At some point or another you may have had a sturdy bookshelf somewhere in your home. Perhaps at one point in your life it was filled up with books, sometimes assorted knick knacks. Before you decide to toss it out for a newer version or some floating shelves, think again. With some hardware and creativity, and these DIY makeover bookshelf tips, you can give your old bookshelf a drastic new lease on life.
The first and simplest DIY makeover you can give your old bookshelf is to cover it in a fresh lick of paint.
The backboard of your bookshelf can transform its entire look all on its own! Get those creative juices flowing and paint a beautiful stencil pattern on the backboard of your bookcase.
You can even remove the backboard piece and cover it in a beautiful fabric; although even a brightly coloured backboard against a white framed bookcase is stunning. Transforming the backboard of your bookcase can really turn it into a statement-piece display case. After all, you won’t want to be covering up that beautiful pattern with too many books!
Sometimes bookcases are discarded because they simply don’t have a purpose anymore. Before you send this versatile piece of furniture away, bear its other potential uses in mind:
As you can see, transforming your bookshelf can not only be easy, it can be fun, too! Get creative with your painting techniques, and even more so with the decorative appeal of your bookcase. Simply pop down to your local Jack’s Paint & Hardware, get all your hardware and paint supplies, as well as some valuable painting advice to take your old bookshelf from drab to oh-so-chic.
Contact us today on our simple feedback form or call us on 0860 522 577 to find your nearest store.
The Truth about Lead Compounds in Paint
The truth is that lead in paint is a very emotive subject. Every now and then, sensational tabloid articles announce something along the lines of: 60% of all paint sold in South Africa contains illegal levels of brain damaging lead! This makes the paint industry in South Africa seem as though they are either oblivious to the lead levels in paint or disinterested in owning up to the responsibility of trying to poison our children.
The truth is also, that when it comes to paint, lead compounds are commonly used the world over in the form of pigments, which are used to colour paint. Some countries have agreed on “safe” limits for paint manufacturers to use as a guideline, and it’s widely agreed that the elimination and reduction of the use of lead compounds in consumer products like paint forms part of adhering to a responsible company policy.
There is, however, more to lead poisoning than the tabloids are telling us and what follows are some facts that will help you gain perspective.
A summary of the current, up-to-date information on lead is necessary to get the proper perspective. Firstly, it should be understood that lead has accumulative (chronic) toxicity and can collect in the body. Lead is a naturally occurring element and is found throughout nature. Our bodies can handle small amounts of lead and if we intake a small amount our body simply excretes it. If, however, the intake is excessive, the lead will accumulate over a period of time and there will be side effects.
Metabolic differences affect lead absorption
A same amount of ingested or inhaled lead will not affect adults and children equally, because of the physiological differences between them. Metabolic differences between children and adults also mean that the effects of lead upon children are exacerbated. Lead causes irreversible nervous system damage and decreased intelligence in children, even at very low doses.
Curiosity can be a killer
Children have a tendency to put strange things in their mouths, and many years ago, children were in the habit of chewing on painted wooden windowsills, because the compound of the lead in the paint used as wood primers had a sweet taste. This resulted in many deaths and raised the concern about the effects of lead in paint on children.
Soluble… or not?
Lead is easily soluble even in water, which makes it very toxic. It is the solubility of certain lead compounds in the acid of the stomach that makes it so dangerous to us. If the lead is in such a form that it is not soluble in stomach acids, then there is no danger. It is therefore perfectly safe to continue using Granny’s beautiful lead crystal glassware. It has been established that lead solubility in acid is the deciding factor when determining the danger levels of a lead compound, because the stomach acids can render the lead soluble and in doing so, make it toxic. In this way it is not the total amount of lead that is found in paint that’s important, but the amount of soluble lead, and accordingly, this is the definition given in the lead regulations.
Manufacturers take a stand
Manufacturers belonging to SAPMA (South African Paint Manufacturers Association) have acknowledged that 0.01% is the suitable limit of leads in dried paints. Lead is so widespread that it is virtually impossible to call anything ‘Lead free’ and for this reason most manufacturers prefer to use the term ‘No added lead’ when referring to this subject. Paints outside this limit are generally safe for ordinary use, but should be excluded from use on articles that could be chewed on by children and babies. Products over this limit should therefore be clearly labelled with a warning that the paint is not suitable to be used on anything that can possibly be chewed or sucked on by children.
