium tracks and fitting pivots to the top of the doors.



21 March 2013 10:12 PM

How to attach slasto to walls

I need some information with regards to tiling with slasto. I have a partially tiled bathroom wall and need to do the rest of the wall. I would appreciate it if someone could tell me what to stick the slasto down with and what to use for grout after the slasto has been stuck down. Your assistance and advice would be greatly appreciated.

Hi Sonet,
You will use cement-based adhesive to fasten slasto to walls. This product should be available at your local Builders Warehouse, or from a company that supplies natural stone tiles. You can also use the adhesive as a grout, or use a coloured grout if you need to match the existing finish.



20 March 2013 11:18 AM

Decorating a home to be child-proof

My wife and I are buying a new home soon that will structurally be very modern inside and out. We also have a 2 year old girl with a baby sister on the way. We currently have modern furniture but no decorative pieces. We would really like to have a nice centre piece on the coffee table or a nice vase display on either side of the TV stand and even some floor standing plants or little trees but these things are not possible when one has an inquisitive child/children running around wanting to touch and tug everything that catches their attention. Is it possible for us to decorate our home with modern colourful pieces that are, lets say, indestructible to a little girl?

Hi Darren,

There are so many ways to introduce personality, colour and texture into a home without worrying about your little one's fingers. If you want some plants in the home, think about 'lollipops' and decorative indoor shrubs that have all their greenery at the top. When planted in a heavy clay pot it will be very difficult to tip this over, or pull off leaves.

As far as decor is concerned, until you little ones reach the stage where 'no' or 'don't touch' is not an invitation to do so... buy your decor on the cheap. Stores like Mr Price Home and Sheet Street have some really lovely decor accessories that won't cost you an arm or a leg and can be replaced if an accident does happen. When they get a little older, then you can splurge on more expensive decor accessories.

Artwork and wall decor is another way to add interest to your home. Instead of two pieces on top of the TV unit, why not mount wall decor on either side of the TV.



20 March 2013 12:32 PM

Remove layers of paint on doors

Please can you advise what would be the best way to remove paint from a steel door frame. The existing paint is thick and full of little lumps and is peeling in places. Should I use a paint remover?

Hi Barbara,
Plascon RemovALL is a great eco-friendly paint remover that works extremely well. You might have to apply a couple of times if the paint is really, really piled on.

Another alternative is to use a heat gun and a paint scraper. This method is faster and less messy - if you have a heat gun.



19 March 2013 01:04 PM

How to clean glass stove top or hob

I have a glass top stove and do not know how to clean it? I do not want to use anything harsh on it as it will scratch. Please advise.

Hi Dianne,
Also having a glass hob I know how difficult it can be to keep clean. Vinegar and baking soda work great on an enamelled hob, but for glass you can use an oven or microwave cleaner.



18 March 2013 12:28 PM

Where to buy wool or yarn for giant blankets

Hi Janice,
You had something on one of the newsletters on knitting the most beautiful bed covers, but with very thick Yarn and needles. Where do I enquire about that in SA. Is it possible to send me details on a supplier. I am in Cape Town, but I'm sure I can have a mail order of some kind. I would really love to know more about this knitting craft. Thanks and have a good crafting week. I am looking forward to more newsletters to enjoy.

Hi Charlotte,
I stumbled across: and they have some wonderful yarns. I think you need to contact them re sending via parcel.



18 March 2013 04:48 PM

How to remove limescale or hard water deposits

Hi Janice
By accident I have just found your great web. site. How do you clean the inside glass doors of a shower?

Hi Sheila,
If you are referring to the hard limescale that tends to build up, use vinegar and an old toothbrush to remove. For stubborn scale let the vinegar sit for about 30 minutes and then rub.

Lemon juice is good for soap scum, or that film that collects on the surface of glass. Use a nylon mesh scrubber, like the one you use for bathing, as it won't scratch the glass. For stubborn soap scum mix together lemon juice and bicarb for a paste to rub down with.



