Refinish that grubby tub, basin or toilet - make your home smiles

If your bathtub, sink or tiles are starting to look a little old and dated, then refinishing it may help to increase the value of your home by improving the look of the bathroom.

Now in South Africa, Rust-Oleum have launched the Tub & Tile Refinishing Kit, a two-part epoxy acrylic formula that allows you to refinish your sanitary ware for a professional finish and provides superior adhesion and excellent wear and abrasion resistance in high-moisture areas.
With proper care, sanitary ware painted with this product will retain a hard, glossy finish for many years.

If you want a new look for your bathroom, but don't want to spend thousands of rands remodelsing, then refinishing is your best value.
Replacing the bathtub alone can cost as much as R2,000. With refinishing, you only pay a small fraction (as little as 10 percent) of the cost of replacement.
And anyone who has ever replaced the tiles or sink in their bathroom knows the mess and hassle of demolition, as well as the hole it can put in their wallet.

The Simple Solution
Now you can transform a tired and dated bathroom to look like new in less than one day, which is excellent news for those homeowners looking to sell their property in a hurry!
And the good news is that refinishing your sanitary ware will make your bathroom look and feel like new, without the time, cost and inconvenience of replacing.

Step-by-Step: Preparation
The procedure involved in refinishing your surfaces is as easy as 1-2-3. You won’t need industrial cleaners or acids, the application is easy and you can start and finish in one day.

Proper surface cleaning and preparation is key to a smooth, lasting finish. Follow all directions carefully and completely. The only necessary preparation is to remove all metal drains, scrub the surface with an abrasive pad and cleaner to get rid of all traces of grease, mould, soap film and hard water deposits, and silicone sealer, and the to lightly sand the area with 400-grit sandpaper.

Step-by-Step: Application
The Rust-Oleum Tub & Tile Refinishing Kit comes with a complete set of application instructions that allows you to renew ceramic and porcelain tile, cast iron and steel tubs and sinks.

The product is mixed according to the manufacturer’s guidelines and then applied to the surface.

To apply you can use a high quality, fine bristle varnish brush, a quality short nap roller, or spray applicator.

The product dries to the touch in less than one hour and to handle in 3 hours, and is fully dry in 18 hours. It is recommended that you allow the paint to dry at least 3 days (72 hours) before exposing to water.

Clean up is just as easy as application: Clean all painting tools and any paint spills immediately with lacquer thinner.

Maintenance and care
With proper care, surfaces painted with Rust-Oleum Tub & Tile will retain a hard, glossy finish for many years. For routine cleaning, use non-abrasive cleaners and mild detergents only.


Safety First
As with any chemical-based product, always follow the manufacturer’s recommended instructions.

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Add some solar ice to the garden of your home

Now it's easy to light up the garden without cables, electricity or batteries with the new Solar Ice brick from The Green Shop.

Measuring 7 x 7cm, the Solar Ice brick has an integral bright white LED bulb which illuminates automatically as the sun goes down to provide 6 to 8 hours of soft light that is perfect for paths, steps and driveways.
With a full 8 hours charge in direct sunlight this garden path light will give 6 hours plus illumination. They will illumiate paths, steps, driveways and gardens.
Perfect for entertaining, simply place the Solar Ice bricks in direct sunshine during the day and position them around the entertainment area for the evening. Once fully charged Solar Ice bricks will hold their charge for up to 3 days - so if you are having a party you can charge them ahead of time, switch them off and keep them for your party. 
Solar Ice bricks are strong, waterproof and easy to install - just place them where you need additional light. Strong enough to be walked on and fantastic for permanent pathway markers or even to move around the garden when you feel like something different.
Product reviews (Amazon)
I purchased these unique solar glass bricks last summer and they are superb! I placed them in my garden and even on overcast days they continued to give great bright illumination. Perfect for patios, footpaths or any area of the garden as the light emitted is very strong and last for many hours - they are still 'showing off' when I am going to bed. I couldn't recommend them highly enough, they will give young and old many hours of delight and enchantment!!! Anne
We recently part shingled our garden after building raised decking last year. I've been looking for solar lights to light a path way. These are simple but great value for money and really bright for solar lights. Bought 8 bricks and now have 13! I highly recommend them !! 10 out of 10 for product value.

