4 Home DIYs You Can Actually Do Yourself

Copyright: Nyul @ 123rf.com

“Your home should be the story of who you are, and a collection of what you love.”

I love that Nate Berkus and his words resonate so much with me. The story of our home began in 2010 when we purchased our 1964 fixer-upper. My husband is very handy and has grown up around people who DIY everything (and make it beautiful). I, however, am anything but handy. But we had a blank canvas of a house and jumped right it.

Over the past six years, I’ve learned a lot about renovation, design, compromise, and just how doable and cost effective DIYs actually are.

Whether your house is a new build or well-loved, these easy DIYs will bring character and personality to your space.

DIY #1: Faux Wainscoting

I love the clean, timeless look of wainscoting. It gives a space instant personality. Unfortunately, our home did not have any paneling when we moved in, and we didn’t want to spend the money installing it. But after a little research, I found a solution that looks just like traditional paneling that is a fraction of the cost and time to install.

Picture frame moldings
Chair rail
Nail gun/wood putty
White enamel paint (so durable to little hands!)

How To Install Wainscoting:

  1. Measure the placement of moldings on your wall, evenly space.

Tip: Tape the moldings on the wall to ensure perfect placement.

  1. Nail moldings into the wall.

You can easily cut the moldings to fit your space.

  1. Measure and nail chair rail.
  2. Putty nail holes and silicon edges of moldings and chair rail.
  3. Sand putty
  4. Paint!

DIY #2: Whitewashing

Our 1960s home had a big, red eyesore. The fireplace! I loved the see-through fireplace and the interior brick look, but the brick was blinding. A little mixture of paint and water, a rag, and a few hours, and the fireplace was completely transformed!

White paint

How To Whitewash Brick:

  1. Mix the white paint and water, creating a mixture about 2:1 water to paint.
  2. Brush on paint mixture in sections
  3. Optional: Paint the grout if needed.
  4. Using the rag, wipe off excess paint. Wipe off more if you want a lighter look
  5. Repeat the paint and wipe technique (if needed) to achieve the desired look.

DIY #3: Tile

Tiling is a more considerable project. Though it may take longer than a weekend to complete, this is definitely a doable DIY. Using a fun pattern will add a pop of personality to your kitchen. Even a basic, white tile can look custom! I really like the herringbone pattern we did above our stove. It just took a few extra tile cuts using the same subway tile and a cute robe tile to create this fun addition to the back splash.

Spacers (if needed)
Tile saw

How To Create a Herringbone Tile Pattern:

  1. Lay out the design on the floor or table before you begin any tiling!
  2. Lay the full, 45o tiles first, then lay the next time at 90o angle to the first tile. Continue this pattern until you need to cut tiles.
  3. Mix mortar (follow package instructions)
  4. Adhere tile to the back splash
  5. Mix and apply grout (follow package instructions)
  6. Grout and wipe clean!

DIY #4: Dimmer Switches

This was a game changer. And so easy! My husband suggested putting a dimmer in our son’s nursery. That first middle of the night diaper change was considerably more bearable not being blinded by lights or trying to change a diaper with the light from your iPhone.

Dimmer switch (single pull dimmers are the easiest to install)
Phillips head screwdriver

How To Install Dimmer Switches:

  1. Turn off electricity!
  2. Remove switch plate.
  3. Unscrew the switch from the electrical box and pull out with the wires still attached.
  4. Remove the wires from the old switch
  5. Use the connectors (supplied with the fixture) to attach the black wires coming out of the dimmer to the colored wires attached on the old switch
  6. Push the new switch back into the box and screw in place.
  7. Screw in switch and face plate

Note: Consult an electrician if you are unsure about anything!


  1. Great article Anne! You and Ryan have worked so hard and the payoff is a beautiful home.You two are a great team.Take care,see you soon Mimi and Papa

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