Category Archives: Paint

How to give furniture a crackled look

Crackled furniture

This technique is similar to the one mentioned in the previous post, , 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.


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

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.

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.


How to choose a Colour Scheme

Colour planning allows you to combines different colours in a way that will create an ambiance in a room or setting. There’s a few things to look at before choosing a colour scheme for a room and these were discussed in the preceding article (How to choose colour), I undertake that that you have chosen a your base colour and now we will help you decide how to select colours that are needed to create the mood you’re trying to achieve in the room or setting. I put a colour wheel below, at the bottom there ire greyed out colour wheels to show the possible colour scheme choices

First divide the rooms according to the activities that are associated with them, active spaces and passive spaces, for instance kitchens will fall into the active category, while bathrooms would fall into the passive group. Because warm colours like orange and red represent energy, they are best suited for active rooms like the kitchen but beware as orange in the eating areas tends to increase ones appetite.

Alternatively, cool colours like blues and greens have a soothing and calming effect, making them ideal for passive rooms like the bedroom and bathroom. Please note that injecting too much of a bright colour in any room will leave you feeling exhausted overtime as it creates excitement and increases energy you may also not be able to relax or calm down in these rooms.

Something you should know is that in most kitchens, the bulk of the wall space is taken up with cabinets. Leaving minimal space for paint and therefore I suggest that for the kitchen you choose your base colour as the colour of the cabinets and the wall colour to serve as part of your colour schemes choices. Kitchens are considered the heart of the home and therefore associated with warmth, happiness and cooking.

Remember, there are just some colour schemes that work better than others, if you are looking to achieve a feeling of peace and tranquillity, you may considers a monochromatic or analogous colour arrangement and more nature inspired colours.

Select the other colours in the scheme according to one of the four colour relationships listed below. These colours can be used to paint doors, trim cupboards and to highlight architectural details, scatter cushions, the one chair that breaks the monochromatic colour scheme

monochromatic colours

Colour Schemes

These colour schemes will give a   harmonious, elegant, and understated feel to any room. Simply choose your   dominant colour or hue and then select other colours from the same colour   family or stripe chip.

related colours

Colour Schemes

Selecting shades from groups of colours   which lie beside one another on the colour wheel give a more calming effect   than the complementary colour scheme and a richer feel than a monochromatic   colour scheme. Select colours from colour families that lie directly beside   one another on the colour wheel.

Complementary colours

Colour Schemes

Many classic or visually striking settings   can be created through the use of complementary colour schemes. By selecting   colours that lie directly across from one another on the colour wheel, the   best of each colour is brought to life.

Split Colours

Split   Complementary Colour Schemes

Also known as near complements, these   colour schemes are for those who demand a more adventurous colour palette.   Select a dominant colour and then select colours from families to the left   and right of the complementary colour. They are great for layering within a   faux finish, or simply to add more colour to a room

This is where the beauty of a complementary colour scheme really shines. Because the colours are opposite each other on the colour wheel, these colour combinations always balance a warm tone with a cool tone.

Selecting paint for your walls

Paint colour options

I have always known that choosing the colour of walls in any room of the house is difficult and that once you have applied the paint the task of repainting again because you don’t really like what you’ve already used is painful. So I will give you guidance as to how to choose colours and how to use it to create the illusion of more or less space.

You would generally give a room an effect of less space if it is too big and sparsely furnished and more space if it’s small and densely furnished.

First things first; before you choose a colour for your walls you should consider the following, your personality and lifestyle, the structure of the room( architecture), how much natural light is comes into the room, what you will be using the room for  and what mood/ambiance you are trying to achieve.

The colour spectrum


The size of the room, structure and personality will determine you base colour schemes.

This will now get very technical but it is necessary. Colour has a reflectivity index that is the amount of light that it reflects or absorbs calculated on a percentile scale, 0% for absolute black and 100% for absolute white. The table below shows you the values, the higher the number the more light it will reflect. Some yellows may reflect up 80% – 90% but yellow is not particularly liked colour by most people. Note,the higher the value the more light it will reflect and the opposite applies for the low values.

Refractive   Indices of Various Pigments
Colour Pigment Refractive   Index
Blue Azurite 1.73-1.84
Indigo 1.49-1.52
Smalt 1.49-1.52
Ultramarine (lazurite) 1.50
Vivianite 1.58-1.70
Green Chrysocolla 1.58-1.60
Dioptase 1.64-1.71
Green earth (glauconite) 1.62
Malachite 1.65-1.90
Verdigris (basic copper acetate) 1.53-1.56
Volkonskoite 2.50
Yellow Gamboge (organic resin) 1.58-1.59
Indian yellow 1.67
Jarosite 1.71-1.82
Massicot 2.50-2.61
Ochre, yellow (goethite) 2.00-2.40
Orpiment 2.40-3.02
Cinnabar 2.81-3.15
Hematite 2.78-3.01
Realgar 2.46-2.61
Red lead 2.42
Vermilion 2.82-3.15
Brown Goethite (brown ochre) 2.08-2.40
Siderite 1.57-1.78
Sienna, burnt 1.85
Sienna, raw (goethite) 1.87-2.17
Umber, burnt 2.20-2.30
Umber, raw 1.87-2.17
White Anhydrite 1.57-1.61
Chalk (whiting) 1.51-1.65
Gypsum 1.52-1.53
Titanium dioxide (rutile) 2.27
White lead (basic lead carbonate) 1.94-2.09
Zinc oxide 2.00-2.02
Black Carbon black (opaque)

When light is reflected from a the paint on wall it create “volume” and when it is absorbed it shrinks volume, this is why we all look slimmer in black and bigger in white.

Paying attention to a colour’s LRV can prevent poor wall colour selections by helping you determine and evaluate certain characteristics of a color before you even buy it. The LRV can be found on the back of most color chips and in the index of all major brands or on the back of the paint container.

An easy way to get the paint colour that will reflect or absorb light is to buy a base colour and add shades (add a black colour) to make it darker or tints (add a white colour) to make it lighter. Most paint retailers have this service, but please remember that the “real” colour of paint can only be really visible after it has dried up. It is best then that you do this only a sample of the paint like 500ml tinted and then painted on the wall and wait till it dries up.

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