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Your beautiful home and pavement perfection

You have a beautiful house, with a lovely garden and a nice paved driveway, but all your guests notice when they arrive, is the dull, ugly pavement that welcomes them to your home. First impressions are everything and therefore it is important that the area visitors see first, in other words your pavement, is just as beautiful and decorative as your home is.

Here are a few creative ways to add some savvy to your pavement:

Pretty pots
According to Liesel Oosthuizen from Creative Pots, it is better to use a big, solid pot that is too heavy for thieves to steal and in which you are able to plant interesting, eye catching things like palms. “The advantage of a cement pot is that it can withstand the pressure of the soil that is put into it and doesn’t crack after a few months. Cement can also handle the winter temperature better than fibre glass pots. The trend in the winter is to buy big pots that can be used as decorating ornaments by putting bamboo into them. People also buy fountains in the winter as it gives life to the garden.” The interesting thing is that pots are available in different shapes, sizes, colours and styles and you will most surely find something to suit the style of your home.

For those with more expensive tastes, Obbligato pots and water features are available in a wide range of materials and finishes - to add style to any pavement.

Palisade Protection
Protecting your home doesn’t mean that it has to look and feel like Fort Knox too. Palisade fencing is available in different designs, colours, lengths and shapes which mean that you can choose a design and colour that can actually enhance the theme of your home and is easy on the eye.

Worldclass Palisade just launched three new ranges of palisades - the 1.2mm thick domestic galvanized fence; the 1.5mm thick light industrial galvanized fence and the 2mm thick heavy industrial galvanized fence and the W shape make it much stronger than any normal fence on the market. These palisades can be made to your specification and can be installed privately or by a professional.

Stylish stones
If you are not someone who likes to spend hours in the garden, you could consider paving your sidewalk with interesting pavers, although you might have to get permission to do so from your local municipality. Paving don’t take a lot of maintenance and always look neat and clean. It can also be the perfect way to compliment your existing pavement or home and can provide a nice, steady parking space for visitors to park their cars. If you have walls surrounding your home it might be a good idea to use a neutral or matching stone to decorate your sidewalk.

Glamorous gates
A striking gate to welcome guests is always a good idea. Steel and wrought iron gates add elegance to any property while enhancing privacy and security. Gates can be made to fit in with the style and colour of your fencing or can be used to create contrast or to enhance the theme of your home. These types of gates can be motorized for your convenience and safety.

Garden creation
A mini-garden can make your sidewalk look friendly and inviting. Some of the best gardeners use layering to - where you combine layers of plants that grow at different heights – to make their gardens more interesting and appealing. This is ideal for a pavement scenario where you have limited space, but want to do something interesting with. Choose flowers that will take well to the area and that will last more than one season if you are not a keen gardener. Shrubs are easy to maintain and can look lovely if combined with a few colourful flowers like an Iris or any other bulb. Rocks and stone can also be incorporated into your sidewalk-garden and wild grasses can also be added to establish a natural look.

Try this: Make a path to your small gate with stepping stones and surround it with white pebbles, plant lollypop trees in the large square and put them along the path. 

Other ideas
* Build your own decorative garden pots with stone against the wall. This will give your sidewalk a neat and organised appearance.

* Get one or two old wine barrels, place them by the entrance and fill with flowers or strawberry plants to create a country like effect.

* If you have a few steps on your pavement, a black wrought iron fence along the steps would enhance the garden and pavement.

* Solar lights along your pavement to light up your plants can be nice at night and also enhance the security around your home. Lights can also be placed on top of your palisades or at the gate’s entrance to increase visibility around your home.

* Concrete figurines like lions, elephants etc. can also be added at both sides of the entrance for dramatic effect.
Remember: If you want to make drastic changes to your pavement, it might be a good idea to clear your plans with your local municipality first.

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Your home and a garage conversion

In many homes the garage takes up a fair amount of valuable real estate on a property. When used for parking cars a garage is obviously in need, but when stacked to the roof with junk that should have been given away or tossed out, it's an investment going to waste. The next time you drive up to your garage, think about how great it would look transformed into a new family room, master suite or living room - or even as a separate living space for renting out.

You need more space in your home, but don't have the budget to add on and moving is out of the question - so what do you do?

