Monday, December 21, 2015

Last-minute gift guide for DIYers


The calendar is positively ZOOMING ahead and I honestly can't believe Christmas is on Friday, but people (well, the kids) keep insisting it really is.

I've been wanting to put together a post like this for ages and am getting around to it kind of late (sorry!) but hopefully there's still time for it to help a last-minute shopper or two.

We spend a LOT of waking hours working on DIY projects, so it's natural that people want to gift us with something to make that easier/more fun/all-around better. But what to get?

Hint: NOT tinted paint, NOT hardware, NOT artwork (we'll make our own).

Ready? Here are a few things any DIYer would like to unwrap on Christmas morning:


This handy device: It's called the WashBox and I'm totally digging it. It's a plastic bin with ridges and a tailpiece at the bottom so you can rinse off your brushes and rollers in the sink without making your sink all gross and paint-y (been there, done that -- to both our kitchen sink and 2/3 bathroom sinks). Then you can leave your brush/roller in there to dry, too. 

I've been guilty of leaving my brushes dunked in a coffee mug of water (which, uh, has ruined them) because they weren't fully clean, but this little box lets me get them really clean. Bonus: it was invented by a Dartmouth, N.S. man so it's buying locaaaaaaaaal! 


Good paintbrushes: Sherry from my beloved Young House Love swears by a short-handled 2" angled brush and I do find those best on trimwork, but typically I find a longer-handled brush more comfortable in my (man?) hand. The point is to get a QUALITY brush. 

I spent years cheaping out on brushes and it's never worth it. I know it feels painful to spend a lot on something that looks kind of similar to the cheap version, but a good brush is the difference between bristles getting stuck in your finished product and a smooth finish. A good brush is the difference between tossing your yucky brush in the garbage or keeping it for years. 

If you know someone who paints or stains, march into a home improvement store and ask the person at the paint counter for a quality brush they'd recommend. Trust me, it will go to good use! 



Something new they may not have tried: Even if they're making a couple of projects a week (*raises both hands*) they still don't necessarily know every cool new product that's out there -- especially if they live in a small town like us! 

I recently tried the Minwax Wood Finishing Cloths and they were a revelation, seriously. No messy cans to pry open, no drippy brushes, no washing brushes (although that's easier now, see above). They were like baby wipes (albeit poo-y looking wipes) that you just wipe across the wood and then throw away. 

Gift cards: When in doubt, gift-card it out. (Did I just make that up?) Specifically gift cards to building-supply stores in their area. These are like candy to us! We love them. We can't get enough of them. There is always wood or screws or paint or hardware or TOOLS or something we need for upcoming projects. 

Happy shopping -- and remember, nobody wants a random miniature can of paint* you bought years ago and never used.

*an actual gift I once watched a family member open

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