DIY Home Improvement Projects Under $100

By: Danny Lipford

Danny Lipford standing next to refinished appliance

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You’d be surprised how many projects you can do yourself around your home for less than $100 in materials that can improve the appearance or function of your home. Here are four inexpensive DIY projects to tackle that can really add to your house.

Tile Over an Existing Floor

When installing ceramic tile over a wood or vinyl floor, it’s important to make sure the old floor is prepared properly. The tile we used on this project are available at The Home Depot.

Tiling over a tile floor
To tile over an existing floor in your home:

  • Remove doors, quarter round, and/or baseboards.
  • Cut cement backer board to fit the floor.
  • Apply a layer of thin-set adhesive to the existing floor.
  • Position the backer board on the floor.
  • Attach backer board to the floor with self countersinking screws.
  • Coat backer board seams with thin-set and mesh fiberglass tape.
  • Apply a second coat of thin-set over the fiberglass tape.
  • Decide how to layout the tile on the floor.
  • Pop chalk lines at right angles to align the tile in the room.
  • Apply thin-set adhesive to the floor using a notched trowel.
  • Lay the tile, making sure tile are properly aligned, spaced, and level.
  • Cut the tile around the perimeter of the floor using a wet saw.
  • Allow the thin-set tile adhesive to set the recommended time.
  • Mix and apply grout to the joints in the tile.
  • Use a damp sponge to remove any excess grout.
  • Reinstall doors, baseboards, and/or quarter round.

Danny Lipford cutting crown molding on a power miter saw

Install Crown Molding in a Room

Adding crown molding is an inexpensive way to dress up a bland room. To add crown molding to a room:

  • Measure each wall at the ceiling level.
  • Position the crown molding at the proper angle on a miter saw.
  • Cut the crown molding to the correct length and angle.
  • Attach the crown molding to the wall studs with nails.
  • Putty the nail holes and caulk any joints.
  • Paint the crown molding.

Wire pull-out racks added to kitchen cabinets

Add Pull-Out Wire Baskets to Cabinets

Increase the storage space in kitchen and bathroom cabinets, by installing pull-out wire baskets from ClosetMaid, which are available at The Home Depot. To install wire baskets in kitchen cabinets:

  • Measure the width and depth of the cabinet.
  • Purchase wire baskets to fit the cabinet.
  • If needed, remove cabinet doors.
  • Center the wire basket base in the cabinet opening.
  • Attach the basket base to the cabinet shelf.
  • Insert the wire basket in the base.
  • Rehang the cabinet doors on the cabinet.

applying Liquid Stainless Steel to fridge

Apply Stainless Steel Finish to Appliances

Make an old refrigerator, dishwasher, or stove look like new by applying Thomas’ Liquid Stainless Steel coating. To refinish an appliance:

  • Remove the handles from the appliance.
  • Sand any rust off the appliance.
  • Clean the surface to remove any grease or grime.
  • Spray rust inhibiting primer on any bare metal.
  • Mask the inner edge of the door gasket with painter’s tape.
  • Stir the Liquid Stainless Steel coating thoroughly.
  • Apply a thin coat of Liquid Stainless Steel with a roller.
  • Drag a wide foam brush over the wet surface to eliminate lap marks.
  • When dry, apply a second coat of Liquid Stainless Steel.
  • Drag the foam brush over the wet surface in the opposite direction.
  • Apply one or more coats of clear sealer.
  • Refinish the handles with spray paint.
  • Reattach the handles to the appliance.

Other Tips from This Episode

Homemade Glue Spreader

Simple Solutions with Joe Truini:
Homemade Glue Spreader

To keep from applying too much glue, cut an expired gift card with decorative shears to create a scalloped edge. Use the card to evenly spread the glue over the surface, much like you would with a notched trowel.

Filtrete 7-Day Wi-Fi Programmable Thermostat

Best New Products with Jodi Marks:
Filtrete Programmable Thermostat

The Filtrete 7-day, Wi-Fi, Programmable Thermostat has a touch-screen that’s back-lit for easy visibility and works with your home’s Wi-Fi connection to allow you to check and set the thermostat remotely using a computer or smartphone. The Filtrete programmable thermostat is available at The Home Depot.

Painting Laminate Countertops

Ask Danny Lipford:
Painting Laminate Countertops

There are several DIY coating that allow you to paint over old plastic laminate countertops including Rust-Oleum Countertop Coating for a solid color or Giani Granite Paint for a faux stone look.



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One Comment on “DIY Home Improvement Projects Under $100”

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  • Melayne Brooks Says:
    December 10th, 2011 at 5:10 am

    Have 8 year old the corian Kitchen counter tops that are cracked some are deep and raised…is there anything i can do to fix it

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