18 March 2013 11:41 AM

How to restore tiles on verandah

Hi there
I wonder if you can help me – we have a verandah that was paved in a terracotta/reddish tile – very thin almost looks like slate. It is looking very tired and dated – can you recommend a polish or seal I can put over to lift it a bit and make it look a bit alive.

Hi Kim,
The TFC (Tile & Floor Care) range of products are excellent for this and are specially designed for all types of tile and stone. You should be able to see the entire range at your local Builders Warehouse to select the one you need for your verandah.



15 March 2013 09:40 AM

How to rust IBR sheeting

I would like to know how to get galvanized IBR sheeting to rust. I have made a small fence around the garden with IBR cladding but would really like it to have that rust effect. Will pool acid speed up the process? Any other way?

Hi Donovon,
There are several methods for 'promoting rust' on IBR sheeting but this is the easiest one that I have previously used:

1. Rough sand the IBR to remove any coating that might be present. Some sheets have a thin zinc coating that inhibits the prevention of rust. Use 120-grit sanding paper.

2. In order to create 'true rust' you need to oxidise the metal and to do this you need a product that has salts in it. Not sure about chlorine, but bleach works well and so does slightly diluted muriatic acid. I used the latter which was left over from a building project I did and it was used to clean the brickwork.

DO wear adequate protection and do this project outside, as the acid is extremely smelly and toxic.



15 March 2013 06:31 AM

Level out stone floor tiles

I am remodelling my kitchen and taking out the colonial stone floor tiles. However, I don't know what to put on the floor. My whole house is done with the colonial stone tiles and looks stunning , but does not work well in the kitchen because of the unevenness. What alternative can I use in an very open plan house?

Hi Rachel,
Have you considered applying a concrete screed over the colonial stone floor. Once applied this would even out the floor and then you could have it tinted, get someone in to polish it, or apply any number of floor coverings over the top once it is levelled out.



13 March 2013 08:35 AM

Leak in swimming pool

Good morning,
Please can you help with some advice. Our swimming pool is leaking where the pipe to the pump is attached at the weir. The ground around there is like a swamp – my husband dug up the soggy earth around the pipe and it is definitely by the join. He is now talking of getting a jack hammer to break out the concrete and paving to get to the join to repair the leak…..I am scared this is going to cause the marbellite pool to crack…….he says it is his only option, but I am worried this is going to end up an expensive exercise, shame – he means well!!!!

Hi Bev,
Have had a similar problem but my leak was actually around the weir frame on the inside of the pool and much easier to fix. The problem is that there is concrete above and around, although I think a jackhammer might be a bit extreme and could cause surrounding damage. For the same price you could have a labourer for the day and give him a hammer and cold chisel. That wouldn't cause as much vibration. Most pools have a thick surround, but you never know.



13 March 2013 04:34 PM

Advice on finishing art deco chairs

Hi there
I have become quite a fan of your site since I moved back into my apartment and started doing some DIY. I consulted your site when I stripped paint, sanded and sealed my old meranti lounge window frames and door. Thanks to you they are looking great and I have saved myself a heap of money and walked away with a really great sense of achievement as well as the DIY bug.

My next project is regarding 2 art deco lounge chairs which I have recently acquired. They have already been reupholstered by the previous owners with black vinyl and are looking very nice. The wooden arms of the chairs have had some sanding done but the work has not been completed. I would like to know what the best method would be to go about restoring the wood. I have included some pictures of 1 of the chairs with this email. Its really just the wooden arms and legs that need to be done. As mentioned, the arms have already had an initial sand but look like they may need a fine sand to get it looking perfect before sealing. The legs have had no sanding done and still have some of the old varnish on. So not a very big job, but I am hoping to get the best result possible, therefore I am contact ing you guys :)

My plan was to do a rough sand with maybe a 80-100 grit paper and follow that up with a fine sand with a 250-320 grit paper. I was then thinking of sealing with 3 coats of Woodoc 5 or 10. I am not looking to go for a very glossy finish, perhaps a satin or matte finish. I saw some interesting articles on your site using woodoc gel stains, I am not sure if this piece would be amenable to that. I especially liked the technique in getting the shading gradient from the corners by using some neet stain and rubbing from the corners outwards. Was thinking about maybe doing that on the arms in those gutters, but the wood may be a bit dark to get the best out of that technique and it may also just be trying to be too fancy.

