HOW TO | Sand and Seal Wooden Floors

Sanding and sealing wooden floorboards is a daunting DIY task for first timers. But with a bit of prep before hand and the right equipment, you definitely tackle this project yourself. With a weekend of sanding equipment hired for $306 from Kennards Hire - this is an affordable DIY option to bring new life to your floors - saving yourself some money at the same time.

HOW TO | Makeover your Front Door

Your front door is the first thing that greets your visitors, it can be memorable OR just bearable depending on it’s look! Here is how we our took our tired red front door and transformed it to be a design feature and also added security to our house, all in a weekend!

Posted on December 4, 2018 and filed under HOW TO.

HOW TO | Build a Workbench on a Budget

A workbench is an essential addition to any workshop. And building a DIY workbench does not come much easier than this, or cheaper. With a goal to build an affordable workbench, here’s a great way to give your workshop a boost.

Posted on November 7, 2018 and filed under HOW TO, Inside Project, DIY.

HOW TO | Install a Marley Twist

We have found the perfect product for all sorts of homeowners - The Marley Twist, a compact rainwater diverter that turns your downpipe into a free source of water. The team at Marley have got pretty clever with delivering a way for you to collect and conserve the free rainwater that falls on your roof. It’s simple to install and all the information you need is right here!

Posted on August 27, 2018 and filed under Outside Project.

HOW TO | Measure and Install Roller Blinds

Roller Blinds are a great option for homes. They are compact, easy to clean, affordable and easy to install. Roller blinds come in a variety of materials and choosing the right combination can ensure your blinds not only look great, but are functional too. 

Posted on August 15, 2018 and filed under Renovation.

HOW TO | Select Carpet on a Budget

You would think that having a lot of options would make picking a carpet for your renovation an easy process - but for many it is overwhelming and complicated. We have worked together with Carpet Court to share our tips for making carpet selections that will work well within a tight budget but will give you a designer look.

Posted on August 15, 2018 and filed under Renovation.

HOW TO | Paint (if you are a Rookie)

As The Rookies get set to start painting for The Reno Race, I have put together my tips and tricks for painting for the first time. Painting is a massive project to take on in a renovation, but if you are trying to save money it is something you can do yourself. While most people can paint, a few simple techniques can save you some frustration and confusion. So if you are about to start your first painting project - this may be exactly what you need!

HOW TO | Install an Automatic Sliding Gate

Installing a gate yourself is a cost-effective way to get the entry you want, creating privacy and security. I ordered my gate from GetaGate, who have a range of top quality standard and customised aluminium gates and fences available. Best of all, they were the most affordable gates I could find. They make it easy for home owners and the weekend handyman to do this project – with the right products and accessories.

Posted on May 16, 2018 and filed under Outside Project.

HOW TO | Hang Paste-the-Wall Wallpaper

Time: 1 hour per roll | Tools Needed: Paste-the-Wall Wallpaper, Size, Paste, Brushes, Wallpaper Smoother, Sharp Knife, Large Ruler, Sponges all from Guthrie Bowron. Drop Sheet, Stringline (or plumb-line), Bucket, Stirrer, Ladder, Scissors.

Step 1: Ensure you have prepared your walls for wallpaper, for more advice on this process read Wall Surface Preparation - for Wallpaper.  Make sure you seek advice from your local Guthrie Bowron store to find out what preparation is required for your walls.

Step 2: Apply size to the wall/s you are about to wallpaper. Follow the instructions to mix the size and then apply to the wall with a wallpaper paste brush. The size will make it much easier to position the wallpaper when it is time to start hanging. You can hang the wallpaper as soon as the surface is fully dry.

Step 3: Make a plumb line - a straight line from ceiling to floor, it will ensure that even if your ceilings or floors are not level, the wallpaper will still be straight. Always hang your first strip of paper next to a plumb line.

Step 4: Create your wallpaper paste as per the instructions. Paste the section of the wall you are about to hang the wallpaper on. Allow some overlap by pasting slightly more of the wall than just the width of wallpaper.

Step 5: With assistance unroll your first length, slide the wallpaper into place and check the pattern match. Do not rush this process. Smooth the wallpaper with a wallpaper smoother and ensure the wallpaper is fully fastened to the wall. Leave a generous amount of overhang on both the top and bottom for movement that may be needed to match each wallpaper length.

