25 Easy Home Updates That Won’t Break The Bank

25 Easy Home Updates That Won’t Break The Bank

Converting recess lights into pendant lights is actually easier (and cheaper) than you might think.

Esperamos que te gusten los productos que recomendamos. Solo para que lo sepas, BuzzFeed puede recolectar una pequeña parte de las ventas que salgan de esta publicación.

1.

Give your home a little extra privacy (and a little extra glam) with vinyl privacy film. Once you stick a sheet on your window, it’ll actually create a beautiful rainbow effect when light shines through it.


Amazon, amazon.com

BTW, it doesn’t leave any residue and can be reused. It also blocks up to 96% of UV rays.

Promising review: “This is an insanely great product. I could not be more pleased! Rainbows everywhere! I bought this instead of replacing my windows ($35 instead of $1,500) for now, because there is moisture trapped between the double panes which made them look really ugly until I covered them with the film. It covered up those imperfections about 90%! Close to 100% when the light isn’t shining directly in. It even looks snazzy on cloudy days and at night. I want to recommend this to everyone. I don’t like things to look “cheap,” and this certainly doesn’t. It looks like real glass. The texture is a high quality, too. They’re easy to install if you follow the directions. The price is almost too good to be true, but it is!!” —Julianna

Get it from Amazon for $8.49+ (available in six sizes; in stock on July 10 but you can still order it now).

2.

Add some charm to boring pieces of furniture with a cool stencil. It’ll pretty much breathe new life into the old coffee table you were thinking of tossing and make it feel oh-so ~unique~.


amazon.com

If you have any questions, check out this video tutorial on wall stenciling!

Promising review: “I stenciled an unpainted dresser for my daughter’s room and this stencil worked GREAT. If I were to do it again, I would order two stencils, as the repetitive stenciling began to clog up the stencil and the pattern became smaller and smaller as I worked — even though I tried to wash off the paint part way through the project. I used chalk paint, which is a bit heavier than your typical acrylic and I did the entire front of the dresser, not just a border.” —Little Kob

Get it from Amazon for $14.98 (available in two styles).

3.

Spruce up your bare living room walls using mirrored decals that you can arrange in any way you want — in other words, it’s perfect for even small slivers of wall space you just really want to do something with.


amazon.com

Promising review: “Considering the price, it’s pretty good. It’s easy to install and it makes a boring wall more interesting. As others said, it’s not glass. Glass would probably be way more difficult to install for a similar effect though. This works just fine and only involves peeling and sticking.” —Me

Get a set of 12 pieces from Amazon for $13.98.

4.

“Re-do” your kitchen backsplash without the cost of a full-on renovation using a peel-and-stick faux-gel tile backsplash. It’s mold-, heat-, and moisture-resistant and the pattern can brighten up your kitchen and make it your new favorite part of your house or apartment.


amazon.com

Promising review: “We did a kitchen facelift this summer, repainting and making everything look fresh. We were looking at The Home Depot version of these, which are more than double the price. We decided to go for these instead and they are amazing!! I put them up myself in about two hours. I did buy the adhesive spray just in case but it wasn’t needed, even for the few I had to peel off and re-stick to center correctly. These aren’t too difficult to apply but definitely require patience. 100% worth the buy for a DIY affordable update!” —Hope Consilvio

Get a 10-pack from Amazon for $39.99 (visit the shop page for more colors, including a multi-color one, a white marble one, and a brown one).

5.

Restore stained grout on your tiled floors and walls with a handy, dandy grout pen. It’s mold-resistant, covers up to 60 meters of grout area, and will make you feel like you’re walking on top of brand new bathroom tiles.


amazon.com, Amazon

Promising review: “I have 12-inch white tile in my whole house that is 20 years old. Even though I have kept it looking nice, the grout still was getting dark. I cleaned the grout and let it dry good ’til the next day then used the grout pen. It looks like it is brand-new. One thing that I found out was that if the tip of the pen starts to look worn you can just pull it out and turn it over — it is the same tip on both ends. It will take some time to do the whole house but it looks so great that I will just do a section at a time ’til I finish. One other thing that I did was run my finger down the grout line after I apply the grout pen then wipe down the tile line with a paper towel so no other cleanup was necessary.” —Amazon Customer

Get it from Amazon for $7.80 (available in three colors and two sizes).

6.

Create a charming accent wall with peel-and-stick wallpaper that’ll show off your taste and style and can be easily removed when you’re ready to move out.


