DIY Home Improvement Projects

The hammer bangs. The paint brush wasps. The saw grinds. Your hands bring your home vision to life, and you complete projects you thought you could not possibly do by yourself.

Do-it-yourself (DIY) home improvement projects are the ultimate way to put sweat equity into your home. While you may have minimal experience with tools or paint, a little studying and preparation and a lot of determination can update many spaces in your home.

Glean some inspiration from these four do-able DIY home improvement projects to create inspiring, comforting surroundings and to #investinhome.

Update Your Kitchen Cabinets (or Bathroom Vanity or Dressers)

Are your kitchen cabinets looking beat up from years of cooking and rummaging to find a good grind to eat? With some elbow grease, painting cabinets and upgrading knobs is an achievable DIY home improvement.

Grab these tools and materials and get ready for approximately two days to transform your kitchen:

  • Sandpaper
  • Brush
  • Putty knife
  • Screwdriver
  • Bucket
  • Rubber gloves
  • Drill
  • Pencil
  • Masking tape
  • Screws cabinet hardware
  • Trisodium phosphate
  • Paint
  • Water
  • Sponges

Step 1: Remove Hardware

Take your screwdriver or wrench and remove all pulls, knobs, and latches, carefully placing them in bags inside cabinets where they will be easy to find when the painting is complete. Stores like Anthropologie and even thrift stores often have attractive knobs that can update your kitchen’s look, so you might want to consider purchasing new knobs.

Step 2: Clean the Cabinets

Even if your cabinets seem spotless, they most likely have grease and grime from years of cooking. Follow the included instructions to mix trisodium phosphate (TSP) with water. Get on the gloves, wipe down all angles of the cabinets, and then wipe them off with a clean cloth.

Step 3: Sand and Repair any Sightless Spots

If there are any holes or gouges, fill them using the putty knife. Before the wood putty dries, wipe away any excess. After it is dry, use sandpaper to create a smooth, unnoticeable surface.

Use a sanding sponge or a wood sanding block to roughen all the surfaces of the cabinets with fine-grit sandpaper; this will provide the new paint with a clean base for good adhesion. Any worn areas or peeling paint should be sanded until smooth.

Vacuum the sanding dust from the surfaces, and then give them a good wipe to remove any remaining dust.

Step 4: Paint

To maximize durability and ease painting tasks, buy a high-quality semi-gloss latex paint that has the primer already mixed in.

Put down your drop cloth to protect your floor (or big cardboard boxes). Then grab your high-quality brush. Start by painting the inside edges and face frames. After painting the front areas, you can move to the inside of the cabinets, if you desire. It often is easier to remove the drawers and then paint.

Apply paint in thin, light coats, scraping the brush against a surface before painting to remove any excess paint. Allow paint to dry for at least three hours before adding another coat. A third coat is recommended, as kitchen cabinets have a lot of use.

Step 5: Reinstall the Hardware

After the paint has a day to dry, add the knobs back or put in your new, shiny hardware. Then sit back and admire your spruced-up kitchen.

This kitchen project may inspire you to also update your bathroom vanities or dressers! The steps are nearly the same, and these are also do-able home DIY projects.

Paint the Bathroom Tub and Tiles

Does your bright pink tile around your shower make you cringe? If your tile is in good condition but it has a less-than-desirable color scheme, you can paint it with three to four days and attention to detail.

To do this job, buy a pre-packaged tub and tile kit. Rust-Oleum and Homax make these kits, and they are often available in local hardware stores. This kit will give the complete list of necessary supplies and step-by-step instructions to transform a retro bathroom.

The kit will guide you to sand before painting. This is an essential step, as a rough surface will enable the epoxy paint to stick and stay. Also, a spray paint gun will give the best look if you have one available.

While painting tile, it is important to ventilate, ventilate, ventilate. Also wear a mask!

Spruce Up Your Yard with String Lights

When you need a quick escape, you might dream of relaxing in a mini outdoor lounge. If you have a lanai – or even a small backyard – you can transform an outdoor space into a lounge or gathering space.

If you have a roof, fence, or pergola, simply buy globe lights drill some holes for hooks and string them. If you only have an outdoor space, you can follow these low-skill steps to create beautiful potter plants and a string light sanctuary.

Purchase these tools and materials:

  • Planter barrels
  • Four 4x4 posts (Pre-cut at the store to the desired height if possible)
  • Four bags of Quikrete
  • Water
  • Shovel
  • C-hooks
  • String lights
  • Flowers or herbs
  • Potting mix
  • Hand shovel
  • Scrap wood
  • Nails
  • Hammer
  • Drill with drill bit
  • Zip ties

Step 1: Mix Concrete in the Barrel

Empty the Quikrete into the planting barrel, filling it about ½ to ¾ full. Mix the concrete with water and shake the barrel to eliminate air bubbles. To make life easier, have the barrels positioned where you want them to be at the end, so you do not have to move them later (when they are heavier).

Step 2: Insert the Post

Stick the 4x4 post upright into the barrel with the concrete. Then screw scrap wood into the post to hold it tight while the concrete is setting. If needed, add more concrete and water.

Step 3: Fill Barrel with Soil and Plants

After the concrete has cured, add some small rocks to help with the drainage. Then put potting soil on top. Plant herbs, flowers, or other small plants to make a beautiful base.

Step 4: Add Hooks and Hang Lights

At the top of the 4x4 post, drill a hole and insert a C-hook. Hang the string lights from the C-hooks using the zip ties, crisscrossing if desired.

Voila! You have created a beautiful outdoor space to relax and rejuvenate.

Add Peel-and-Stick Wallpaper

Do one-tone walls have you feeling blah? Peel-and-stick wallpaper is a way to add a vibrant burst to any room – without the risk. The wallpaper can be easily removed if you ever want to change the climate of the room again.

Tips for sticker wallpaper include the following:

  • Paper a focal wall or small, low-humidity space, like a closet.
  • Removable wallpaper with a variety of patterns is available on sites like Etsy.
  • Unroll the wallpaper and let it sit for at least an hour to flatten.
  • Measure the space and pre-cut the wallpaper panels with a razor.
  • Start in a top corner.
  • Use a smoothing tool to eliminate air pockets as you apply the paper.
  • Peel the backing away in two to three-foot sections.

Your home is a part of you – and even more so as you apply skills and sweat to complete do-able DIY projects.