Step 6: Repeat this process for the entire length for your wall/s taking time to ensure the ends match perfectly. Using a wallpaper smoother or damp sponge, lightly brush out any air bubbles starting from the centre and working toward the ends. If you have any excess paste, it is easily removed with a warm damp sponge or cloth.

Step 7: Finally trim the wallpaper overhang by holding a large ruler next to your trim and/or wall corner and steadily move a sharp knife along it, removing the excess wallpaper slowly.

Step 8: Enjoy the minimal clean up and the stunning design impact of your new wallpaper!

To find the latest range of designer wallpapers visit for local Guthrie Bowron store or their online catalogue.

HOW TO | Stain a Deck with Cabot's Aqaudeck

Time: 1 day | Tools Needed: Cabot’s Aquadeck, Deck Prep, Deck Pole, Deck Hand and Deck Coat all from Guthrie Bowron.

Staining, oiling or even painting your deck is recommended approach to your wood maintenance, our harsh New Zealand sun can do damage to the toughest of woods. If you have a new deck, it is best to apply some sort of finish if you want it to last. Leaving the natural timber will lead to your deck cracking, splitting, warping, which ultimately means it won’t last as long as it could. We would recommend staining your deck with Cabot’s Aquadeck - a highly durable, low odour decking oil that is designed to provide exceptional durability to all exterior surfaces and lasts twice as long as traditional decking oils.

Step 1: Depending on the condition of your timber additional preparation may be required. If you have a deck that hasn’t weathered longer than 4-6 weeks, you can use New Timber Prep so you can stain sooner.

Step 2: Brush away all loose bits of dirt and rinse off with water.

Step 3: Prepare timber with Deck Clean in your Deck Hand to remove dirt and timber oil that may impact the final finish. With your Cabot's Deck Prep, a multi-purpose cleaning brush scrub the cleaning solution into the timber. A scraper can be used for removing tough dirt and debris. Wait 20 minutes then hose off.

Step 4: With your Deck Prep, use the squeegee for removing pools of water after cleaning for a faster dry time. Wait till the timber is completely dry before you do a first coat of stain.

Step 5: Stir your stain and pour it into the Deck Hand. Use the drainage tray for removing excess product from applicator.

Step 6: With the Cabot's Deck Pole, change your Deck Prep (cleaning brush) for the Deck Coat (the applicator head). Apply the stain with the lambswool swivel head applicator for coating on different angles and for maximum coverage. You may need to ‘cut in’ around the deck edges with a speed-brush or brush first.

Step 7: Leave for the first coat to fully dry (this should take around 2 hours) and then do a final coat.

Step 8: Enjoy your new deck!

Posted on January 26, 2018 .

HOW TO | Paint Exterior Weatherboards

Painting your exterior involves an extensive undertaking. Why? Your exterior paint and stain protects your exterior surfaces, and it is the first impression your house makes. Each house needs to be assessed correctly in order to prepare the exterior surfaces, use the right products and find the right colour scheme that will suit not just the house itself, but the street it is a part of.

Regardless if you are painting your exterior yourself or hiring a professional, here is an overview of the steps to ensure your paint job is done well and gets you the best results.

1.     The Current Paint Assessment

If you are repainting your house, you need to take stock of the current state of your exterior paint. I would not recommend painting over the last paint job without knowing and testing the existing paint.

Note: If you are hiring a painter you should supervise their approach to your painting job, as some painters will cut corners in order to save themselves time, which will be costly for you in the long run.

To test your exterior paint, purchase a lead testing kit, utility knife and tape from your local Guthrie Bowron store. With the utility knife make a X mark on your weatherboard and cover with tape. Remove the tape off the weatherboard, if the tape removes paint, it indicates that your paint will need a lot more preparation time. Follow the instructions of your lead testing kit and test the X mark, on the results you will know if lead is found. Make sure you test every side of your house, as finding lead in one area doesn’t mean your whole house has been painted with lead paint.

Once you understand the state of your current exterior surface, then you can get the best advice on what how to move to the next element, the preparation.

2. The Preparation

It is said that 90% of painting is the preparation.

