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Q&A - expert advice for your home
Q Iím thinking of making one big room out of two small rooms. Is it OK to knock down internal walls?
A Itís not OK to simply knock down walls. You need to establish from an engineer whether the walls in question are structural, ie loadbearing.
If they are loadbearing, youíll need to provide structural support, like a steel beam, to replace them. You need a Council Building Permit.
If they arenít structural, you should refer to your local territorial Authority for their procedures.
In most cases a permit will not be required. Either way, we urge you to consult a professional or architect.

Paint/Paint Preparation
How far 1 litre of paint goes.
Primers and undercoats 12sqm on smooth surfaces and 6-10sqm on rough surfaces. Topcoats 14-16sqm on smooth surfaces and 8-12sqm on rough surfaces.

The difference between acrylic and enamel paints.
Acrylic (water based paint) is faster drying and easier to paint with, there are less fumes and it is a very flexible coating. Enamel (oil based paint) takes longer to dry, gives off more fumes but does provide a harder paint finish. Enamel paints tend to be used for exterior woodwork, interior trims, doors, hand rails, shelves and in bathrooms, kitchens and laundries or areas where there is likely to be moisture.

Where to use an undercoat.
You should use an undercoat on bare interior timber and a primer undercoat on most exterior timbers. Porous surfaces such as plaster or stucco should be treated with an undercoat as well as when changing paints i.e. enamel to acrylic.

Whether an existing paint surface is enamel or acrylic.
If the colour comes off by rubbing the surface with meths, the surface is acrylic, if not itís enamel.

Preparing your paint surface.
Painting is 75% preparation and 25% painting. Take time and effort to ensure the surface you are going to paint is well sanded and clean. If it isnít, the paint wonít adhere properly.

Where to use a sealer.
On new gib board, use an acrylic sealer undercoat. On old gib board or where wallpaper has been removed, use an oil based pigmented sealer. This should also be used when the wallpaper is being painted over.

Painting weatherboards.
Wash the surface thoroughly killing any mould with a mould killer, sand off flaking paint, lightly sand gloss paint, wipe off dust, prime areas that are bare then apply two coats of enamel topcoat.

Painting a corrugated iron roof.
If the iron is new it should be left to weather for a few months, this will help the paint adhere to the surface. If the iron is already painted it wonít need to be primed, but if there are bare spots these should be primed before painting.  


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