That saying about a good workman never blaming his tools is utter bs. Even the best workman in the World would slate some of the crap products that we’ve wasted our time with. Amongst the useless stuff there have been a few gems that we, very sadly, spend a large amount of time raving about. These are the products that make a DIY refurb SO much easier.
I reckon 99.9% of home refurbs involve hours and hours of sanding. Whilst nobody can claim to have ever enjoyed this job, there are at least a range of power sanders to make it much easier. For around £30 a piece, we’ve got an orbital sander and corner sander that get used most days. We’ve also borrowed a finishing sander that gets used equally much (note to self: return finishing sander). With these three babies we can pretty much totally avoid hand sanding which is not what life is about.
Polyfilla Deep Gap
I didn’t think it was possible to get excited about a filling product until I first used this bad boy. If you’ve got a fairly sizeable hole/crack to fill in a wall up to 2cm big, this stuff is brilliant. We’ve used it mainly for holes left under newly installed electric sockets or large cracks in walls. It’s easy to apply with a scraper and sands perfectly so can simply paint over and you’d never know it’s not original plaster. If you have a gap of larger than 2cm you can apply in stages, allowing it to dry between applications. Seriously, this stuff is as sexy as filler products get.
Combination shave hook
You may well be asking yourself wtf a ‘combination shave hook’ is. Well, it’s the answer to your DIY dreams.
This baby is essentially a scraper but with loads of different angles to help get to tricky areas. We’ve used it for loads of stuff from stripping fireplaces, architraves, and radiators but there are loads of other uses for it. I don’t know what we’d do without it ❤
Flexovit Yellow Sandpaper Roll
Shelling out for decent quality sandpaper is worth it. There’s no point saving a couple of quid if a job is going to take twice as long and infuriate you. We’ve tried several brands and yellow Flexovit rolls are by far the best. They keeps chugging away when other sandpapers just give up, saving loads of time and doing a way better job.
The woodwork in our crib was in a pretty shocking state when we moved in. One of our first purchases was a heat gun which has worked wonders on our skirting, windowsills and bannister. From scuffed, flaky and yellowing to perfectly stripped wood – an undeniably rewarding job.
If you’re really cool you can even challenge yourself to see how long a strip of paint you can remove in one go #fridaynightsduringlockdown.
Ronseal Diamond Hard Floor Varnish (Matt Clear)
If you have any floorboards to varnish and want to preserve the pre-varnished look, this stuff is brilliant. A lot of varnishes leave a shiny look and can, with pine floorboards, make them look orange. This varnish did neither of these and protects our floors really well. It slightly brings out the grain of the wood but otherwise you couldn’t tell our floors are varnished.
Sets of wall plugs and screws
Whether you’re putting up a mirror, building some shelves or mounting a door, the chances are you’re going to get through a fair few screws. If you’re mounting stuff into solid walls, you’ll be reaching for wall plugs just as often.
If this sounds like your life, get down to Screwfix (other DIY stores are available) and treat yourself to a mixed set of screws and wall plugs. These will make you very happy for a long time.
Milwaukee combi drill
I’m hardly a big spender but when it came to getting my first drill I went wild. It’s used daily and I reckon it will last years so I treated myself to a Milwaukee M18 Fuel combi drill. There are definitely cheaper options that will do a good job, but this thing is an absolute beast. I’ve borrowed drills before and in comparison they’re like puny children’s toys. If you’re going to be doing a lot of drilling I couldn’t recommend this machine more.
There are plenty of other bits of kit that we think are great, but these are the best. If your life, like ours, is dominated by doing up your home, let us know what products you’d recommend!