Smart ways to ‘trim’ DIY costs and add style

Posted on May 26 2023 in DIY

By Joe Halcomb

You don’t have to settle for builders’ grade basics in your home, even on a tight budget. Whether you’re selling or just want some extra personal flair, these simple DIY projects can make a big impact on your kitchen, bathroom and bedroom. 

All the trimmings

Believe it or not, simple trim can really enhance the style of a room or fixture. Trim is inexpensive, widely available and can easily be cut to the lengths you need. Molding comes in lots of interesting styles and patterns, too. Paint small pieces of trim and adhere them as a frame around the sides of your switch plate covers to add interest. An even easier hack: Buy a small picture frame in the
same size and color as the cover, then attach it to the wall with an
all-purpose adhesive. 

If replacing a plain, straight-edged bathroom mirror (especially one adhered to the drywall) is too much to tackle, apply painted or stained accent molding around its perimeter for a more custom look. Take this idea up to the ceiling by creating a square frame around the base of a ceiling fan. Amp it up by painting the area inside the frame a color that contrasts against the ceiling fan. While you’re at it, you can also apply a fresh coat of paint to the fan blades if necessary.

There’s the door

Give flat, one-dimensional doors an overhaul by adding painted plywood panels for a shaker-style look or trim pieces to create a classic, 6-panel look. It’s a good idea to get your panels or trim cut by a pro — and pick up some matching paint and finishing nails while you’re at it. Investing in a pneumatic finish nailer will come in handy for this job and others once you get the hang of it, or you can often rent one for a day or two.

Dress up your walls

Create a feature wall (or a half wall) with textured wall panels. Modern beaded paneling, wainscot and shiplap are quite versatile. Installing pre-cut and painted decorative paneling or beadboard as a kitchen backsplash may be more manageable than tiling since you won’t need grout. Just like individual or sheeted tiles, these boards will require precise measuring and add visual interest and texture — so that’s where that nailer will be helpful! Try adding panels or a wainscot to the walls of a kitchen island or a sunken bathtub. Just be sure to finish with a waterproof sealant in high-moisture areas.

Let’s accessorize

Swapping out hardware is an easy and economical way to make an immediate impact. Update doorknobs, drawer handles, cabinet pulls or door hinges in a new finish or style. Carry the finish and style of your new hardware throughout the house — multiple items in the same style are often packaged together at significant savings.

Visit your local Do it Best store or for thousands of the best home improvement products.

JOE HALCOMB is co-owner of Halcomb Home Center in Versailles. He’s a member-owner of Do it Best, a Fort Wayne-based cooperative of thousands of hardware stores, home centers and lumberyards throughout the US and around the world.

This article is for informational purposes only. Indiana Connection and Do it Best assume no liability for the accuracy or completeness of the information contained herein, or for injuries, property damage or the outcome of any project.