These 8 Tools Are Must-Haves for DIY Projects

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tools every homeowner should have

Design: Amy Sheehan for The Spruce

Finally! After scouring secondhand stores and Facebook Marketplace, you scored a dream furniture piece at an even dreamier price. Someone's trash is someone else's treasure, right? You fall in love with this classic piece, and everything seems great—except that it is covered with dings, scratches, and scuffs, not to mention peeling paint and creaking drawers.

Don't lose hope—that midcentury dresser or vintage vanity can still be the perfect fit for your home with a bit of love. Diamonds in the rough simply need a bit of restoration, and as DIYers know, it's rewarding to rise to this challenge.

DIY media console with cane inserts.

Courtesy of Drew Scott

If you're just entering the world of DIY renovations and are looking to build the perfect tool kit, look no further. We sought advice from one of our favorite experts, Drew Scott from DIY and decor YouTube channel, Lone Fox, as he dishes the best tools that every DIYer or renovator should have on hand to make every project perfect.

Below, find out which tools are total necessities for DIY renovators.

SKIL Self-Leveling Laser

Self-Leveling Laser

Amazon

First on Scott's list is this self-leveling laser. Gone are the days of hanging pictures, just to step back and see that all of them were hung crookedly. This level can be set up a few feet away from your way, providing the perfect guide for nailing or sketching.

"This will make your life a breeze when it comes to hanging anything," Scott shares. "I use it all the time for gallery walls, hanging shelves, or even painting. It’s way easier to use than a traditional level. I also love that it has a clamp, so you can attach it to basically anything." 

Gorilla Dual Temp Mini Hot Glue Gun with 30 Glue Sticks

Gorilla Dual Temp Mini Hot Glue Gun

Courtesy of Amazon

Any fans of Scott's YouTube channel know that Gorilla Glue makes his preferred hot glue sticks. Turns out, the super-duty glue brand also makes hot glue, which has the perfect amount of adhesion for most DIY projects.

"I’m so obsessed with this glue gun and sticks—if you haven’t been using them, it’s time to make the switch," Scott says. "They are much more durable than your normal hot glue sticks, and they work on metal and glass. These are the only glue sticks I use."

Ryobi P320 Airstrike Brad Nailer

P320 Airstrike Brad Nailer

Amazon

A brad nailer is a must when it comes to building a toolkit. Don't waste energy hammering in nails: the electric nail gun will do all the work for you.

"I’ve used this brad nailer for hundreds of DIY projects," Scott says. "It’s so simple to use, and I love that it’s cordless and doesn’t require an air compressor." 

PRULDE Heat Gun

Heat Gun

Amazon

If you're stripping paint or removing adhesive, a heat gun is an excellent tool to use. "This is a must if you’re impatient like me," Scott says. "I often use it for projects in which I need to paint multiple coats or want to dry something quickly."

ScotchBlue Pre-Taped Painter's Plastic with Dispenser

Pre-taped Painter's Plastic with Dispenser

Amazon

Sometimes, it's the smallest tools that make the most difference. If you're doing some spray painting or rolling paint onto walls, you'll need some quality painter's tape and a plastic tarp. This set from ScotchBlue comes with both in one kit.

"A lifesaving product when it comes to painting, I love how this set includes the painter’s tape and plastic in one," Scott shares.

Pro Grade Paint Brushes

Pro Grade Paint Brushes

Amazon

"I’m always on the hunt to find inexpensive and quality paint brushes, especially for larger projects," Scott shares. "I love this pack of 5 because it comes with different-sized brushes, the quality is great, and it’s under $7." Affordable and high-quality? Sign us up.

Bosch Palm Sander

Palm Sander

Amazon

Trying to buff a huge furniture piece by hand with a small patch of sandpaper is one of the most laborious and frustrating tasks for a DIYer. You want quick results and a smooth sand so you can get to the more fun parts of a project: staining and changing hardware. Scott suggests investing in a palm sander to cut down on time and energy.

"This is honestly so worth the investment," he says. "I used to hand sand everything, but now, using an electric sander cuts the time in half. I totally recommend it, especially if you use a lot of wood within your DIY projects."

Rust-Oleum Universal Hammered Spray Paint in Dark Brown

Universal Hammered Spray Paint in Dark Brown

Target

One last tool that Scott tried and loved is this hammered spray paint. This particular bottle has a comfort-forward handle for ease of use and a controlled sprayer—bye-bye, spray paint drips.

"I love this burnished amber spray paint—I like to use it to create an antique effect on DIYs or furniture pieces," Scot notes. "I initially just used it as spray paint, but now I use it in many ways to achieve an aged look with any project."

How to Get Started on Your First DIY

Looking for a first renovation project to tackle with all of your new tools? Scott suggests two simple ways to start: painting a door or limewashing.

"Painting a door is an easy way to add a pop of color to your home—you don’t have to be an amazing painter, and it only takes about an hour to complete," he shares. "Another easy project is lime wash painting. This may seem intimidating, but it’s another easy way for someone who may be inexperienced to take their room to the next level."

Scott used this technique in his roommate’s bedroom to achieve an antique, textured look. Simply apply the paint using a large brush, and then make brush strokes going in every which way.

"Don’t be intimidated—DIY projects are so easy and well worth the effort," Scott says.