Category Archives: DIY

Make your small kitchen look bigger

Small Kitchen

If you have a small kitchen and would like to make it look bigger here are a few tips to help you that will not break the bank, considering the financial times we are in. First look at my previous post on Small kitchen Tips. Creating more storage area is relatively cheap and easy.

First you need to keep your surfaces clean of all dirt and blemishes then free up counter space, I know it’s very appealing for some to keep certain of their appliances (food processors, blenders, can openers, mixers etc.) on the counter for easy reach but storing them here makes the room look busy, cluttered and therefore smaller.

Use Sliding doors

Convert Kitchen Doors into Drawers

Sliding doors create more space in the passages and you can open more doors without reducing the space available for moving around. It also helps if you have those deep cupboards to install drawer cupboards when the shelves are pulled out, you can easily reach items stored in the back of the cabinet.

Sliding Doors

Increase space

High kitchen cabinet doors

If you currently have space above the cupboards consider installing more cabinets above them (Stacking). This frees up space in the cupboards below for the items that are regularly used and transferring those items you use seldom to the top cupboards

Increase the lighting

Consider under-the-counter lighting; the kitchen will appear larger. Use light colors when decorating, and lighten your cabinets and countertops. Add glass fronts to wall cabinets or replace solid cabinet doors with glass fronts along one wall. It will give the room a more open feeling, as light reflects off them. This does not have appeal for untidy people for obvious reasons but for those super tidy people with this is ideal

Where possible, enlarge windows and if possible move them to the east site of the room for maximum exposure to light and a beautiful view that will increase the aesthetics of the room

Under counter lighting and drawers

If your kitchen has walls to an adjoining dining room and you have some money, consider opening the wall between them to create an open plan. If you know that you will need your privacy in future, the wall can be replaced with folding sliding doors and you can decorate or darken them as you wish for when they are in use. This could be a do-it-yourself project if the wall is not load-bearing.

Folding Sliding Doors

Helpful hints to maintain your furniture good as new

Coffee and Walnut furniture fix

Rubbing a walnut over scratches on your furniture will camouflage knocks and scrapes in them, polish as normal. For the darker furniture a solution of instant coffee will do the trick let it stain, polish as normal

How to give furniture a crackled look

Crackled furniture

This technique is similar to the one mentioned in the previous post,https://ladulcelavie.wordpress.com/2012/02/17/improve-the-look-of-your-vases/ ,https://ladulcelavie.wordpress.com/2012/04/16/give-your-furniture-an-antiqued-or-distressed-look/and https://ladulcelavie.wordpress.com/2012/01/27/collage-table/.I have used it on trays and table tops to plates and bowls. The beauty of it is that you can add pictures to it.

Step 1: Apply the Base Coat

Crackling occurs naturally when the wood beneath an old, brittle finish expands and contracts because of fluctuations in temperature and humidity. Begin by applying a base coat of acrylic paint to an unfinished piece. Let dry. This stage is where you will add your pictures before you apply the base coat; you will use modge podge or glue to stick the picture on the furniture piece. Please remember that your pictures need to be transferred on to an 80gsm paper or less.  

Painted Crackled Furniture

Step 2: Apply the Crackle Medium

Apply crackle medium over the base coat with a brush. To create small cracks, use a thin coat. For larger cracks, apply a thicker coat and remember when you buy this to specify which size cracks you want as you get variable size cracks.

Step 3: Apply the Top Coat

After the crackle medium dries, paint over it with a top coat of different colour paint, using long, sweeping strokes. The process works best if the top coat is applied 2 to 4 hours after applying the crackle medium. When applying the top coat, avoid overlapping or re-stroking.

There are also filler paints available that will fill the cracks with a colour of your choice, like gold and brown depending on the item I’m cracking of course. To apply this put a small amount on a cloth and wipe gently over the piece, working in minor portions.

crackle paint has sizes

Step 4: Darken the Hardware

Hardware is often overlooked in the process of giving a reproduction an antique look. To darken shiny new brass or bronze hardware, brush on a commercial antiquing solution. As it dries, the chemical solution will darken the metal. Once the metal has darkened, use a pad of extra-fine steel wool to distress any areas.

