8 Easy Step-By-Step DIY Projects For Easter Bank Holiday Weekend

Big kitchen renovations or bathroom makeovers can take months to plan properly, but there are many achievable and affordable hassle-free ways to refresh the home over the Easter bank holiday weekend.

Transforming a room with paint is one of the easiest DIY projects you can tackle, even more so if you stick to small pockets like alcoves, cupboards or a compact downstairs loo. Panelling a wall and upcycling secondhand furniture are both deceptively simple, even for the amateur DIYer, and there are plenty of budget-friendly garden ideas – providing we have good weather, of course.

Read on for eight quick DIY home updates and a step-by-step guide for each…

1. Panel a wall

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Adding decorative panelling to your walls is a deceptively easy DIY task. It’s a great design solution for contemporary properties that tend to lack character. There are plenty of retailers like B&Q that will pre-cut your chosen wooden panels as long as you provide measurements.

HB’s tip… Instagram is a great place to seek out inspiration if you’re stuck for ideas. Use the hashtags #wallpanelling and #wallpanellingideas to see what other people have been up to.

Read our step-by-step guide to wall panelling

2. Paint your kitchen cabinets

diy how to paint kitchen cabinetspinterest icon


‘Painting the kitchen cabinets is potentially the most dramatic difference you can make to your kitchen on a budget,’ says Michael Rolland, DIY expert at The Paint Shed. ‘You can either choose to refresh the current stain or colour, or to give the kitchen an entirely new look, choose a different colour for your cabinets.’

Here, Michael explains how to paint your kitchen cabinets in five easy steps.

Step one: Pick a semi-gloss paint

‘For ease of wiping the cupboards down with a cloth, a paint with a semi-gloss is recommended,’ Michael suggests. ‘Any flatter and it will have a chalky feel when you wipe it down. Using high-gloss paint will highlight every single brush stroke or roll mark – so unless you’re an exceptional painter a semi-gloss is preferable, such as the Modern Eggshell paints from Farrow & Ball or Intelligent Eggshell from Little Greene.’

Step two: Prep the area

‘Clean out your kitchen cabinets and tape plastic sheeting to worktops and floors to help protect finishes and avoid paint spills,’ he continues. ‘Clean your kitchen cabinets using a degreasing agent like Trisodium phosphate (TSP) to get any grease off of cabinet surfaces. Pay particular attention to areas around the handles, underneath the cabinets, and under the bottom of the edges of cupboard doors. This will ensure that the paint adheres to the surface properly.’

Step three: Sand your cabinets

Give your cabinets a light sand with 220 or 400 grit sandpaper, depending on the finish of your cabinets, Michael advises. ‘For cabinets with an open grained finish like oak for example, you should use a heavier grit sandpaper.’

Step four: Remove your cupboard doors for priming

‘After sanding, remove the cupboard doors, lay them flat and brush on a primer coat such as Farrow & Ball Interior Wood Primer & Undercoat. When they are dry, flip the cupboards over to prime the other side. Once the primer is completely dry, give the cupboards a light sanding to smooth out brush strokes,’ Michael explains.

‘For a really smooth finish repeat the process and use a finer sandpaper the second time. Then vacuum and wipe your cabinets with a tack cloth to clean away any debris.’

Step five: Get painting

For the final step, use a good quality brush or smooth roller to apply paint to the cupboards. Michael explains: ‘Apply a thin coat and let your kitchen cabinets dry flat to avoid drip marks. When dry to the touch, turn them over and paint the other side. Wait a few hours before applying a second coat. Applying the paint in several thin coats is better than just two thick ones. It not only gives a better, even finish, but also makes it more hard-wearing.’

House Beautiful Matt Emulsion Paint MT.01

House Beautiful Matt Emulsion Paint MT.01
Credit: House Beautiful

House Beautiful Matt Emulsion Paint MT.03

House Beautiful Matt Emulsion Paint MT.03
Credit: House Beautiful

House Beautiful Matt Emulsion Paint MT.05

House Beautiful Matt Emulsion Paint MT.05
Credit: House Beautiful

House Beautiful Matt Emulsion Paint MT.07

House Beautiful Matt Emulsion Paint MT.07
Credit: House Beautiful

House Beautiful Matt Emulsion Paint MT.09

House Beautiful Matt Emulsion Paint MT.09
Credit: House Beautiful

3. Makeover a downstairs loo

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Jen (@halfpaintedhouse)

Jen Brake, the talent behind @halfpaintedhouse, recently transformed her downstairs loo using the House Beautiful paint at Homebase, adding bright pink wall panels and hand-painted accents.

