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Lounge room with carpet, single chair, couch, indoor plant, decor n walls and central and side tables.
Whenever a long weekend rolls around, it’s the perfect opportunity to take a little time to beautify your home.

Long weekend D.I.Y.

Looking for some productive and rewarding D.I.Y. tasks to tackle over the long weekends? Roll up your sleeves, round up the troops and give your home a rewarding facelift in 10 easy steps.

Safety tip: Always wear the appropriate safety equipment (safety glasses, gloves, ear muffs and a mask, for example) and always follow the instructions for the product or equipment.

1. Pop up new shelves

Enliven your decor with a new display area. If you’re drilling into a masonry wall, use a drill with hammer mode, says Scott Tinsley of Ryobi. “Drilling into brick or concrete requires dedicated masonry bits that include a tungsten-carbide tip (TCT).” If your shelf brackets do not come with screws and wall plugs, 8g x 30mm screws will be suitable for average loads (up to 10 kilograms in masonry). “Each colour of wall plug is matched to a specific drill bit diameter and gauge of screw, which is listed on the packaging of the plugs,” says Scott. Match the plug to the screw and the drill bit to the plug, then use a spirit level to help you mark screw positions on the wall.

In plasterboard walls, you can either use a stud finder to locate the studs and screw the shelf brackets into them, or attach brackets directly to the cladding using plasterboard anchors. There are several varieties, so check the packaging for the weight the anchors can safely hold.

A person holding a Bosch stud finder up to a wall.

2. Upgrade tricky cabinets

Sort out that blind corner cupboard or inaccessible deep pantry and make your day-to-day life easier. “Install a six-tier frame of pull-out pantry baskets in place of adjustable shelves,” suggests Monique Parker of Kaboodle Kitchen. “It is designed to move closer to the front of the pantry as the door opens, allowing easy access.” For those tricky corner cabinets, choose a dedicated storage solution such as a carousel or pull-out shelving.

3. Create a wonderful wall

Add visual drama by painting a feature wall. Start with a sample pot in your chosen colour and use it to paint a large sheet of white card. Once it’s dry, hold it up against the wall you’re planning to paint and see how the colour looks in your home’s lighting. When you’re happy with your choice, mask off around the perimeter of the wall using low-tack masking tape. Cut in around the edges with a 50-65mm paint brush, then paint the rest of the wall using a roller.

A feature wall in a dining room painted in Taubmans Gone Bananas.

4. Deal with timber scratches

If your solid timber or engineered floating floor has scuffs, try wiping the scuff marks gently with a melamine foam eraser pad dipped in water. Alternatively, an ordinary pencil eraser might effectively rub away tracks left by furniture legs. Polish the area with a microfibre cloth. If this cleaning process reveals scratches in the floor’s finish, rub a purpose-designed wax touch-up crayon tinted to the same colour as your timber floor into the scratch and buff away any excess.

5. Get a door to adore

Repainting a front door is easiest if you take it off its hinges, so choose a water-based enamel for faster drying time and tackle this project on a day when rain is not forecast. Mask off any windows and sand the door lightly using fine 180-grit abrasive paper and a sanding sponge for any decorative features such as panelling. Wipe away the dust then use a mini roller to apply two to three coats of enamel paint. To rehang the door, raise it to hinge height on chocks or scraps of plywood, and ask a helper to hold it steady while you screw the hinges in.

6. Seal unsightly gaps

A gap between your skirting and the wall can let through draughts or become a haven for allergens. Fit a tube of flexible multipurpose gap filler to a caulking gun, trim off the end of the nozzle at 45°, and squeeze the filler into the gap, pushing it forwards ‘ahead’ of the nozzle rather than ‘dragging’ the caulking gun. Then wet your finger in water and use it to smooth away any excess filler.

A gap between a skirting board and white wall.

7. Replace grotty silicone

While you’ve got the caulking gun out, why not replace mouldy or peeling silicone behind your basin? Start by using a silicone scraper tool to extract as much of the old silicone as possible, and then apply silicone remover compound to break down the rest. Clean using methylated spirits. Put a tube of mould-resistant silicone in the caulking gun, trim the nozzle and squeeze the trigger evenly to push the silicone into the gap. Smooth away any excess with a wet finger.

8. Plant pots of colour

Create a movable display of flowering favourites, pot up fresh herbs or give growing plants some TLC by moving them into a bigger pot. Place your hand on top of the soil around the stem of the plant for support as you flip it upside down, and gently ease the pot free. For larger plants, lie the pot on its side instead. “If the root ball is only slightly tangled, just loosen the roots gently and clean up any dead or damaged roots,” advises horticulturist Melissa King from Northcote Pottery. “However, if the roots are a dense, circling mess, you may need to prune them a bit to open up the root ball. Repot the plant into a bigger container using a good quality potting mix, taking care to repot your plants at the same depth as they were in the original container.”

A woman wearing gloves planting succulents in a small yellow pot.

9. Replace grimy grout

Clear out old, crumbling or stained grout with a carbide-tipped grout saw or a multifunction tool with a grout attachment. Vacuum out the joints between the tiles, then follow the packaging instructions to mix up fresh grout. Work it into the joints diagonally using a sponge float. After about 20 minutes, clean off the tiles using a sponge dipped in a mixture of water and white vinegar.

10. Redress your windows

New curtains can transform the look of a room. Check whether you have a masonry or plasterboard wall. Use a spirit level and ruler to mark bracket locations slightly above and to the side of the window, and mark screw hole locations by using a bracket as a template. For brick or concrete walls, use a drill with a hammer function plus a masonry bit, then tap in wall plugs and secure the brackets with 30mm x 8g screws. In plasterboard walls, use suitable anchors such as WallMates to attach the brackets. Position the curtain rod in the brackets, remove the finial from one end and slip on the curtain.

Tip: After marking positions for curtain rail brackets, use a small level to ensure they’re vertically aligned.

A person marking the position for a curtain rail bracket on a wall.

Keep in mind...

  • Before drilling into walls, use a stud finder to check for wiring and pipework, and turn off the power while working. If unsure, call a professional.
  • Wear gloves and safety glasses when working with silicone sealant and don’t use next to drinking water.
  • When hanging shelves or curtain poles, make sure you use fixings/fasteners appropriate for your type of wall and for the weight of the shelf or pole and curtains.
  • Wear gloves and a mask when using potting mix.

Home improvement inspiration

Check out our D.I.Y. Advice page for more project ideas.


Photo Credit: Jacqui Turk, Natasha Dickins, Taubmans and Getty Images.
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.