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Typical DIY Blunders… Fixed Forever!

1

You thought you’d save a few bucks by fixing up your home yourself.

However, you didn’t count on making that big boo-boo.

Now what? Almost every mistake can be fixed. Here’s how to get past the most common DIY mistakes when redecorating or renovating.

2

Caulk Overload

Get a commercial caulk remover from the home store and apply it to the caulk. Scrape it out with a plastic putty knife. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions; you may need to leave products in place for a few minutes.

Next time: Don’t cut too much off the caulk tube to avoid getting a sloppy bead of caulk. Also, use painter’s tape to protect other areas from caulk.

3

Paint Blobs

If the blob is still wet, blot it with a rag and touch up the surface with fresh paint, if needed.

If it’s dry, use very fine 400 grit sandpaper to buff the area flat. Paint the section, let it dry and then add another coat.

Next time: Use a paint grid or screen on top of your bucket to remove excess paint before use. Also, double-check your work so you can smooth drips with a brush before they dry.

4

Wrong Paint Shade

You thought you loved it, but it’s not what you expected. Fortunately, there are many fixes!

Use masking tape to make vertical sections; then, paint stripes in a lighter shade. Or try adding large-scale graphic stencils.

You can also tone down the color by applying a sheer glaze over it. Or cover the wall with art so that only a little paint peeks through.

5

Hole in the Wall

Dab spackling over the hole with a putty knife.  Once dry, smooth with sandpaper. Follow up with a coat of primer, then two coats of paint. If your hole is larger than an inch, use fiberglass mesh tape about half an inch wider than the repair area (repair kits with mesh tape and everything else you need are available at most home stores).

Apply and smooth joint compound over the mesh tape with a putty knife. Don’t attempt to rehang the item in the patched hole; it won’t be strong enough to support any weight.

6

Clashing Colors

Deep, saturated greens and blues are hot. But too much of a good thing can be overwhelming.

While it’s not necessary to go monochromatic throughout the house, it’s easier on the eyes to use colors that gently transition from one room to another.

Next time: Use paint chip cards to pick different shades in the same palette. For example, try cream for the kitchen and café au lait brown for the living room. Or paint a single accent wall a bold color instead of an entire room.

7

Crooked Wallpaper

If your first piece is askew, the whole room will be off, so take it down and start over.

Since corners aren’t always straight, measure out from the corner instead of beginning there. If your paper is 21” wide, for example, measure 20½” out to give yourself some wiggle room.

Drop down a few inches from the ceiling and use a level to draw a vertical plumb line the length of the wall. Next, place the edge of your first piece of wallpaper against the plumb line.

Make a new plumb line each time you turn a corner.

8

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