This small but impactful makeover is best suited to those who have panels installed, or those who know their way around a saw and a nail gun.

Read the step-by-step guide here

4. Paste the wall wallpaper

botanical themed hallwaypinterest icon

Mark Scott

Traditional wallpapering can be a fiddly process that leaves you battling with soaking rolls of wallpaper as they stick to skirting boards and dust sheets – no way to spend a long weekend. Paste the wall wallpaper by contrast is a modern solution without the mess or the hassle.

As the name suggests, this method allows you to spread your adhesive directly onto the wall rather than the wallpaper itself. No pasting table is required, and you reduce the risk of common hiccups, like smearing paste onto the front surface of the wallpaper or soaking the paper with too much adhesive.

Olivia Hunter, decorating specialist at Wallpaper It, shares three easy tips for perfect DIY wallpapering.

One: Prep the wall

    ‘First, take time to prep your wall. Make sure any existing wallpaper has been removed and the surface has been smoothed using sandpaper,’ Olivia says. ‘If you find you have cracks in the wall, repair with wall filler and sandpaper before rinsing the wall with soapy water and allowing it to dry completely.’

    Two: Plan your approach

    ‘Before you start hanging your wallpaper, take some time to plan where to place the first piece – it’s important to get the first piece straight,’ Olivia warns. ‘Ideally, begin at the corner and hang your first length of paper on a wall with no doors or windows to hang a full length from the ceiling to the top of the skirting board.

    ‘If your wallpaper is patterned, hang the first length over a focal point such as a fireplace. Work away from it in both directions to help ensure the design stays central and symmetrical.’

      Three: Apply (carefully)

      Use a plumb line to draw a vertical line onto your wall as a guide for placing your first piece. Use a roller rather than a brush to apply adhesive to the wall to speed up the process.

      The Chateau by Angel Strawbridge Wallpaper

      The Chateau by Angel Strawbridge Wallpaper
      Credit: Wallpaper Direct

      Sorrento Wallpaper in Navy

      Sorrento Wallpaper in Navy
      Credit: I Love Wallpaper

      Ogata Kuren Wallpaper in Mint Green

      Ogata Kuren Wallpaper in Mint Green
      Credit: Lust Home

      5. Easy upcyling

      diy sideboard upcyclingpinterest icon


      Upcycling can be a fairly easy DIY task if you’re focusing on something as simple as refreshing vintage or antique furniture. eBay recently launched an on-site DIY hub combining a collection of pre-loved furniture with tools and paint from Dulux.

      ‘There’s no satisfaction quite like the joy of bringing someone’s pre-loved items back to life with a lick of paint,’ says Marianne Shillingford, Creative Director at Dulux. ‘In collaboration with eBay, we want to lend a hand to budding DIYers and interior enthusiasts to help them to create beautifully unique pieces for their homes. Whether it be a bold statement piece, or a more neutral addition – our new Dulux Simply Refresh Multi Surface paint and pre-loved finds from eBay are the perfect combination. DIY really has never been easier!’

      This super simple sideboard refresh comes straight from the eBay DIY hub, and can be applied to any wooden furniture such as wardrobes or dressing tables.

      How to refresh a sideboard:

      1. Remove any handles and hardware
      2. Lightly sand using abrasive pads to create an even surface for painting
      3. Wipe the sanding dust off using lint-free cloths to ensure a super smooth finish
      4. Apply two coats of a multi-surface paint leaving at least 3-4 hours between coats.
      5. For a real transformation, swap out the old handles for something more contemporary like brass.

      6. Revive a tired garden (on a budget)

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      Gardens are so often neglected during the colder months and, weather permitting, a long weekend is a great opportunity to do a bit of a tidy up. We are huge proponents of budget-friendly upgrades when it comes to a garden,

      Whether it’s creating a DIY garden bar, getting clever with how and what you plant, or repurposing old items into new, there are plenty of thrifty quick fixes to tackle.