Anyway, as I am a complete amateur, I defer to your expertise when it comes to this stuff and any advice you can offer me on how best to do this would be greatly appreciated.

Hi Adriaan,
Lucky you getting your hands on the art deco chairs. They are quite valuable these days.

I agree with the light sanding as they don't appear scratched or chipped on the pics. I would start with a 150-grit sandpaper and then move up to a 180- and 240-grit. To sand in the grooves, a nice trick is to wrap the sandpaper around something like a pencil and slide it up and down just for a smooth finish.

Woodoc gel stain is a stain that you can apply if you want to change the colour of the wood itself, but it's not a final treatment. A dark stain such as imbuia would look nice with the new upholstery. A matt varnish would be best for this area and for the legs. Plascon have a clear Ultra Varnish that comes in a suede finish that would be best.



05 March 2013 01:22 PM

Modern design for thatched home

Hi Janice,
I’ve been going to your website now and then to see some of your great tips. My hubby and I are in the process of buying our very first house (eeep!) and now I’ve been addicted to your website!! One thing I’d like to ask you:
Our house is a thatch roof (I know some people hate thatch, but it makes me think of holiday J) – meaning some of the rooms don’t have ceilings, but thatch. Do you have any pretty ideas/pictures suggestions of how to decorate a house in keeping with the warmth of the thatch feel but without it looking like a "African Bushveld Getaway"? I’ve been looking and looking for ideas – I just keep coming up empty. Everything I see is super floral and all the furniture looks like it’s made from the same wood… it just looks a bit like Grandma’s farm cabin.

You always have lovely ideas, I’d love to hear from you J

Hi Danica,
Have looked around to try and find some images that I could send to you, but have come across the same problem. Everything is either rustic or floral and frilly but I did find a couple of visuals and this made me realise... it makes no difference what roof finishing you have and you shouldn't let this limit your design or style for the interior.

This thatched house below is decorated in a very contemporary style and looks stunning - no frills or floral in sight.



22 February 2013 11:08 AM

Painted closet doors now finished

Hi Janice
Took me longer than I expected to get started on the built-in cupboards due to my mom’s ill health and then her demise. I attach hereto two photos, one shows half the cupboard done and the other shows the cupboard completed. I am very pleased with the result. Also did the cupboards in the other two bedrooms and am very pleased.

Thanks for the advice.

Monday, August 08, 2011 9:34 AM

Painting closet doors

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.

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 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 are just as washable and are water-based, which means that cleaning up is easier.



28 February 2013 02:03 PM

Query about a paint technique

Dear Janice,
Please could you give me some advice with regards to the attached photo. This is a TV cabinet that is scratched and we need to try to patch it up. Can you assist.

Hi Angela,
The paint technique used here is antique crackle. The problem comes in matching the colour and the crackle pattern, and finding the crackle medium. I know that Heritage Crafts have a crackle medim that you could use, and this is simply painted over the base colour to create the crackle effect. Try arts and crafts shops for the crackle medium.



16 February 2013 09:33 AM

Where to buy cords for blinds

We found your article on restringing blinds very helpful, but do you possibly know where we can find suitable string for wooden roller in the Southern suburbs of Cape Town.

Hi Andrew,
Most fabric stores should stock a nylon cord or paracord that you could use to replace old cords in blinds.



15 February 2013 09:02 AM

Grout between tiles and uneven tiles

Good morning
I renovated my bathroom about two years ago and I used white calypso tiles for the walls (size 31 x 91.4 from Italtile). I was told by the salesman at Italtile that one does not have to use grout when placing the tiles; unfortunately, my tiler used grout and also did a lousy job with the placement. The grout is discolouring and the tiles are not even - they stick out about 1mm (from tile to tile). How do I fix this as the tiles were expensive. I have looked at the following options

1. Remove grout and then the tiles; make sure wall is smooth and then re-tile but the tiles are large and will most likely crack, 2. Sand the tiles and paint over them. Have attached photo’s to give you an idea of the renovation but it does not show the uneven tile or discolouration problem.

