5 DIY Home Improvement Hacks You'd Never Believe

Do it yourself home improvement 

DIY projects are all about becoming a more creative and inventive version of your regular desk mounted self. Oh, sure, during the week you’re Bob from Accounting, but on the weekend? That’s when you transform into Bob the Resourceful DIY Guy. This article is for all the Bobs (and Bobbies) out there, because these home improvement hacks will blow your mind.

Fixing for Fun or Fixing for Sale?

Before delving into the world of DIY hacks, keep in mind that everything you do to your home can affect its value and your future ability to get a home equity loan or sell that house to someone else. With that in mind, also remember that as long as you’re not messing with the structure of your home, there’s not much you can do that can’t be undone. Hammers up: it’s time for home improvement!

Add Some Glitz and Glam to Your Kitchen

Old houses have old kitchens and old kitchens have a lot of old cabinet hardware. If your kitchen dates to the glory days of bell bottoms (or worse, of hairspray and feathered dos), you can totally remake your kitchen without replacing anything but the hardware. Take a gander online or a stroll through your favorite home improvement store to check out your options, then choose cabinet hardware that better appeals to your personal aesthetic.

It’s a good plan to take a sample of the hardware with you, so you can be sure the screws are going to line up in the same place for the new hardware as they did for the old. A lot of people make that frustrating mistake and end up working way harder than they need to.

While you have the cabinets pulled off, you might want to rough up the cabinet surface and give it a few coats of paint, too. White is a great color for kitchen cabinets, since it helps light bounce all around the room and looks clean and fresh.

Remember, you can use this hack anywhere in your house, including the bathroom and those built-ins in the hallway, and it applies doubly to those groovy light fixtures that barely put out any light. Just make sure to flip the breaker before you change out any lighting.\

Update the Backsplash Without Cutting Any Tile

Admittedly, this genius idea came from the big bulging brains at TwoFeetFirst.com, but it’s too good not to share. If your kitchen features a laminate backsplash (or really anything that’s easy to take down without making a big mess), this hack is for you. Once you have that old backsplash removed and the wall is sanded smooth, why not paint on a subway tile pattern instead of going through the headache of actually tiling a new backsplash?

All you need is the primer, paint, thin tape, some cardboard for a template and a pencil. A complete guide to this project is here, but we’ll run over the basics.

  1. Primer the wall.

  2. Cut your tape down to the width of your grout line (simulated tile grout!), or choose an easy-to-remove tape that’s pre-cut to width.

  3. Measure and mark your grout lines on the wall (or just paint the whole wall with your grout color). Let it dry really well.

  4. Using your template, tape over where the grout lines should be. Make sure that you don’t overlap anything that should be the main tile color.

  5. Grab a small foam roller and paint your tile color over the tape lines and everything else. A semi-gloss or high gloss paint is recommended. One that’s scrubbable is even better. Lay down a couple of good coats of paint and let it dry.

  6. Carefully pull the tape and toss it in the trash.

Make Your Own Wallpaper

If you really liked geometry in school, this is your chance to do something either amazing or obscene, depending on who you ask. Wallpaper is so 1982, but wall art with washi tape is totally 2018. This stuff is everywhere, you can find it in basically any color or design you want and it’ll stick to the wall like a champ.

That’s why so many people are taking to the craft store to buy washi tape in cases and then spending long hours calculating angles and drawing lines to bring washi wallpaper to life. It can be a mathematical way to spend a long weekend, if that’s your thing. The end results are pretty amazing, but keep in mind that washi tape is not the same as wallpaper, so it may well peel off after exposure to moisture or as a result of aging.

Apparently, you can also use washi tape on flat-faced doors to make them a lot more interesting. Is there anywhere you can’t stick this stuff?

Fancy a Wall Treatment?

There was a time, long, long ago, when wall treatments said that the owner of that house was doing pretty OK in life. Today, you don’t really see things like wainscoting all that often, and it’s such a sad thing, really. It turns out that you can just make your own out of some basic, inexpensive boards, nothing fancy, paint it all and it looks as good as the real deal.

Take care when trying this one at home, though. A Pinterest fail at this level could be mighty epic and expensive to do again. Remember, measure twice and cut once. Not the other way around.

ChrisLovesJulia.com has a really good tutorial on how to do this properly. Although it looks like an epic task, the bark is a bit worse than its bite. You can think of your wainscoting project as a great big jigsaw puzzle that you cut as you go and also it’s on your wall.

Shiplap: A Day at the Beach

Another cool wall treatment that’s raising some eyebrows is shiplap. For fans of this wooden wall treatment, it takes them back to the beach where they spent the best years of their lives, or to the old boathouse out back at very least. Shiplap is surprisingly easy to mimic with some cut down plywood strips, a gaping tool (they used a nickle in the tutorial), nails or screws, wood glue and paint.

There are a lot of steps to this one, so we’ll let The DIY Playbook explain how to make it work. Like the wainscoting, it’s a tedious slog, but once you’re done -- man, oh, man -- what a difference!

Now, How Will You Pay for That Project?

If you’ve owned your house a while or you’re in an area where real estate values are really improving, you may be able to finance your home improvement projects and hacks with a HELOC or home equity loan. Just because you can do it on a shoestring budget doesn’t mean you have to -- contact us here at Home.Loans and we’ll show you just how easy it can be to finance the next project.