Amazon

Promising review: “I’m very happy with this! The wall I put it on is about 9 ft. wide-by-8 ft. high, there is one window, and my baseboards are about 6 inches high — I ordered three rolls but only used two (with waste). Our house is VERY old so the walls are not flat and the corners are not an even 45 degrees, that’s why I had more waste than I think I would have in a newer home. I did not have trouble matching the pattern (I recommend matching up the side from top to bottom then smoothing it out from there rather than going from top to bottom). I was able to cut around the windows with ease; repositioning was easy. It’s a little awkward at first, but once you get the first piece up it the rest is easy. I did this myself and it took about two and half hours (it took about 40 minutes just to get started because our walls are so wonky, so I imagine a flat plumb wall would be much faster). I used a flat plastic paper-smoothing tool to smooth it out as well as the palms of my hands. I wouldn’t hesitate to use this product again.” —Common Sense

Get it from Amazon for $27.97 (visit the shop page for more colors and designs, including a stone pattern, a brown brick pattern, and a chevron pattern).

7.

Upgrade your countertops to give ’em a sweet faux granite look just by using a DIY paint kit. And to think you were just about to pay a fortune to have your countertops completely replaced!


amazon.com

Promising review: “I found out about this kit a few weeks ago. I redid my mother’s countertops first and was so pleased with the results, I bought a second kit and did mine this weekend. I am not a crafty person, so if I can do it, anyone can. Just be sure you follow the step-by-step instructions on the included DVD. They came out great!” —Sarah W. Fallon

Get it from Amazon for $79.95 (available in four colors).

8.

Paint your cabinets to give your kitchen that just-remodeled feeling for wayyyy less than it would cost to actually purchase brand new cabinets.


Amazon

The kit comes with two cans cabinet paint, a roller arm, two roller covers, and an angled paint brush; it requires no stripping, priming, or top coat or sealer, and there’s no need to remove your cabinet doors.

Promising review: “Amazing! Amazing! Amazing. Did take more than one coat though. My cabinets were bare wood and I still needed a couple of coats. (Five to be exact, but that was just me being extra.) My kitchen is medium-sized, not too big, and it only took up one can. But I still went over a couple more times just to get a nice coating. I also let it sit for some days and saw the wood was sucking up the paint in some areas so I went over it again. The project ideally does take one day like the promotion video says, but one day as in 24 hours. This took my kitchen from looking like a cheap rental apartment kitchen to a high-quality kitchen with just this paint and new knobs. The paint is perfect for cabinets — it’s not too thick, so you still see the wood grains. It comes with EVERYTHING you need. I didn’t have to buy a thing. The project is super easy, paint dries fast, and I did it at first by removing the cabinets but it wasn’t necessary at all. Just make sure you don’t leave any dripping because it would make your cabinets look cheap. I would recommend EVERYONE to purchase this and give your cabinets a chance before making a big investment in new cabinets. Wood is wood and it can be refinished.” —Brandon Moronta

Get it from Amazon for $69.93 (also available in gray, deep brown, mint, black, and white).

9.

And while you’re at it, replace old cabinet handles with some sleek-looking drawer handles. It may be a small change but you’ll feel like you’ve got a new kitchen minus the costs of renovations. Plus, if you’ve had a few too many broken or loose cabinet handles, these new ones’ll save the day!


Amazon, amazon.com

Promising review: “These handles are great! I love the look of the cup drawer handles but did not want to spend $5/handle at the big box home improvement store. At this price for 10, you cannot beat the price of these — I did have to purchase longer screws in order to install them though. Otherwise, this is a great product!” —Nelly and her Nerd

Get a pack of 10 from Amazon for $24.95.

10.

Personalize your home while you preserve memories with a gallery wall kit. This one comes complete with seven frames, a hanging template, hardware, and a set of black and white prints you can use as filler photos in between pics of you and your fam.


Amazon

Promising review: “This is awesome! Why isn’t everyone including the outline with exactly where to put the nails? It turned out so cute, and my husband loved how easy it was to hang! Just make sure to check you’re using the right size nail prior to putting holes in your wall!” —Megan Lingerfelt

Get it from Amazon for $48.99.

11.

Convert recess lighting into pendant lighting with an easy-to-use conversion kit. Your new lights will add a gorgeous twist and (depending on your tastes) can also add a pop of color to your monochromatic kitchen.


Amazon

Remember!! This is just a conversion kit and light shades aren’t included.

Promising review: “As a new homeowner, I am learning things as I go along. I bought a condo that has very outdated recessed light fixtures (not to mention CFL bulbs!). I bought my pendant lighting before I realized I can’t just easily change them within an hour. Thankfully, after watching Youtube tutorials, it led me to this amazing product and I was able to install my pendant lights without having to pay an electrician hundreds of dollars to do it for me!” —Erika B.

Get a pack of two from Amazon for $46.64+ (also available as a pack of six).

12.

Add some sass to the tops of dressers, tables, and the outsides of photo frames with some vinyl marble gloss contact paper. It’ll give objects and furniture a glossy finish and a whole new personality.


