Home Improvement Projects Even the DIY Challenged Can Conquer
In my experience, it just doesn’t matter how thorough a do-it-yourself tutorial appears to be. There’s usually a part of the process when I’m committed to taking on the project myself and am several steps along when all of a sudden the instructions seem to have skipped a critical step.
How did they make this look like that? Should I have known to do that first? Wait, what?
If this sounds all too familiar, you’re not alone. Here are a couple of projects simple enough that even the DIY challenged like me can successfully complete them.
Though perhaps not the most exciting project, updating your home with a fresh coat of paint is an easy, affordable way to bring new life to a space. This budget-friendly update can really pack a punch. Plus, it has the added bonus of doubling as an arm workout. Before dipping into the paintcan, be sure you’re starting with a clean surface and that you finish any necessary sanding and priming before getting started to achieve the best results.
One of my favorite ways to update the home with paint is to make a bold, hello-world statement by transforming the front door with a bright color. I started noticing the bright door trend shortly after moving to Charlotte several years ago and it quickly became one of my favorite things about Queen City homes. For me, one of the main benefits of a colorful door is that it can make a home that otherwise looks like every other home on the block really standout.
This home facelift is a relatively quick and easy change to make, so while a bright purple door is not for everyone, it’s not a permanent change that will turn potential buyers away if and when you decide to sell. As I like to say, it’s only permanent if you choose to make it permanent. Just make sure to properly prep before getting started.
Painting cabinets can require a greater time commitment and level of patience because of the corners and crevices involved. However, it can revive even the most tired and dated looking cabinets. And most of us have numerous makeover candidates — kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, built-ins, etc. Just be sure to clean the surface and cover countertops, as well as other nearby surfaces to prevent unintended drips.
A few paint brush strokes can bring outdated furniture into 2017 or help mismatched pieces find their place as the design of your home evolves. Simply changing the color of a side table or dresser can make a room look completely different. Of course, the approach depends on the material of the furniture, as well as its current condition. It may be necessary to do some light sanding or priming. Furniture material can also impact paint selection as different materials can require different types of paint. With this in mind, I find that repainting solid wood furniture pieces are usually the easiest projects to tackle.
Think of this as a statement piece for your home. Accent walls help accentuate or highlight the things you love about home sweet home. Maybe you’re fond of the charm an older fireplace gives the place, or the sophistication of built-in shelving in the living room. No matter what feature you adore, it’s easy to put it front and center with the help of an accent wall.
For example, painting the wall surrounding a fireplace or a sizable built-in acts as a frame. This not only creates a focal point, but also adds drama, drawing the eye in. It’s also a great way to add a pop of color without committing to an entire room, which can be overwhelming. Here are a few specific ideas to take your accent wall to the next level:
- Inspire creativity with a chalk paint accent wall. Pick a wall in the office, kitchen, or kid’s room and let the list making and chalk drawings begin. Bonus: no more worrying about unwanted drawings on the wall!
- Artistic? Go big with artwork. Try using a blank wall as a canvas for a mural.
- Put a unique spin on solid color walls by using precut stencils or painters tape to incorporate geometric designs and shapes.
Chrysmo Tip: Not sure which color to choose? Try a few out! Buy samples of paint to test on a small area before committing to an entire room or wall. You can purchase smaller sample size cans, usually 8 to 16 ounces, from most paint retailers. You can also use the Sherman Williams ColorSnap Visualizer tool, which allows you to upload pictures of your space to try on different colors. This can help save you a lot of time, money, and effort in the long-run.
Install New Hardware
Perhaps the fastest way to reinvigorate your furniture and your home is to swap outdated hardware for something more modern. Depending on your ambitions, small-scale projects like this will likely only require a screwdriver and possibly a drill if adding new holes. Otherwise, just make sure that you replace the old hardware with something that’s the same size.
Dressers and Nightstands
For those that want to dress up furniture with something a little out of the ordinary, consider skipping big box retailers. Some of my favorite stores for unique pieces are World Market, the HomeGoods Store (think TJ Maxx and Marshalls), and Tuesday Morning. All of these stores offer interesting options at incredibly affordable prices. It’s worth noting though that because these stores are not like typical retailers, their inventory differs from store to store and from day to day. Be sure to purchase items you love when you find them because chances are they won’t be there for long.
Just like furniture drawers, swapping out the hardware on cabinet doors can create noticeable impact with very little time and money. A great place to start when shopping for new knobs and handles are local hardware stores. You can support local business, while also shop products that more likely reflect regional design preferences. A popular Charlotte favorite for all things home related is Blackhawk Hardware, which offers more than 7,000 options when it comes to hardware for your doors and cabinets. With that many styles, you are bound to find something you love.
Chrysmo Tip: If you’re not quite ready to commit to new hardware or want to see what it looks like before busting out the drill, try using putty to temporarily adhere the hardware. This way you can get a better idea about what the hardware will look like and decide on spacing.
Repairing holes in the wall is likely the trickiest project on this list, which is why in the past I resorted to the art of camouflage for last-minute fixes.
Hole in the wall.
No hole in the wall.
Grab a coat from the closet and voila! I’ve even had friends strategically relocate picture frames to get the job done. However, if you’re looking for a more long-term solution that, you know, actually fixes the hole, an easy drywall repair job will do the trick. Repairing drywall requires a few specialized resources. At a minimum, you’ll need: self-adhesive a drywall patch, drywall compound, drywall knife, and sandpaper. Keep in mind that small holes (think 6 inches or less) are the easiest to repair if you have limited DIY experience, though repairing medium to large drywall holes is doable with the guidance of home improvement pros through the Chrysmo app.
Chrysmo Tip: Avoid unnecessary holes from picture frames and wall decor by using adhesive alternatives like Ooks Picture Hangers or 3M Command Hooks. These are especially useful if you’re renting or leasing, frequently change wall art, etc.
Regardless of your skill level or budget, home improvement is possible. Small updates can yield big results! The best part? Chrysmo lets even the most DIY challenged take on projects around the home with confidence that your efforts won’t land on a “Pinterest Fails” page. No matter which project you decide on, our pros have your back, offering personalized assistance by live chat whenever you get stuck. Happy DIYing, Charlotte!
What other simple home improvement projects would you suggest for the DIY challenged like me?
Originally published at chrysmo.com on June 7, 2017.