{Preview} I Theatre’s The Magic Paintbrush

Closing this year’s wonderful 15th Anniversary Celebrations, I Theatre presents a reworked version from their 2000 production of The Magic Paintbrush from 27 October to 12 November 2016 at the Drama Centre Theatre.
The Magic Paintbrush is a musical treat just right for the entire family and a great end of term, after exams treat! Based on a well-known Chinese folk tale, I Theatre’s highly talented cast of established local actors bring to life an amazing magical story.
Toni Lee, a youngster from present-day Singapore is struggling with the pressures and stress of schoolwork and parental expectations. With an accidental wish, Toni quite unexpectedly meets a Magical Paintbrush, and is transported back in time to a Southern Province of China, where, in a series of magical adventures, Ma Liang’’s story unfolds.
Meet the tuneful Phoenix who guides and helps Ma Liang with his quest. Watch out for the comical Palace Guards, Sotong and Shrimp, as they try to capture Ma Liang for the cruel, greedy Emperor and his wicked schemes!
Through the fun and laughter, a clear and strong moral message about the value of creativity, friendship, and the dangers of using, or abusing power is presented in this magical, musical family show. Expect madcap characters, lively memorable music, comedy to intrigue your little ones at The Magic Paintbrush .
We’re really excited to watch this ‘new’ production which promises marvellous music, puppets and lively action against a witty script!
We quite sure that I Theatre must have kept the best to the last after such a wonderful season including The Boy Who Cried Wolf, The Rainbow Fish and Little Star!  So don’t miss this chance to have great time of family bonding and fun at the theatres. Book your tickets early at http://www.sistic.com.sg/events/paint1116?cid=itheatre-HLI-paint1116
Thank you for joining us on SAys! Happy Mums.  If you liked what you read on our blog, please follow us on Facebook for the latest updates.  We hope to see you back again soon.

SAys! Audrey 🙂 

All photos unless otherwise stated are copyright of I Theatre.

About The Magic Paintbrush


When: 27 October to 12 November 2016| Mon – Fri: 10am | Sat: 10.30am & 2.30pm

Where: Drama Centre Theatre

Who: 3 years and above and their families

Ticket Pricing : Standard $32 (Excludes Booking Fee)

Duration: 75 minutes plus 15 minutes interval

Tickets available through:
SISTIC Website

SISTIC Hotline (65) 6348 5555
SISTIC Authorised Agents islandwide

Renovation Matters


So you know I have recently posted my experience with base-coat paint application by the team at The Nippon Professional Painting Service.  What comes after painting of the sealer (base coat)?  It was a few weeks of busy days and taking more measurements (literally) for everything that comes after it.  I also opened a load of deliveries from Taobao.  If you are keen to follow me in my renovation journey, here’s a little peek!❤

Week 6

Lighting, Window Grilles & Carpentry

Two days after the base coat was painted, my contractor returned to carry out works for lighting and invisible grilles installation.  Measurements for carpentry works were already completed earlier so fabrication off-site is underway at this stage.

Invisible Grilles

By CSA Group (Mr Chong, the boss : 85889339)

Invisible Grilles

Invisible Grilles for balcony and all rooms done in a day.

Pat gave me the direct factory contact whom her ID tied up with. She saved me lots of pain and cash without going through any contractor or ID.  I trusted the quality material seen at her house.  They are ALL 316 Stainless Steel including bolts and washers.  Had it not been for a visit to Pat’s house, we would not have had the opportunity to witness and compare between the installation at her house and that from her next door neighbour’s balcony’s rusty grilles!  Both moved in for only about 1.5 years when we visited few months ago.  In short, the cables visible to us might have all been 316 Stainless Steel.  Question is – are those hidden bolts, nuts and washers inside the track equally same grade or purely using cold galvanised mild steel which could rust over time??  Ask your contractor specifically this if you’re looking at installing invisible grilles.

I contacted Mr Chong to give a group buy price for all the neighbours who are keen at my new place.  He gave a very good price compared to that of other invisible grille companies.  If you are going to collect keys to a new development, can consider contacting him for group price.  I don’t benefit from mentioning about his services in this blog post.  Merely sharing an awesome “lobang” because I’m satisfied with the quality and service.

From his demo, I saw a mini sample board of what was going to be the actual installation.  He assured that his stainless steel components are sourced and backed by Malaysian supplier (although he admits that the Malaysian supplier might have gotten their stuff from China).  In short, he assured that a backing by Malaysian counterpart is more trustworthy that that from China.   The cables are protected from the elements against rush using a nylon coating (that looks like plastic to me).  Pat who also feedback that the after sales support was great when she needed CSA team to coordinate with the motorized blind contractor for servicing, CSA removed their grilles and did reinstalled it again without further questions asked.


Stainless steel bolts, nuts and washers used for anchoring into the concrete as well as for tightening the cables.  This track will be covered to conceal the screws once installation is complete.  If a contractor wants to cut cost, there can be where to do so. Afterall, rusty after 1-2 years is no longer after warranty?

I have installed invisible grilles in my whole housee.  There were some window panels being pre-fabricated in the factory with tightened cables before they delivered to my house.  Although it sped things up, I had some problem opening my window lock at three out of four rooms due to the cable blocking my way (my hands are small).  I had a pretty long session with the super well-mannered (!) supervisor who went through all the installation with me and worked out an adjusted cable spacing that best fitted me without discomfort.  I left the workers at my house again when it was time to pick up the kids.  By the time I returned in the afternoon, I was pleasantly surprised to see Mr Chong himself inspecting the works with his supervisor before letting the workers knock off for the day.  And Mr Chong himself went through the house installation with me personally.  I was totally impressed with his personal dedication to his business and felt my money very well spent.  On the other hand, I thought it could be because I called him to complain that my hand hurt, that’s why he dropped by to find out why?

Before I lock the door in the evening, I spotted this bunch of waste cable and wondered why so much wasted.  Both Mr Chong and his supervisor said nothing about it earlier.  It turns out that this cable can no longer be used once adjustment (clamping during tightening and unclamping during adjustments) has been made to the tightened installation.  The nylon coating will crack once the clamp is released and will result in water trapped within it causing water rust.  As nearly all my rooms needed adjustment, they quietly wasted this length of stainless steel cable without mentioning a word of complain.  Super paiseh on my end too.


Lighting, Ceiling Fan and Carpentry

After the cable laying and false ceiling plastering works following the completion of my defects rectification period, my Electrician returned to my house to finish up the lighting and ceiling fan installation works for me three days after the base coat paint has been applied.  This photo below shows the dining room.  The cove light has not been adjusted into position yet hence the uneven distribution of lighting effect.

Lighting Ceiling Fan

Ceiling fan from Taobao. It’s undersized. So are those in my rooms! >.< Hubby was worried that the fan blades will cut into the light path hence did not order larger fans.😦  This is a 42″ fan with 3 colour options for the LED light.  Although small sized, this fan is surprisingly pretty powerful which serves as a compensation over the shortfall in size.

In this same week, my second shipment from Taobao arrived with my most anticipated dining chairs!  I had them customised in the simple colours we wanted – beige and walnut.  Unfortunately this shipment got inspected by the Singapore Customs upon arrival and aside from additional delay, two out of my six chairs came with cracked leg and a slit in the leather.  Due to the long delay in acknowledging receipt of goods, I was unable to claim for free replacement from the merchant.  I ended up paying for another two brand new pieces, at about 70% of the original price.


Week 7

Carpentry works were delivered the following week when lighting was almost done except for MBR as the electrician needed to wait for the bed head feature wall to be up before he can position the lighting accurately.


Carpentry delivery


Storage cabinet in the balcony was almost completed in the same day.

Very simple TV feature wall to hang up the TV since we could not find a TV console that is slim and at 500mm height. We got one at 400mm height and it's too low to put the TV on it.

Very simple TV feature wall to hang up the TV since we could not find a TV console that is slim and at 500mm height. We got one from Taobao at 400mm height (only SGD200+) and it’s too low to put the TV on it.


MBR feature wall in progress.

Week 8

Last week and this, all remaining carpentry works and curtain track installation should be finished up together with the arrival of my Taobao TV Console.  It was a bit of a stressful week for me because of some changes I want to make to my MBR bedhead feature wall.  I totally don’t like the current look and colour combination *CRY CRY CRY*.  Super ugly with the two pieces of mirror having a fat border right??!   We found out also that lighting was insufficient in the bathrooms, kitchen and balcony and additional lighting points or lights with higher wattage is required.  It was also school holiday week and I had to juggle everything (as well as the kids) at the same time😦


Week 9

Finally school holiday is over!  We spent this and almost the next week without much action other than to wait for things happening.  The MBR bedhead feature wall mirrors took many days to be rectified.  After the borders were removed, we had to wait for new enlarged mirrors to arrive.  We also punched holes in the bedside tables in order to access the electrical sockets since they are now blocked.  The carpenter took the wrong instruction and punched wrong holes.  There goes some other time lost to rectification works.


While waiting for things to happen again, my 3rd shipment from Taobao has arrived.  This time, the TV console and kids bedside tables have arrived.  With each shipment, I am like a delighted little child opening and inspecting all my “presents” although I paid for them.  Hehhehe



Assembling the TV console took us some effort indeed. The drawer tracks had to be installed and reinstalled before we got it right.