Step 5: Seal the furniture.

After the crackle medium dries you will need to seal the cracks with a sealant that is not water based to prevent the cracks from dissolving when they come in contact with water.

Give your furniture an antiqued or distressed look

Distresse look furniture

A few years ago while in high school I learnt about antiquing, now when I look at this table that has been in the storage room for some time and I need to use it again but the is not budget I thought back to that. This technique is very simple and it gives furniture a character and best of all it can be used on just about anything from frames to tables and cupboards

Antique finish

The trick thought is making the worn effect realistic. To know where exactly to apply the worn effect, except for the edges try handles and areas that are handled regularly and to know what the history of your article is. That is has it been painted over and over before or has is just been painted once.

If your history is continuous painting you will need two different paints it preferred that the top coat be brighter than the top to get the full effect of the distressing and for the painted once effect you will need just one paint and the effect will reveal the bare wood below.

 

Layered didtressed look

Layered didtressed look

To preserve the genuineness of your colour choice for long, you will need to paint clear polyurethane over the finished project. A water-based polyurethane that won’t yellow over time and is therefore my best choice.

You will need to clean and sand down your chosen furniture before you start painting on it.

Distressed-Furniture

Paint the whole piece in the base coat colour you’ve selected then for the bare-wood look: When the base coat is dry, start sanding off areas that would naturally end up distressed do not get carried away with the sanding and sand too much of the paint off then wipe the furniture piece with a cloth.

Layerd detail

Paint the whole piece in the base coat colour you’ve selected, for the two colour look: Rub candle wax on the areas where you’d like to see colour show through. Don’t forget to do the sides and back; you want the entire piece to be finished. Then apply the top coat over the base coat and the wax, cover the entire furniture piece well. After the paint dries, rub the steel wool over the areas you’ve waxed, if you dip it in hot water it will be quicker and easier then wipe off the piece with the cloth.

 

Apply a finish if desired

DIY Epoxy Garage Floor coating.

 

Epoxy covered garage Floor

 

There are a number of nationally and international professional floor coating companies but installing your own epoxy floor coating can be cost-effective and gratifying. A garage, play room or lapa area might not be the show off room of your house, installing attractive floor coating can help make it more appealing. This is similar to the staining the concrete that was done in my previous post but for more heavy duty use. It comes in various colours so you can choose according to the rooms specific décor and colour scheme.

The various colours of Epoxy paint

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before you start, remove all furniture and items in the garage, clean the floor as best as possible and ensure the floor is level and roughly smooth by sanding if possible. Remove dust from cracks and corners to ensure that the Epoxy adheres to the floor as firm as possible, remove oil stains to the best of your ability then use either air-pressure or water-pressure spray the day before the application to ensure the floor is well dried, it is important to ensure that no moisture is still on the floor as this would not adhere otherwise.  If the floor was previously sealed or painted remove with the relevant remover well in advance. To test for this presence, pour a small amount of water onto the floor if it seeps in there is no sealant and if it doesn’t, and instead forms beads of water on top, the floor still has some sealant.

Vinyl Chip Epoxy Floor colour

Each of these preparation steps may be performed multiple times to ensure the whole surface is well prepared for priming. The process may take several days.

Mask of any areas that need to be protected with wide masking tape.

Please wear protective gear, it is essential to wear protective gloves, rubber boots, and safety glasses

Primer Application

Epoxy Floor Paint

Once the entire floor surface has been prepapred for coating, it is time to apply the primer. The primer is applied just like paint and allowed to settle for several hours before the epoxy goes on. This process is very simple and requires general painting tools, like a roller and a splash pan. Directions on the epoxy bottle should be followed, these may vary slightly between the different manufacturers but the generally go this way.

Apply the supplied EPOXYShield concrete etch and then rinse thoroughly and allow to dry completely, please note it will be easier to work in sections as opposed to  applying to the entire floor.Allow the floor to dry completely before moving on to the next step, this may take several hours.

