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Tip of the week: Plastering, plumbing and chimneys

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Tip of the week: Plastering, plumbing and chimneys

It really makes my day when people respond to questions I have posed on behalf of others.

The week before last I was trying to describe a certain type of plaster and came up with the best answer I could find.

A retired contractor sent this in: The “stone hole” plaster was popular with developers and Portuguese plasters in Gauteng about 20 years ago and it was commonly specified by architects.

Plasterers add small stones to the plaster. When using the straight edge to smooth the plaster it catches these small stones, causing the holes and scratch type surface. 

The stones fall out in the process. I have never seen it in Cape Town. It eats paint. 

Interesting you speak about Portuguese artisans. l had several Portuguese labourers who were incredibly hard workers. Sadly, they were harassed and arrested by labour inspectors in the 1990s and were lost to the industry. 

You mention this type of plaster “eats paint”. Often we forget that the surface area of something this is rough is much greater than a flat surface and don’t order enough paint to cover the area.

For most normal paint you can work on between 7m² to 8m² per coat per litre, but rough or porous surfaces will use a lot more. When painting surfaces that have not been painted before, check you have the correct base coating; there are different types of primers for wood, metal and cement plaster.

My search for chimney sweeps got a few people thinking; and I received a host of inquires from people who have decided to have their chimneys swept.

Lawrence sent me this: With reference to your column, I picked up a copy of “The real deal” May/June, and there was an advert for a chimney sweep. ● Phone 0827071983 Shea. ● www the ● za

I also had a phone call from Archie, who insisted I tell readers he is Archie from Belhar. I presume he is well-known in the area. He recounted a tale of a R10 000 water account caused by a burst pipe, the help he got from everyone, but most of all how a plumber could show him where his pipes where by using a detection metre.

Before you buy one, please check your water pipes are copper; modern plastic will not show up.

*Handy Mac, aka Don MacAlister, is our expert on household DIY issues. If you have a question for him, please send it to or SMS only to 082 446 3859. Find Don on FB:

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