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5(ish) Simple DIY Home Updates That Make a Difference

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With stay at home orders lasting another couple weeks in the Kansas City area, many are trying to figure out new ways to pass the time. At first, people were binge-watching Netflix, baking bread, trying to remember how to divide fractions so they can help their kids with school work, and more. Although we are still figuring out the fractions thing, we are also looking at ways to easily update areas our homes and make changes that have been on the to-do list for longer than we would like to admit.

Right now is a great time to try your hand at DIY home updates while everything is still closed down. Whether your home is on the market currently, you are thinking about putting your home on the market when things pick back up, or you just want to make some improvements, this post includes ideas and updates that you should definitely consider!

DIY Home Updates to Make While Stuck Inside

1. Switch Up the Hardware on Your Cabinets

Changing out the hardware on your kitchen and/or bathroom cabinets can change the entire look of the room. It may seem small but this simple upgrade can make a huge difference.

When shopping for new hardware, there are a lot of choices out there. Some are extremely ornate and a bit impractical while others offer clean lines and more functionality. We suggest choosing hardware that errs on the side of functionality – especially if you are selling your home.

Brushed metals and clean lines have been huge for a while now and we don’t see that trend going away any time soon.

This project is easy peasy if you are choosing to replace your current knobs or pulls with a similar style but different finish – all you really will need is a screwdriver. But, if you want to replace the knobs you currently have that are fastened in one hole with pulls that require two holes will take a bit more work.

What to Buy:

  • New hardware
  • Screwdriver
  • Screws
  • Drill and pencil (if replacing knobs with pulls or vice versa)
  • Wood putty (see above)
  • Putty knife (see above)
  • Paint to cover old drill holes (see above)
  • Damp cloth


How to Do It

This is how to change the placement of your hardware, replace pulls with knobs or vice versa.

  1. Remove cabinets and old hardware using a screwdriver
  2. Fill in old drill holes with putty using putty knife
  3. Mark where new holes will go using a pencil (most hardware kits come with a guide you can use)
  4. Carefully drill holes where you made your marks
  5. Use screw driver to attach new hardware and put cabinets back in place

2. Paint

Painting is one of the easiest updates out there and can completely change the look of a space. If your walls are a white or light beige color, you likely can just paint over them with your new color of choice. For other things in your home like cabinets or wooden doors, you may need to take a few extra steps in order to get the look you want.

2.1: Interior Walls

If you are selling your home and want to freshen up some of your walls, we suggest choosing colors that are a bit muted. Think light greys, taupes, or extremely subtle pastels. When someone comes to view your home, you want them to be able to picture themselves living there and bright, bold colors might not be their cup of tea.

Read: Home Staging Tips from the Pros

Yes, it is easy to paint over bright reds or yellows, but many buyers won’t want to put in that effort.

You will also want to make sure that you do two coats of paint. One coats tends to be a bit too transparent and uneven.

Note: You can definitely get creative with accent walls by using modern patterns or textured wall paper to inject a bit of personality!

What to Buy:

  • Good quality paint
  • Primer (if not included in the paint you bought)
  • Brushes and rollers
  • Paint pans
  • Painters tape
  • Tarps
  • Ladder (will vary depending on ceiling height)

How to Do It

  1. Take everything off of the walls and move furniture
  2. Tape off the walls you would like to paint with painter’s tape to protect the trim, ceiling, etc.
  3. Lay down tarps in the area where you will be painting, mix paint, and pour a liberal amount into pan
  4. Start with rollers and evenly coat the large areas of the wall while staying an inch or so away from the trim and ceiling
  5. While that coat is drying, use smaller brushes to paint around the trim and ceiling
  6. Once the paint is dry, repeat the last two steps for the second coat
  7. After the second coat is completely dry, remove painter’s tape and see if touch-ups are needed

2.2: Painting Cabinets

Right now darker cabinet colors are fairly popular (think dark grey and navy) but choose a color that fits with your decor tastes. If navy or dark grey seems too dramatic, choose a lighter grey.

Wooden cabinets that are already stained or painted will take a little extra elbow grease.

What to Buy:

  • Screwdriver
  • Cleaning cloths (one dry and one wet)
  • Sandpaper block
  • Tinted primer/sealant
  • Paint (semi-gloss latex paint works best)
  • Medium and large paint brushes

How to Do It

  1. Remove cabinets and hardware using a screwdriver
  2. Clean cabinets
  3. Sand to rough up the surface (you do not need to remove all of the previous paint; you will want to remove glossy finishes completely)
  4. Remove all debris from cabinets (use a vacuum and then the cloth to do this)
  5. Use a medium brush to apply an even coat of your primer/sealant
  6. Apply paint in thin, even coats (let each coat dry before reapplying)
  7. Repeat the steps above for exposed areas in between cabinet doors
  8. Reattach hardware, put cabinets back up, and touch up as needed

Use the same method above to paint wooden doors.

3. Swap Out Light Fixtures

It is amazing how changing outdated light fixtures can make a home look more modern. If some rooms in your home still have frosted glass pendants or a wood grain ceiling fan with bright gold accents, it may be time to consider an update.

Glass globe fixtures with Edison bulbs or modern chandeliers with clean lines are very appealing and can give any room an awesome glow.

Since you already have the wires in place, this project is extremely fast and easy. The only things you may need is an extra set of hands, a ladder, new bulbs, and maybe a screwdriver.

Here are some of our current favorites:

4. Add Shelves to Bare Walls


We know what you are thinking, “This was supposed to be an easy DIY list and now you’re asking me to build shelves?!” No, we wouldn’t do that to you. There are a ton of easy kits on the market that offer aesthetically pleasing shelving options to display books, plants, and more. If you do want to build your own shelves, there are a ton of awesome step-by-step guides and videos on how to do it!

Floating shelves are a great option because they don’t make a space look too busy or cluttered. You can also go for shelves that nestle right into the corner of the room.

Shelving kits are extremely budget-friendly and people will think that you spent a fortune on custom installation. Now, kits do require some assembly but the assembly is much easier than cutting and sanding wood to make your own.

Some of our favorites include:

5. Hang Up a Few Mirrors

We know this one isn’t exactly a “get your hands dirty” DIY upgrade but it does require a hammer and nails so it counts, right?

Strategically placed mirrors can work wonders in smaller rooms by reflecting light and making them look larger than they are. If you have a room that doesn’t receive a ton of natural light and feels a bit cramped, try hanging a large mirror in there and see if it makes a difference.

You can also hunt for interesting mirrors to replace the boring ones in your bathroom. This type of extra touch is something buyers definitely notice!

We usually like to shop at second-hand stores for our mirrors but you can definitely find some cool ones online!

We’re here to help you sell your home and make the process as easy as possible even during uncertain times. We know the Kansas City market and have experience selling a wide variety of homes in all price ranges. Click below to learn more about selling your home with Cami Jones and Company or give us a call at (913) 521-8806.

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