Check out my cute Miffy night lights for Jiejie and my niece!  They are 50cm tall, made with a hardy plastic shell and comes with dimmer control as well.


When the new mirrors are finally delivered and put up once again, we discovered that the left piece is lower than the one on the right.  Another week was again given to yet another new piece of mirror because what’s glued on cannot be reused anymore.  My renovation matters are getting very tiring and draggy by now.  I could not wait to complete everything and have the house painted with top coats, clean up and then start arranging the delivery for appliances by now.  I have also started to show signs of impatience when dealing with my contractors.


Finally, left side, 3rd piece of mirror in place, in their correct height to match the right!! Waiting for the glue to set in a weeks’ time before removing the wooden supports and holding tape.

In this same week, we also managed to install the curtain track for the house.  It took us about 3 hrs to complete thereafter, I was able to take measurements for making the curtains.  Curtain track installation wasn’t really an easy job.  Lots of arm strength was required and I was helping the only worker assigned to carry out the task.  My contractor could only spare one worker because they had other jobs to run and I needed the tracks to be up immediately due to painting appointment with Nippon Paint Professionals.  My arms trembled, hole-marking were done and redone because I could not hold the track still against the ceiling.


Immediately the next day we were done, our appointment with Nippon Paint Professionals fell into place with three painters and twelve (12) tins of paints in assorted colours delivered early in the morning.  This was how rushed my renovation works ended up.  I nearly could not finish the painting works by the end of September😦  It took all but 1.5 days for the painting works to be completed at my house.  I took lots of photos but have not had the chance to look into them yet.  I will be blogging about my experience with the professional painting services by Nippon in another post.


Week 10

This is a brand new week for touching up works, followed by a good general cleaning up before I allow my customized storage bed to be delivered and assembled later in the week.  Nothing feels better seeing these vacated out of my house!  I have “clean” floors again!


I have engaged a general cleaner recommended by my neighbour.  Will update about their services and work quality when the work is completed.  Apparently the cleaner is a new entry to the industry, and offered cleaning for my 4-bedroom at only $220, task-based, not hour-based.  According to the boss, he will send 2 workers for a work duration of about 5 hours to clean up my house after my renovation.  It does seem like a little short duration to be able to clear up all the accumulated dusts which has settled all over the place.  Let’s see how it goes and if they are good, I will post the contact too.

In the first week of October, I will have my electrical appliances, sofa and mattresses delivered!!  *double YAY and HOORAY*  Stay tuned for more updates and if you are keen to know where I got them from.

Except for the link up with Nippon Paint Singapore, all of the other mentions are not-sponsored although I so wish to have some savings.  Renovation is a big ticket item and I am glad we are finally making our dream home come true for the second time in our family.  Thank you for reading this post and joining us on SAys! Happy Mums.  If you enjoy reading our blog, please follow us on Facebook for the latest updates.  We hope to see you back again soon.

~ SAys! Shirley🙂

Experiencing The Nippon Professional Painting Service – D’ Most Important Base Coat

Nippon Professional Painting Service

Week 5 (22 – 27 Aug ’16)

It’s been exactly 5 weeks since the day we collected our keys to the new home.  The past few weeks had been a relatively breezy one over the things that needed to be done.

There were small hiccups here and there though not very serious issues.  My ideal MBR bedhead feature wall design could not be accommodated into the small bedroom, two of my door frames “pit” (cracked) due to the forceful strong wind that slams doors without warning.  Many things originally planned for were compromised due to the smaller room sizes in general (reality check).  At one point I wished that I had not bought this new home.  :(  Even though my new home is just a tad 7 sqm smaller than my current flat, my flat is so much bigger in terms of everything and I will definitely miss the sheer luxurious size of my current MBR!

In the past 1+ week, we had completed the electrical wiring, false ceiling works as well as tiling on my kitchen and yard walls.  It is so stupid and thoughtless that the Architect only provided tiles on the wall behind the stove. *rolleyes*  It would be so hard to maintain cleanliness and oil stains if I don’t tile it up.  Due to the Architect’s stupidity, I had to fork close to $2k just to do this additional tiling.

I previously shared about my lousy painting experience at my current house as well as my study into the different types & uses for the paints available at Nippon Paint Singapore.  In this post, I will focus on my experience with the Nippon Professional Painting Service – base coat application.

My renovation contractor cleared “a bit” of the rubbish in the house a day before Nippon Paint’s Project Manager, Alan and his Paint Applicator arrives.  Unfortunately due to bad timing and my insistence on a piece of chipped tile to be replaced immediately, the painter had to wait a little longer for my tiler to cut few pieces of tiles before he can properly start his work.  This is because the painting process should be carried out in a dust-free environment.  Why? Because, common sense.  With tile-cutting going on, nothing much can be done for about half an hour.  They patiently waited.

Step 1 – Inspection and Smoothening of Wall Surfaces

The Nippon team arrived at 9 am in the morning.  Alan, the Project Manager did a site inspection once again to make sure that all walls are proper smoothened before the base coat is applied.  On walls where special attention is required, Alan gave specific instructions to his painter.

Due to earlier ceiling plastering works done before the application of base coat, there were some dried pieces of plaster on the walls.  What Nippon’s painter did was to scrape off all these surface bumps by going through from room to room.

Nippon Professional Painting Service

Step 2 – Protecting Existing Flooring, Wall Sockets and Carpentry/Furniture

As my new house comes with wardrobe and kitchen cabinets which my contractor has already taken their basic measure to protect, what Nippon Painter had to do was to take an additional measure to seal over the floor skirting and all wall sockets/switches.  Nothing was missed.

Nippon Professional Painting Service

At places where paint splattering might occur, he draped a Nippon-approved plastic sheet over my full-height cabinets.

As progress was underway to carry out protection works, Alan shared with me that Nippon Paint Applicators are from a limited pool of painters who have gone through Nippon’s training and has not received much complains.  They are not allowed to take any private painting jobs except those assigned by Nippon Paint Singapore.  They also use only Nippon-approved materials and painting tools.

Step 3 – Apply Base Coat (Sealer)

I noticed that Alan has replaced the sealer paint for base coat from ExpressKote (water-based) to Vinilex 5170 (solvent or more commonly called oil-based).  Alan informed that since we don’t need to shift in urgently, we have all the time to let the paint dry well.  Based on my observation, the first room that was applied with the sealer appears to have dried (no light reflection compared to a freshly painted surface) by 4 pm as the last wall located behind the main door was just being freshly applied.  The timeline matched the catalogue description of 5 hours.

Being oil-based, the Vinilex 5170 sealer can provide the best sealing ability with a blend of solvents that are able to penetrate deeply into the wall and to provide a firmer base for subsequent (top) coats.  It also protects against mould problem better.  The paint smell did linger in the house for another 1-2 days as I closed all my windows tightly after locking the door for the day.  After the initial 2 days, there was not a single hint of paint smell left.

For comparison purposes, ExpressKote Sealer is typically used for same-day job where owners are already staying in the house or room.  Owners, if already staying in his/her house would typically want a complete job with top coat painted over and furniture moved back into position all within the same day.  This calls for the need for fast-drying, low odour sealer without sacrificing on quality.  It is stated in the paint catalogue that ExpressKote Sealer has low odour and takes just 2 hours to dry.  The top coat can be painted over the sealer almost immediately within the same day too.

Cost-wise, Vinilex 5170 is about $10 more than ExpressKote Sealer based on same 5-Litre tin.

Nippon Professional Painting Service

Nippon’s Paint Applicator started painting the house from “inside out”.  The furthest room (from the main door) was painted first and he moved from room to room thereafter.  In every room, he started with the ceiling and followed by the walls.  I also noticed that the poor guy shut all windows during painting and drying process because he wanted to minimize the risk of having renovation dusts finding their spot on the fresh paint.  There was no ventilation and no wind while he was at work.   He told me that renovation dust from carpentry work or tile-cutting / hacking of walls between the base coat and top coat can mean a potentially resulting bad paint job many years down the road because the top coat could not stick to the base coat well.   While the work within my own house has stopped, other work is on-going from my neighbour’s houses and the wind can bring in these dusts onto my freshly-painted walls.  To describe this in another more familiar way, it is like sticking a protective film (top coat) on a dusty handphone surface (base coat).  No matter what you do, the film would not stick well and will soon drop off.  Total waste of money, isn’t it??  For just an estimated amount of $400-500 (just for base coat for whole house), I could enjoy peace of mind without paint flaking or turning powdery for the next decade.  It also can help to hide hairline crack on the walls.  That works out to be only $40-50 per year??  It totally makes sense!

Nippon Professional Painting Service

As soon as all the rooms were painted with the sealer, he progressed to the walk way and out into the living and dining area until the last wall at my main door had been painted.  As I could not stay for the entire duration while he was there, I left him alone at my house when I had to fetch the kids and only came back when he called me after completing his work.

Step 4 – Inspection of Completed Work with Nippon Paint Applicator

When I returned, he invited me to carry out a joint inspection and we went through each room with him showing me his completed work.  Only when I am satisfied, then he began packing his stuff.  The driver uncle who came to pick him (and his tools) told me that I’m very clever to paint my house with a sealer coat and that most house owners he came across omitted doing that because they believed that the developer had already painted for them.  He told me that what most house owners failed to understand (including myself prior to my own experience with my current flat) is the use of different quality of paint and the cost that went into it during building and construction stage.