-       If you have new weatherboards, your preparation is quite simple, you will need to fill and sand any holes or gaps, clean the surface and then you are ready to paint.

-       If you are repainting over lead paint, for your own safety and the safety of others make sure you remove the lead paint correctly. All the guidelines are available here. Once lead is removed, use a recommended primer on the whole exterior.

-       If your existing paint did not pass the tape test, you will need make sure you invest time in the preparation. Give your exterior a good clean using Dulux Prep Wash, and once dry scrape off the flaky paint and sand it back. Fill in any holes and gaps. Finally you are ready to prime the surface - talk to the experts at Guthrie Bowron about what primer is best for your surface.

-       If you are repainting a house that is in a good condition, Clean using Dulux Prep Wash and then fill any holes or gaps.

3. The Application

Roughly measure the exterior of your house, then the team at Guthrie Bowron will be able to calculate how much DULUX Weathershield X10 or Berger Solarscreen® you require. They can also advise what products to use for your windows, doors, deck and detailings.

Ensure that you have all the tools required: paint stirrer, paint bucket, drop sheets, masking tape, quality paint brushes, ladder or trestles, turpentine and painters rags.

A few tips for painting from Dulux New Zealand:

  • Begin at the top and work your way down.
  • Paint the underside of your boards then the face.
  • Use long strokes in horizontal motions from one side to the other.
  • Never stop halfway along a board and return to it later or you’ll create an overlapping of paint, which is difficult to correct.

Be aware of the impact weather will have on your exterior paint job, too much heat or moisture both impact the quality of your paint job. Keep an eye on the weather report and aim to paint on cloudy warm days.

Unless you have a full team of painters, you can’t paint your whole house in a weekend. Prep and paint one side of the house at a time and don’t rush the process.

Happy Exterior Painting!


Posted on January 23, 2018 and filed under Outside Project.

HOW TO | Select Curtains and Blinds

Curtains and Blinds don’t just create a look within your home, they also have an important function in your home. They provide privacy, assist in keeping warmth your home, offer light control and UV protection for furnishings. It is well worth the time and investment to select the best fit for you.

Posted on January 18, 2018 .

HOW TO | Strip Old Wallpaper

Sometimes the elements that charm us about our renovation are sometimes the things that cause us the most frustration. That is the case when it comes to old wallpaper that needs to be removed.  If you want to remove old wallpaper yourself, the reality is it will take a decent amount of time and needs to be done correctly.

Posted on December 6, 2017 .

HOW TO | Select a Neutral Wall Colour

Selecting a neutral wall colour is a process that most find frustrating, confusing or simply overwhelming! It is no wonder – how do you make a decision that will your most promenitent colour throughout your house from a small colour swatch that you view in-store?

Posted on December 6, 2017 .

How To | Paint A Feature Wall

In our current Rumpus Reno we have been hearing that there is a lot of white. If you know anything about me I like a wee bit of colour and so, to add some depth and life to the space we opted for a bit of colour with a feature wall in both the main office space and the kids play room. Here is a video and a step-by-step guide to executing the perfect paint job for any space you are wanting to spruce up.

Posted on September 7, 2017 and filed under Renovation.

How To | Pot Succulents

Low maintenance – I don’t think there is a better concept. We love getting a maximum result with minimal work involved, that is exactly what succulents are in the the land of house plants. They look incredible, you can plant them in almost anything, they are near impossible to kill and they almost multiply themselves.

Posted on October 11, 2016 and filed under Inside Project.

DIY Project | Recessed Planter Box

Interior plants can soften a room and add life to your spaces. With an opportunity to create a kitchen feature as part of a house renovation, a green herb wall was the perfect option - and recessing it within the studs creates a subtle point of difference. Heres a guide on how to create your own recessed green wall. 

Posted on March 2, 2016 and filed under Inside Project.

DIY Project | Hardwood Shelf

They don't come much easier than this. If impact and functionality is what your after for minimal effort and cost, then this is a project for you. A wall mounted shelf to add some style to your hallway or living space. 

Posted on June 14, 2015 .

DIY Project | Outdoor Cross Base Table

With some leftover Kwila decking timber from building our deck, I had the idea to put this to use and build an outside table. My goal was to make something quick, reuse as much existing timber and something that looks decent.

