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Hello, I’m Serena Appiah (rhymes with “IKEA”!)

Serena Appiah - Marketplace Events - With RYOBI Tools

Many times readers ask me what tools and materials I use for doing DIY projects. Although there are a lot of things listed below, please don’t feel like you have to rush out and purchase every single one of them!
DIY can be cost-effective, but it’s not cheap, especially when you’re trying to buy everything at once! Sometimes, materials are the most expensive part of doing projects!

When building your DIY toolbox, I’ll try to point out the things I highly recommend you buy as soon as possible, along with things that are nice to have but not necessary immediately.


The power tools I recommend are RYOBI power tools. They are the tools that I have used since learning how to use power tools. Plus, RYOBI sponsors Thrift Diving. Most of them I have received for free so that I can create content for this site, but I would buy RYOBI tools even if they weren’t a sponsor because they’re affordable and get the job done. You don’t have to use the same tools if you don’t want to. Feel free to start your own DIY toolbox with whatever you feel is most important, but be sure to include a jigsaw, circular saw, power drill, and any other power tool you’d like.


A complete list of top recommended DIY tools and materials - Thrift Diving


My Recommended Paints, Power Tools, Craft Supplies, and More!

The following DIY tools and materials are all the things I have used and personally love!


Paint, Waxes, and Top Coats

Beyond Paint used on a French Provicial DIY dresser makeover - Thrift Diving

I recommend you check out my post for more info on furniture paints: What’s the Best Paint for Furniture?

Power Tools & Accessories

Make sure you check both The Home Depot and Amazon when shopping for power tools. Many of times, The Home Depot will offer better prices, especially at holiday seasons! It’s also cheaper to buy combo kits that will have two or more tools in the set. And the last tip–buy a set of 18V lithium-ion batteries because the power tools may not come with batteries!

Power Tools 101 - What to Buy and How to Use It Thrift Diving


Favorite DIY Accessories

Purdy Paint Brushes

  • Purdy paint brushes
  • Speed square – Best tool for making straight lines and angles
  • Frog Tape
  • Sandpaper – Be sure to get different grits of roughness, like 80, 150, and 220.
  • Wood filler – Great for filling holes and gaps in wood. Buy the stainable and paintable variety.
  • Wood glue – You need this for gluing wood together and for repairing wood.
  • Kreg moulding jig – When putting up your own crown molding
  • Command Max HVLP Sprayer (Home Right) – The best, affordable paint sprayer you can buy. Watch this YouTube tutorial to learn how to use it.
  • Frog Tape – Best painting tape–hands down!
  • Steel wool
  • Safety glasses – Always wear safety glasses (and not your regular eyeglasses) when using tools.
  • Safety mask – Always wear a mask when sanding.

Favorite Stripping and Restaining Furniture Supplies

Best stripping gel

Favorite Craft Supplies

How to Add Vintage DIY Clay Mold Appliques on Furniture - Thrift Diving -816


Cleaning Tools & Supplies



Home Improvement & Maintenance

Leak Frogs really do work - Thrift Diving

  • Leak Frogs – alerts you immediately when there’s a water leak!
  • Brick-Anew painting kit for painting a brick fireplace (see my review Brick Anew)
  • Brick clips – for hanging art and objects from brick with no drilling!


Starting a Blog

  • WordPress.org
  • Bluehost for paid hosting of your blog
  • Get Response for email marketing and list-building
  • Flexoffers



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