For large-scale painting job, I found out that all the main contractor could provide was a fast and the cheapest option to satisfy the minimal requirements based on contract specifications.  The workers will tape up all socket, floor and window frames then make use a sprayer to spray the paint everywhere.  They don’t have the luxury of time to apply roller in 15-cm widths for all 300-1000 units in a development.  Assuming it takes a painter one day to finish one paint coat in a unit, if there are 400 units in a development, it will take more than one year to complete just one paint layer!  Even if the contractor puts in 10 painters for the development, it will also take one entire month and still cost the boss an estimated $15k in salary alone.  The overhead is too high!  With spray-painting, they can do it in less that half the time and just needed two workers to do the work.

For the same reason, the main contractor will not use premium quality paint if the tender documents never called for it.  Which contractor will be so goondu?  >.<

I will be sharing more about the Nippon Professional Painting Service when they come for the top coat paint works in about two weeks’ time.  With top coat painting completed, it will signify the magical transformation of the house from an unfurnished bare white to a fully-furnished state that is ready for move in!  


In between, I will also try to blog about the other bits of my renovation before the painting of top coat is carried out.  Many exciting things has happened and I took lots of photographs hoping to share when I have time!

In the meantime, Nippon is currently running a very special price for One-Bedroom Promotion which will last til 30th September 2016.  The promotional price of $299 (without sealer) consists of 1 ceiling paint using Matex and 1 choice of colour for walls using Vinilex 5000 paint and is only entitled to 1-room per house (I would highly encourage the additional top up of $50 for the right sealer).  Promotion is only applicable for standard bedroom size of up to 150 sqft with ceiling height of up to 2.6 m. Additional charges will be incurred for bigger bedroom.  And lastly, all paintings must be completed by 30th September 2016.  Refer to the website for more information or call 6319 7222 for details.


Let us know if you are doing any painting works as well!  We would love to take a peek and get some fresh ideas too!

Thank you for reading this post and joining us on SAys! Happy Mums.  If you enjoy reading our blog, please follow us on Facebook for the latest updates.  We hope to see you back again soon.

~ SAys! Shirley🙂

I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to experience the Nippon Professional Painting Services package.  We were not remunerated monetarily for the review, all opinions and experiences remain our own alone.  Photographs unless otherwise stated are copyright of  Nippon Paint Singapore.  All other photos remain the copyright property of SAys! Happy Mums and may not be reproduced without prior notice or written permission given.

{Review} Fee-fi-fo-fum FUN! It’s Jack and the Beanstalk!


Just when I thought that every last fairy tale had been made into a theatre production, I’m surprised yet again that there’s yet one more! Yep, Jack and the Beanstalk is a classic fairy tale which we’ve yet seen on stage until now.

Together with Lyngo Theatre, Act 3 International brings this Giant of a fairy tale to stage at the National Library Black Box Theatre from 6 -18 September 2016.

Jack and the Beanstalk

Everyone knows the classic story about Jack who sells his cow, Milky White, for 5 magic beans that grew and grew overnight to reach a land above the clouds where the Giants live. Now join LYNGO‘s fun storytelling and hilarious exploration of the land of Giants and expect lots of fun surprises and squeals of laughter!

Jack and the Beanstalk

Smiling happy faces at Act 3i and Lyngo Theatre’s Jack and the Beanstalk

We had so much fun at today’s stage performance. The kids were all riveted to what was happening onstage. The set was simple as with the storyline that remained unchanged from the familiar, and yet every bit captivating with the well timed lighting cues and music.

The wonderful acting and performance by just one very energetic engaging actor drew laughter from every corner of the theatre. That is the children’s theatre success of Lyngo ~ One man, all the laughter.

Jack and the Beanstalk

The Tiny house that Jack lives in…

The audience interaction was superb even without asking for anyone to come onstage or purposefully baiting the audience to participate. The atmosphere was so relaxed at the Black Box Theatre this afternoon that the children felt so at ease to shout out their thoughts right from where they sat at every possible moment. Watch for the really Enormous boot, tiny house, snow and showers of silver and gold and some squirts of ‘milk’ for the front seats! A really good show that wastes nothing!

Backstage Workshop Tour

If anything, don’t miss the Backstage Workshop Tour. There are limited spaces and tickets available for this and it’s really really worth doing!

Having fun at the Backstage Workshop Tour. Kids are encouraged to try it out and let their imagination flow

At the backstage workshop, you get the Meet and Greet to meet the man behind the amazing performance. But what’s most precious about this 30 minute workshop is that your kids get to explore theatre behind the scenes.

The children are encouraged to think how each scene is achieved, how and why a prop is made in that way, what lightings are used and why and what they noticed about the music used! I learnt that there were 45 different lighting cues for this short 50minute production! Wow!

Watch this mini-video of parts of the Backstage tour that we so enjoyed and loved!

As a parent interested in the Arts and wanting to cultivate the same love for Arts in my little one, I found this workshop really great creative fun. The kids were given every opportunity to interact with the actor, with the props and with what they had just watched, to explore and imagine.

I could see it really helped Wey put his creative thoughts in place as he thought through the play he just watched and how each scene was achieved.

Creating rain with air pressure!

The discussion was highly interactive as the kids were told and taught how things were done. Everyone even the adults had fun!

Making the audience believe that the boot was really SO HEAVY!! hahaa

So if you can help it, book this segment and stay the extra 30 minutes! No regrets whatsoever!

As the show ended, I couldn’t help but to ask the kiddos what they thought about Jack’s actions, was it right or wrong? Although the fairy tale doesn’t quite give a sense of Jack doing any wrong, and seems to celebrate the fact that he killed the Giant, my take home discussion for Wey was to check out his moral compass despite the fair tale’s presentation.
Jack and the Beanstalk

Presenting Lyngo Theatre and Wey! haha!

I was quite pleased that Wey’s immediate response was that Jack was not right to steal (not just once but actually thrice!) from the Giant. Wey said to me “Mama, being poor doesn’t mean he can steal from the Giant. And because he didn’t work hard for what he stole, he used it up so quickly and had to go back to steal again!” Wow!! Thank you, Wey! So we’re good in that department! hahah! Phew! So, there you have it, a great take home lesson and teaching opportunity for the kids too!🙂
Don’t miss this great fun opportunity to meet theatre in a fun innovative way with LYNGO, a UK based Children’s Theatre company. Their shows have delighted children for over 10 years, with their inventive use of beautifully designed and handmade ‘theatre toys’ with a genuine approach to playing and interacting with their audience. There is only one more weekend to catch this wonderful production. Book your tickets at SISTIC before the run ends on 18 September 2016!
Thank you for joining us on SAys! Happy Mums.  If you liked what you read on our blog, please follow us on Facebook for the latest updates.  We hope to see you back again soon.

SAys! Audrey :) 


We are grateful for the opportunity to attend Jack and the Beanstalk and the Backstage Tour Workshop, for the purposes of this review. We were not remunerated monetarily for the review, all opinions and experiences remain our own alone. All photos unless otherwise mentioned are copyright of Act 3 International and were provided for the purposes of this review. All other photos remain the copyright property of SAys! Happy Mums and may not be reproduced without prior notice or written permission given.

About Jack and The Beanstalk


When 6  to 18 Sep 2016 | Weekdays 10am | Weekends & PH : 10.30am & 2.30pm |

Where : Drama Centre Black Box, National Library

Who : 3 years and above and their families

Ticket PricingWeekdays S$28 (Excludes Booking Fee) | Weekends & PH Standard S$38 , Limited S$46( inclusive of 30min Backstage Tour) |
Do Check Sistic website for applicable ticket discounts
Duration : 60 minutes with no interval

Tickets available through :
SISTIC Website

SISTIC Hotline (65) 6348 5555
SISTIC Authorised Agents islandwide

Best Deals | Sniffing Out King Koil Warehouse Sale

King Koil Warehouse Sale 2016

We’ve been too excited today! Both of us went shopping today amidst our already crazy schedule.  Audrey did a through walk through of the media preview sales in the morning and I went back the second time after I picked the kids from school because I wanted them to shop for their own bedsheet sets so that they can feel the excitement of shifting to our new house in a few months to come.

King Koil Warehouse Sale 2016

I’m missing my $40 Full Latex Bolster in the photo. Guess how much I spent in excess of the complimentary shopping vouchers from King Koil? It’s quite an amount and I had a hard time controlling myself. These are all really high quality bed + duvet sets at a jaw-dropping clearance price. Fastest hands first!!

Seeing none of them kids’ printed bedsheets above???  While the Marvel kids collection does not appeal to 9-yo Jiejie, it attracted the 7-yo Didi.  However I cannot find a matching comforter for the fitted sheet set he specifically chosen.  We were about to settle for a fitted sheet set without the comforter when he discovered the comfort of the Tencel bedsheets <.>   As for Jiejie, no longer does she want anything remotely kiddy or printed designs.  She prefers plain-colour everything now and if it’s even possible, she’d take black!  The adult collection fitted her as well and I guess we’ll be taking turn to use the different colours ehhehehe

This high-end Dorma range from London is a new collection by King Koil.  Specially-priced sets are for the warehouse sale only.  There are also other prints available which are meant for the children (550TC) or English-styled flower-printed sets for the vintage lover.