 

Paint chips In the Paint

Depending on the manufacturer and the kind you have chosen, stir the contents of cans A and B and then pour A into B and mix well for approximately 3 to 5 minutes, then use a wide paintbrush to apply around the perimeter for a neat finish.

Pour epoxy into the paint tray. Insert the extension handle into the roller, dip in the paint tray and apply an event coating onto the surface working in small sections guarantees that the decorative paint chips will be scattered into the freshly coated surface.

Polishing off, the final touch

Do not use the area for at least 16 hour and make sure it is well ventilated

Tree Stump Table

Tree trunk with concrete top

  •  tree stump
  • Wooden frame for concrete mould
  • Wire meshing
  • Reinforcing bars

Project

The base for the table is a fallen tree stump. To produce the custom concrete top, build a frame with a plywood base and 2.5cn x 12.5cm x 1.5cm in a shape of your choice. Reinforce the bottom with wire mesh and reinforcing bars as concrete is heavy and the table top may crack and fall. Cut a cross section of a large stump that will fit inside the frame. Fill the frame with concrete even with the top of the stump. Let dry for three days and then, remove the frame even out and polish. Clean the tree stump seal it and vanish (optional).

Stain or paint a concrete floor

Stain or paint a concrete floor

Stained concrete

Concrete floors can be boring and they make a room feel cold, but there is a certain appeal to their low maintenance that tiles and carpets do not have. In the old days and still in some rural areas this is still highly prevalent but the concrete is stained with ochre and other such things. There is an updated, modern version of this practise that is more versatile and low maintenance flooring option can be polished, stained or painted.

Making a tiled effect

Coolcrete Concrete Stain is a penetrating concrete stain that causes a chemical reaction to permanently changes the colour of the concrete it stains the concrete and therefor does not change the texture of it nor will it peel away like the other paints it will also not fade or loose colour.

Sealed Stained concrete

This brings the normally bland and boring cement substrate to life. The stain works very well as a stand-alone decorative finish or it blends very effectively with natural finishes such as sandstone, slate, travertine, marble, and porcelain.

How to apply

First the concrete surface must be cleaned  and two to three coats of the stain applied,  depending on the porosity of the concrete. Wait for  48 hours to allow the colour to develop, before sealing with a sealer of choice.

How to apply:

After thoroughly vacuuming and cleaning the floor with TFC Easy Clean, two to three coats of the stain is applied – depending on the porosity of the concrete. A period of 48 hours should then be allowed for the colour to develop, before sealing with a sealer of choice.

And because it doesn’t fade, peel or flake, your new stained floor requires no maintenance to keep it looking good.

Painted concrete floor

painted floors

If time is spent on preparing a concrete floor, painting offers an easy and affordable way to introduce colour.

How to apply:

Prominent Paints Polyurethane provides a durable alternative to paints.

Surfaces must be sound, clean and dry before painting. Where there is existing paint on a floor, strip this prior to painting.

Prominent Paints 2-pack Polyurethane Floor is easily applied with brush, roller or spray and dries suitable for light traffic in 16 hours.

Stencilled concrete floor designs

You can easily paint any design onto concrete and it’s so easy to do. As long as the floor is perfectly clean and in good condition you can use any paint to add accent touches to a floor.

DIY mirror frames

Carved mirrors

Its easy to create your own DIY mirrors frames using inexpensive or even free materials to macth your room decor. You can find an intact mirror or an empty frame that could be modified into the theme. Glass companies can cut mirrors to fit many custom sizes. Here are a few simple techniques for customising an empty frame using fabric and other natural materials.

Remove mirror from frame

   DIY Mirror Frame with Fabric

Cut the Fabric to Fit the Frame

Cut the fabric into strips, each a few inches wider and longer than each section of the frame, the shape of the fabric cuts will be determined by the shape of the frame.Lay out one strip of cloth, right side down, and place a section of the frame down over it, also right side down. Wrap the fabric around the frame just like wrapping a package, and staple the fabric into place. To add a fancy touch, the fabric can be ruched before stapling to create a pretty pattern.

Fabric frame

Stapel the fabric back to the frame and replace the mirror to the back of the frame as it was.

