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3 of the Best DIY Projects You Really Can Do Without the Help of a Pro

Homeowners love making their homes their own. The sense of pride and accomplishment you take in improving your home is second to none. The key is knowing which DIY projects you can handle and which are best left to the professionals.


1. Wallpaper One Wall

Wallpaper is making a strong comeback. And, today’s wallpaper is far superior to the wall coverings you remember from childhood. Wallpaper is a quick way to make a dramatic change to a room, and you can cover one wall to make a statement. According to The Family Handyman, wallpapering one wall makes it easier to afford some of the finer papers available, and it reduces the mess. Paper a plain wall so you don’t have to worry about accounting for window trim, doors, or slim areas.


If you’re not sure which design best suits your existing wall color or furniture, ask an interior designer at a home improvement store for suggestions. To make the process of choosing wallpaper easier, take a photo of your room to show the designer. Also, be sure to tell the staff about your experience. 

They can steer you away from fabrics and designer papers that are difficult to hang. They also will give you advice on preparing your walls, including filling holes and ensuring they are smooth. Another tip from The Family Handyman is to first prime your wall with an acrylic primer, so you have an easier time sliding the paper and achieving tighter seams. By hanging wallpaper yourself, you’ll likely save $150-$250.


Keep in mind that homes built before 1978 may have lead paint on the walls. If you need to sand to prep for wallpaper, first hire a professional to check the lead levels and safely remove any peeling or flaking lead-based paint or to prep your walls for you.


2. Build and Install a Sliding Door

Sliding barn doors are popular home improvement projects that add character. For example, some homes have arched doorways or large openings into closets and bathrooms that traditional doors won’t fit. DIY Network provides a step-by-step guide to building and installing a sliding door, complete with a cut list and materials list. For a relatively low skill level and cost, this is one DIY project you can complete in a weekend without the help of a pro.


One thing to remember when completing a project such as this is power tools safety. Even professionals need to ensure safety when using power tools like saws and sanders, which means homeowners need to follow suit. When you wear eye protection and clothing that fits appropriately instead of being too loose, you reduce your risk of debris damaging your eye and getting caught in the equipment. 

It’s also important to wear earplugs and check your surroundings when choosing your workspace. Be aware of where power cords are at all times, and never cut until you check your surroundings.


3. Give Your Cabinets a New Look

Replacing kitchen cabinets is costly and time-consuming. A DIY alternative is to give them a new look with a fresh coat of paint. The key to painting cabinets is prepping them well. Remove your cabinet doors and work with them in another location because sanding is a dusty job. Be sure to remove hardware, fill cracks and hardware holes with filler, allow it to dry, and sand lightly. Be prepared to repeat this step as necessary. 

Then, empty your entire kitchen and cover appliances with drop cloths before sanding cabinet frames with a palm sander. Prime your frames and doors and allow them to dry thoroughly. Then, paint the cabinets with paint especially recommended for cabinets. Keep in mind that satin and semi-gloss finishes are more durable than flat paint.


If you want to move cabinets, contact a professional. Kitchen cabinets are anchored to walls, and you could do more damage to the cabinets and walls than you intend. Also, moving a sink is better left to the professionals who have the proper training and experience needed for plumbing work.


You can tackle DIY home improvement projects if you keep your skills and safety in mind. Try wallpapering one wall, installing a sliding door, or painting cabinets. Leave complex jobs to the pros.


Article provided by Ray Flynn from

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