There are simply too many things on sale at King Koil’s annual warehouse sale today.  I took LOTS of photos of almost everything available there so if you want to make a quick decision on what to look out for before heading down to the sales, take a look at the video below for a guide.  Bring your VISA/MasterCard/Nets or Cash.  Citibank and Passion Card holders are entitled to a further 5% off your purchase value too so don’t forget those.

It took me the entire night to make the above video.  I hope it serves as a good guide.  While you are there, don’t forget to check out partner booths by EuroAce, OTO and Nippon Paint!

King Koil Warehouse Sale 2016

King Koil Warehouse Sale 2016

For now, I need to go KO @.@.  Let me know if you grabbed any good deal.  I’m thinking of going back again with my hubby on Saturday morning.  Good night everybody!

Thanks for joining us on SAys! Happy Mums.  If you liked what you read on our blog, please follow us on Facebook for the latest updates.  We hope to see you back again soon.

SAys! Shirley🙂

We are grateful to receive shopping vouchers at the King Koil Warehouse Sale, for the purposes of this preview. We were not remunerated monetarily for the review, all opinions and experiences remain our own alone, so do still make your own evaluations with other information available. All photos unless otherwise mentioned are copyright of King Koil and were provided for the purposes of this review. All other photos remain the copyright property of SAys! Happy Mums and may not be reproduced without prior notice or written permission given.

About the King Koil Warehouse Sale 2016


When : 2- 5 September 2016, 9am – 9pm

Where : 13 Sungei Kadut Way, Matsushita House, Singapore 728792

Shuttle buses available 9am to 8.30pm from Yew Tee MRT

King Koil Warehouse Sale 2016

{Media Preview} Best of the King Koil Warehouse Sale 2016


I was so privileged to be invited for an exclusive sneak preview of this year’s King Koil Warehouse Sale today! If you’ve not heard yet, this year’s highly popular King Koil Warehouse Sale is happening from 2 – 5 September 2016 at 13 Sungei Kadut Way.


Most of the items especially beddings, linens, pillows etc are at the entrance foyer area under shelter. There are lots of fans to cool the area and King Koil has even set up a welcome desk with free mineral water if you are thirsty. So do remember to hydrate as you shop!🙂

Load up on bolsters and pillows cos they are so so cheap!! There are seriously so many types on sale there, it was mind boggling!

I actually saw someone lug like half a dozen of these! hahahha!! No idea how much are they at retail.

Wow! Super value Tencel Baby Set just great for new-borns!!

The beddings and linen available at the ground floor foyer was really almost endless. I got myself a really good quality plain coloured Egyptian Cotton Sateen King Size full bed set for only $40!!

Also got my mum this set of Orlendo 100% Prima Cotton Sheet set, very high thread count for only $60! hehe… our CNY beddings are all ready this time🙂

King Koil Warehouse Sale 2016

Summer Blankets for kids and adults!

There are really rows and rows of various types and qualities of bedsheet sets, so do take your time to browse and compare before you decide what’s ideal for your needs.


Take your pick of colours and designs and quality at value prices!

Don’t forget the linens too. Milton Home has quite a lot of towels on sale there.

I also spied at a corner where sample beddings were selling for just $10! These are mostly display pieces at departmental stores so really no harm if the design and type suits your needs! hehee…

Beds and Mattresses are within air-conditioned areas in the main lobby.

Take the lift up to the 5th floor for higher end beds and mattresses.

Half priced plus lots of PWP Gifts!

Purchase With Purchase Gifts!!! Yay!

The 5th floor also has a sofa furnishing sales area. You can customise your sofa to your liking for fabrics even at the warehouse sale! hehe.

Great Bargains for Beddings on the 5th!

Be sure to check out the Fossflakes (Denmark), Dorma (UK) and Silk range in the 5th floor!! It’s really substantial discounts, see the photos below :)

If you like the great quality softness of  Tencel the Dorma collection has a really good discount at 5th floor. There are lots to choose from and really pretty colours too! I got myself a King Size full bed set for only $100! My CNY bedding is all set!🙂

Really good buy for Tencel compared to almost $500 at department stores!

Look at the price slash for Silk Collection! Scream!! Everything under $100 instead of $1,699! Wah!

There are also very good quality Children’s beddings at the 5th floor. Just look at the crazy discounts, I wish I had stayed longer arghh!! These are all great quality high thread count beddings that are so unusual for kid’s beddings!

Totally regret not getting this for Wey at the preview! What was I thinking!!! Sigh! :(

5th floor items have to be paid for there. Assistants at each section will issue you an invoice to make payment before collecting your items.

The only issue about purchasing from different areas is that you will not be able to put all your purchases into one bill. Items from each floor or section have to be paid at the respective cashiers in each area. Do take note as it will mean multiple queues at each section!🙂

Check out Shirley’s video post in her field report!

6 Tips to Get the Best Out of the Sale

Go Early

As with all good sales, go early to get the best pickings. As the saying goes, the early bird gets the worm. This explains the queues forming wherever there are good deals. Every Singaporean knows to sniff a good deal is to watch the crowd queues. No harm to be the first in line at all! hehee..

Also, for another practical reason, it’s definitely going to be cooler at 9am than say 12-3pm! Of course, you can make a contrary reasoning that 12-3 pm may have less crowd since it’s hotter and it’s lunch time. Whichever, works for you, just be sure to get there before the Sale ends! LOL!

Another thing is, if you’re early, you don’t have to fight for a parking space or wait for one! Note that official coupon parking along the road  is very limited hehe…

Have a Shopping List

Come mentally prepared to BUY!

Having a mental list of what to buy helps you focus and narrow down where the good deals, most suitable for your needs, are. It means less second thoughts, regrets and time wasting. You can better zoom in and sniff out the good bargains, make your comparisons and choose the best colours to match your home theme.

Be decisive and pick what you like quickly. Remember sale items, sizes and designs are limited, once someone takes the last piece, you’ll have to scout around again for something else.

Plus, you will also likely not go  away with things you don’t need in the end. Your husband will also thank you for not spending a draggy long amount of  time at the sale, especially  if he is not a shopping fanatic.

Avoid bringing the kiddos

This may be quite hard to do since the sale is happening over the school holiday weekend but if you can get help to watch the kids, it will make shopping so much faster, easier and less hassle without the little ones. Unless, you have really very guai kiddos, you will know what I am talking about. Haha… I certainly prefer shopping without Wey around!! I can shop, choose and grab in peace without having to answer a zillion questions from him!

Most kids dread going to such events and when they get bored, you know what happens. “Mummy, can I go to the toilet?” ” Mummy, I’m thirsty/ hungry.” “I’m tired, I want to sit down!” ” Mummy, are we done? Can we go somewhere else?” Avoid such stress if you can help it, but if you really can’t leave them at home, remember to bring some books or toys to entertain the kids!

Better yet, dangle some attractive reward for good behaviour! Even, better perhaps to bring your spouse to entertain them while you make your choices! You’ll be also glad to know that there are some air-con areas at the lobby and at the 5th floor that will be more comfortable for very young kids hehe😛

Dress Light

As most of the warehouse sale is held in the open-air sheltered foyer area, it’s still best to dress light to remain cool. Although, the place is well ventilated with fans and air blowers, it can still get quite warm when it is crowded.

There are some air-con areas at the lobby and the 5th floor where beds and mattresses, sofas are on display for the warehouse sale. However, most of the beddings, pillows and linens are downstairs under temporary canopies outdoors.

Do remember to stay hydrated too in this crazy hot and humid weather.

Bring your wallet, Family & Best Friends

Shopping with BFFs is not overrated. Friends can help you look out for the best deals, compare and choose, make the day more fun and light-hearted! I love shopping with someone else because it’s like a good tag team. Sometimes, you just need that extra pair of hands and eyes to help you carry or ‘chope’ your items! haha, you know what I mean?

You will be glad to know that credit cards and cash are accepted and if you have a Passion Card, you get extra 5%!!! Wahahha!! But most importantly, don’t leave home without your wallet! And if you do, that’s why it’s best to bring your BFFs along! hahaa🙂

Go Again and Again!

Haha I’m not kidding. I always find myself  going back to a good sale again! Well, if a sale is genuinely good, you will find yourself wanting to go again and again.

So go early, and if you have any regrets of items missed out, you can always make a dash back again! hahha.. seriously, Singapore is small and to get a bargain (if you are a Bargain King or Queen) you wouldn’t mind chiong-ing down again!🙂

So get set to chiong down to the sale before it ends!

Thanks for joining us on SAys! Happy Mums.  If you liked what you read on our blog, please follow us on Facebook for the latest updates.  We hope to see you back again soon.

SAys! Audrey

We are grateful to receive shopping vouchers at the King Koil Warehouse Sale, for the purposes of this preview. We were not remunerated monetarily for the review, all opinions and experiences remain our own alone, so do still make your own evaluations with other information available. All photos unless otherwise mentioned are copyright of King Koil and were provided for the purposes of this review. All other photos remain the copyright property of SAys! Happy Mums and may not be reproduced without prior notice or written permission given.

