26 Jan 2022

We have all had a go at DIY at some point in our lives, with variable results. Sometimes we will get it right first time and remodel our homes perfectly, but sometimes it is not that successful, and we make a costly mistake. With a bit of guidance, it is possible to avoid all of those expensive mistakes and nail your DIY projects on the first try every single time. A good guide can help you to avoid these issues, and that is exactly what you will find below. 

Putting Up Shelves

Putting up new shelves looks like a simple process, but if you get it wrong, it can cause enormous frustrations. A shelf does not have to be very uneven at all for all of your books and ornaments to slide off the end!

Dorchester County, Maryland homeowners and business owners rely on EWM Dumpster Rental to offer the lowest prices and fairest contracts on rental dumpsters of all sizes.

The most important thing you can do when putting up shelves is to use a spirit level. Use this to calculate where the shelf needs to go to be level, and then use a pencil to draw a guideline on your wall. Do not try to eyeball it!

Getting the Right Amount of Materials

There is nothing worse than running out of materials halfway through a project, whether that is paint, wallpaper, screws, or wood. Wallpaper is one of the worst offenders here, particularly if it is patterned. You always need a bit more material than you think you do, and it is always, always, better to overestimate than underestimate. Having a bit spare is not a problem, but running out can be a disaster!


You have probably previously heard the phrase “measure twice, cut once,” but its ubiquity does not mean it is not true. Do not try to eyeball your measurements. Measuring, checking, and double-checking before you cut anything is the best way to make sure everything fits together and you do not waste any materials!

Pipes and Wires

Boxing in your pipes and wires behind flat panels is very tempting because it looks great. However, it is not as smart as it looks. If you seal your pipes up behind wall panels, what are you going to do when one of them springs a leak? You are going to want access to all of your pipes for maintenance at some point, and that means tearing your perfect paneling apart. To avoid this, put in a removable panel or door when you box in your cables and pipes.

Drying Time

It is important to be careful with wet paint. Any loose dust floating around in the air is going to get stuck in it, so you should make sure you do not disturb the air in a freshly painted room until the paint is properly dry. If you start clearing things up while the paint is still wet, you are going to ruin that paintwork. Building your DIY schedule to allow enough time for all your paintwork to dry is an important step; make sure you allow more time than you think you need!

Buying the Right Tools

Paintbrushes are important for many DIY projects, and you need the right ones. There is no point in buying the really expensive ones, but budget paintbrushes are a false economy. You do not need premium natural fiber brushes; synthetic will be absolutely fine for DIY projects. However, budget brushes molt a lot, shedding hairs into your wet paint. With a budget paintbrush, you will find yourself spending so much time and effort picking hairs out of the paint that you will wish you’d spent a bit more on slightly better brushes!


Protecting your Surfaces

If you paint a wall without covering up the carpet or skirting boards, you are going to get paint all over things you do not want to get paint on. It does not matter how careful you are, you will find that the paint will end up somewhere unwanted. Paint can be trickier than you expect! Do not get cocky; spending some time covering the carpet and masking off the skirting boards will save you an enormous amount of time cleaning up later.

Fixing Sticky Doors

When it rains or gets humid, wooden doors swell up with water. This can make them sticky and difficult to open as they wedge in the door frames. The obvious solution is to plane the wood down a bit until it fits better, but this is not the best answer. If you plane down the wood, then it will only absorb more moisture and swell up again, leaving you to plane it down all over again. When you are planning down the wood, you also need to seal it up to prevent moisture from getting in. Paint over any exposed edges with a coat of oil-based primer to protect the wood from swelling up more in the future.

Weight Bearing Supports

You might be delighted by a perfectly even shelf, but it is going to be all for nothing if it falls off the wall as soon as you put anything on it. That means you need to make sure it is properly supported before you attach it to the wall. 

You need to find the weight-bearing stud work behind the plaster of your wall, or the screws will pull straight out of the plaster. A stud finder is a small investment that you really need to make – you can’t skip out on this one at all.


These are some basic things to bear in mind when you try DIY, but it is far from an exhaustive list. Following detailed tutorials and instructions is often a worthwhile way to ensure that you are approaching things in the best way possible. It is easy to make mistakes in DIY, but if you approach everything carefully and thoughtfully rather than rushing headlong into projects, you will find that your results are so much better than you could ever have hoped for!