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DIY: How far will you go?

Posted by: Nicole Hvidsten under Decoration and design, Improvement and repair, Home Improvement, Weekend chores Updated: January 30, 2013 - 8:10 AM

I like to dream big.

There are stacks of dog-eared magazines, websites bookmarked and books bought all with the hope of helping my house stay out of the dreaded "outdated" category. And although my hopes are high, my budget isn't. I'm constantly looking for things I can do myself (or under the guidance of my handy parents) to give new life to my aging house. But where do you draw the line?

Cabinets: While browsing in my local hardware store, I happened upon Rust-Oleum's

This DIY kit is on my short list.

This DIY kit is on my short list.

Cabinet Transformations kit, which promised refinished cabinets for about $75 or so. Considering I live in a sea of 1990s honey oak, this had my attention. The looks were appealing, the instructions didn't scare me and online research yielded some pretty cool results. The verdict: This is now on my short list, but I'll try it in my bathroom first. MUCH easier to hide mistakes in a master bath than the kitchen.

Countertops: Rust-Oleum appears to want to conquer your kitchen, as it also has a Countertop Transformations kit. This kit will take those laminate countertops with stains, burns, chips and knife marks and turn them into countertops with the look of natural stone. At this point I'm sitting on the floor of the hardware store, reading every bit of information I can find on this (thank you, smart phones). Could it really be this easy to get "new" countertops? Reviews are mixed. The verdict: A little too bold for me, but would love to hear from anyone who has tried it.

Tiling: I have various family members who have embraced DIY ceramic tiling, and I'm officially jealous. This is the one skill I'm dying to learn. I would tile the world -- or at least my kitchen backsplash, a wall in my bathroom and the floors in the bathrooms and laundry. The verdict: This is at the top of my DIY bucket list. I've been meaning to sit in on one of those classes at the home-improvement stores, but fear I might need a private tutor.

Flooring: If it were up to me, I'd have hardwood flooring throughout the entire house. Alas, I'm the only member of my family who feels that way. We tried to install TrafficMaster's Allure flooring in my basement, but that was an epic fail, and it wasn't entirely the fault of the flooring. I know people who have had great luck installing laminate and hardwood floors, but I don't know them well enough to "invite them over," which is code for "please help me." The verdict: Not a path I'm ready to travel.

Painting: There's nothing I won't paint. There are so many things I cannot do, it bothers me to hire someone to do something I actually CAN do. Granted, a professional probably won't leave little dabs of paint on the ceiling. And I would certainly call in the big dogs if I wanted a special effect or had cathedral ceilings. The verdict: All DIY.

What are your limits, and what are your successes? Please share!

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