If you’re thinking that working full-time is an excuse for hiring professionals to do all the renos around your home, think again. There are plenty of awe-inspiring DIY projects you can complete on your own in just one weekend. We’ve come up with four great ideas, listed the materials you’ll need to pull them off, and even given you a day-by-day plan to make sure you get everything done before Monday morning rolls in. Now all you have to do is get busy!
1. Build a wainscoted wall
Want to give your dining room an injection of personality? The addition of beaded board wainscoting is the answer. It will add a luxe and cozy feeling to any room and you’ll be surprised how easy it is to do yourself.
What You’ll Need
- Beaded board
- Level, measuring tape and chalk
- Quarter-round moulding
- Circular saw
- Construction adhesive
Friday night: Move the furniture into the center of the room and wash the walls. Measure the space and make a diagram showing the length of each wall and the height of the space you’re planning to cover with beaded board. Get a good night’s sleep — this will be a busy weekend!
Saturday morning: Head off to your local lumber store to buy the beaded board and moulding, taking your diagram with you. Don’t do the math yourself — ask one of the experts for help and be sure to buy a little extra to allow for a mistake or two.
Saturday afternoon: Measure twice, cut once! Starting from the floor and using the level to make sure everything is straight, measure and mark where the upper edge of your beaded board will go with a chalk line. Measure and cut the pieces of beaded board, matching the grooves to ensure an uninterrupted pattern when they sit side by side. Apply construction adhesive to the back of each piece of beaded board and stick to the wall, matching the top edge with the chalk line. Attach the pieces one at a time, working your way around the room and matching the grooves and tongues of adjacent pieces. When the beaded board is all in place, begin nailing it to the wall using a nail gun. Start in the center of each board and move outward to the corners.
Saturday evening: With the beaded board in place, it’s time to add the finishing touch, so measure and cut the quarter round moulding. Miter (cut them on a 45 degree angle) the corners for a professional finish and nail the moulding so that it sits snugly on top of the beaded board. Once you’ve completed nailing the boards down, pour yourself a beer — the hard work’s done!
Sunday: Pull out the drop cloths and paint your creation! To ensure good coverage, do two coats.
2. Change the colour of your ceiling
Giving your ceiling a shot of pizzazz can make all the difference to a room — and it’s a quick fix project! You can easily make your space look bigger or feel warmer by simply choosing the right colour.
What You’ll Need
- Paint, brushes, roller with a screw-on attachment for a broom handle, paint tray
- Construction adhesive/glue
- Masking tape
Friday night: Measure and make a diagram of your ceiling. Using a long-handled dust mop, clear away any cobwebs. Move all furniture out of the room and cover the floor with drop cloths. Set up the ladder and tape the edges of the walls just below the ceiling to prevent any drips when you paint.
Saturday morning: Visit the paint store and purchase a gallon of ceiling paint in a knock-out colour. Then, move on to the lumber store and purchase a decorative ceiling moulding (the kind designed to surround a light fixture). Be sure to consider the shape and size of your light to ensure the look will be complementary.
Saturday afternoon: Position your moulding and attach it to the ceiling using construction adhesive. Allow to dry.
Sunday morning: Time to paint. Using a soft brush, paint the moulding as well as the space surrounding it (approximately five inches all around the moulding). Then, finish the rest of the ceiling using the roller attached to a broom handle. Note: If you’d like your moulding to contrast with the ceiling itself, paint the ceiling first. Then paint the moulding separately and attach it to the ceiling after.
3. Add Storage to Your Bathroom
A mirror in the bathroom is great, but a mirror with a storage cabinet behind it is genius. This easy update will let you hide away toiletries and store medications, and you’ll wonder why you didn’t make the change sooner.
What You’ll Need
- A mirrored cabinet
- A stud finder
- A drill, screwdriver and drywall screws
- Large roll of brown wrapping paper, pencil and scissors
- Painter’s tape
- Glass cleaner
Saturday morning: Measure the space above your bathroom sink, including the distance between the side walls. This is important — you’ll need enough space to be able to open your cabinet door beyond 90 degrees. Wash the wall on which you plan on mounting the cabinet.
Saturday afternoon: Shop for your mirrored cabinet, ensuring that it will fit in the space you’ve measured. Try Ikea or home improvement stores for really great choices that may even come with their own installation hardware.
Sunday morning: Place the cabinet on its back on the brown wrapping paper, use the pencil to trace around it, then cut out the template you’ve created using the scissors. Position the paper template on the wall above the sink using the painter’s tape and mark the upper, lower and side edges using the chalk. Then, using the stud finder, locate the studs behind the drywall and carefully drill holes to match the mounting areas on the cabinet. Insert the drywall screws and mount the cabinet, using the chalk marks as your guide.
Finally, polish the mirrors with glass cleaner and admire yourself in your new cabinet!
4. Paint Your Floors
Does your flooring look a little downtrodden? If you can’t afford new hardwood, buy some paint instead. Give the whole thing a coat in a lighter shade, then get creative and add contrasting colored accents on top.
What You’ll Need
- Floor paint in two or more shades
- Clear urethane sealant
- Electric sander
- Brown wrapping paper
- White grease pencil
Friday night: Create your design using the brown wrapping paper. You might want to use round dots, paisley-like swirls or geometric shapes — let your imagination run wild. Cut out your creations and play with positioning them on the floor.
Remove all furniture from the areas to be painted. Using an electric sander, smooth any rough patches and give the entire floor a quick once over to help the paint you’ll be using adhere better. Then, vacuum and wash the floors thoroughly, and tape the edges of the floor where it meets the walls.
Saturday morning: Apply the base color to the floor and allow it to thoroughly dry.
Saturday evening: Position your template(s) on the dry floor and trace your accents with the white grease pencil. Repeat until you’ve formed your pattern, then carefully paint inside the grease pencil lines with your second paint color. Allow to dry.
Sunday afternoon: Finally, apply a coat of clear urethane sealant to protect your new floor.
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