There are so many tools & building supplies available, that it can easily feel totally overwhelming to find what you need for your project!
To help you avoid the mistakes that we made, we’re sharing our go-to favourite tools and products here!
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All products shared here are the ones we own and use. We only recommend products we love and think that you will, too. Thank you for your support!
Must-Have Power Tools:
If there’s just one tool you own, this is the one to get! You’ll use it for everything from hanging pictures and installing shelves right through to building furniture.
Projects we’ve used it on include: DIY Peg Board | DIY Floating Shelves | DIY Hallway Bench
Super useful and versatile tool for all sorts of little projects and home improvement jobs.
This is one of those tools that you’ll use much more than you ever thought and we definitely wish we’d bought ours years earlier! This is an entry level one that’s super reasonable. We’ve had ours for about 5 years and it’s still going strong after a lot of projects!
Projects we’ve used it on include: DIY Log Store | DIY Slatted Fence | How To Install Panelling | DIY Hallway Bench | DIY Floating Shelves | How To Lay A Plywood Floor | Installing Picture Rails & Skirting Boards | DIY Herringbone Desk
For almost any sanding project a small palm sander will come in very handy and save you a lot sanding time.
Projects we’ve used it on include: DIY Herringbone desk | DIY Hallway Bench | How To Restore Wooden Furniture | Sanding our wooden floors & floorboards (just for the corners of the rooms), Restoring our doors
This is our go-to tool for stripping paint. We stripped all door frames, skirting boards and even some doors in our last home with this heat gun.
Projects we’ve used it on include: Stripping all skirting boards | Restoring our front door | Stripping our bathroom door
Optional Power Tools (for more avid DIYers):
These are ones we own but we would only recommend if you’re planning a lot of DIY. We would never recommend buying tools you don’t need and hiring them is always a good option, too!
This is essentially a more powerful version of the cordless drill. You’ll need it if you have to drill into more serious brickwork and we’d recommend it if you have a lot of drilling to do, too.
Projects we’ve used it on include: DIY Slatted Fence | Installing A Wood Burning Stove | How To Build & Install Super Slim Floating Shelves | DIY Hallway Bench
Because it’s the most fun tool to use. Ever. Seriously though, it’s a really handy tool to have and you’ll probably use it much more than you expect.
Projects we’ve used it on include: DIY Log Store | DIY Slatted Fence | How To Install Panelling | DIY Hallway Bench | How To Lay A Plywood Floor | Installing Picture Rails & Skirting Boards
It’s a really handy tool to have but it is a splurge and We managed without but DIY is soooo much easier if you have one of these clever gadgets!
Projects we’ve used it on include: Painting Our Bedroom | How To Install Panelling | How To Build & Install Super Slim Floating Shelves | Hanging Pictures, Curtain Rails, Shelves, etc.
For any long and straight cuts.
Projects we’ve used it on include: DIY Faux Marble Backsplash
For cutting shapes and large holes. It’s a tool that falls into the ‘borrow it off someone if you can rather than buying it’ category but it can be useful.
Projects we’ve used it on include: Installing our kitchen sink | Replacing the decorative timber on our roof | DIY Wooden Script Art | DIY Wooden Mirror
The Basic Tools & Accessories:
- Workbench – Especially useful if you work in your home a lot as it will help you avoid sawing into your table (like we did). We have this basic one which does the job.
- Hammer – It goes without saying that you’ll need a hammer if you’re planning on doing almost any DIY!
- Selection of Paintbrushes – We still own the first set of paintbrushes we ever bought. We use them for everything and they’re as good as new! They’re expensive but worth the investment!
- Spirit Level – A good spirit level is essential when DIYing. We’ve used this one for years and love it. We recently upgraded to a laser level which is amazing (you can see which one we have and love in our Optional Tool list).
- Sealant Gun – This is our third sealant gun and this one is here to stay. It’s sturdy and does the job. Whatever you do, don’t opt for a plastic one.
- Selection of Screwdrivers – It’s amazing just how many screws you’ll find yourself using. A good set of screwdrivers is a must.
- Pliers – A basic selection of pliers for everything from cutting cables to pulling out wall plugs.
- Ladder – We have a couple of ladders but this one is still our favourite. It’s super versatile and also comes with a clever platform which is ideal for a lot of pesky DIY jobs where you spend a lot of time up on a ladder.
- Tape Measure – It doesn’t have to be fancy, just make sure it’s a minimum of 5m long.
- Vacuum Cleaner – I didn’t realise it was possible to love a vacuum cleaner so much! Our Kärcher Wet & Dry vacuum is super sturdy, cheap and you can even attach it to your power tools to suck away the dust!
- Clamps – The quick grip makes it easy to reposition and move quickly.
Our Favourite DIY Supplies:
- Oil for furniture – For restoring and refreshing furniture.
- Wood Stain – We love this non-grain raising dye by Fiddes. It’s the best stain out there and applying it is foolproof.
- Varnish for floors (but we used it for everything!) – This varnish is super durable. It doesn’t go yellow, dries quickly and leaves your floorboards looking natural and not plasticy.
- Multipurpose Filler – Super lightweight, easy to sand and dries quickly.
- Masking Tape – For all painting and masking off areas.
- Wood Filler – Cheap, effective and comes in lots of colours (although you can stain it to a certain degree, too).
- Paint Stripper – Peel Away is the only paint stripper we recommend. Over the years we’ve tried 5 or 6 different ones and Peel Away is the only one that does what it should. It’s not cheap but it’s worth every penny!
- Wood Glue – This is our favourite wood glue. There are various versions we just use the plain one. Because it dries completely clear, I use it for most craft projects, too.
- Sandpaper – Surprisingly, there are big differences in sandpaper quality. This one that we use is slightly more expensive than other brands but we find it lasts longer and sands better. Definitely worth spending a little extra on. We always buy a big roll of our most used grits as it works out cheapest and you’d be surprised at how much of the stuff you go through!
As you can probably imagine, having the right tools for the job makes it much easier to DIY efficiently and achieve a result you’ll be happy with.
Obviously, buying lots of tools can be expensive. We built up our collection over time and always recommend borrowing or hiring tools if you think you won’t use them much.