Hi Bernard,
First off... sue the tiler.

This is going to be a very expensive mistake and not one that you can fix. If the tiles are stuck to the wall you are not going to be able to get them off without cracking the majority. Sanding the tiles won't work either, as you will simply sand away the ceramic glaze on top of the tiles and be left with discoloured tiles.

Your only option would be to remove the grout and re-apply and then add a tile sealer to the grout to prevent discolouration. If the grout is done nicely, hopefully you won't notice the uneveness as much.



15 February 2013 10:47 AM

How to make grooves in supawood

Good day,
Thanks a lot for such an informative website and magazine. Through them I have managed to complete a couple of projects: Chest of drawer, coffee table and bookshelf. I am trying to create lines like (smalls cuts running across the wood) on the supawood like the ones on the attached picture or similar. Please assist on what type of tool is used to generate them and the process is called.

Hi Theo,
There is no tool that you can use to create the grooves or cuts on the top of SupaWood. In the pic that you provided, this surface is actually a laminate finish and you can buy laminate sheets at TimberCity that would look like this and would be glued on top of the SupaWood. You can also buy PG Bison MelaWood, which is a BisonBord or SupaWood board that already has the laminate finish.



12 February 2013 03:50 PM

What adhesive for glass splashback

Hi Janice,
I have painted glass splash backs that require to be installed onto the plastered kitchen walls. I'm told that the best adhesive to use is a silicon. Is this your recommendation and please advise on which silicon I should use?

Hi Iain,
There are quite a few adhesives and sealants that affect the painted coating and you need to use a sealant that does not contain specific solvents. If you use Den Braven's neutral cure silicone products you shouldn't have any problem at all.



09 February 2013 08:53 PM

Converting thatch roof to tiles

Hi there
Is it possible to convert a thatch roof to a tile roof? Is it effective in reducing the dust and insects associated with thatch roofs? Do you need to install a ceiling? Would it reduce insurance premiums by reducing the chances of lightning strike fire?

Hi Lineke,
If the roof beams and cross supports are still in good condition, I see no reason why you cannot convert thatch to a tiled roof as long as the existing roof design is square or rectangular. Many thatch roofs are designed with soft curves and, if this is the case with your roof, tiles could not be fitted. It would probably be quite a lengthy process, as some beams - or entire sections - may need to be added or replaced. I'm not convinced that a tiled roof (without ceiling) would reduce dust and insects, as you find just as much dust and insects. Putting in a ceiling will definitely reduce both dust and insects.

As far as reducing insurance premiums; a thatch-roofed house is automatically more expensive than a tiled roof, due to the higher risk of damage. A tiled roof would reduce monthly insurance premiums but I have no idea by how much.



08 February 2013 04:45 PM

Restore old school desk and chairs

I am opening a daycare centre soon and I have been gifted some old school desks and chairs. The frames are slightly rusted and the wood is a little ruined from standing in the sun and some water damage. What paint would I use for the frame and what paint for the wooden desk and chairs.

Hi Michelle,

Metal: Use Rust-Oleum Rust Stripper and some steel wool on the frames before painting with Rust-Oleum spray gloss enamel.

Wood: Sand down the wood with 80-, 120-, and then 240-grit sandpaper and then you can paint with Plascon Velvaglo or Rust-Oleum gloss enamel spray in your choice of colour.

Both products are available at your local Builders Warehouse.



11 February 2013 04:31 PM

DIY Divas Workshops

Dear Janice,
Thank you very much for the opportunity to attend the beginners powertools workshop. It was just fantastic, I immediately felt empowered, I felt like I could do anything, it’s a feeling I cannot describe. An hour into the workshop I felt like I am no longer a victim of my house anymore. The presenter was very helpful and ready to answer to any of our question, even the ones not related to the workshop.

