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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

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

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.

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.

 

Collage table

Funky Collage

I have always loved collages and think they are agreat way to show case your pictures in a very interesting way. I recently took an old table that I got from my mother did not look as good as it did in its prime.

Old Wooden table

I needed to spruse it up as I had no money to buy a new one so I took some of the collages that I had made and added to them on a piece of messoniteboard cut to the size of the table, you can also use cardboard.

Collage on Board

I also had a sheet of glass cut to the size and shape of the table top, your supplier can do this for you and alsobuff the edges so they do not cut. Shutter proof glaze can also be added but this will cost a bit extra but it is worth it if you have kids and or cleaners as they are not always carefull when picking up to clean it.

The collage was put up right on the table and secured with prestik and the sheet of glass placed over it, you can get anti slip pads at the coners of the glass to keep it from sliding off the table

Screens to divide and decorate your rooms

Screens are really versatile and can be used to divide a room or to hide what you would not have guests see.  You can also show case your trips and art works or in.  They are really easy to make and relatively in expensive. If you take one of the pictures with to your local supplier they may be able to help with all your requirements.

 

A screen can be any size, although for this project we’ve used three 16mm thick MDF panels cut to 1800 x 450mm. Have them cut professionally by the supplier to make the job even easier. I usually buy mine from Builders warehouse and they cut it for me at no extra cost, you have to have your measurements ready though. The back of each panel is painted and the fronts  can be covered with padding  (cut 2m x 1.5m into three pieces) and 2m of 1.5m wide fabric, you can also use your family pictures to give this a more personal and sentimental feel. Use upholstery fabric, heavy cotton drill or denim, you can also use mirrors to create an impression of more space and increase the rooms lighting. Uses more interesting hinges and match the upholstery nails to make them a feature, you can also use interesting handles to improve the look.

 

Shoji screen

 

1 Prepare the panels

Paint the back of each panel with sealer/primer, followed by two coats of acrylic paint of your choice, you can also use wood strainers.

2 Attach the padding

Cut strips of padding slightly larger than the panels. Lay it on the unpainted face of each panel and fix with a staple gun. Trim away any excess.

3 Attach the fabric

Fold the edge of the fabric under by 8-10mm, lay it over the padding and staple to the narrow edge of the panel. Tension the fabric across the panel and staple the fabric to the other three edges. Fold the edges under.

 

Screen used for decorative purposes

 

4 Tidy the edges

Fix a strip of upholstery tape to the narrow edges of the panel to cover the fabric edges and staples. Use decorative upholstery nails at 50mm intervals.

5 Join the panels

Lay two panels face down and align the bottom edges. Attach a pair of hinges 400mm from the top and bottom of the panels. Turn the joined panels painted side up, butt the remaining panel against them and attach the remaining hinges

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