Lead in paint stabilises bright colours
Besides the use of red and white lead in primers or undercoats, lead based pigments still remain to be the most cost-effective method of obtaining stable, bright and durable paint colours, particularly for colours such as yellow, red and green.
Lead is all around us
What needs to be understood is that thousands of tons of lead are distributed through car exhausts. The plant life that surrounds us absorbs some of it and so it gets integrated into the food chain. In addition, the lead content in the ground, particularly in areas where gold mining and uranium extraction have been prevalent for decades, exacerbates the issue even further. Attempting to draw attention away from this fact by blaming paint is counterproductive. The damage has already been done and the emphasis now needs to be placed on minimising the effects.
If you’re in need of paint and are looking for paint that adheres to all necessary safety regulations visit your nearest Jack’s Paint & Hardware store.
Click on our store locator to find a store near you or phone 0860 522 577(toll free).
Children love their bedrooms, it is the place where they play, sleep and entertain their friends, real and imaginary. Whether you’re sprucing up your tot’s room, or preparing a nursery for your impending new arrival, we have some great DIY tips and painting advice to help you turn their room into their favourite part of the house!
A new coat of paint easily transforms a room. Chat with your little one, if they are old enough, and find out which colours they would like to feature in their room. Varying shades of blue work well in a little boy’s room, and you can even get creative with masking tape and paint strips of navy blue to emulate a nautical theme. Little girls will enjoy most pastel colours, perhaps with a more striking trim. If you are painting for a nurseryyou don’t need to be gender-specific in your colour choices. The trend lately is to make use of cool colours in the form of whites, pale blues and greens, yellows and even grey, complemented with splashes of colour in your décor.
Chalkboard paint can also be an amazing feature in a child’s bedroom, giving them an entire wall space on which to draw – and this can help stop them from creating a masterpiece with kokis on the walls in the living room! Get creative in your little one’s room, perhaps painting a blue sky with sponged-on fluffy white clouds on their ceiling. If your little one wants to gaze at the stars, you can paint them a beautiful night’s sky with black paint dotted with stars using our Glow-in-the-Dark paint. There are various other ways to get creative with painting techniques, from sponging and colour washing to cool stencils and wall art.
Creating storage space in your child’s room is very important for creating a neat-ish (they are young after all) and fairly orderly space. Install sturdy floating shelves for storing small stuffed toys and knick knacks. If you’re up to using your DIY skills, you can even buy some wood and build a special box just for your tot; something beautiful and handy to perhaps pass down to their own kids.
Get that drill out and hook up a mosquito net over your child’s bed. This creates a beautiful ‘princess-bed’ feel for little Queens-in-the-making or a safari/adventurer sleep sanctuary for your little gentleman.
A small table next to their bed with a nightlight will create a cosy atmosphere for nightmare-free nights, and a low, easy-to-access bookshelf that will work fantastically for storing books and other toys that need to be on hand.
Get your little one involved in the decorating of their bedroom! If you are stencilling on murals or using the sponging technique, this is something that they can easily be taught. And you can simply paint another layer over it if their Van Gogh attempts land up looking more like a skewed Picasso. Sometimes all a room needs to be transformed is a new lick of paint; and this transformation is only enhanced if you bring new life to the bedroom’s furniture with paint. Don’t forget to include a snug reading corner in their room, with a comfy sofa or bean bags. A cosy reading area means more reading!
If you’re going to redecorate, put on your DIY hat and pop down to your nearest Jack’s Paint & Hardware store to create your little one’s mini-paradise.
When school holidays are upon us and are set to last for longer than a week, it really helps to find fun activities that will keep your children busy. Activities such as outdoor play, reading books, watching movies and other games can become tiresome. Get your kids involved in a fun DIY craft activity that will entertain them for hours and give them the chance to add their own touch to their rooms too!
Blackboard paint can make any surface the ideal palette for a chalk-artist’s masterpiece. Our blackboard paint has a perfect writeable and erasable surface, making it fantastic for a grocery list board in the kitchen, a to-do list in the garage and a pretend-school setup in the children’s room. This paint is versatile so you will be able to use it on any smooth surface such as walls, dry-walls, wood, metal, glass and concrete. Have your kids help you choose a wall in their room, or get a large wooden board and paint it with the blackboard paint. A few coats, a very short drying time and they’ll have a chalkboard to draw on to their heart’s delight.