      Read our guide to 22 cheap garden updates here

      7. Upgrade a fireplace (for under £100)

      affordable diy fireplacepinterest icon

      Nicole (@sleekchicinteriors)

      Interiors blogger, Nicole Sage of Sleek Chic Interiors, shares how to create a characterful Victorian fireplace for under £100.

      ‘When we bought our Victorian terrace house, we were adamant that we were going to restore the original architectural details for period authenticity,’ says Nicole. ‘The previous owners had removed what would have once been a Victorian fireplace; it was boarded up with a plastic sheet to cover the hole that was left.

      ‘It was really important to us to restore what would have once stood there, but as we were hoping to renovate the entire property, keeping costs as low as possible was essential. Overall, for the materials and fireplace itself, the total cost of fitting a brand new fireplace set us back just under £97. If we bought this type of fireplace brand new, it would have cost at least £500 – not to mention having to also pay for installation costs!’

      Below, Nicole shares four tips to creating your own.

      One: Sourcing a secondhand fireplace

      ‘Because we were keen to renovate the fireplace on the cheap, we knew immediately that shopping secondhand would be key. We scoured the likes of Vinted, eBay and charity shops but eventually sourced a beautiful pre-used fireplace from Facebook Marketplace. It cost just £50 and was exactly what we were looking for,’ Nicole explains.

      ‘My tip for anyone else looking to do the same thing would be to not give up and to not compromise! Items of furniture are added to these platforms daily, so persistence is key – and don’t be afraid to barter.’

      Two: Preparing the area

      ‘Before fitting the new fireplace, we had to sand the surround and then painted this in a white satin paint which we already had, costing us next to nothing. We then cleaned the fireplace and used a wire brush to get rid of any dirt or rust. Then we painted it using Hammerite Matt Black finish spray paint, which cost just £12,; Nicole reveals.

      ‘In order to fit the fireplace, the first step was removing the plastic cover installed by the previous tenants and enlarging the existing hole ourselves. As there was already a lintel existing within the wall, we were not required to install a new one.’

      Three: Creating a DIY hearth

      ‘To create a hearth, we bought some matt black tiles and secured them in place using an adhesive, then grouted them using a black grout. All of these three materials came to £25 and the DIY was surprisingly easy to undertake for someone with little experience,’ Nicole admits.

      Four: Fitting the fireplace

      Nicole concludes: ‘After the hearth had set, we inserted the fireplace into the hole and secured this to the wall with plugs and screws, ensuring it was fit to the centre of the wall and was level. We then used a ready mix cement for the lower area which cost £10, and finally sprayed the cement with the same matt black paint spray once it had set. The surround was then fitted into place and secured with screws, ensuring it was level, and we then used caulk to seal any exposed edges.’

      8. Paint the front door

      dulux lavender quartz purple front doorpinterest icon

      ‘The warmer weather and more sunlight hours that spring brings is the perfect excuse to give your door a fresh repaint,’ says Michael, especially if the winter weather may have left the paint on your front door looking tired and faded.

      ‘A sharp-looking door can really transform the look of a property so choosing a colour that works well is crucial,’ Michael continues. ‘Anthracite grey is fast becoming a popular choice of colour for a style-conscious homeowner. Anthracite grey is a delicate tone of grey, adding a touch of class to traditional and contemporary properties.’

      A fresh coat of paint is a quick and inexpensive transformation, and we’ve asked the experts for their top tips on what paint to choose and how to prep your front door for the job.

      Read our really useful guide to painting a front door

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      Checkerboard Cushion

      Checkerboard Cushion
      Credit: John Lewis & Partners

      Delaney Taper Candle Holder

      Delaney Taper Candle Holder
      Credit: Anthropologie

      Cecily Woven Scalloped Yellow Wool & Cotton Rug

      Cecily Woven Scalloped Yellow Wool & Cotton Rug
      Credit: Oliver Bonas

      Archie Armchair

      Archie Armchair
      Credit: Marks & Spencer

      Textured Tray Top Orange Side Table

      Textured Tray Top Orange Side Table
      Credit: Rockett St George

      Cabana Stripe Cushion Forest/Blue

      Cabana Stripe Cushion Forest/Blue
      Credit: Heal’s

      Hand-painted Abstract Terracotta Jug

      Hand-painted Abstract Terracotta Jug
      Credit: Rose & Grey

      Colette Textured Boucle Pouffe, Mustard

      Colette Textured Boucle Pouffe, Mustard
      Credit: Sazy