DIY projects can be a lot of fun. But how do you determine the best ones for your home and budget?
For those who own homes, the experience is likely rewarding and at the same time can also at times be overwhelming. Like people, homes age and when they do, aspects of that home will need some TLC. Things will inevitably need to be upgraded or replaced altogether and this can be a costly venture. Even the simplest of projects can run anywhere from a couple hundred dollars into the thousands. For this reason many choose to do DIY projects, or do-it-yourself projects because it can save a lot of money. Others choose the DIY route simply because of the satisfaction and rewarding feeling that comes with starting and completing a project by their own hands. Whatever your reason, there are plenty of these projects that homeowners can do, even if they only have minimal skills and experience.
Painting DIY Projects
Painting is probably the most popular of DIY projects because the savings are remarkable in comparison to hiring a professional to do it and it’s also a project that doesn’t take an absorbent amount of time from start to finish.
Putting a fresh coat (or couple coats) of paint is one of the most inexpensive ways to give an old room a new look. There are various types of interior paints available on the market and the type one uses will be dictated by both the specific room they are painting and on a lower scale, preference. Some of the most popular types of paint include gloss, matte, drip-less and textured.
High-gloss paints: High-gloss paints have more resin in the ingredients which means the paint surface will be harder and more durable. These paints are best used in areas such as kitchens and bathrooms and are also a good choice for windows and trimming. High-gloss paints also provide the most attractive surfaces as far as aesthetics.
Latex paints: These are thinner paints and also dry very quickly. Because they contain water already, they are also the easiest of all paints to clean with a damp sponge and water so many people use this type of paint in high traffic areas and who have younger children or pets. It is a bit more expensive but usually worth it.
Textured paints: This kind of paint is sold in either flat-finish latex or alkyd formulations and is great for those who are looking for an art-deco appearance like stucco. Many of them have granules in them already and some require you to add them yourself. This paint is thicker in density and although it looks great, it can be a hassle to cover up because of the grainy texture.
Furniture DIY Projects
Because furniture comes with a high price tag, many people are now giving older furniture a face-lift by painting it. This can be a very rewarding DIY project. The vintage look is now also very popular and painting crackled furniture in vintage colors is also on the rise. There are several types of paints that can be used for furniture painting.
Oil enamel: This is great paint if you want a glossy and smooth surface and it goes on easily. Many love the porcelain look that it provides and it is relatively inexpensive.
To use this paint it is recommended that you first sand down the furniture with sand or grit paper (number 150 or thereabout) and then once the surface is smooth, vacuum the area and furniture well so the particles don’t interfere with your painting job.
Next, give the furniture a coat of alkyd oil-based primer in a color that will match the paint color you are using and let it dry completely. If the furniture has imperfections or divots it is also recommended to use Bondo adhesive to smooth out the surfaces before painting.
There are also some great spray paints that can be found in home improvement stores for furniture. Most choose a high-gloss product and if you put a coat of primer on first, it will dull some of the sheen. Stand about 6-12 inches from the piece and spray a thin coat across the entire piece. You can sand the furniture first but this is a matter of preference. Some like the imperfect look while others want a smooth finish. You may need a couple of coats, particularly if you are painting plastic furniture. For plastic furniture be sure the paint you select specifically states that it is for plastic furniture.
Mini-Upgrades to Rooms DIY Projects
Prices of appliances have come down a lot and this is good news for do-it-yourself enthusiasts! Consider this DIY project to give your kitchen or bathroom a new look for much less than in the past. Home improvement stores can be a great source for finding ideal DIY projects for your home. For example, they have a lot of granite tops for sinks and vanities for under $400.00 (some even as low as $140.00). While ordering your new counter top you can also purchase a new faucet and pretty mirror for next to nothing. If you really want to go all out, put a fresh coat of paint on the walls before you install the vanity and faucet for a fresh, new look. A good shopper can redo an entire bathroom for about $500.00 or less.
So there you have it…I hope this has given you some great ideas for choosing your next DIY projects!