Sparkle or Glitter Paint
A beautiful, fun paint to inspire your little one’s inner artist, sparkle paint is clear with loads of pretty glitter sparkles inside it. Your little ones can have fun painting an item of their furniture with a new sparkly finish, or adding a bit of pizzazz to wall art – such as a princess dress. Even the trim of a bedroom can get a sparkly finish! Set up a DIY project for your children and have them paint wooden picture frames in their favourite colours, finishing off with a sweep of glitter paint wherever they see fit. Help the kids utilise some of these cute decorating ideas for walls or a piece of furniture and jazz it up with sparkle paint.
Children love this paint, and there is no limit to its uses! You can get really creative and paint a milky way of stars on the ceiling, or jazz up an old picture frame with glow in the dark patterns and even make light switches easier to find in the dark.
Don’t forget that children always need adult supervision when using paints and other hardware items. Pop down to your local hardware store and find some goggles, gloves and a ventilation mask if necessary to ensure optimum safety during painting projects.
Dulux Road Line Paint is used to paint markings in car parks, play areas and to delineate areas on concrete and asphalt surfaces. Here’s why it’s good for exterior home improvement:
Paint your Play Ground
Turn your boring paved or tarred driveways and car parks into a fun play space for your kids. You don’t have to spend a lot of money hiring “professionals” as you can simply do it yourself by painting games, roads or other fun elements onto the asphalt. A set of roads painted on tar is the beginning of a mini play town for youngsters on bikes and a good way to get them road ready. Using different colour paints to create a brightly coloured hopscotch game can also inspire slightly older school children to get active, go outside and have fun. If you have boys, turn your driveway into a basketball court by marking off the area with paint. Also consider using stencils for a neat finish and a more uniform look.
Dulux Road Line paint offers a non-slip, hard wearing and low maintenance finish with a range of colours to choose from. This paint has excellent adhesion and durability properties and is suitable for both interior and exterior use. Rapid drying allows vehicles to drive over freshly painted areas within 30 – 45 minutes. This paint is available in 5 litre quantities only.
Contrary to urban legend, road paint is NOT to be used for damp proofing purposes. There are several products specifically designed to solve any damp problems that you may encounter in your home.
Visit your nearest Jack’s Paint & Hardware store for expert advice on how to successfully complete this DIY project.
Click on our store locator to find a store near you or phone 0860 522 577 (toll free)
So you’ve decided to tackle a new DIY project. You cement your plans, get all the tools you need and are almost ready to begin work. However, there are some important safety and awareness tips to keep in mind, to ensure that you do not damage any of the surrounding areas or yourself when you begin your home improvement project.
As with anything of this nature, if you don’t feel comfortable tackling the project entirely on your own, or if there are complicated elements to your DIY project that you are uncertain about doing, then contact your local handyman to assist you.
Most expectant moms look forward to designing and decorating their new baby’s room. There is nothing that transforms a bedroom into a nursery better than a fresh lick of paint. However, many pregnant women have concerns about the safety of their unborn child when being exposed to paint fumes.
Fortunately, most paints nowadays have been developed to be as harmless as possible. Should you be an expectant mom who is determined to get involved with the DIY and assist with the painting yourself, then adhering to these basic safety tips can assist in limiting the risks to yourself and your unborn child.
Whether you rolled up your sleeves and did the painting yourself, or if someone else did it for you, it is still important to get rid of the unpleasant paint smell that will linger in the room once the job is complete. After all, you’ll surely be dying to start decorating the room for your little one. It is easy to get rid of paint smells by simply using affordable ingredients you may already have in your kitchen.
Onions, once cut open, are very powerful absorption tools. Cut a number of large onions into quarters and place them on plates throughout the room. The onions will effectively absorb the paint smell and for those sensitive pregnant noses, not to worry, the smell of onions will dissipate from the room far quicker than the smell of paint would have.
If the paint smells are of a milder nature, you can place bowls of coffee grounds around the room to mask the odour and replace it with a java-lover’s dream scent.
Bowls of white distilled vinegar placed around the room will diffuse the chemical paint odour.
Charcoal is an excellent neutraliser of strong chemical odours. Crush whole pieces of wood charcoal into small pieces and leave it overnight in containers placed around the room.
Vanilla Extract or Peppermint Oil
Vanilla and peppermint are delicious scents with which to fill a room. They are also effective in getting rid of paint smells. Add a few drops of pure vanilla extract or peppermint oil onto cotton balls, or put them into small bowls of water and place them around the room.