About the King Koil Warehouse Sale 2016


When : 2- 5 September 2016, 9am – 9pm

Where : 13 Sungei Kadut Way, Matsushita House, Singapore 728792

Shuttle buses available 9am to 8.30pm from Yew Tee MRT

{Review + Discount Code} Poiema Premium P800 Air Purifier

Poiema P800

The latest model in the Poiema family of Air Purifiers is the Premium P800 and I was really excited to receive it for review except that my new place was still undergoing draggy renovation at that time. And as renovation goes, it’s always a headache with long follow up on outstanding issues. Arggh! Anyone whose had renovation done knows what I’m talking about.

Firstly, some background of the Poiema Air Purifers for a better understanding.

Poiema P800

How does a Poiema air purifier work?

Poiema air purifiers make use of a Silicon Valley developed TPA (Twin Pole Active) technology to emit and collect electrodes, forming an electrical field. The emitting electrodes charge particles while the collecting electrodes act as a magnet to pull all the charged particles as small as 0.02 microns.

TPA uses patented electrodes to generate a unique electrical field, which traps pollutants and common allergens. So when air passes through this field, it removes almost all particles and germs.

TPA is currently the world’s most powerful Clean Air Technology available.


Poiema has successfully harnessed this TPA technology to bring clean air into homes with their series of air purifiers using Electrodes.  There is no longer a need for filters to clean air because this wind purification method allows what is collected to be washed away. See info graphics below for how clean air is produced with a Poiema air purifier.


The Poiema P800 is the most advanced system in all the Poiema family of air purifiers! It boasts the following features :

  • High Efficiency in eliminating airborne threats and can remove particles and germs as small as 0.02microns
  • ZERO Maintenance Cost because there is no need for filters to continuously generate clean air
  • Cost Efficiency with Ultra low energy consumption at $4 per month of 24/7 usage! Wow!
  • Maximum Coverage suitable even for a big office or meeting room up to 1076 sq. ft. or 100 m2.
  • High Performance with turbo mode to speed up air purification process
  • Quiet mode to help you rest well undisturbed in the night yet with continuous clean air
  • Multiple modes of choice: Quiet, Speed 1-4, Turbo

Now back to our review of the Poiema P800. So we finally managed to unbox this beauty and set it up. Me being a fuss pot had not wanted to open this sleek beauty before all the renovation mess and dust was cleaned up, although Poiema assured me that it would in fact have helped with clearing up the air quality at that time!!

Day 1 Poiema P800

Setting up was surprisingly easy although the box it came in was rather big and bulky, it was in fact double boxed for extra protection! The machines is heavy at 17kg!

We unboxed a pristine sleek silver beauty that promised to clean up the air around us. I was excited to say the least to run it in a hazeless situation for a week.

Day 7 Poiema P800

Why I liked the Poiema P800

PM2.5 Digital Indicator

Have you had air purifiers that sat there when you turned it on and you just was never really quite sure if it was doing what it promised to do? Well, I’ve had a few units of hepa-filter types that I had to trust with blind faith that my family was being protected.

The good thing about Poiema P800 is it has a clear indication panel to tell you what’s going on with the air quality in your house. I know most ladies and COO types would appreciate this instantaneous feedback about how your work horse is doing, especially during those dreadful worrisome haze days.


Yay! Good clean air in my home!🙂

Since I’ve had on my Poiema P800, the indication has been showing a very healthy air quality range of below 11 for PM2.5 reading. In fact it hovers around 8 and even went to a low of 5 or 6! The cleaner the better!

Update – 24 Aug 2016 Reports of Hot Spots in Indonesia and change in wind direction towards Singapore. My PM2.5 Indicator jumped up to 75 when my mum left the toilet door opened. I promptly shut the door and it gradually moved down to 20 and then rests at 9. Wow! I have clean air!


Haze haze go away! Can you also see the Orange Indicator Alert to remind me to clean the Collecting Electrodes and Emitting Electrodes?

Ease of Maintenance

After about a week of running the Poiema P800 24/7, I started hearing something different and realised that the orange indicator light was turned on. This indicator is a reminder to check and clean the collecting electrodes. I super liked this Alert Reminder! So good not to be ignorant or guessing (compared to HEPA filter types when we just use a rough gauge of 6months per filter)

I was surprised that it was so quick that I had to clean the Collecting Electrodes and Emitting Electrodes despite not having haze at all. Well it proves that the Poiema P800 was working hard on my renovation dust that I thought I had been cleaning away.

So I promptly switched off the machine and opened up the Collecting Electrodes and Emitting Electrodes sections to clean them respectively. The machine was new to us, I was worried that I might spoil it.. but really it was not difficult and as my son would say – So Simple! Easy peasy does it.


Included inside is a large brush for Collecting Electrodes and a small brush for Emitting Electrodes, plus User Manual and Remote Control.

  1. Take out the compartments, follow the even simpler instructions
  2. Clean up the electrodes (looked more like dust to me) with some mild non-cream detergent and brush and rinse under running water.

Removing the Collecting Electrodes compartment for cleaning once the Reminder Alert turns on!


Using the tiny brush to clean the Emitting Electrodes

3. Put it to dry.

4. Plonk the compartments back and you’re ready to reset the machine to work for clean air in the home again!

I really like that there are no consumables for the Poiema air purifiers as the electrodes are easily washable and reusable. No need for HEPA filters and guessing when and if you should change the filters (which are costly)!

Better Protection than Traditional True HEPA Filter

When buying HEPA type air purifiers, we are told to always look for True HEPA filter types for best assurance. Even so, a true HEPA filter can only trap particles and bacteria up to a size of > 0.3um! The Poiema P800 does better with up to 0.02 microns, 100 times smaller than the dreaded PM2.5!!

I’ve owned 3 HEPA type Air Purifiers that were, at that time, touted to be the best in the market. I am now realising that in fact if you are not diligent in changing your filters, bacteria and viruses etc. will still survive and hold onto the filter surface and be reintroduced into the environment!! YES!! SCREAM! Especially in highly humid Singapore, this can mean a even more excellent environment for germs and moulds to collect and  thrive!!! :(

Now to replace HEPA filters regularly is not a small sum. Honestly, how many times have any of you thrown out your HEPA filters so far? (Sweat emoticon!) Generally the HEPA filters which costs anywhere from $80 – $150 each should be thrown out every 6 months for best health reasons!

Purifying the Ultra Fine and Unseen

It’s important to note that we don’t buy or switch on an air purifier just because of haze. Even in normal ‘good’ air conditions, the presence of dust, viruses, pollen and allergens prevail around in the home. Ever wondered why the children keep sneezing even when we’ve cleaned and cleaned?

After barely one week of 24/7, this is what I got from cleaning the Collecting Electrodes. There were a few more dirty tissues but you can imagine already! And we are talking about a non-hazy week with low PM 2.5!


TPA eliminates airborne particles to as small as 0.02 microns including dust, dust mite, mould, haze and viruses! (Note : HEPA has a limit of 0.3 microns in particle size).

For information, here’s what are the P800 removable particles and their relative sizes:

  • Mould spores – 100 – 2 microns
  • Pollen grains – 100 – 0.25 microns
  • House dust mite allergen – 25 – 0.1 microns
  • Bacteria – 25 – 0.25 microns
  • Pet dander – 10 – 0.1 microns
  • Toner dust – 10 – 0.1 microns
  • PM10 – 10 microns or less (PM = Particulate Matter)
  • Tobacco smoke – 4 – 0.01 microns
  • PM2.5 – 2.5 microns or less
  • Viruses – 0.05 – 0.003 microns
  • Ultrafine particles – 0.1 – 0.001 microns
  • Haze – 10 – 0.01 microns

I had more peace of mind than ever switching on the Poiema P800 24/7 even though there was no haze in sight during the 1 week of review.

Good Coverage

The Poiema P800 covers an area of about 1076 sq. ft. or 100 m2. So for most homes one machine is more than enough when positioned at a good location. My new place is really small so it was totally a good fit for specifications.

Compared to the Poiema P500 which costs less, the area covered is only 60 m2 so you may well need to buy 2 machines or restrict the purification only at an area where most home activities take place.

Power Consumption

If you’ve read our previous review on the Poiema P500, you will realise that the Poiema P500 came up with the lowest annual running electricity cost compared to commonly found HEPA filter type air purifiers in the market. That was based on a 34W Poiema P500. The good news is that the Poiema P800 runs at 31W and will obviously have an even lower consumption cost for an even bigger space coverage.

No Over-heating

Although I ran the Poiema P800 24/7, the unit remained cool with no overheat. This is unlike my 3 other HEPA filter type purifiers which do feel warm to touch. It makes me worry that the machines may overheat and I tend to give my HEPA ones a break once in a while.

Convenient Touch Screen Display

The only unit with a touch screen display, it makes it so much more convenient to make changes to the settings rather than looking for the remote control and fiddling with it to make changes. If you are anything like me, I tend to misplace remotes somehow or rather.😦 I super liked changing settings as and when I felt like it without looking for the remote hehe..

