We’ve lost count of the number of projects we’ve undertaken over the last 7 years of DIY.
We’ve tackled everything from crafting concrete picture frames and bookends, making a DIY pegboard and building furniture right through to full on home improvements like replacing our garage roof, sanding our floors and even replacing our water main connection.
For me, one of the big questions I have when I see projects on the internet, is if everything really is as it seems and most importantly how did all of those DIY projects actually hold up over time?
We’re always honest about our projects. Everything you see here is real life which is why it’s not always as pretty as other things you may see in Blogworld.
We’ve also had our fair share of project fails (we shared a roundup of some of the projects that didn’t make it onto the blog here) but what about all of the projects that we called successful when we shared them? How are they holding up and would we do anything differently?
Well, here’s how some of our favourite projects are holding up!
Our DIY slatted fence is one of the projects I’m most proud of. It looked great when it was finished and was really easy to build, too. We finished it back in August 2015 so it’s been up for just over two years now.
We may not be living in our house anymore but that didn’t stop us having a cheeky peek at what it looks like now when we nipped over to Manchester last weekend.
Well, you’ll be pleased to know it looks exactly the same as it did when we first finished it!
I’m sure there’ll be the odd spot where the paint could do with touching up but it’s definitely standing the test of time looks exactly the same as it did when we first built it.
Definitely a DIY win!
Easily one of my favourite projects is our DIY Hallway Bench which we made back in April 2015. It was so easy to make and didn’t even involve much cutting or measuring!
Because we used it in the hallway it inevitably got a lot of use. We’d throw bags of shopping on it, use it as a bench while putting on our shoes and it sometimes even doubled up as additional seating.
In our new apartment, we still used the bench in our hallway and it’s held up amazingly well. It could probably do with a new coat of wax (just because of the amount of use it gets) but it doesn’t have a single mark or chip on it!
The construction is also exactly as it was when we first completed it. There are no visible gaps between the wooden planks that we nailed together and it’s still super sturdy.
It’s a DIY win!
Way back in December 2012 we decided to give chalk paint a go and painted our nest of tables 3 shades of grey.
We still use the tables today but they haven’t held up too well. For the first couple of years they were fine but now, after 5 years of use, they could definitely do with a refresh!
I probably shouldn’t be complaining too much as they were painted a long time ago but I admit that I was never truly happy with the finish on them.
It was the first time we tried chalk paint and it was also definitely the last. It turns out that I hate the stuff and I object using it as I find it impossible to work with. If you’re too lazy to sand something you probably shouldn’t be painting in the first place! (yep, there’s my rant for today!).
Calling the painted nest of tables a DIY fail is a bit mean as inevitably anything painted will get a bit of wear and tear over time but I hate chalk paint so much I just can’t call it a win.
A bit of a DIY fail.
The paint finish on these chairs held up sooo much better than the finish on our nest of tables which were used way less!
The chairs are used pretty much every day and whilst there are a few chips and worn spots, most of the damage happened during the move from Manchester to Berlin (let’s just say we didn’t have the best movers).
I still have the paint pots and touching up the scuff marks is on my list of things to do. It just goes to show that proper preparation, tools, and products make a big difference not only to the end result but also to the durability of painted furniture.
You can read about our go-to method for painting wooden furniture here.
Not perfect but still a DIY win!
One of the very craft projects I made just after moving into our house was our DIY veneer lampshade.
We’ve made a few lampshades over the years and this one is still our favourite. It may not be to everyone’s taste but I still love it. It’s now hung in our office and it looks exactly as it did just after finishing the project – although it’s a lot dustier now (we really need to stop sanding floors)!
It turned out so well, that I’m thinking of making a larger version as it’s a bit on the small side for our ridiculously high ceilings.
Quick, cheap & easy to make – definitely a DIY win!
Sticking with lighting we also made a DIY copper pipe lamp back in March 2015.
It worked fine but I’ll admit that it was always a bit wobbly.
For me, something just didn’t feel quite right about it and I’ll admit that I didn’t love it. Which is probably why during our radical purge before moving to Berlin it got tossed into the recycling.
A plywood floor is a great budget-friendly flooring option and we were really surprised just how well it turned out. It looked so good, that we even considered not painting it.
Admittedly, we only lived with the plywood floor for a year and a half before moving so this is based on the way the floor looked when we moved out.
Except for a couple of scratches in the paint where the bed had been stood (which was totally our own fault as we didn’t wait long enough for the paint to dry before putting all of the furniture back) the floor itself looked exactly the same as it did when we first laid and painted it.
Another DIY win!
Concrete is such a fantastic material to work with and our concrete picture frame is one of my favourite concrete projects.
Making it involved a lot of prep work to make the mould but I love how the frame turned out and definitely think it was worth the effort. It’s admittedly not the most sturdy frame ever and I always worry that it’s too fragile.
It’s moved from Manchester to Berlin and has, of course, been moved around our homes multiple times so I’m probably being overly cautious as it’s still in one piece!
There are a few cracks at the corners but other than that it looks just as good as when we first made it 3 years ago.
A crafty DIY win for our concrete frame!
With so many full-on DIY and home improvement projects that seem to take forever, I love a quick and easy project that gives you an almost instant buzz and DIY satisfaction.
Our DIY magazine holder was exactly one of those projects – it even won an award!
Now, just over 3 years later it still looks exactly as it did on the first day and has held up brilliantly!
Yay, to another DIY win!
Have you ever had any DIY disasters? What DIY project are you most proud of? Do you also wonder how all of the fantastic projects you see on Pinterest hold up over time?