Do it yourself home projects
Turn your house into a home by decorating and renovating every room in your style. With a little inspiration, you can create a professional look without the expense of contracting someone else.
Check out our blog post: House Renovation Costs (And a Handy Home Renovation Guide)
Whatever your skills and experience, you can use these do it yourself home projects as starting points to transform your living space. Need some inspiration? Check out some of the web's best home improvement blogs!
Tips for Painting
A fresh coat of paint on the walls will instantly change the entire appearance of a room.
However, before you can start painting, you need to know the correct technique — there’s much more to painting than just grabbing a bucket of paint and coating the walls.
Choose a colour
The right colour for you will come down to personal taste; however, some colours are especially versatile and attractive, and also create a certain mood. Home Depot have a great app to help you decide! Android | Apple
You may like to consider:
Sky blue. Bring a sense of calm to any setting. Ideal for bedrooms, living rooms, and anywhere else you go to relax.
Mellow green. Adding warmth to a frequently used room, this colour pairs well with white furniture and accents.
Vivid red. Avoid the colour from becoming overpowering by limiting such a bold tone to a single accent wall.
Neutral colours. If you want neutral walls, instead of white or even cream, opt for brown, beige, gray, or something in between. This will bring life to your space while complementing a range of other tones, both neutrals and bolds.
Sand the walls
Before you start to paint, you need to create a smooth surface. Sanding the walls will remove any irregularities, burrs, and rough spots and will flatten ridges, such as around nail holes. Using fine grit sanding paper on a sanding pole will save your back and make it easier to reach all the way up to the ceiling. Begin at the base of the wall and work up, moving horizontally. Be gentle with the sanding pole — this task requires patience to avoid damage to the wall. To sand crevices, use a sanding sponge instead of a pole.
Use joint compound and primer
Holes and cracks need filling with joint compound. Before you can paint over the compound, you’ll need to prime the walls to prevent dull patches. Opt for a tinted primer rather than white, such as gray or a colour similar to the final paint. This will better mask the current paint on the walls and limit the coats of paint you’ll need, particularly for vibrant colours.
Clean your walls
Dirty or greasy walls in a kitchen, entryway, or outdoor room need cleaning with a degreaser to ensure paint sticks.
Protect baseboards and floors
You probably already know that the best method for protecting baseboards is to apply tape. However, there may be some things you didn’t know. Firstly, it is essential you press the tape down with a putty knife to avoid colour bleeding through and ruining the wood. Secondly, use painter’s tape rather than masking tape. Even if you leave it on for days, it will peel off after you’ve finished without leaving a residue.
For the floor, use canvas drop cloths. Thin bed sheets are insufficient to protect flooring and plastic will spread paint around your house. Canvas drop cloths, in contrast, absorb small quantities of paint without allowing any to bleed through and prevent accidents from slips.
A drop cloth should be large enough for you to move along the entire wall without making contact with the flooring.
Finally, you have the windows. When painting sashes, there’s no need to tape the glass. Save time and effort by scraping off dry paint with a razor blade.
Mix your paint
Paint sometimes differs in colour from can to can. Even a slight difference in tone will be glaringly obvious once the paint meets your walls. Before you start painting, mix all your cans together — this is called boxing.
You should also mix in some paint extender to slow drying time. This may sound counterproductive, but it will give you time to finish an entire wall without any area drying and causing lap marks. Paint extender also prevents brush strokes for a smoother appearance.
Wash your rollers
No matter the quality of your roller covers, wash them with water and a little soap before first use. This will remove loose fibers, which otherwise could mix into your paint and add a layer of fuzz to the walls.
Cope with textured ceilings
If your ceilings are textured, run a screwdriver along the space where the ceiling meets the wall to create a ridge. This will allow you to paint in a straight line along the wall.
Do It Yourself Home Projects to Refresh Your Furniture
It is expensive to replace furniture, especially if you have kids or pets in the home and damage happens frequently. Plus, if you’ve owned furniture for many years, you may feel a great attachment to your current collection. A better option than throwing out pieces is to refresh furniture to better match your style and current fashions.
You can reupholster practically any fabric chair or couch, including office chairs and folding chairs. This is ideal if fabric is worn, patterns are outdated, or you want to change the colour to better match your room — for instance, if you’ve just repainted.
A fast way to add bright colours to your home, spray paint works on a variety of furniture and various materials, including wood, metal, and plastic. You can even find spray paint in metallic tones for a sophisticated appearance. Practice with something small first, such as a mirror frame, lamp, or vase, before updating a larger piece, like a desk or table.
Use wallpaper on more than just your walls. An attractive pattern can add character to a boring piece of furniture like a basic wood table, the back of a bookshelf, or the inside of cabinet drawers.
Stencils and decals
Inexpensive and fast to apply, stencils and decals allow you to add a design you love to your furniture. In addition to coffee tables and chests of drawers, you can use both on walls and use decals on windows.
Rather than replacing furniture that is old-fashioned or damaged, change some of the hardware. You can remove the legs from a couch, a coffee table, or dining chairs, and the handles or knobs from doors, cabinets, and closets for more stylish designs.
Do It Yourself Home Projects for Every Room
Need some inspiration about where to begin? Here are some do it yourself home projects for every room in the house.
By creating an upholstered headboard, you increase comfort and style in the bedroom. All you need to make one is around 20 squares of wood, a backboard, some fabric, and polyester fiberfill.
Cut squares of fabric slightly larger than the squares of wood. Staple the fabric down, stuffing a little polyester fiberfill inside as you go. Once you’ve formed all the squares, glue them to the backboard. As the headboard is made up of different squares of fabric, you can use the same material for each or use a variety of fabrics for a patchwork look.
