Easy updates for your home

Small changes can make a big difference to your home and these easy updates are a great start



Paint the cabinets

  • Call a professional or DIY
  • Time frame: ±7 days

“With a lick of paint and new door handles you can give your kitchen a fresh look at a fraction of the cost of installing a new one,” says Lisa Spaarwater of Lemon & Lilac Paint Techniques. “Metal, wood and melamine cabinets can be painted, as long as the surface is prepared with light sanding and a primer.

“The first step is to remove the doors and handles. If you’re fitting new handles, the old holes should be filled with woodfiller. A primer such as Plascon Multisurface Primer is water based, low in odour and quick drying. A good all-rounder is a universal undercoat (various brands). Plascon Melamine & Tile Primer is suitable for melamine, tiles or Formica.

“Two coats of water-based PVA should follow; remember to sand lightly with medium sandpaper between coats. After the second coat has dried you can try a paint technique; seal it afterwards with a few coats of a water-based varnish to make it washable.”

Tip: “number the doors and drawer fronts before removing them. It’s best to do one step per day, to allow for enough drying time between the coats of paint,” says Lisa.

Living room

Paint a face brick wall

  • Call a professional or DIY
  • Time frame: ±4 hours

Tip: “Before you start, test your paint mixture and skill on an area behind a couch or cupboard or on a small patch in a bottom corner. It’s not easy to get the wash off once it’s applied,” advises Lisa Spaarwater from Lemon & Lilac Paint Techniques.

A face brick wall can make a room appear dark. For a lighter, softer look Lisa recommends a wash paint technique, but warns that some skill is required for a professional finish.

She explains her technique: “Mix a water-based PVA paint with water (ratio: 1 part water to 3 parts paint) and make sure that the wall is clean and dust free. Mix enough paint to cover the entire area. Stir the paint regularly for an even consistency.

No undercoat is needed, just one coat of diluted paint applied with sponges. Afterwards you can paint the cement between the bricks white. You can seal it with a water-based varnish to make the wall washable.”

Helmi Muller of BPC Painters and Renovators recommends these alternatives: “Brick glaze can be applied to enhance the natural colour of the brickwork. Another popular, but expensive, alternative is to plaster the brickwork and paint it. An area of 3-5m2 can be done within a day.”


Add a chandelier

  • Call a professional or DIY
  • Time frame: 1 hour

A decorative chandelier can give a room new sparkle, and if you’re relatively handy you can install it yourself. But, if you don’t know your live wire from your earth, rather call an electrician. “Choosing the right sized chandelier is essential,” says Melissa Davidson of The Lighting Warehouse. “The rule of thumb is to add the length and the width of the room in metres, multiply it by 100, and then divide the answer by 12 to get the estimated diameter of your new light fixture in centimetres.” She adds: “Whether your chandelier is ornate and multi-armed or simple, it needs a dimmer so you can control the intensity of light.” If you feel your bedroom still lacks atmosphere, consider adding a floor lamp.

Tip: “Even though feature light fittings are gorgeous by themselves, they should form part of a layered lighting scheme for optimal results,” says Melissa.


Change taps and showerheads

  • Taps: Call a professional; Time frame: 1 hour
  • Showerheads: DIY

Old sanitary ware can make a bathroom look tired. By investing in up-to-date taps and showerheads, your bathroom can look new again. While it only takes a minute or two to change a showerhead yourself, Helmi Muller of BPC Painters and Renovators strongly recommends using a plumber for changing the taps. “A plumber has the right equipment to remove, install and seal the new taps. If you do it yourself, you could damage or scratch the taps,” Helmi warns. “If you don’t reposition the taps, there should be minimum cutting into the wall or basin.

“Changing a showerhead can be as easy as changing a light bulb. Note the diameter of the fitting and keep in mind that certain showerheads are suitable for high-pressure geysers only. Ask the sales team for help if you’re in doubt,” Helmi advises.