A cost effective way to add more space to your home is by remodelling the garage.
Generally located next to a home, a garage is far less expensive than building an addition. You can use your garage for an office, a workshop, a studio, a playroom, a home office, and even a club or amusement space. If you do not have space for storage and the garage is the only place to store items - consider adding a small shed to your garden.
With right design, you can convert your garage into a multifunctional room, to accommodate various needs and functions. You can designate separate areas and use divisions. You can benefit from an attached garage because it already has the necessary wires, heating, cooling, and plumbing nearby. It is just a matter of making some adjustments that will not be too costly compared to adding an extra room.

ABOVE: Before and After - In this economy, spacious living quarters that are also affordable can be hard to come by. Many individuals have decided to use their garage space as an additional room by transforming it into a living space.

Consider a garage renovation

Although the basic structure is already in place, you still need to take into plan for amenities and layout, as most garages are very basic.
If you're going to be remodelling the garage for additional living space, or as an extra room, you don't necessarily need to plan for amenities such as a bathroom or kitchen space, but these need to be allowed for when looking at converting a garage into a separate living facility.

ABOVE: No wasted garage space in this home. Now a stunning kitchen with plenty of space to move around in - and the garage door remains, albeit fitted with glass panels. [via]
Painting and decorative touches are easy for most people to handle on their own. However, there will also probably be some things that will need to be done by a professional:
An electrician will need to be called in to wire for additional lighting and electrical outlets, especially where appliances will be introduced into the space.
Water supply will need to be added so that a bathroom or kitchen area can be created. The number of necessary lines will also depend greatly on what additional appliances that use water will be installed.

Additional windows and doors may also be needed. However, tackling this as a do-it-yourself project is fairly simple if you plan to use the existing space for the garage door. Adding windows allows more natural light and reduces the reliance on artificial light and an increase in electricty usage.

It's important to take into consideration that if you are planning to rent out the space, the occupants will require the convenience of having all the necessary amenities at hand.

ABOVE: Converting a double garage into a flatlet, either for a relative, or for renting out, is an investments that brings its own rewards.

A garage doesn't have to be just for parking the car and organizing the tools. Garages can be converted to meet a homeowner's needs in a number of ways. This additional space can be completely redesigned to become usable living space or even a separate living area for another resident. With some initial investment in materials and a bit of imagination, there is no limit to how one can transform a garage and make an improvement on the existing home.

ABOVE: A garage can become the children's play room when stocked with children's toys and games.
Having a separate playroom for young children discourages clutter in bedrooms and will keep toys from being strewn all over the house. A playroom of their own also allows children to have fun anytime, even when the weather or other factors prevent outdoor activities.

ABOVE: Convert a garage into a home gym with only a few alterations. Reconfiguring the design of the garage may not be necessary, and flooring could be left as is, or covered with a suitable flooring material.
A garage can be converted to a home gym to accommodate a treadmill, stationary bike, weights and other fitness equipment. The money saved on gym registration will soon cover any costs spent on this renovation.

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How to replace a broken floor tile in your home

A floor covered with ceramic tile is about as durable and low-maintenance a surface as you can get. Replacing a broken or chipped tile is pretty simple to do and one that any homeowner can handle.

1. Remove the grout
Pop on your safety glasses to protect your eyes from chips and dust, then rake out the grout around the broken tile using a carbide-tipped scoring tool. Apply just enough pressure to remove the grout but not so much that a slip will gouge the neighbouring tiles.
2. Loosen the tile
Apply masking tape around the edges of the adjacent tiles to protect them. Drill evenly spaced holes into the broken sections of tile with a 6mm HSS bit. This helps free the pieces from the floor and makes them easier to chisel out.

3. Chisel out the pieces
Working from the centre out toward the edges, gently tap out the broken pieces with a hammer and a narrow chisel. If you don't have a tile chisel, a cold chisel or even a flat-blade screwdriver will also do the job. Start with the chisel at 90 degrees to the floor, then switch to a 45-degree angle after you penetrate the glaze. Once the broken tile is removed, use a wider chisel to clean all the old adhesive off the substrate.

4. Set the new tile
Comb a small amount of tile adhesive over the floor in straight furrows using a notched trowel. For best adhesion, also butter the back of the new tile with thinset. Set the tile in place and press down firmly to level it with the surrounding tile. Adjust it so the spacing is even on all sides.