To avoid clutter building up in your kids’ bedrooms, you need to come up with some creative storage solutions. A few ideas to consider include:
Using a hanging shoe rack for toys. Customize the pockets to complement the room or to match your kids’ interests.
Repurposing old crates from your local lumber yard. These make great toy boxes and add a rustic look to the room.
Creating a swing or hammock for stuffed animals — take advantage of all the space a room has to offer.
Stacking and gluing toilet paper rolls is ideal for small toys like matchbox cars. Plus, the rolls are super easy to decorate and colour.
A quick and simple way to change the appearance of your kitchen while keeping appliances in place and intact is to switch the backsplash. Some inexpensive solutions you can install yourself are much more interesting than regular tiles:
A pegboard. The best thing about this option is the holes. Push in hooks to hang utensils and other equipment from the wall, freeing up space on countertops and in cabinets.
Vinyl. Find a vinyl tablecloth with a design that complements your kitchen. It will add colour and activity to your wall.
Mirrors. Increase natural light in your kitchen and enhance the sense of space with mirrored tiles.
The biggest challenge most people face in decorating the bathroom is finding space for the numerous bottles, towels, and other personal care items. These do it yourself home projects will help you create original and useful storage solutions:
Make the most of space by hanging baskets with their bases against the wall. You can fit dividers inside each basket to keep items organized.
Hang more baskets off your towel rails. This instantly creates additional storage space, allowing you to fit far more than a single towel on each rail.
Install a ledge just above the sink. If you have space, below the ledge, you can fit pegs to hang towels.
Repurpose old coffee cans by gluing twine around the canisters. The result: attractive containers to hold a number of small items.
Give every family member space for essentials. Paint wooden boxes in different colours, personalize with the person’s name, and attach the containers to the wall.
Although wallpaper may appear old fashioned or extravagant in some areas of the home, this is rarely the case for a dining room. Whatever your style, wallpaper can help you express yourself. If you want to try something bold, apply wallpaper in a vibrant colour or striking pattern to just one wall. To be very original, consider wallpapering the ceiling — this will give you the chance to experiment with deep tones and textures.
If you’re lucky enough to have a home with a fireplace (whether functioning or not), you have the opportunity to create a beautiful centrepiece in your living room. Here are some do it yourself home projects to upgrade your mantel and fireplace:
Repaint. If you’ll be using the fireplace, rather than classic white opt for a darker tone to avoid constant stains from smoke and soot. One option is to paint the fireplace one colour but the mantel another.
Keep the fireplace filled year round. Rather than allowing your fireplace to become empty when not it use, fill it with pine cones or a stack of false logs.
Use your fireplace as a display case. The mantel is not the only place where you can exhibit your most prized possessions. Show off books, artwork, or other objects by placing them inside the cleaned fireplace.
Change the tiles. If you’d prefer to move away from traditional decor, replace the tiles in your fireplace with some in a more modern style.
Make a great impression before visitors even enter your home by focusing on your curb appeal. This is especially important if you’re planning on selling your home. Consider some of these do it yourself home projects:
Install a new mailbox and house numbers. You’ll be amazed how such small features can make such a big difference.
Change your outdoor lighting. This will maintain your curb appeal in the evenings, especially in the winter when days are short.
Paint the front door. Put your painting skills to practice and add some colour to the front of your home.
Rent or borrow a pressure washing and give your home a good shower. You’ll be amazed how much better it looks.
Do It Yourself Home Projects for the Backyard
At many homes, the backyard sits ignored for most of the year. Maybe all you need is a reason to step outside. These do it yourself home projects will transform your yard and give you the push to spend more time outdoors.
Start a container garden
A container garden is the perfect solution to limited space, poor soil quality, or a lack of time. Plus, you can bring your plants indoors when weather conditions threaten to kill them in the winter.
Create an outdoor room
Any backyard with a terrace can have an outdoor room. All you need is a few basic pieces of outdoor furniture and a table, which you can even create yourself with a large bucket and piece of wood. Hang a canopy using a canvas or budget curtains for shade from the sun.
For a temporary outdoor space, bring some large pillows out to the lawn. Hang a white sheet in front of a projector and you can have an outdoor movie night.
Install a swing
No backyard is complete without a swing, and homemade swings are the best of all for their authenticity. If you have a tall tree with a robust branch, you can create a swing for your kids and yourself. All you need is some rope (buy more than you think you’ll need), a carabiner to secure the rope to the branch, and either a round piece of wood (for a seat swing) or an old tire.
Make a treehouse
It’s every child’s dream to have a treehouse, but parents are often hesitant to attempt to build one due to the complexity of the project. However, if your yard has a tall tree with no low branches, you can install a platform around the trunk for a basic treehouse.
Nail a few sticks leading up the platform to serve as steps to reach the treehouse and make the setting comfortable with a few pillows and blankets. You’ll have a great hangout spot in your yard for adults and children alike.
Make stepping stones
Make your own stepping stones to add some visual interest to your lawn. Create your own designs in the concrete by using original mold ideas, such as giant leaves or doormats, or by forming patterns in the slabs with hand prints of family members.
Add colour in surprising places
Find ways to infuse a little colour into your yard. This will brighten up the garden in the colder months when many of your plants turn brown and flowers shrivel. For instance, you could paint some of the rocks in your flowerbeds, use latex paint to colour the paving stones of your terrace, or fill holes in the fence with marbles.
Install a fire pit
If you find it’s often too cold to venture outdoors, solve the problem by bringing some warmth outside. Invest in a permanent fire pit by building one from bricks or create a removable fire pit in a metal planter with a mesh over the top.
BigSteelBox | Residential Storage
While you embark on these do it yourself home projects, keep your possessions out of harm’s way by putting items into storage. Contact BigSteelBox at 1-800-373-1187 to find out more about our moving and storage solutions or request a quote online.
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