Sleek Unit Size and Look

As I’ve mentioned the Poiema P800 is sleek metallic silver and looks presentable even if placed in the hall. What I liked is it stands narrow and tall and does not take up more floor space than necessary. The unit measures 345 (L) x 244 (W ) x 790 (H) mm, sleeker than even the already space saving Poiema P500 of 315 (L) x 315 (W ) x 590 (H) mm.

Because the Poiema P800 has a metal casing, it is heavy at 17kg versus only the 10kg Poiema P500! I liked that as it was more sturdy and probably higher durability compared with plastic.

What surprised me

Noise Level

I chose to place my Poeima P800 at the study room which is really an open area in between the bedrooms and hall. Strategic!

However,  I found that the machine was not as silent as I had expected probably because Kiasu Me put it on Turbo 24/7. It also started making a louder sound after the Orange Alert to check the Collecting Electrodes compartment came on.

If you intend to place it in your bedroom, I think the Quiet mode would be the best choice and thankfully Poiema 8P00 comes with 3 different function modes to choose from  – Turbo, Quiet and Speed 1-4. So essentially you are getting 5 fan speeds unlike the other models which only allow you 1-3. Consequently this means noise levels is a tad higher at 20dB instead of 15dB or 10 dB of the Poiema P200 and Poiema P500 respectively. But having said this, the 20dB is negligible compared with many popular Hepa based air purifiers in the market. 20dB is equivalent to the sound levels of rustling leaves… hehee…

Where to Buy

The Poiema P800 and it’s family series of air purifiers are available online at https://poiema.com.sg/shop with free delivery.

Otherwise, do visit retail outlets to take a look at the actual units as follows:

Poiema Pop Up Store:

  • Tampines 1, B1, In front of Toast Box

MEGA Discount Store:

  • 5 Stadium Walk, Kallang Leisure Park, #01-46~50, S’ 397693
  • 101 Thomson Road, United Square, ‪#‎B1‬-56D/E, S’ 307591

For comparison, the P800 retails at $1999 while the P500 at $1399. Despite the relatively high cost, after factoring in the cost of filter replacements and the better protection and hence cleaner air quality in the home, these two premium units are still worth considering.

Update 26 August 2016 : Now for a very Limited Time Only, get $200 off by using the special promo code “HAPPY200“. So don’t miss this chance to get a great deal espeically now that the haze seems to be here!

Currently there are two ongoing 1-for-1 promotions till end Aug 2016 (while stocks last):

  1. Any purchase of a P500/P800, a Free P200 will be given. (only available at the Tampines 1 Pop Up Store)
  2. Any purchase of a P500/P800, get a P200 at only $4. (only available at Poiema eShop)

For more information, check at https://poiema.com.sg/ to make your evaluations.


I personally felt that the P800 was effective cleaning up the dust and allergens in my newly renovated apartment, despite it being a relatively haze free year. Having said that it’s always better to be safe than sorry, ie. to have all your hardware on standby for that unpredictable unhealthy air quality that blows over our tiny red dot. The last I heard, haze may be blowing in our direction with the hot spots identified and change in wind direction!

Be prepared and stay healthy, Everyone!

Thanks for joining us on SAys! Happy Mums.  If you liked what you read on our blog, please follow us on Facebook for the latest updates.  We hope to see you back again soon.

SAys! Audrey:)

We are grateful to receive one set of the Poiema P800, for the purposes of this review. We were not remunerated monetarily for the review, all opinions and experiences remain our own alone, so do still make your own evaluations with other information available. All photos unless otherwise mentioned are copyright of Poiema and were provided for the purposes of this review. All other photos remain the copyright property of SAys! Happy Mums and may not be reproduced without prior notice or written permission given.

A Flawlessly-Painted House – Possibility or Dream? | A Nippon Paint Experience

Nippon Paint Package

To get things started quickly, I was already in talks with the contractors doing invisible grilles, electrical and false ceiling works, as well as painting works the moment I completed my first round of defects inspection after concluding that will be cleared quickly.  I will make the focus of this post over the importance of painting and selecting the right paint category since every other scope of works has to be tied in with painting works seamlessly.

At work previously, I did not take the opportunity to be in contact with painters to gain enough knowledge to make my current home a painted flat with lesser problems.  12 years ago when my ex-boyfriend and I purchased our first flat, we were newbies and wanted a perfect home without giving much thoughts to pay the $1.4k to paint our house in our dream colours.  $1.4k for paint works by contractor was on the high side 12 years ago.  Every room has a feature colour❤  Our contractor claimed that our flat is big and having ten colours means a lot of wastage, hence the price given that they will be using premium Nippon paint for us.  We totally believed him and were convinced by his assurance.  He will do up a great nest for us.


Bear with me as I nagged.  Not only is using premium paint products important when painting a new home, many other factors come into play as well.  I will list down the problems I faced since Day 1, caused mainly by my irresponsible and contractor.

Existing Problems

#1 Using what I paid for, or NOT??

Foremost and most importantly, contractors cheating with alternative paint products or used paint from somebody else’s homes is one way to save cost / cut corner.  That morning when they were supposed to start painting, had I not followed my inspiration to “eat snake” from my work to go check on progress, I would not have discovered the issue and kicked up a huge fuss because I felt really cheated.

What greeted me were two painters who looked like they were about to start work any moment.  The immediate question that popped in my head was – HUH??  I saw many tins of used paint sitting amongst some new ones no doubt.  They came in different sizes with dried paint over the tins and what’s best was having two brands of paint products in my home!

The view was not worth the $1.4k I would be paying for and I stopped the painters from carrying out their works for that day until I see the paints I ordered.  The workers were of course unhappy with my outrage.  The person-in-charge whom we liaised with from the contractor firm got screamed at over the phone and I waited until he arrived with brand new tins of paint and vacated the used ones out of my house before I allowed them to start work again.  That took more than half a day and nothing much could be done by then except starting on base coat for some areas.  All he said when he arrived was, “Oh they must have taken the wrong tins,” and then pretended to give instructions here, there and everywhere else.

I ended up with 2 days of “emergency leave” to leave my work site and/or return any time I needed to.  Just so that I could monitor the painting progress.  Thankful for an understanding boss and having a work site just 2 roads away from my current home.  Given that I popped by twice daily, I still had my doubts over the paint job and whether or not they really did finish painting the entire house with a base coat and two top coats.  But I had no choice because I cannot afford full day away from my job then given that I was the only Site Engineer for that project.

Had I not discovered the “cost-saving measure” taken by my contractor, I would have imagined innocently accepting his explanation over “slightly differing” actual colour when compared to the paint catalogue.  Idiotic, right?  Til date, I maintained my suspicion over whether the base coat has been applied at all.

#2 NOT using appropriate paint type

For this, I put half the blame on my contractor (and ourselves too).  We did not know what type of paint for use at the different parts of the house then.  The focus we had was just about colours and which wall.  Our contractor also did not advise us accordingly.  It was only after staying for a few years and when issues started surfacing, then we learned the lessons along the way.

(a)  Using Interior Paint for Balcony

For 4-5 years before the kids came along, our house was grille-free.  It was only after Didi was born, that we decided to grille up the entire house and also made casement windows for our balcony.  By then, Jiejie was 2.5 years old and window safety was indeed a major concern.  Our balcony was previously full of potted orchids hung on the ledge and we were crazy into gardening then.


Our balcony now looks like these photos below, devoid of plants and is like some sort of storage yard for the kids’ water and sand play toys.  They also played sensory-filled dough and slime on a rubber mat I bought for them.  I simply flushed the place with two pails of water after they are done playing.  Hence a lot of water and rain splashes is encountered within our balcony especially during year-end monsoon season.


Ugly water stain and mouldy walls below the casement window grille. Our window grille was not properly sealed with silicon as well and hence there are gaps where the rain could seep through during a heavy storm.

Over the years, this streaky water stained look and mould started appearing and we did not bother to address it since we intend to shift “soon”.  “Soon” never happened until now.


A close-up photo showing the mouldy wall. Our balcony windows are often left ajar when we are not at home, or fully opened when we are home. It is strange that mould can still grow.

To be fair, I did try to repaint the balcony some years back but I gave up almost immediately, as can be seen from the small patch of my “artwork”.  I forgot why I gave up turning my light pink balcony into earth tone.  It was tiring, most probably.  Many years later, I can matter-of-factly tell you that my “new paint” peeled so badly because I did not follow proper painting procedure to paint a sealer base coat before I applied a new colour onto it.  Now then I know lor……



On hindsight, we should have either tiled up the balcony walls or to have them painted using exterior paint.  Nobody would have thought of using exterior paint right inside our own home right?  The balcony is interior space!  No?  No!!  Well, but the above is only one of the many annoying issues I am facing in my current home.

If you looked hard enough, that full-height wall to the right of my window frame has bubbles in the paint.  My spare room has it’s aircon discharge pipe running behind this wall and the aircon will be turned on when we are folding laundry and watching TV on the spare bed.  I believe this is the result of condensation from within the wall hence the bubbling in the paint at the balcony.  I later read that this could be due to a lack of Primer coat which could have prevented the moisture from reaching the surface and prevented the bubbling.