Hi Nnana,
So glad that you enjoyed the workshop. If you feel this empowered after the first workshop, imagine the feeling when you have made your first piece of furniture.



06 February 2013 05:27 PM

Painting trim on house exterior

Hi Janice,
I have a rustic colour face brick in my house. I now would like to paint the gutters, windows and outdoor pot plants. Could you please give me advice as to what colour will go well, except the orange, red and yellow.

P.S. I still enjoy the home dzine website great work, keep it up.

Hi Talya,
It really depends on the look that you want for your home exterior. White would be a contrast that would stand out, whereas a dark brown colour would have impact but not stand out so much. For less impact you would look at neutral colours such as a creamy white or taupe/light brown, or one of the new shades of grey.



07 February 2013 04:29 PM

Help choosing paint colour

What paint colours did you use in the Tuscan bathroom?

Hi Jane,
Because there is such a difference between colours that you see on the screen and actual colours, we recommend that you visit your local paint store to select swatches that are as close as possible to the colours reflected in the article.

Print out a copy of the picture and take it along with you to choose the right colours. Pick a swatch that has the darkest colour and then choose two other hues from the same paint swatch.



6 February 2013 11:51 AM

Can I spray paint my furniture?

I'd like to know if it's possible to spray paint a silver chrome TV table gold or bronze and what I would need to do it.

Hi Sindi,
Most definitely...! You can use Rust-Oleum Universal Metallic spray (at your local Builders Warehouse), which comes in pure gold, oil-rubbed bronze and aged copper. Give the table a light sanding with 180-grit sandpaper to de-gloss the table before painting.



04 February 2013 01:10 PM

Greenish-brown stains in pool

I have greenish brown stains on my gunited pool. I have brushed all the algae off but some of the stain remains. I have tried shock dosing and steel brushing etc.I have even tried a scouring sponge but it hardly makes any difference to the stain. The stains are mostly in the shadowy areas and around the lights etc. and only on the sides of the pool not on the bottom. My water is very clear.

Hi Geraldine,
It sounds as though algae has actually penetrated into the gunite finish and left a stain behind. It can be difficult to remove these stains. I would suggest that you take a water sample to you local pool shop and ask them to test the water and see what they recommend. Sometimes a pool can be over stabilised and this can result in treatments not being effective.



01 February 2013 08:53 AM

Help adding colour to home

Hello Janice,
Thank you so much for responding to my e-mail and the great tips/links you forwarded to me! I have taken advantage of your offer to send you pics. Basically it’s all the areas that guest will see when they walk into my house (entire house is painted in a very light grey colour, which is almost white).

Your help is much appreciated, I really can’t wait to make my house look like a home, finally after almost 4 years!

Hi Tanya,
I see what you mean about 'lack of colour'. The house looks very empty and you can so easily add detailing to make it look more of a home. Working with the colours that you have in your living room I have selected what is the closest colour from the screen image using the Plascon Inspired Colour system. I use this a lot of working out what colours work best and it allows you to see complementary and adjacent colours at the same time. You can stay within the monochromatic range or add splashes of other colour, whichever you prefer.

Front Portal
Empty walls on left as you enter front door - paint a solid block of colour from the monochromatic selection. The block can be about 2 metres wide and 2 metres high. Use this block to mount photos - or artwork that incorporates the colours below.

Living room
Paint the same block of colour onto the wall behind the couch - go for a grey that takes its colour from the curtains. Mount 1 large pieces of artwork incorporating the colours below above the TV, or 2 smaller pieces on either side.

- A glass splashback above the hob would add colour to the kitchen, but you could also install a glass mosaic splashback. I put a red perspex splashback in the kitchen and it is affected by heat and steam from the stove - so don't go there...!

- It looks like there is plenty of space in the middle of the kitchen. A dining room would definitely fit, or a nice big butcher-block island. It's a beautiful space with the sliding doors. If you put a dining table, chairs upholstered in a colour that matches the new splashback would be perfect.

-On the wall between stairs and laundry hang a long, narrow artwork incorporating colours below, or even something in silver to match all the stainless steel in the kitchen.

