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Hello, I’m Serena Appiah (rhymes with “IKEA”!)
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.
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 – Easiest to use
- Folkart Chalk Paint – Most affordable
- Annie Sloan Decorative Chalk Paint – Most well-known
- Amy Howard One Step Paint
- Country Chic Paint
- Country Chic Clear Wax
- Clear wax
- Dark wax
- My favorite top coat is General Finishes High Performance Water-Based Top Coat
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!
- RYOBI Random Orbit Sander at Home Depot or buy on Amazon
- RYOBI jigsaw at Home Depot or buy on Amazon
- Jigsaw Blades – Always buy a pack when buying a jigsaw
- RYOBI Power Drill at Home Depot or buy on Amazon
- RYOBI miter saw
- RYOBI Circular Saw
- Phillips screwdriver
- Flathead screwdriver
- Tape measure
- Kreg Jig 5 pocket hole
- Kreg Pocket hole screws (various sizes depending on the thickness of wood you’re using and if it’s “soft” wood like pine or “hardwood” like oak)
- Birch plywood – Type of wood I like to build with (but also check out Pure Bond, which is formaldehyde-free)
- Sawhorses – For creating an inexpensive, easy-to-move sturdy work table. Perfect for people with limited space for working. Can be folded up and stored under a bed.
Favorite DIY Accessories
- 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
- Citristrip Stripping Gel– Works well, but definitely has a strong odor
- Blue Bear Stripper – Environmentally friendly with a soy base.
- Minwax Stain
- Minwax Wood Finishing Cloths
- Chemical-resistant stripping gloves
- After Wash – perfect for wiping down things after removing the chemical stripper
Favorite Craft Supplies
- Vintage clay molds for creating clay appliques on furniture
- Rustic Brands Furniture knobs and pulls
- Royal Design Studio furniture and wall stencils
- Rub n’ Buff Metallic Finish
- Mod Podge decoupage
- Brayer for smoothing paper when decouraging
- Silhouette Cameo personal cutting machine
- Tack & staple remover for reupholstering
- Heavy-duty staple gun
- Tack remover
- Krylon Paint and Primer spray paint
Cleaning Tools & Supplies
- Homeright Steam Machine – Cleans without chemicals
- Tack & staple remover
- Paint Erase latex paint remover
- Grime Boss hand and surface wipes
- Spray Nine heavy duty cleaner
Home Improvement & Maintenance
- 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
- Bluehost for paid hosting of your blog
- Get Response for email marketing and list-building
If you’re enjoying what you’re reading here on Thrift Diving, remember to enter your name and email to subscribe! I’ll send you 5 free ebooks, printables, and checklists for getting started with DIY!