Light a Candle
Placing a lit candle in the room for a few hours will burn out the flammable substances in the solvent. To prevent any fire risks, place the candle in a bowl filled with water and keep children and animals out the room so that it cannot get knocked over.
Cut a dozen lemons into slices and place them in bowls all over the room for a couple of days. The lemons will absorb any horrid paint smells and should be discarded immediately after use.
A Bucket of Water
Although not as effective as the candle method, placing buckets of water around the room will help with absorbing any solvent vapours.
Bicarbonate of Soda (Baking Soda)
This method will only work if you have a carpeted room. Generously sprinkle bicarbonate of soda all over the carpet, leave it for 24 hours and then vacuum it up in the morning. This will freshen up and deodorise not only the room, but your carpet too.
Irrespective of which abovementioned tip you use to clear the smell of paint in your room, always keep the painted room well ventilated, with all windows and doors open. If you are able to have a fan on in the room for the ventilation period, this can speed up the process greatly. Whilst you are still pregnant it is advisable to avoid the newly painted room until a week after it has been painted, when all the odours should have dissipated completely.
There is absolutely no point in saving your hard earned money by “doing it yourself” and then having to spend the money you saved on doctor’s bills. To avoid a DIY project from turning into a costly disaster, a few common sense safety precautions are all that is needed.
Dress for Success
Wear functional and not fashionable clothing when you’re doing a DIY project. Don’t wear jewellery or loose fitting clothing that can catch on tools and ladders. Wear rubber soled shoes that give your feet support, especially when going up and down ladders. Padded gloves will strengthen your grip and protect your hands. Also think about wearing a helmet to protect your head from possible falling objects.
Clean is Safe
Never let power cords tangle or drag across your workplace, as this may cause you to trip. Hazardous chemicals should be stored behind lock and key, far away from children and pets. Adequate task lighting is vital to prevent accidents from happening. Sweep up and remove any debris that can become a tripping hazard. Wipe up oil or paint spills immediately. Always store power tools and sharp tools on high shelves or in a locked cupboard out of a child’s reach. Make sure your tool box is kept in a safe place, even while you’re working. If you’re working with others, make sure you know where they are at all times to prevent accidents or injuries.
Rather be on the safe side and don’t do that DIY project if it’s raining or very windy -especially when you need to do some work up on the roof. Wet, slippery surfaces will significantly increase the probability of slipping and falling.
Ears and Eyes
You only have one pair of eyes – so protect them from flying debris. Safety glasses should always be worn when operating an angle grinder, chipping tiles or using a weed eater. If you’re operating a loud power tool, wear earplugs to minimise any damage to your ears. Put a dust mask on before you start sanding anything or when working with potentially hazardous materials. Fibres and dust can easily fill the air and become dangerous to breathe. Do not sand anything that could contain asbestos.
Always ventilate your work area well by opening doors and windows when painting, or using any material that generates toxic fumes or dust.
Check your tools
Inspect your tools before you embark on a new project. Look out for frayed power cords, splintered wooden handles and dull chisels and blades. Fix or replace faulty tools before you begin.
Always buy the best quality tools you can afford – you get what you pay for. Cheap tools are not only a waste of money because they’re usually ineffective, but they’re a potential safety threat as well.
Water and Electricity
Make sure the power is turned off at the source whenever you’re changing light bulbs, fixing plugs or working on electric circuits. Make sure others in the home are aware that you have switched off the power so they don’t accidentally put the power back on. Stay away from water or even dampness when operating power tools. Water and electricity make for a lethal combination.
Place your ladder properly
Remember to apply the one in four ratio rule when setting up your ladder. This means that for every four feet of ladder height, the bottom of the ladder should be one foot away from the surface it is leaning against. It may seem obvious but don’t place your ladder on an uneven surface. Don’t be tempted to stand on the top two rungs as the ladder will become unstable, making a nasty fall a possibility.
First Aid kit
Be prepared for minor injuries by having a well- stocked first aid kit handy. Make sure it is easily accessible and that the whole family knows where it is kept. Ensure that emergency numbers are at hand should they become necessary.
Keep a chemical fire extinguisher nearby in case of fire. Never use water to put out an electrical fire. Solvents are highly flammable, so keep them away from all sources of heat, and never expose them directly to an open flame. Rags soaked with oil-based materials can ignite spontaneously if not spread out to dry. Don’t smoke while painting or working with any kind of chemicals.