I'm sure this is enough to keep you busy for a while.




01 February 2013 06:32 AM

Eyelet curtains and blinds?

Good morning
I am redoing my home interiors and want to put up eyelet curtains, however I have black leather couches in my living room and don’t want the sun to be directly on the couch. Is there any way that I can have the eyelet finish/curtains and have a type of “back curtain” say organza or voile to keep the sun out. Please help, I love the minimal finish that the eyelet design provides, but don’t want to give up my furniture’s “safety”.

Hi Leanna,
In my mind I can't quite see eyelet curtains with a netting or voile behind working well. Blinds would definitely be a better option.




29 January 2013 12:36 PM

How to lay paving

We are a newlywed couple (so funds are few) and would like to do paving at our new house. I suggested that we do this ourselves and was wondering what we would need and how much it could work out to? We want to put paving over the grass in front of the house, then a 'drive way' onto the front lawn and paving around the pool. How long does a job like this usually take?

Hi Lucille,
You will find plenty of ideas in our garden section, as well as advice on the different methods of laying paving.

It's difficult for me to place a time on your project as I don't know what is involved and how big the space is. You will also need to shop around for prices on paving, as these can vary depending on the style of paving you choose. There is faux stone paving, brick paving, concrete paving, cobblestones, etc.



29 January 2013 11:29 AM

Ideas for turning house into home

Good afternoon,
We built a brand new house (rather big double-storey) with big open-plan areas, in which we are now living for almost 4yrs. It is very difficult financially to fill all the open spaces on floor and walls, also mainly due to the fact that I am very scared to make use of bright colours. The house is all “natural”, from top to bottom…

How can I get ideas to decorate and re-paint my house, to look like a home? I want to have my house re-painted inside in approx. 2 months’ time, but choosing the right colours is another challenge. The walls are currently a very light greyish colour with the doors and skirting’s all a different colour again. My kitchen is open-plan and I would love to bring in a dining room table, but don’t exactly know where to put it. I will really appreciate some tips, as my house is way too dull and boring and I think it’s about time it start decorating it room for room. I had a look at your website, which is awesome by the way, but I still don’t know where to start (I am just being blonde?)… Please let me know how you can help!!

Hi Tanya,
The first step would be to make yourself a mood board and start collecting images and pics of colours, accessories and furniture that appeals to you. As you build up the layers on your mood board, your style and personality will start to take shape.

While the mood board won't necessarily assist with selecting the right colours, you will have more of an idea of the colours you want to incorporate. Then it's as easy as popping on to the Plascon Inspired Colour System to choose complementary colours. EG. If you would like to have a neutral colour for the walls - select that first as this will be the largest area and then click 'all colour schemes' to see what colours work well with your first selection.

In a larger home, especially double volume and open plan, a feature wall or splash of colour works very well in defining the space.

You are welcome to send through some photos for me to take a look at and offer advice.



24 January 2013 12:26 PM

Stone Flooring - Revamp

Let me please first say how I love your website - Home Dzine. I log on weekly to get ideas and tips. We are renting a beautiful house on a plot and are now desperate to get some advise on how to re-vamp the flooring in our dining room, lounge and TV-room. The flooring is a type of "stone" tile which unfortunately needs a re-vamp. Is it possible to paint this flooring with a permanent type of varnish? How can we make the floor look new and pretty again? The grouting also needs to be re-done as this has over the ages worn away.
Thank you for any advice or suggestions you may have available.

Hi Dalene,
It is not recommended that you paint a stone floor or tile and there are various other options that you can consider.



24 January 2013 01:25 PM

How to mark out for tiling

I am about to embark on a major renovation and thinking about doing the tiling myself. I suppose I'm looking to learn the easiest way to mark out tiles and the best way to leveling them etc,. Also what tile glue/grout goes with what tile?