For ths option you can also use wool, this is more time consuming though, you loop the wool aroung the frame until the frame is completly covered, you can opt to use one or a number of colours.

Cable knit Frame

This next technique involves using small sticks, twigs, pieces of bark, pine cones, shells or any other thing that interests you.

DIY Mirror with Twigs and shells

The sticks can be any kind you like and the sizes can differ to make a more interesting frame. Cut them either lengthwise to cover the length of the frame or widthwise to cover the width of the frame.

emty frame and

Shells

Paint the sticks and let them dry well in time before you you apply them to the frame, it will be less messier and remember to colour your life interesting.

Lay the frame down onto a work surface right side up. Use the hot glue gun to glue the sticks into the desired pattern, you can also usse wood glue or epoxy.

Shelled Mirror

You can use shells and bark be creative and make patterns, you can also use tiles to create a mosaic effect, most buliders supply stores sell these in mats that you can just cut to shape and stick.

Mirror with sticks

art motifs

These can be bought from an art supply store and stuck on the frame very easy, you also have an option of buying decorated cornices and then stiking them on the frame.

you can use decorated cornices for this one

Painted bottles

White painted bottles

I have always loved bottles and the various shapes they come in some are so interesting I buy the the bottle and not the contents, They end up collecting dust and I throw them away, until I found this little easy way to decorate with them. I kicked myself the whole day just for not thinking of it earlier. ( I got this from Goodhouse Keeping Magazines)

Findi some bottles with great shape and detail, remove the  labels, clean the inside and let them dry out completely, it can be plastic or glass as long as its see through.

Once dried you pour a good size of paint into the bottom of the bottle, be generous you can always pour the excess out. Be adventurous as well choose bright colours if you want mix and match options here are endless.

Glass stained Lavender bottles

The options used here is glass staining paint used in the last post ” Improve the look of your vases”

When the paint is in the bottle, you will have to slowly rotate the      bottle to get the paint to coat the entire interior of the bottle.      Depending on the opacity of the paint, this might require two coats.      (Acrylic paint will work for this as it will adhere to the glass, but note      that you shouldn’t fill the bottle with water later.)

rotate the bottles

Once the paint is dry you can place the botlles anywhere to decorate your spaces and at times like i use them to put odds and bits in the living area.

  • Let it dry thoroughly and you are all set.

Improve the look of your Vases

Stained vase

As a youngster I did a bit of painting on fabric, glass and other mediums and that is a bit, I went to lessons on weekends for the year and I you can imagine how little I know of paintings but I did pick up a few things that came in handy at times in my life.

The other day I was looking at the vases in the flower shop and seeing the price tags on them, I cringed. I also noticed that the clear undecorated ones where cheaper by up to 75%. I thought back to those high school days and then decided I will take a clear glass and stain it myself.

 

Vase divided in parts

The top vase is the easiest to do as you just put your vase upside down and pour down the paint and let it drip, you can have the different colours flow at the same time, this creates a spectrum of colours. You can choose the colours you want and those that will give beautiful colours when mixed.

 

 

Colour blocking.

This  style is easier  to paint as you can use the separetor wait for it to dry or semi dry out and you can paint the different colours in the blocks.

This vase is painted from the bottom-up while the vase is upside down like the top one with various colours of the glass staining paint, unlike the top one to get the clear separete lines you will need to use fine tip paint brushes and to wait for the different colours to dry out completely befor the next colour can be introduced.

 

Cracked vase

Tip: to hasten drying place in the sun or at low heat in the microwave.

This vase is one I like the most, it involves deocopage. It has better advantages my limited knowledge, you can take the vase and clean it make sure its dry, take a picture or any drawing you like, transfere it on to a 75-80gsm paper. paint over the areas of the vase in a colour you want and wait till its completely dry. Paint only on the site you will be pasting your picture with the deocopage glue or paper glue. When this is completely dry take step 1 of the cracker and paint the whole surface of vase. Apply with the deocopage cracker step 2  after its dryed out, this is the one that actualy makes the cracks, please note that the are various sizes of cracks that is the cracks comes out with variying sizes from small to large.

 

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