Sunday, 22 March 2015

Weekend DIY projects

Well I did say the next post would be the continuation of my kitchen post, and I am working on that, but first I wanted to show off some of my handiwork from this weekend.  

I felt very productive yesterday, not only knocking over some of the work for my day job, I managed the pre-study for my St John's Ambulance first aid course AND I got started on a few of my new projects.

First up - trying to cut out some tile pieces in the bathroom.  This one wasn't too successful.  For reasons that will be explained in later posts - we have a large gap in the tiles in our bathroom. 

Badly lit photo of the missing tiles in the bathroom
  It seemed like an easy job to fix - just cut out the grout (with my very recently purchased new multi tool) and then replace with two new tiles.

All I needed to do is cut that small piece of tile out

Grout is cut but I don't know how to get the adhesive off
So I managed the cutting of the grout - but I can't get the pieces out!  So I rang my brother (my dad is on a cruise overseas at the moment, so the little brother had to be the go to DIY advice person) who said he thought I needed a cold chisel.  And yes, for a fleeting moment I wondered what Jimmy Barnes had to do with it....  (probably something only Australian readers will get there.  See the link at the end if you want to catch up on classic 80's Aussie rock).

Anyway, I have to admit I've given up on that project until my dad does get back to help me out.

But I had more success with my gardening.  First I planted out two new hanging pots, and have hung them on the verandah, along with my lanterns I bought from Ikea a few weeks back.

Then I got my painter on - and channelled Tara Denis - I saw her do this on Better Home Gardens a while back - by spray painting an old plastic pot to re-use for my new lemon tree. 

The pot previously looked like this - 

This was taken before we settled on the house - the pot I painted is the one of the far right, the dark green colour one.

And after my painting - 

However one tip - I used my shade cloth as the protections between pot and pavers.  Not such as great idea - it's not exactly protective - so I now have some blue marks on the pavers that I am hoping will wash or fade away!

And after my painting project, I also decided to start on another project - the stripping of the paint on the sash windows.  I could tell the paint that was there was not very well done, as it was already lifting and cracking in places.  So I bought myself another new toy - a heat gun - and got to work.  Mind you - safety first - I got a respirator and heat protective gloves.  And then I got stuck in.

My new toys - heat gun, plus my safety equipment - safety is very important!
The current paint job is a blue colour, but is already lifting and cracking in some places

A heat gun is a magical thing!  It looks like a hair dryer but after a few passes over the paint it bubbles and softens - and can be easily scraped off.   No wonder the blue paint was already cracking - it seems like it went straight over a cream layer, which was over a light blue layer, and then a green layer - all just on top of the previous one.

So it would appear there are about four layers of paint to be stripped right back

So I haven't got very far through it yet, although this was only about 25 minutes work before it got dark.  So hopefully by Easter I can strip both windows back totally, and then repaint.  I would definitely recommend using a heat gun for stripping of paint!

And now because I promised to educate you about Cold Chisel  - here's a clip of one of my favourite Chisel songs - Flame Trees


  1. This is the best way to learn skills - just get stuck in and work! Good on you for having the courage of your convictions to achieve everything you have so far

    1. Thanks Phil! I am still pretty embarrassingly amateur (had a very strange conversation with my neighbour yesterday where I had to mime things I meant as I don't know the correct terms for any building materials!) but I am having fun learning on the way.