national Arts Festival Banner

Friday, October 31, 2014


Alison Jenkins brings her experience to bear in producing useful and instructive book. (Review by Keith Millar)

Many of us have at some time in our lives undertaken a DIY painting or decorating project in our homes. When all goes well, and the results are what we had envisaged and hoped for, it can be very satisfying and leaves you feeling rather proud of your achievements. However, if the project does not go well or, as sometimes is the case, it is a complete disaster, the feelings of disappointment and despondency can run deep.

In any event, it is probably not wise for anyone who lacks experience to embark on a DIY project without professional advice or a least researching the unique needs of the task.

This is where Alison Jenkins’ enlightening and functional new book 300 Tips, Techniques And Trade Secrets For Painting And Decorating can play an invaluable role.

The book is chock-full of the sort of clear and concise information and advice one requires to tackle most DIY painting and re-decorating projects.

It includes all aspects of the preparation of walls and paintwork, including stripping, sanding, filling and sealing. It then moves on to explain how to achieve a professional standard finish when painting, wall papering and tiling.

Advice on how to avoid the common pitfalls and mistakes that often beset the novice DIYer is given, as well as many “fix-it” solutions and professional tips to make the job easier.

Of course it is important to have the correct tools, equipment and materials for the job. The book offers substantial advice on the essential requirements for a starter kit. It suggests that this can be added to over time. There is also information on how to use your tools and equipment, and what to use it for.

Advanced decorating techniques are also dealt with for those who are looking for a more creative finish.

The book is very practically laid out and with numerous colour photographs and drawings which clearly illustrate the techniques being discussed.

Alison Jenkins has been a features writer for many craft, home improvement and lifestyle magazines. She has published several books on home maintenance books and has made regular TV appearances. She has brought all her experience to bear in producing this very useful and instructive book.

Any novice or even experienced DIYer would find 300 Tips, Techniques and Trade Secrets for Painting and Decorating a useful addition to their library. In fact in my experience there are a few so-called professionals who would benefit from consulting this book.

300 Tips, Techniques and Trade Secrets for Painting and Decorating is published by Struik Lifestyle. ISBN 9781432304539. Recommended retail price is R170. – Keith Millar