Within the walls of just one tiny balcony, I have mould, peeling and bubbling problems.  How nice!  :(

(a)  Not Using Base Coat / Sealer

For many years, I proudly put up the kids’ art work on the walls.  Almost every wall space was occupied with their creations (and it also moved onto mirrors and cabinet laminates) as well because we also do a lot of home-learning activities at home.


Photo taken in 2012.

In 2013, we cleared the blue wall of all art work and had full-height book shelves in their place.  I used blue tack to stick up everything and they came off nicely without any stain or mark at all.  That blue and orange wall was painted using the equivalent of today’s Nippon’s Easy Wash with Teflon(R) paint and I have been most pleased with these two colours in my house.  Even til this day.


Photo taken in 2013.

Nippon Easy Wash with Teflon(R) Paint has this texture of elasticity and feel to it.  The painted surface is very smooth and even.  And I loved that there are no stains or paint peeling off issue when things are stuck / mounted onto it.  There is a gentle sheen over the painted wall as well.

In contrast, I recently removed every single piece of map, learning chart and art work  from the entire house in preparation to market our flat for sales.  The problem is, the other walls in my house (except the wall next to my computer painted in the exact same blue) were all not painted using Easy Wash paint.  They have powdery surface and uneven lines.  Spots where previously blue tack was put up, I ended up with stain marks all over, as well as more seriously, peeled paint surfaces now.  They look like war-zone both before and after removal of art work.  Below few photos will specifically show these problems.


Blue tack stains and one even peeled off. The other 2 nail marks is typical.


Designated prefabricated crack line on wall not applied with sealer before painting. It shows up now with age.



Sticker on wall😦

I attribute these problems to the lack of base coat (sealer) on all these walls.  Otherwise, why would these “non-feature” walls have so much problems?  The lack of base coat prevented the top coat from being evenly applied for a uniform finish.  I suspected that because these walls were originally already in white when we took keys from HDB.  My contractor probably cut corner here which I had not had the opportunity to detect.  My loss!

Below photo compares and contrast two adjacent walls at my computer corner.  Are you able to identify which one has a soft sheen with an evenly applied surface ; which one has a powdery surface full of uneven lines and even cracked/peeled paint?


Site Assessment and Recommendation

Putting behind what has happened in my current home, this time round given than we are lucky enough to shift into a new home, I am in a better position now to know what to expect and do for the paint works.  This unpleasant experience has spurred me to do some reading up and I will share my new-found knowledge on the different paint types and their uses in this post.  I will also be collaborating with Nippon Paint Singapore on a series of 3 posts to share my before/during/after experience with the Nippon Paint Professionals.


Simply love this blue!

Earlier this month, I had a site assessment carried out by Nippon Paint Singapore, followed by a colour consultation session with Nippon Paint Professionals since I did not engage an interior designer to do up my new home.  I learnt a lot more by speaking with the Paint Professional, about why things happen, about how to tackle those problems.  It was a useful and engaging session and a lot more than just choosing colours.

During the site assessment and pre-consultation session, we learnt about complementing colour selection and to try selecting feature colours in one or two shades lighter when looking at the colour catalogue.  This is because what we are looking at is just a small sample colour square.  When painted on a life-sized wall, the actual outcome might be too intimidating for some home owners to accept.

Nippon Paint Professional, Alan, also inspected the walls handed over to me by the developer.  Generally, the finishing works of the plastered walls are quite well done with smooth and even surfaces.  To ensure that the 1-year warranty for paint works is in force, they propose a sealer base coat (just one coat) before applying the top coat directly.  This is because the paintwork on the new walls is powdery and if this layer does not provide adequate adhesion to top coat, they cannot simply provide a warranty.

Even if Nippon did not propose a base coat, we would also ask for it given the experience we have in current home.  What better solution than to have the sealer from the same brand as what is going to be on the top coat ?  I would imagine complementing chemical composition between the base coat and top coats.

Types of Paint

Sealers (Base Coat)

Let’s start with sealer first since the unseen layer of base coat is the most important layer in fact.  Contrary to what most of us thought, the white wash in our new home is in fact a lower quality cheap commercial mass-produced paint for a thin but wide layer of coverage.  I dislike that it is powdery to the touch (enough of powdery paint!) and might not provide long-lasting paint cohesion with the top coat.

There are two kinds of sealer – base coat paints available by Nippon, meant to target different purposes.  They are generally split into water-based or oil-based.

–>  Nippon Paint Expresskote Sealer (Water-based Interior/Exterior-use Base Coat)  <–

Suitable for both indoor and outdoor uses, I will be using the high performance water-based Expresskote Sealer as a base coat for my entire house right from the indoors to the balcony area.  The adaptability to extend to exterior area helps to cut down on wastage.  Having low level of odour and the ability to dry fast (2 hours only), the Expresskote Sealer boasts of deep penetratrating ability to conceal cracks and smoothing the surface for application of top coat paints.  For the new home without mouldy problem, this sealer is more than adequate as a preparation to the wall surface for a good top coat adhesion.

Nippon Paint Singapore

Nippon Paint Expresskote Sealer is formulated with anti-fungul and algae resistance property, which makes it good enough for general uses at the balcony too.  The paint is also certified environmentally friendly under Singapore Green Labelling Scheme SGL-032 by the Singapore Environmental Council with V.O.C. level less than 50g/L.

Having excellent alkali and efflorescence resistance properties means the sealer has the ability to prevent water-soluble salt in the concrete (or new brick wall) from being dissolved and carried to the wall surface, and remaining there after the water has evaporated.  The remaining salts can push the paint away from the surface and peeling results.

Nippon Paint Expresskote Sealer is recommended for use on cement plaster, precast concrete, cast in-situ concrete, brickwork, hard/soft boards and gypsum boards.

Nippon 5101 Odour-less (Water-based Interior-use Base Coat)

Nippon 5101 Odour-less sealer is strictly for indoor use only.  If there is no need to paint any exterior surfaces, this sealer will work best because it has almost no paint odour during application and drying.  This water-based wall sealer stops liquid water from entering the surface, but allows water vapour out.  It is a breathable product that can be applied to brick, concrete block, stucco or any masonry material.  Drying time takes 2 hours.

Nippon Paint Singapore

Nippon Vinilex 5170 (Oil-based Interior/Exterior-use Base Coat)

For existing home with serious (a.k.a. VERY JIALAT) mould growth or/with musky smell, the oil-based Nippon Vinilex 5170 is the sealer to go for.  Contrary to what was previously thought, there is NO NEED to scrape off the mouldy paint.  Just apply one coat of this directly onto all existing affected walls, let it dry for 5 hours before applying the top coat paint.

nippon-vinilex-5170-can1Able to prevent resurfacing of stain marks on problem substrates, the oil-based wall sealer is excellent in providing the solution to the less-ventilated room.  The paint odour can be quite strong and I would advise children and pregnant mummies to stay away during application and while waiting for it to dry.

Ceiling Paint

–>  Odour-less Anti-Mould Ceiling White  <–

For ceiling painting, there is only one type of paint and it is also the most straightforward selection.  Suitable for all interior ceiling and especially rooms with lesser ventilation, kitchen, bathroom with constant moisture and warmth, yard area where laundry is done, as well as utilities room.  I will be using this Odour-less Anti-Mould Ceiling White paint for my entire house, including living and dining room as well as balcony.

Nippon Paint Singapore

Nippon Paint Odour-less Anti-Mould Ceiling White is an environmentally favourable green product formulated with anti-mould properties with a broad spectrum protection against most species of mould.  It is non-toxic and does not contain lead, mercury and heavy metals.

Exterior Paint (Top Coat)

For my current home, we have specified exterior paint types for our super large balcony.  The Managing Agent (MA) does not allow tiling the walls (and frankly, who will tile up balcony walls nowadays?) as it will affect the facade.  Given my large balcony, it is also going to cost about $3k (labour only!) just to tile up the walls even if MA approves.

Nippon has three different types of exterior paint which caters to different needs and level of exposure to the elements of weather.  I will highlight the uses of two types which I feel is useful base on my current problem and future usage pattern.

Weatherbond Algaeguard (Top Coat)

Nippon Weatherbond Algaeguard has a ultimate resistance to fungal and algae growth.  An enhancement to Nippon Weatherbond paint, it is catered for both landed properties and wall spaces used for gardening.  Engineered with anti-streak marks property, it takes away the ugly look from the facade of landed property and exterior walls compared to the Weatherbond range.  The low sheen finish also gives the wall a constant “freshly painted” look compared to a wall with matte-finishing.

Nippon Paint Singapore

Given the current condition of my balcony, I would have to use the Weatherbond Algaeguard to address the problem.  But not now anymore, I’ll be shifting in a few months’ time.

–>  Weatherbond (Top Coat)  <–

Typically used for normal exterior use, the Nippon Weatherbond paint is a water-based high performance paint of choice for exterior walls.  With excellent resistance to dirt, water, akali chemicals and peeling, the tough and durable protective top coat guards against fading and chalking and at the same time has anti-fungal and algae property which is good for the balcony at my new house.

Nippon Paint Singapore

I am also assured to know that there is no lead or mercury in the paint constitution because my kids will continue to play in the balcony when we shift over.