5. Fill the joint with grout
Wait at least two hours for the thinset to cure, then mix up a batch of grout. Swipe the grout into the joints with a rubber grout float held at a 45-degree angle, then wait 15 minutes for it to harden. When the grout no longer feels tacky to the touch, clean off the excess with a damp sponge.

6. Allow the grout to dry
Don't walk on the tile for 24 hours.

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Headboard for little boy in your home

What boy is not fascinated by cars - no matter what their age, and this cute Volksie headboard is perfect for any little boy.
headboard for boy
I wanted to make a vintage Volkswagen Beetle themed headboard for the bed, so I found an image online that had the look I was after.
On the computer, I enlarged it to the size I wanted (the widest part of the car slightly larger than the width of the existing headboard), but it probably would have been easier to rent an overhead projector and enlarge it that way.
It printed out over several (like 30!) pages, so I taped them all together so that I would have one very large image.
I cut out the image and traced it onto the supawood.

You can use a variety of materials for the headboard, but PG Bison SupaWood is the best for painting. SupaWood has a nice, smooth finish that requires very little preparation.
Have the board cut to the width of the bed:
920mm - single
1100mm - three-quarter
1400mm - double

If you are fitting the headboard over an existing one, make a box on the back of the headboard, leave the bottom of the box open so that the new headboard can be slipped over the top of the old one.

Alternatively, mount directly onto the wall with Fischer wall plugs and screws.

You can also use a large sheet of tracing paper.
Use a pencil to outline the mark to make more visible and then cut out with ajigsaw.
Use a clean-cut blade to cut out and sand cut edges with 220-grit sandpaper until smooth.
When painting, I started with the lightest colour and worked to the darkest colour. That way, I wasn’t worried about having one colour bleed through another if they overlapped a bit. I did two coats of each colour before moving to the next colour.
Prominent Paints - Sheen - is excellent for this type of project. It is easy to apply with a brush, roller or spray system and provides a durable finish that is completely washable.

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Add to your home - a splash of summer colour

Add a splash of colour to a little girl's bedroom with our fun flower stand.
You will need:
22 x 50mm pine cut to 300mm long
16 x 50mm pine cut to 300mm long
acrylic paints
Mod Podge
Drill-Driver + asstd drill/screw bits
5 x 45mm wood screws
Ponal wood glue
Hacksaw or jigsaw
scrapbook paper
8mm dowels
Coloured felt
Hot glue gun and glue sticks

Here's how:
1. Sand everything before assembly with 180-grit sandpaper.
2. Paint the section with acrylic paint as shown in the finished project.
3. Cut a triangle shape off the corners of the 22mm one so the top is wider than the base.
4. Drill 3mm pilot holes for your screws to hold the base to the bottom of the flower pot. Countersink so that the screw heads will be sunk into the wood and the base can stand straight.
5. Use an 8mm wood bit to drill holes in the top of the flower pot for the dowels. You do not need to drill more than 20mm down.
6. Use a hacksaw or jigsaw to trim the dowels to varying lengths.
7. Add a drop of wood glue to the dowel holes and insert the dowels. Let the glue dry.

There are so many ways you can make flowers. I chose to use felt because, with a high melt glue gun, it will melt to the dowel pretty well when you glue it on.
I also used felt for the centres of the flowers because I like the bright colours. I hand sewed these on to help them stay more securely than they might with glue. If you want to use a button in the centre of your flower, be sure you sew it on securely before you glue your felt to the dowel.
You could make the flowers different on each side of the flower, too. There's a lot of room for creativity here!

You need 10 flowers all together. Glue your flowers to each side of the dowel.

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Your home and fancy DIY Contemporary Chandelier

Crystals hanging from an aluminium pole are all you need to create a glamorous, and sexy feel to your kitchen or dining table. Lighting is provided by battery-operated LED lights and your guests will be bathed in long-lasting, glittering, twinkling crystal light.

You will need:
Dremel MultiTool and 1.6mm drill bit
Wire rope
Ceiling fixing
2 x wire rope stoppers
1 x LED strip light
900 x 40 mm diameter length of chrome pipe 
Here's how:

1. Marking up
Buy a length of chrome pipe or curtain rod 900 mm in length and mask up with masking tape to protect the surface of the chrome and be able to mark up.
Draw a line along the entire length of the pipe and then another line 20mm away on either side. The two outer lines are where the crystals will hang.
Use the centre line for adding battery-operated LED lights, mounting the battery pack at the top of the pipe.