Hi Roger,
For marking out you would use a straightedge or steel ruler and a spirit level to start at the bottom and get your starting line. Mark from one side of the wall to the other. Draw lines all the way up the wall as guides. You also need to use the straightedge and spirit level to keep checking as you tile up. I find it a good idea to check the plumb of the walls before I start, because it's very rare to find walls that are perfectly level and you will need to adjust vertically to allow for any uneveness.

For ceramic or porcelain tiles you use a standard grout, but for stone tiles you need a heavy-duty grout.



23 January 2013 10:11 AM

Repair wooden blind

I have a 1.5 x 1.8 wooden blind that I bought for a sliding door. That blind is now broken and can no longer be used for the sliding door. I have 2 of 1.8 x.900 windows that I am not able to buy blinds for due to that being very expensive. Is it possible to have the blind cut to fit the two windows?

Hi Lerato,
You may only be able to use the wooden blind for one of the windows. If you cut it down to size you will also need to cut the open/close mechanism as well. Since there is only one mechansim on the blind, how will you open/close the other section?

If you visit the Decor Section you will find plenty of affordable ideas for windows:



15 January 2013 05:08 PM

Epoxy paint on outdoor patio

Tell me something - will epoxy paint work on an outdoor patio at the coast? It is currently tilled and I have cracks that are leaking into my neighbour bellow’s lounge … Re-tiling will cost a fortune … and it has been a problem for about 6 years now … seems to be a construction problem.

Hi Valda,
You can use an exterior sealer for filling in the cracks around the patio. At your local Builders Warehouse, ask for a cartridge of sealer - and you will need a caulking gun - that is suitable for exterior and that can be used to seal around your patio. There are plenty of varieties that you can use: Alcolin, Sista, Den Braven, etc.



15 January 2013 04:26 PM

Restore rusted metal garden bench

Hi Janice,
I have this old, vrot garden bench. It looks a little like the one that you made over. It just has a few more wooden panels. Most of the wooden panels are broken so I will replace those. On the metal frame, there is a bit of rust and all the paint is chipping off. Do I buy a paint remover and a rust remover and then spray with a primer and then spray paint? Or do I just get the rust and paint off, and then paint straight away? Also, is rustoleum paint the better paint? The bench is under a ‘gazebo’ type of thing. Basically just a wooden structure with a wisteria covering it. But the bench is still exposed to rain and sun.

Hi Katie,
Use Rust-Oleum Rust Converter or Rust Stripper to remove and restore the rusted areas. To remove the paint you can use Plascon RemovAll and a hard scrubbing brush. Once clean, paint with Rust-Oleum Enamel spray to prevent future rust. After using Rust-Oleum you will never use anything else... it's that good.



09 January 2013 11:19 AM

Best way to clean slate roof

What is the best way of cleaning a slate roof with moss? I have heard that pressure spraying can cause more damage than do good - is this true? I have also been told that spraying and then also paining the roof is a good option as it will help seal the roof should there be any small holes or damage from the pressure hosing down. Any advice would be appreciated.

Hi Lumondt,
Using a high-pressure spray can loosen the tiles, but I know that this process is used frequently and there is a right way and wrong way of doing it. You can attach a soft brush to the power spray - like the one used for washing cars - and this reduces the pressure and makes it easier to wash the roof down. Add some household bleach to the water to kill off any moss, which is a fungus.

Not sure I would want to paint slate tiles, and bear in mind that it will be an ongoing process once you start.



04 January 2013 02:52 PM

Best paint to use in a bathroom

Hi Janice,
What is the best paint to use in a bathroom? We are tiling halfway through the bath, so we need to paint the other top half preferably in a soft yellow. And one that will not cause any mould or issues on the wall.

Hi Michelle,
You definitely need to use Plascon Kitchens & Bathrooms paint. Have just completed quite a few projects using this paint on Home-Dzine.



03 January 2013 03:33 PM

How to remove paint from pine coffee table

Hi Janice
I have a pine coffee table that I would like to stain. Currently its painted black. (spray painted). Is there a way that spray paint can be removed? Do I just get normal paint remover?

Hi Katie,
Use Plascon RemovAll to take off the spray paint. It's an eco-friendly product that works like a dream.



