Chances are, you’ve recently had to grapple with the reality of quarantine, or at least spending more time at home, and are wondering how to make the best use of this time. One of our favourite solutions for boredom is to get into a renovation project.
This is a guest post from Caitlin Sharp of DIY website and blog The Saw Guy.
There are always things around the home that need repairs or sprucing up, and seeing as you have the time now, why not get it done? If you love DIY as much as we do, check out our top 10 affordable renovation projects that you can start (and complete) during lockdown.
#1: Tackle Small Tasks First
Hardware stores are reporting that they’re selling plenty of spackle, paints, brushes and nails during quarantine. People are clearly addressing their smallest, most urgent renovation tasks first. This is definitely a good place to start.
Have a hole in the wall that needs fixing, or a door in desperate need of sandpapering and varnish? Quarantine is your excuse to get it done and out of the way before you move onto bigger projects. If you are intimidated by your long list of renovation projects that you want to tackle, we recommend starting with the simplest things. This could be as easy as changing some light bulbs, batteries or hinges!
#2: Redo Your Wallpaper
Is your wallpaper looking a tad outdated or starting to show its age? There’s no better time to take on a big task like wallpaper removal and replacement than now. You can easily rent a wallpaper steamer if you need one, but bear in mind that this task will usually take a few days so plan accordingly.
Start by taking an inventory of each room you want to address and prioritising what needs to be achieved. You can also spend some of your spare time updating your colour schemes, choosing fresh new wallpapers, and collaborating with your family members on the project at hand.
#3: Reupholster Chairs and Sofas
Changing the fabrics on your chairs and sofas is significantly easier than you’d think. It also requires very little fabric, so you might well already have everything you need to do this easy renovation at home. All you will need is your chosen chair, a staple gun, scissors, a screwdriver, upholstery fabric, dust cover fabric and batting (optional). There are plenty of great tutorials available online to help you out.
#4: Spruce Up Your Entrance
Depending on what you have on hand, this project might not cost you a cent. What it will do is add to your home’s appeal and leave a lasting impression on your guests when quarantine ends. This project is very personal, so take some time to think about what you would like to add or change about your entrance.
You can add a welcome mat, paint your door a bright color, arrange flowerpots and plants around your stoop, and even install outdoor lighting. Creating a natural rockery is also a great idea if you have a variety of plants, rocks and stones on hand.
#5: Strip and Stain Wood Surfaces
Unpainted wooden surfaces like cupboard doors and cabinets can start to look lackluster after a while. Stripping them and staining them will significantly improve their look, while also helping to preserve the longevity of the wood.
If working on cabinets, start by removing the doors and wiping them down with mineral spirits to remove dirt and grease. Next, apply a gel stripper and remove it with a plastic putty knife, taking care not to damage the wood. Sand the wood using sandpaper and apply stain in the direction of the wood grain using a disposable sponge or brush. Once the stain has dried completely, seal the finish with polyurethane.
#6: Enhance Your Yard
If you are lucky enough to have a yard, it should be a sanctuary where you can escape from the stresses of quarantine. Lockdown has also provided the ideal chance to fix up your yard and even make a simple outdoor patio in a matter of days. If you have access to flagstone, you can start by creating a simple no-mortar patio. Add potted plants, seating and tables of your choice, and any other decorative accents you like.
#7: Get Out the Paint Cans
If you are like most homeowners, you will likely already have a few spare cans of paint and brushes in your garage. Now is the perfect time to get them out and add a fresh coat of paint to anything in your home that needs one.
Start wherever you would like, be it with the kitchen cupboards, walls, tables and chairs, ceilings or doors. As long as you have the name and code of the exact paint shade you need, you can always order more paint in or buy some after quarantine if necessary.
#8: Add More Space to Your Home
Are you keen to give your patio, veranda or living room a spacious, airy feel? Renovation experts recommend painting the ceilings of these spaces in shades of white or pale sky blue to elongate them and make them appear roomier than they are. To enhance this effect, add drapes that are the same colour as the walls and de-clutter the rooms as much as possible.
#9: Hang Up Artworks
Most people have artworks, paintings and photographs lying around their homes that they would love to display. If this sounds like you, now is the time to hang them up! All you need for this job are some nails or picture hooks and a hammer, along with your art of choice.
If you don’t have any art on hand, rope your family in to making some statement pieces to brighten up your walls. You can add art creation and frame decoration to your list of affordable renovation projects too.
#10: Learn Renovation Skills Online
If you are already well-versed in renovation, you may wish to skip this step. If you are a newbie, we highly recommend picking up some skills online before jumping in. There are so many free resources on the internet that will teach you how to perform pro-level renovations for a fraction of the usual cost. Use as many resources and gain as much knowledge as you can and your projects will almost always prove to be a success.
Feeling inspired? Quarantine may not be easy, but it certainly gives you plenty of opportunity to tackle the renovation projects you’ve always wanted to do.
Have you tackled any renovation projects during quarantine?