When it comes to home decorating, there's nothing worse than having a Pottery Barn style with a Target budget...unless of course, you tear apart your kitchen after binge watching Fixer Upper with the best intentions of creating a Joanna Gaines approved style, but get stuck NOT knowing how to piece it back together, then having to call in the pros and end up spending 50x your original budget. Yup...that could be worse.
We all know this happens. This very scenario is the whole reason why shows like Help, I Wrecked My House or Fix My Fail appear on HGTV. But this scenario is rare. Know why? Because most of us are TOO AFRAID to start. We would rather stay stuck in our 1980s oak kitchens that cause us to apologize to any and all guests that come over (even the ones who are shorter than 4' tall and have pigtails) than to make a mistake that is perceived as irreversible in our attempt at changing it.
But here's the thing...if we approach the changes we'd like to make in our homes like we would teaching someone how to swim, we'd do it gently...right? We would never expect a non-swimmer to become the next Michael Phelps if we just threw him into the deep end. So why should we expect that if we want to attempt DIY home projects, that we should automatically know how to build floor-to-ceiling bookshelves. The expectation is unrealistic.
So, start SMALL and get comfortable with the tools you're using. Ask for help, watch tutorials, try your best and just START!
When Mr. fig & farm attempted his very first DIY build it was when we were expecting our first son seventeen years ago. The project? A built in shelving unit inside a tiny closet. We should have just gone to IKEA, it would have looked nicer. But I'm SO glad we didn't! Why? It was the beginning of Greg learning a new craft. He took on a challenge, and although it would not have passed the standards of a master carpenter, it did the job we needed it to do. It kept things organized, held clothes and got things off the floor. It was exactly what we needed, when we needed it. If Greg had not built his very first lopsided closet storage system, he wouldn't have had the confidence to build our farmhouse table, our boys' loft beds, our built-in bookshelf with bench seating or our floor to ceiling bookshelf with a rolling ladder.
When you're just getting started with DIY projects, how do you know what tools to buy? Here are my TOP 6 tool recommendations for beginners based off my experience using them ovrer and over and over and over and...
The tools to begin completing DIY home projects:
1. Cordless Drill: DEWALT 20V Max Cordless Drill
Starting is easy when you start with this! The learning curve is LOW, the efficiency is high...and DeWalt (if I could smooch it, I would)!!! We had another, lesser quality brand for years. The battery power lasted approximately two hot seconds and the projects ended in bitter disappointment and frustration by me.
2. Orbital Sander: DEWALT 20V MAX Orbital Sander
Well, I didn't think we were brand snobs until I noticed that my top two power tools are from the same brand. Just like the cordless drill, we owned another orbital sander that just didn't cut the snuff. Bottom line...wish I would have bought these FIRST!
3. Brad Nailer: DeWalt 18 Gauge Precision Point Brad Nailer
Now, to be fair...I don't own this brad nailer or any brad nailer in fact. But I borrow one from a friend and have it in my possession more often than she does. The brand she has is BlueHawk, and although it's an easy to use brad nailer, it is a bit geriatric and I couldn't find a link for purchasing. SO...should I need to purchase a brad nailer for myself, you guessed it...THIS is the one!
Unless, I wanted to go cordless...then this is the one.
This is not my first jigsaw. We bought cheap and we paid the price when it petered out within a few years. This one is smoooooooth and cuts oh so nice (just don't forget the blue tape along the edge of the cut to reduce splintering).
5. Paint Sprayer: Critter Spray Products 22032 118SG Siphon Gun
I bought this when I first started re-finishing furniture. Then, I was painting with latex paint. Now, I paint with chalk paint. The sprayer is still my go-to choice when I want to avoid all brush strokes. It creates a smooth, even finish every time!
6. Air Compressor: Craftsman Air Compressor, 3 Gallon 1.5 HP Max 155 Psi Pressure Oil-Free Portable, Red- CMXECXA0200341
Though mine is blue and a few iterations ago in design, my air compressor coupled with my paint sprayer were the first power tools I owned that were all mine. The first power tools that I could claim to be an expert in using and could teach Mr. fig & farm how to use. Portable, handy, and easy to use - this air compressor is the beginning of many great tools!
These power tools make a great beginning for the tool belt of a beginning DIYer. Happy DIYing!
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