If you cannot find chrome pipe, use PVC pipe and then spray with Rust-Oleum Universal Metallic - chrome silver

2. Drilling your light rail
Use a centre punch to avoid your drill skating across the surface of the handrail and then drill a pilot hole through the pipe using your Dremel 8200 with the Dremel drill bit 1.6mm.
You will need to drill holes along the centre strip to attach the type of battery-operated LED lights that you purchase, as well as holes on the two outer lines to mount the crystals.

On the top line, mark up a spot 20 mm from each end. This will be the position for the wire rope to go through the handrail to hang your crystal light rail to the ceiling. Drill the size of holes suitable for the wire rope you intend to use.
3. Wiring Up
The original project featured individual LED lights, but it is far easier and practical to add a strip light onto the chrome pole. Install according to the manufacturers instructions and fit the transformer to the top of the chrome pipe, or through the ceiling.

4. Hanging the light rail
Fit hanging wire ropes through the holes you’ve previously drilled at each end of the handrail and cut to the required length, depending on the height of your ceiling and how low you want the light rail to hang over your table. Secure with rope locks.
Insert the other end of the wire rope into the ceiling fixing. Secure with another rope lock.

5. Hanging the crystals
Once the light rail is hanging in place securely, hang all your crystals into the holes you have drilled previously and switch on to test your light rail.

Experiment with style

There are so many options and variations for designing a light fitting in this way. It allows you to be creative with crystal beads in different configurations.

LEFT: This dining chandelier features a selection of large and small crystal beads.


Price Check 

Decor Electrix

Magic Lighting

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Decorating a small home

When it comes to small spaces, smart storage is key. An uncluttered home is a spacious home and you will be amazed at some of the storage ideas we show below.

Clever Storage
Now here's a unique way to have space and art! The apartment shown above has extra seating hanging on the wall in the hallway. Whether it's doing something similar or installing cubbies beneath the bed, make sure you're being creative with storage space.

Play with shapes
It would be great if we could all fit a ten-seater dining table into our homes, but that not a reality for most of us. The home above didn't have a large space for a rectangular table, so the homeowners opted for a circular table instead. The shape fits perfectly in the space and can still seat up to six guests.
Let the eye travelGlass, acrylic and lucite should all become your best friends when decorating for a small space. Not only do they fit with a variety of styles, but they let the eye travel through their clear and reflective surfaces.
Create multi-functional spaces
When space is tight, it's important to create areas that are multifunctional. The den above has a couch that can be used to watch TV, or to house guests, thanks to the pull-out bed inside.
Play with reflections
A mirrored wall (like the one in the bachelorette pad above) is a great way to open up a small space. The reflective surface creates an optical illusion of having double the space than is actually there.
Use every nookA small home allows for no wasted space, so be sure to make good use of every corner. The apartment above had an oddly-shaped nook in its layout, but the homeowners found it to be a good spot for a round dining table, two chairs and a mini banquette.
Go large in small dosesThere's this strange myth out there that if you use large furniture in a small space, it will eat up the room. This can be true if you try to stuff a large bedroom set in a 4m x 4m room, but you can still introduce large pieces in small quantities. Don't want to give up your queen-sized bed? Instead, cut back on other pieces like large armoires and bulky side tables. Your big bed will become a beautiful focal point in the room.
Experiment with colourSure, white walls can make a small room look airy, but don't limit yourself to just neutrals. The bedroom above has sandy walls, but also includes an artistic chalkboard wall - don't you just love it!. Pops of colour in the cushions bring life to the space and do anything but make it feel smaller.
Sort out your stuff
There's no need to get rid of all your 'stuff' just because you live in a small space -- just make sure you have savvy storage spaces. The teeny bathroom above has full cabinetry underneath the sink, but features sliding doors to keep things looking sleek. Thin glass shelves above the toilet neatly hold items that are frequently used so they're always at the ready.
Careful coordinationMuch like the myth of sticking to one focal point, many of us are scared to use pattern in a room in fear that it will look too busy. The living space above uses seven different patterns and they all blend together to create a cohesive space. The key is to use a similar colourway -- each of the patterns either use a neutral or the coral colour used on the walls.

Now forget everything you've previously been told and decorate your small home in the style you love!

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