Five Tools I Can't Live My DIY Life Without
Today’s Sunday post is brought to you by the fact that the Cowboys are playing the Redskins and FOX isn’t carrying a 1 o’clock game on TV in New York… booo. (However, by the time this post was done being written, the Cowboys won 31-21. )
A few weeks ago I put a poll up on my instagram stories as to what my next blog post should be, and some of you voted that I should do a tutorial on how to use a nail gun- which was the power tool I feared the most a few years back.
Miter and chop saw? No problem- but it was something about the nail gun and pictures on major news networks that I”ve seen in years past of people putting nails through their feet or head that really had me terrified. However, I’m super self-conscious when video-taping myself (especially now after having dinner with the girls I use to babysit and little Shay who follows me on insta made fun of my “pillow chop” instagram story… haha. ). So until I’m more comfortable with talking about a topic on video…. that can be replayed over and over and over again, I decided to do a post on:
the top 5 tools that I use over and over again, and can’t live my DIY life without.
Shad and I are 6 years in on our home this October- for which almost every renovation project we did was a DIY experiment. So over the years I’ve become pretty comfortable with using power tools big and small- and there’s specific tools I use over and over again and bring on almost every job with me. Just like there are certain home decor staple pieces that belong in every room, there’s also certain tools if you’re a “Do- It- Yourself’er” you should definitely have in your life.
In no particular order they are:
1) High- Impact Screw Driver, 2) Fractional Tape Measure, 3) Stud Finder, 4) Proper Hanging Hardware and 5) Nail Gun + Air Compressor Combo Kit
All products will bring you to it on Home Depot’s website, by clicking on the pictured below.
High- Impact Screw Driver
When we first moved in our home we had a lot of money going out in the way of furniture and home decor pieces. We literally moved in our home with Shad’s “pre-Barbra purchase” expensive brown sofa, our guest room set, and a bunch of TV’s. So when Shad told me that he thought we absolutely needed to purchased a “high-impact drill”, that just looked like the smaller version of our “low- impact” DeWalt drill, I thought he was nuts. To me, spending the $150 or more on a tool like this when we already owned a screw gun, was a waste when we needed so many different items for our home. I have to say hands down- it’s the tool I always grab the most when hanging things in my own home and on jobs. (Don’t forget to purchase the driving and drill bit sets).
Fractional Tape Measure
Some of you might make fun of me for this one- but I like to call this my “girl- tape measure”. Whenever my husband and I would hang things in our home he’d ask me to read him a measurement on the tape measure and I’d say something like “ 2 lines after 1/4” or “2 lines before an inch” and he’d respond: “You mean 7/8ths?” or some other random fraction. When we first started out in our own home I couldn’t read the fractions on a tape measure beyond : 1/4, 1/2, 3/4ths of an inch. So my husband purchased this tape measure for me that tells what every little line is and it’s been a lifesaver. I’ve used it so much, that I actually probably don’t even need it to tell me anymore because I’ve learned my fractions…. lol.
A stud-finder is an absolute must for anyone hanging items or doing DIY projects in their home. Since most of my projects have included screwing or nailing something into a wall: a stud finder has been a life saver. For example: our stud finder was used last year when we did our pallet wall in the basement. We marked where all the studs were and drew lines down the wall so that we would only nail the boards into the studs and not hit any pipes. The one we’ve used forever (pictured on the right) was only $20 at Home Depot, which was a lot cheaper than the potential cost of hitting something important behind your sheetrock. A few years back a client of mine gave me the second stud finder pictured- which I actually prefer to the original one we used- because it tells you the exact width of each stud with the light up marks.
Proper Hanging Hardware
A few weeks ago, I had a follower message me on instagram and ask about hanging items on walls. Our conversation went like this:
You do not have to only hang items in studs!! Studs are typically 16 -24 inches apart depending upon the room. A lot of times where the stud is ends up not being centered with the space for which you want to hang a picture or mirror. Therefore I highly recommend these plastic anchor drywall screws:
They sell them to hold varying weights and have been super effective for when we hang heavier items on our walls.
In addition if you’ve seen my post on hanging wall collages:
This product I only found about a year and a half ago and it is SUCH a time saver when it comes to hanging picture collages:
If you must hang it on a stud, you could always put screws in the stud and hang a mirror or larger decor piece with picture wire as well. But the above two items are my go-to’s when it comes to hanging things on walls.
Nail Gun + Air Compressor Combo Kit
We scored this nail gun and air compressor combo pact for $150 on a pre-black Friday sale a few years back. It’s currently on special buy for $199, which is still a deal when it’s original price is $269. It comes complete with an 18-gauge finishing gun, 16- gauge brad nailer, and stapler (which I used to staple the runner down in going down our basement stairs). We’ve used it for every single project that couldn’t take screws: shiplap walls, pallet walls, building picture ledges, frames, boxing out the lally columns in the basement, and doing the box wainscoting down our basement stairs. If you don’t own one- it’s definitely a must in your tool collection. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve loaned this out to friends.
An honorable mention for anyone who wants to cut wood or moulding for projects:
A few years back my father asked me what I wanted for my 30th birthday. I responded : a miter saw. I had borrowed his old craftsman brand from Sears for years. My dad joked that I was the son he always wanted (and I have two brothers by the way). I love this saw and I’ve used it to cut wood on all projects. If you don’t own one and you’re big into building things on your own- you definitely need one. I recommend purchasing the stands they sell with them too- it makes cutting wood with this saw a lot easier.