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Woman painting circles on a paper strip on a wall.
Arm yourself with the right tools to power through home updates, maintenance and upcycle projects with ease.

 

Maker must-haves

Style editor Samantha Pointon and interior stylist Tilly Roberts share their favourite tried-and-trusted tools – essential when tackling any project around your home. Here’s what they have in their D.I.Y. tool sets.

1. Cordless drill/driver

Both Sam and Tilly’s go-to for big and small projects is a cordless Ryobi drill, as it’s lightweight but packs plenty of power. “Being cordless you can take it anywhere and it’s a must for drilling pilot holes, countersinking holes, driving screws and bolts and fast-tracking any flat-pack furniture assembly,” says Sam.

2. Staple gun

Whether you’re keen to make an upholstered bedhead, re-cover a chair or craft a timber frame for artwork, Tilly recommends adding a staple gun to your D.I.Y. kit. “It’s a simple tool to use, which extends your D.I.Y. capabilities for easy updates around the home,” she says.

3. Paint tin opener

Sam carries a paint tin opener in her back pocket whenever she’s using paint. “It makes it quick and easy to open a paint can and ensures the rim of the lid doesn’t get damaged, which is important when storing leftover paint,” she says. In the kitchen they’re also handy for opening cans.

4. Saw and mitre box

If you’re not confident with power tools, Sam recommends a handsaw and mitre box. “The box provides angle guides so you can make bevel, 45- and 90-degree cuts – ideal when working with dowel or mouldings,” she explains.

5. Screwdriver set

“A good set of screwdrivers will get a lot of use,” says Tilly. “I use them when switching out cabinet handles to create a new feel in the kitchen and bedroom, and they’re a must when assembling furniture.”

6. Wire cutter

“Wire is a stylist’s best-kept secret, so I always have a cutter on hand,” says Tilly. “It could be to trim chicken wire to sit inside a vase and support flowers, or to adjust picture-hanging wire. It’s handy when making Christmas decorations.”

7. Clamps

If tackling a project on your own, clamps can serve as a second set of hands to hold materials in place when cutting, drilling and gluing. “It also makes life easier if you have something precarious that needs to dry in exactly the right position,” adds Tilly.

8. Paintbrush and roller

“Beyond walls, look to any piece of furniture or homewares – bricks, vases, bowls, walls, side tables – that could do with a change and try mixing paint with bicarb soda for a textured finish that adheres to glazed surfaces,” says Tilly.

Woman with a brunette ponytail, a blue blouse and blue jeans using a paint roller to paint a wall mustard yellow.

9. Sander

An electric or battery-operated sander is essential for any sanding project – stripping back furniture, removing rust or prepping a surface for paint. “It halves the time it takes to hand sand and the dust catcher helps contain mess,” says Sam.

10. Microfibre cloths

These are probably Sam’s most used ‘tool’ for wet or dry projects: “I use them to mop up paint spills, polish metal, clean surfaces and wipe away sawdust.” Best of all, they can be washed and re-used countless times.

Store your tools in style

Learn how to make a handy pegboard to keep your tool set organised.

 
 
Photo Credit: James Moffatt, Cath Muscat
Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.