03 January 2013 11:54 AM

How to clean slasto tiles in shower

The tiles on the shower floor and wall are tiled with slasto. Would it be safe to clean with diluted bleach and vinegar to remove the scum?

Hi Tony,
I wouldn't recommend using a chlorine-based product on natural stone. Rather visit to see the range of slasto cleaners they offer and that are available on the shelf at your local Builders Warehouse. I am currently stripping/cleaning my tiles at home, as my entire house is done with slate tiles.



03 January 2013 11:44 AM

Advice on building a flat roof

Hi Janice
We are planning to build a new house, but would like to have a flat roof instead of a pitched roof. Can you please forward me the do's and dont's.

Hi Allison,
IBR is not the best idea for a flat roof if you are building a home due to the zero-pitch angle. You should look at an option that has cement-fibre sheeting that is overlaid with an OSB or plywood sheet and then topped of with tar sheets that are heat-welded to the board and along joins. Flashing or seams are brought up the brick sides and heat-welded to prevent leaks

See more information here:



24 December 2012 11:10 AM

Where to buy wood grain rocker

Good day
I was reading your site on applying a faux wood grain finish. Where would I be able to purchase a wood grain rocker - I live in Fourways, JHB?

Hi Gavin,
You can order a wood grain rocker from:



03 January 2013 08:55 AM

Dining room suite needs to be re-designed

I have very old furniture my lounge suite I would like to redesign if possible and then my dining room suite needs to be upholstered.

For the lounge suite - I do not mind if I make it into wood chips and make a chair out it or build it into something (more of sentimental value and I am not sure it is practical). Not sure of the type of wood it is made of but it is solid wood and currently breaking leg for leg.

The dining room suit is Kiaat and the chairs need to be repaired and reupholster.

Hi Kim,
These are definitely going to be a do-it-yourself projects. You might be able to find a handyman who can assist, but these projects are not something you can ask someone to do for you.

You will find plenty of tips and advice on the website and you are more than welcome to get in touch with me re any assistance that I can offer. If you can send through some pics I might be able to help you get started.



01 January 2013 11:24 AM

How to restore parquet floor

I've just removed the carpet from my son's room so that I can restore the parquet flooring. Please send me a complete diy or tips on how to restore the existing parquet flooring from beginning to finish. Also the kind of glue/epoxy which I can use which won't cost an arm and a leg but is still of good quality. Thank you.

Hi Vero,
There are a couple of articles on the website that deal with parquet floors:



30 December 2012 08:08 PM

How to fix up aluminium furniture

Hi Janice,
I recently received an old 10 seater cast aluminum patio set. The paint has started to peel and I found at least one chair with cracks that must be repaired. How do I go about refurbishing the the set?

I do not have any welding experience, so I'll probably need a professional to fix the cracks. Can you point me in the direction of anyone that repairs cast aluminum cracks? What would be the best products to use to prepare, prime paint the set?

Hi Braam,
Firstly, you should be able to repair non-structural cracks yourself if you view the articles below on how to. For larger or structural cracks in aluminium you will need to find a handyman that does specialist aluminium welding.

You will need to remove all the paint from the furniture. If it has already started peeling, you will be wasting your time by painting over the existing finish as it may peel off in the future.

I would suggest that you try sanding first to see how brittle the paint is. If it is peeling it should be easy to remove the paint this way. Any hard to remove spots can be treated with Plascon RemovAll. Once down to the surface you can paint as detailed in the articles below.

There are a couple of articles on the website that will be of assistance:



01 January 2013 07:24 PM

How to fix leaks around skylight

What sealant can I use to seal th interior part of a skylight, as it leaks into the house when it rains?

Hi Sumayya,
Before sealing the interior of the skylight you need to fix up any leaks on the outside. You need to stop water from entering the roof in any way.

Rust-Oleum have just launched a fantastic new products called Leak Seal. I was given the opportunity to try out the product, and it's amazing. You can buy at your local Builders Warehouse or get in touch with the suppliers at

Once the outside leaks are fixed you can use silicone or acrylic sealer on the inside.