Interior Paint (Top Coat)

Now comes the most interesting and exciting part in receiving a new house, that is, the colour selection for all the different parts of the house!  Together with the kids, we have been poring over Nippon Paint Catalogue over and over again.  There seems to be a nicer shade of colour each time we flipped the pages.  Today we fell in love with shades of blue, tomorrow we choose green.  Having had a colourful house for 12 years, my hubby and I have decided to leave our house in neutral or white-based colours now.

However we allowed the kids to choose their room colour.  Wan Ting from Nippon Paint Singapore assisted the kids to select the proper shade here because kids tend to go for brighter and more outstanding shades of colours.  After all, it will be the first time they will have their own room and will sleep in their own bed.  We have been sharing our King-sized bed with the kids since the day they were born.  It’s been 9 years and honestly, I can’t bear the thought of not having two warm buttocks snuggling up against me at night anymore.

Do they look enthusiastic choosing their own colours?? I suspect not, for a simple reason of anticipating not having mama sleeping next to them anymore when we shift over.

Nippon has so many types of interior top coat paints in the catalogue!  Have you ever been confused and unsure which type to use?  I took the opportunity to shoot my questions because frankly, I thought Premium All-In-1 is the best.  It has everything!  Yes?  Not really, because the chemical ingredients come in different proportions for same same but different paint types.  They each target specifically a problem.  Hence the call for ultra-premium range of paints to suit differing needs.  Here below, I have shortlisted the two Grade A paint types according to their uses which I find will be great for homes with young children.

–>  Grade A Paint : Nippon Odour-less EasyWash (Top Coat)  <–

The newest kid on the paint block with Nippon Odour-less EasyWash formula that is TWO TIMES easier to clean than the conventional washable interior paint.  Formulated with Teflon(R) surface protector, this is the perfect paint to go for if there are young children at home.  It makes cleaning up a breeze.  Earlier I mentioned how I loved my washable painted walls in my current home.  There were not even blue tack stains after years of sticking on it.

Nippon Paint Singapore

Base on my experience, unless something knocked into the wall with such force that causes the paint to chip off, I just need to use a very diluted soapy solution to wash away stains and dirt.  It is as easy as diluting 1-2 drops of dishwashing liquid into 0.5L of water.  I used a soft sponge pad to gently clean off dirt as well.  Below video is a simple demo showing how I cleaned off the ink-mark on my wall in the current home.  Easy peasy!

The ultra-premium Nippon Odour-less EasyWash paint is a big step up from the original Nippon Easy Wash with Teflon(R).  Like the latter, it is capable of an elegant low sheen finish that can give the walla a constant fresh look that appears to be as new as Day 1.  The original colour does not seem to fade or chalk at all hence eliminating the aged look after many years.  The paint has near zero VOCs meaning there is literally no solvents being released into the air during painting and while drying.  VOCs can cause headache and giddiness in some people and pregnant mummies and kids best stay away if such a paint is used.  Rest assured that the non-toxic paint also has no lead or mercury added so it is safe for all young and old.

An improvement from the original in being twice more washable now, the Nippon Odour-less EasyWash also boasts of maximum coverage for every litre.  Out of all the different paint types, it can cover 13m2 for every litre of paint, with the other types at a range of 6-12m2.  Comparatively, the higher paint cost is also money saved in the long run because of the extra mileage it can cover.  As per all top coat paints, two coats of paint is generally required to complete the final finished look.  For dark colours, a total of three or four coats may be required.  Unless you are turning your home into a caveman-themed home, we don’t need to look at so many paint coats.  :)

The typical Easy Wash with Teflon(R) paint comes with a low amount of odour.  Comparatively, the Odour-less EasyWash has been tested to have literally zero level of odour.  For my new home, I have requested for the newest Odour-less EasyWash formula for all the interior walls.  It’s just like buying insurance for my walls for the next decade and I really love the idea of this.

Grade A Paint : Nippon Odour-less Medifresh (Top Coat)

For homes with low cross-wind ventilation and especially if there are infants and young children around, the Nippon Odour-less Medifresh paint is a good option to consider.  The ultra-premium upgrade from 3In1 Medifresh has been formulated with anti-bacterial properties to tackle commonly known bacteria types effectively, the little ones can be assured of a hygienic environment that cuts down greatly on harmful causes of sickness.  Harmful common bacteria such as MRSA, E-Coli and Staphylococcus Aureus are specially mentioned in the paint specifications.


I recommended my sister to paint her nursery room with this paint as she is currently in the midst of converting her spare room into a nursery in anticipation of my little niece’s arrival next month.  Due to prolonged minimal usage of the room, she seldom opens the window for airing.  It is only now when she needed to reconfigure that room that she realized that mould has over the years, creeped into her walls and plastered cabinet walls too.

As mentioned earlier under Sealers, Nippon has advised her to use Vinilex 517 oil-based sealer to paint over the existing walls.  The sealer will stink and she is advised to stay away from her house for the duration of works until Nippon finishes their work.  The advantage is that she does not need to spend extra money to scrape off the existing mouldy wall paint or end up with a very messy/dirty house.

On top of the usual properties having almost no paint odour, ultra low level of VOCs, non-toxic without lead, mercury and heavy metals added, the Odour-less Medifresh Paint boasts of excellent fungus and mould resistance and having a 5-year warranty to it.  Given the excellent paint quality, I would recommend all childcare centres, family clinics and healthcare centres to use this paint.

The Odour-less Medifresh has a Teflon(R) Surface Protector property, appears in a soft matt finish and is also washable.

Colour Consultation

I have mentioned about the various types of paint that had initially confused me over their usage.  I’m glad that now I am in a better position to share what I have learnt about paint over the past month.  The paints highlighted with double arrows –> <– are the ones that will be applied at my new home.  I will be sharing more information on them in the next two posts.

Here below, is a site plan of how we finalized our painting schedule with Nippon Paint Professionals.  Under their guidance, we successfully decided on the specific colours from the range of different shades available in the entire catalogue.  Every colour sample in the paint catalogue can be formulated into the various desired type of paint.  For example, if my kids were smaller, I would have been able to request for exact same shade in Odour-less Medifresh for their rooms while maintaining the other parts of the house in Odour-less EasyWash paint.  It is only now then I come to understand this simple process as I earlier thought that each specific paint type is only available in selected shades.  How wrong and confused I was!

As a summary from the above site plan, I will be having the following paint colours in my new home :-

Sealer (Base Coat) : Nippon Expresskote (water-based) for both interior and balcony (considered as exterior) of the house

Ceiling : Nippon Odour-less Anti-Mould Ceiling White

Exterior (Top Coat) : Nippon Weatherbond (water-based) in Linen White BS10B15 for the balcony as it is exposed to rain.  It is a very light warm beige colour that softens the look of the balcony compared to the existing stark white paint.

Exterior Paint (Balcony) - Linen White BS 10B15

Interior (Top Coat) : Nippon Odour-less EasyWash for all interior wall surfaces.

Living Room + Bedroom Walkway in a super light neutral shade of grey.  My hubby fell in love with this colour from a photo in the Nippon catalogue and so we are going with Remembrance NP OW1053P.

Remembrance NP OW1053P (Living n BR Walkway)

Interior Paint (Living n BR Walkway) - Remembrance NP OW1053P - sample

Photo extracted from Nippon Paint Online Catalogue

Study Room in a refreshing gentle green that lifts the mind and protects the eyes!  We chose Mint Scent NP OW1066P.

Interior Paint (Study Room) - Mint Scent NP OW1066P

Master Room – Lilac White 1138, the classic for our bedroom.

Interior Paint (MBR) - Lilac White 1138

The children have selected brighter and deeper shades of green and blue for their respective rooms.

Lush and Founder Blue - not selected

Thankfully they were not super insistent and agreed to the recommendations (below) suggested by Nippon Paint Professionals, Alan.  The highlight colour for their rooms will only be a very small portion and hence even though the Green Rhythm and Winning Streak looks dark compared to the white-based Blue Swirl, Alan assured us that the colours will complement each other well and will turn out fine.

Bedroom 1 (Jiejie’s) – Blue Swirl NP OW1068P paired with Green Rhythm NP BGG1606P

Interior Paint (Jiejie) - Blue Swirl NP OW1068P n Green Rhythm NP BGG1606P

Bedroom 2 (Didi’s) – Blue Swirl NP OW1068P, Winning Streak NP BGG1566P

Interior Paint (Didi) - Blue Swirl NP OW1068P n Winning Streak NP BGG1566P

I plucked the colour sample from Nippon’s website available in PDF format. It may appear differently on your screen due to display specifications of your device.  It did vary a little on my screen compared to the actual catalogue.  For better visual, it is best that you request for a copy of catalogue sent to your preferred address via normal post.  I received my copy in the letterbox within a week.

Moving forward, I will be posting about the actual process of painting works when it starts in a few days’ time.

Thank you for reading this post and joining us on SAys! Happy Mums.  If you enjoy reading our blog, please follow us on Facebook for the latest updates.  We hope to see you back again soon.

~ SAys! Shirley ❤

I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to experience the Nippon Painting Services package.  We were not remunerated monetarily for the review, all opinions and experiences remain our own alone.  Photographs unless otherwise stated are copyright of  Nippon Paint Singapore.  All other photos remain the copyright property of SAys! Happy Mums and may not be reproduced without prior notice or written permission given.