Woodworking basics Blog May2021

jacks paintJack’s Paint & Hardware Website Blog

May 2021


Woodworking Basics for Beginners: How to Get Started Building with Wood.

If your wife asks for it, you build it, unless you are a wife because women can build too!

Fancy a DIY drawer or cupboard? If your answer was yes, then you need to follow this easy beginner guide on how to get started to build with wood.

WoodworkIf you are new to woodworking, there are some very important things to know as a beginner. Many people who start woodworking often struggle so this guide of the woodworking basics for beginners will help you avoid all the possible pitfalls new woodworking beginners can face.

This guide to woodworking for beginners will help you get on the fast track to building your own furniture and making home repairs in no time!

The first thing you should remember as a new woodworker is that everybody had to start somewhere. Most people do not become master carpenters the first time they pick up a hammer. It can be easy to feel discouraged at first, but with some practice you will soon be building things you never thought would be possible.

Like most hobbies or even professions, the more time you put into learning the basics and practicing the skills, the better results you will see.

Here are 10 Wood Working Basics Beginner Woodworkers Should Know When Getting Started:

  1. Know Your Wood: Understanding Lumber and Types of Wood for Building
  2. Set up a Dedicated Workspace
  3. Respect the Tools and Practice Woodworking Safety
  4. Learn the Different Types of Tools and Their Uses
  5. Start with a Project & Learn to Read Woodworking Plans
  6. Understand the Woodworking Process
  7. Master the Cut: How to Measure and Cut Wood Accurately
  8. Learn How to Assemble and Join Wood
  9. Protect Your Creations: Best Practices for Sanding & Finishing Wood
  10. Clean Up the Mess and enjoy the sight of your new creation!

While every woodworker has their own workflow and way of doing things, most generally follow these steps when building a project:

• Choose a Project and Gather Supplies & Materials
• Make a Cut List
• Review the Build Strategy
• Measure & Cut the Wood
• Assemble the Wood
• Apply a Protective Finish to the Wood AND you are done!

Who wood have thought that wood work wood be THIS easy? 😊

Glitter and Sparkle

When life gives you an empty wall, dip it in glitter and sparkle all day.

Transform any wall paint to glitter magic.

Glitter is a great way to add some fun to a young child's bedroom wall or the wall of a craft room, or as we like to say, glitter doesn’t have an age cap because even adults likes it too. A glitter wall even adds a great finishing touch to a living room wall which will leave your guests with an everlasting good impression.

You can use any colour paint and any colour glitter. We recommend using a washable sheen like Vinyl Silk or a wipeable matt like super acrylic mixed to colour of choice colour/type from our Panache Paint range. Then mix Bastion’s paint glitter, colour of choice with our Panache acrylic bonding sealer, add little bits at a time till you have the correct measure and finish you require you can rather add more coats of the sealer than having to much glitter in the paint. When adding glitter also note that you will have to mix the sealer constantly otherwise the glitter will just settle to the bottom.

When adding glitter to paint it is important to evenly distribute the glitter throughout the paint, so that the amount of glitter remains constant on all parts of the wall. Improper mixing can lead to the glitter settling and the last part of the room painted having a lot more glitter than the first part. For this reason, there are a few things to keep in mind

Mix Small Batches

Mixing smaller batches of paint can help prevent settling. If you mix the entire can of paint, it may be many hours before you reach the paint at the bottom of the can. If you mix a smaller batch, you can mix and use up the paint inside of a couple of minutes. Be sure to mix the entire can of paint thoroughly first, then pour a small amount into a smaller container along with the proper amount of glitter. Mix the paint and glitter and do a test run on a small section of wall. Adjust glitter and paint ratio as you like.

Use the Right Glitter

If you are going to mix glitter into your paint, use glitter that is specifically manufactured for painting applications. Paint glitter is designed to be mixed with paint and will be more apt to remain in suspension in the paint, rather than settling to the bottom of the can. Craft glitter may not mix evenly and may even flake off the wall once the paint dries.

Mixer Drill Attachment

Ideally you would pour your glitter in to your paint can and put the can into an industrial paint mixer. Rare is the homeowner with a paint mixer in his home, however, so a mixing attachment on a drill is the next best thing. Mix your paint thoroughly first, then pour in small amounts of glitter, mixing as you pour. Mix and remix the paint every couple of minutes to keep the glitter from settling.

And there you have it, a shiny wall to match your diamond personality. 😊

The Truth about Lead Compounds in Paint

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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.

Get educated

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).

DIY Advice: Children’s Bedrooms

childrens bedrooms

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.

Get creative

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.

Just an Old Bookshelf? Think Again

bookshelf 1

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.

Paint job

The first and simplest DIY makeover you can give your old bookshelf is to cover it in a fresh lick of paint.

  • Step 1: Use a good piece of sandpaper from your local paint and hardware store and sand the bookshelf down, removing any paint and varnish.
  • Step 2: You can then paint the wood with whitewash for a vintage feel, or even a bright colour of your choice.

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!


bookshelf 2


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:

  • Kiddies’ storage: Children keep their rooms tidier when they have storage on hand. In addition to this, being able to reach their toys and such makes playtime a lot easier, and fosters a great sense of independence too. Consider turning your bookshelf on its side, and voila! You have a lovely set of cubes where you can store wicker baskets containing toys, easy-to-reach books and teddy bears – all at a child-friendly height. The best part? Add some pillows on top and you have extra seating or space for extra plush toys.

bookshelf 3

Room division: Many modern homes are designed in an open-plan fashion. Although this is widely popular, sometimes a space is enhanced with division and cordoning off. A large bookshelf can be an excellent room divider and an attractive one too. Bookshelves with or without backing look good for this, and for a true room divider all section of the shelves should be decorated differently – with books, ornaments, vases, photo frames – however you see fit.

bookshelf 4

  • Storage space: You can simply move your old bookshelf into the garage and utilise it as somewhere to store tools and other DIY bits and pieces. One shelf can have a box containing paint brushes, another with a basket full of the bits and pieces that every DIY fanatic needs but has nowhere to keep, and so on.

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.