Visit your nearest Jack’s Paint & Hardware store for expert DIY advice, the right product at the right price and other do-it- yourself projects.
Click on our store locator to find a store near you or phone 0860 522 577(toll free)
With all the wonderful advances in paint technology over the years, you now have a huge range of specialty paints available to you to have fun with. Blackboard paint, Sparkle paint, Magnetic paint and Glow-in-the-dark paint are only a few of the amazing and fun products out there waiting to be discovered!
Magnetic primer is a base coat that allows you to turn almost any surface into a resourceful notice board or display area. This paint allows you to hang and display notes, photos and much more in your home or office. You will never need to hunt for that school notice again! Flat or strong magnets with minimal weight adhere best to the treated surface.
Where can I use magnetic paint?
Magnetic paint can be applied to wood or metal surfaces, to drywall partitioning and to masonry. Using this paint gives you an amusing, simple and original way to hang up reminders, photos and children’s artworks. No more damaging the walls with drawing pins, tape or gummy adhesive. Remember though: magnetic paint is an interior paint only.
If at all possible, ask the paint department in your Jack’s Paint and Hardware store to shake the can in their electric shaker before you take it home. If this is not possible it is essential that you stir the paint for around ten minutes until it is a consistent dark grey colour. Apply two to three thinner coats of paint rather than one or two thick coats. Remember: stir your paint regularly during application.
This is always the first step to any successful paint project so start by thoroughly cleaning the surface you’re going to be painting. Remove all loose paint or rust with a wire brush or sandpaper. Wipe away all dust and allow the surface to dry. Tape off the area you would like to paint with low tack masking tape to make it easier to remove once you are finished.
Use a foam roller that is designed to give a smooth finish. Apply the primer in an up-and-down motion. Working the area with a roller will give you the smoothest finish.
The magnetic attraction is far stronger on a smooth surface than on a rough, uneven surface, so be sure to roll it out properly. Once the base coat is completed you can paint over it with any colour acrylic paint. You can even take your display centre one step further and paint over it with blackboard/chalkboard paint.
How long will my magnetic paint take to dry?
Magnetic paint dries to the touch in approximately 15 to 30 minutes and your project can be handled around an hour later. Remember to allow more time for drying in cooler weather. Wait around four hours before applying any form of top coat. Application of more than two coats of top coat will reduce the effectiveness of the magnetic surface.
Simply clean brushes, rollers and hands with soap and water!
If the generally suggested three coats of paint are used, about 1½ m² of area will be covered.
No matter what paint you are using; always work in a well-ventilated area. Open all windows and doors to achieve adequate cross-ventilation. Be sure to protect your eyes from unintentional splashes and wear a face mask if the product has strong fumes. If you experience difficulty breathing, leave the area immediately and get some fresh air.
If you should get any of the paint on your skin, simply wash thoroughly with soap and water. Always rather be safe than sorry by keeping the products away from heat and flame.
Visit your nearest Jack’s Paint & Hardware store for expert DIY advice.
Click on our store locator to find a store near you or phone 0860 522 577(toll free).
You may be keen to rush into your next DIY painting job in anticipation of giving your residence a facelift. While Jack’s Paint and Hardware store supports your home improvement aspirations, we do advise adhering to DIY painting safety Tips so you can avoid making a ‘gemors’ of yourself and your project.
If you’re using Solvent Paints make sure the room you’re painting is well-ventilated. Open all the doors and windows and use household fans (if you can) to circulate the air. When you’re done painting do not let anyone (including pets) occupy the painted room until the fumes have completely dissipated.
Pay attention to the lead content in the paint you buy, especially if you’re painting an area that will be used or occupied by kids. Your nearest Jack’s Paint & Hardware store can advise you if you’re unsure.
Protecting your Furniture and Floors
Protect your floors and furniture with drop sheets. If you use a plastic drop sheet be careful, as they can be slippery.
Beware of heat sources while you paint. Do not paint or store paint near heat sources. Also refrain from smoking while painting.
Clean up Responsibly
When you’re finished painting be sure to clean up thoroughly. If rags have paint or solvents on them, leave them to dry outside first to avoid any chance of spontaneous combustion. Choose an area that is inaccessible to children and pets, and when the rags are thoroughly dry, dispose of them safely.
Visit your nearest Jack’s Paint & Hardware store for expert DIY advice. Get the right product at the right price on the above mentioned topic(s) and other DIY projects.
Click on our store locator to find a store near you or phone 0860 522 577(toll free)