Posted on May 17, 2015 .

DIY: Hall Table Restoration

After using my sisters hall table in our house for several years, I almost forgot it wasn’t ours. When they needed it back, we began our search for a suitable replacement. Not finding anything to our liking after a month of looking - or at a price to our liking - we decided to do some DIY and restore.

DIY Project - Hall Table Furniture Restoration - Pearson and Projects

Restoring and/or repurposing furniture in most cases can be an easier process than starting from scratch as you already have a starting point, something to work with, and the scope of the restoration project is decided by you. Whether you want to include additional features, only repaint, or replace as much or little of the existing - you can decide. Each restoration project will be unique to what you are restoring.

We searched Trademe until we came across something we liked. The hall table was already in usable condition - so we did have some control over the extent of the restoration. This particular project involved replacing the top, tidying up the base and refinishing all to fit in with the style in our house.  

Before Photo - DIY Project - Hall Table Furniture Restoration - Pearson and Projects

Tabletop Selection:

After confirming the measurements on the size of the tabletop I wanted, we visited and purchased our wood from the Kauri Warehouse in Otahuhu, Auckland. They have a wide range of recycled wood in various sizes and profiles. 

Our selection was recycled Rimu floorboards. We could not find a single piece we liked with the width we needed, so went with 4x floorboards. This would mean more work laminating the tops together, but we would get the detail and finish we were after.

Rimu is one of the most popular NZ native timbers and is regularly seen in character homes in NZ. It is versatile, receives oils and stains easily, and is a beautiful finishing timber. We intentionally chose pieces which weren’t perfect (which is most often the case with recycled wood regardless) which would create interest on completion. 

Progress - DIY Project - Hall Table Furniture Restoration - Pearson and Projects

Next Steps:

Finalise measurements of table top. 

Trim the tongue off the face of the outside floorboard with skillsaw.

Cut each floorboard to correct length.

Laminate floorboards together

  • Make sure all surfaces are clean and dustfree
  • Moisten faces being glued with a damp cloth to add some moisture
  • Fill the groove and add a line of adhesive to the tongue. You do not want air gaps remaining
  • Once all glued and in place, apply clamps and tighten
  • Leave for minimum 24 hours clamped for glue to cure (refer curing times with the glue purchased)
  • I also screwed in 3x strips of timber to the underside of the top as a stiffener. As the top is only 20mm thick, these strips of wood will act as a lateral stiffener to ensure that the top will not cup over time. (With the correct glue, there is no concerns with keeping the floorboards bonded).

Sanding Staining

  • The top had hardened glue out of the gaps. 
  • Starting with 80grit sander on a belt sander, I removed the glue and got consistent level across the top. 
  • Used lighter grit on belt sander and down to even lighter on a orbital sander until happy with level of finish
  • Clean all dust off thoroughly, use damp cloth.
  • Apply sealer coat as first coat (stain diluted with 25% turps - or water if using water based finish). I used a sponge applicator to apply the stain.
  • Dry for 24 hours then give light sand with 240grit sandpaper. Clean dust off thoroughly.
  • Subsequently apply 3x top coats. Allowing 24 hours to dry between each. Apply topcoats in an environment with minimal dust where possible.

When I was happy with the finish on the top, I fixed the top to the base using 4 L brackets from Bunnings. Then went on to give the base a paint using a Dulux semi gloss.

We were very pleased  with the finish product. The detail and colour of the rimu top is the hero of the table. The complexity on the face of the unit provides another element of design and age that is not often found in new furniture.  

Finished Product - DIY Project - Hall Table Furniture Restoration - Pearson and Projects


  • Old hall table $160 - Trademe
  • 6 l.m of floorboard (90mm x 20mm) @ $10lm = $60 - Kauri Warehouse
  • Stain $30 - Bunnings
  • Total Investment $250 (Paint and glue already owned)

Tools Required

  • Skillsaw
  • Dropsaw (preferable, but skill saw adequate)
  • Sanding equipment
  • Clamps

Materials Required:

  • Wood for top (floorboards in this case)
  • Wood glue
  • Stain, applicator, turps
  • Paint
  • Fixings / brackets
Posted on May 3, 2015 and filed under Furniture, Inside Project.