Amazon, amazon.com

Promising review: “This wrap completely transformed my desk! I had to order two to cover everything, but nonetheless, my desk looks amazing and everyone who walks into my room notices. It’s not a super-thin vinyl, so if there are tiny imperfections/scratches where you want to place it, it will be covered! I’ve never used a vinyl wrap before so I was a little nervous, but surprisingly, it was super easy to apply and I finished up in less than 10 minutes.” —Shan

Get a roll from Amazon for $6.49+ (also available in packs of two, three, four, and 10 rolls).

13.

Throw down a super soft area rug to replace the dusty, wine-stained one that’s currently sitting in the living room.


Amazon

Promising review: “This rug is so surprisingly amazing. It’s perfect for my daughter’s room. It’s so soft and very easy to clean, and it’s also easy to move but doesn’t slip around even when danced on. This is the type of purchase that I still can’t believe was real…so affordable and so perfect. This would easily cost three times as much even at a discount store. Needless to say, I highly recommend.” —Bri

Get it from Amazon for $31.99+ (available in two sizes and four colors).

14.

Or choose a printed rug that’ll really tie together an otherwise plain room.


Jungalow

Jungalow is a Black-owned, woman-owned decor and furniture shop that actually started as a design blog. They try to use natural, recycled, recycle-able, and compostable materials in their products.

Get it from Jungalow for $79+ (available in five sizes).

15.

Use a wood filler kit to improve the look of deep scratch marks in your wooden furniture instead of tossing them altogether and buying new pieces.


amazon.com

The kit includes 12 filler shades and a brush.

Promising review: “This is super easy to use and effective for being so inexpensive! I am very impressed with how this fixed my chairs that my cat scratched up. Instead of spending $100 per new chair, I took a chance with this stuff and I’m so glad I did. You have to figure out what color matches your wood best — my teak chairs actually needed a slightly darker color or else the filler made the wood flat and more so like paint. When I went with the darker color it put the grain effect back on and looked natural.” —Sara Petrouskie

Get a pack of 12 from Amazon for $13.99+ (available in two shade ranges and packs of 18 and 14 colors).

16.

Ditch old cabinet hardware and opt for some simple but fancy-looking pulls. It’ll seem like a tiny feat at first, but let your before and after pics speak for themselves.


amazon.com

Promising review: “Wow!! That’s my first thought on opening these. I’m in the process of updating my master bathroom and saw these online. Of course the bargain shopper I am I checked my local stores. They had packs of 10 for $54…very lightweight. So I was scared of what I was getting here. These are almost 5 ounces each!! Very heavy quality, all individually wrapped with the screws for each. Definitely best quality and best price!!” —Margaret

Get a 10-pack from Amazon for $19.97+ (available in three sizes, two styles, four finishes, and packs of one, five, 10, and 25 pulls).

17.

Break out the spray paint and get to work on literally anything in your home that needs a little TLC. Now get ready to watch your beat up rocker transform into a glossed-up, new-looking chair right before your eyes.


amazon.com

Promising review: “If used correctly, this achieves excellent coverage. I have used it on (sanded) aluminum, on previously powdered coated steel, on raw mild steel, on brushed titanium. With proper application, the results were always excellent. That said, it’s not an easy paint to use. If you just ‘spray and pray’, without surface preparation and with only one coat, it will make for a very terrible, blotchy finish. But if you know what you are doing, this is an excellent product.” —Filippo Beretta

Learn some tips and tricks for spray painting to ensure you get the best results.

Get it from Amazon for $8.79+ (available in 20+ colors and four finishes).

18.

Devise a new living room or bedroom aesthetic simply by changing out your throw pillows with these pom-pom pillow covers. Change ’em up seasonally or just whenever you get bored of looking at your current covers.


Amazon

Just keep in mind these are pillow *covers*, so you’ll need to select a size to fit your current pillows, OR buy pillow inserts starting at $6.99. If you like your pillows fuller, make sure you size down the pillow covers by 2 inches so you can achieve that firm, fluffy look.

Promising review: “I LOVE these pillow covers! They feel very high quality at a very affordable price. I have four children, and I was afraid of the light color getting dirty, but they are very easy to wipe down and keep clean. They are SUPER soft and comfy. I am very happy with my purchase.” —Jenny Hauser

Get a two-pack from Amazon for $13.99+ (available in six sizes and 20 colors).

19.

Breathe new life into parched wooden surfaces with a can of wood finisher (even if you’ve had your cabinet or chairs for decades and still refuse to spend the money on replacements). Scratches and marks begone!! It’ll also give your hardwood floors that glossy, recently-renovated look.


amazon.com

Promising review: “As you can see my cabinets look pretty dry and disgusting. The finished product is it looks like I refinished the cabinet. So very easy to use! I bought Walnut but found that I could also use it on Cherry Wood. I also bought the Howard’s Feed and Wax to protect and maintain the finish. It’s a fabulous product that I found the first time about 20 years ago! I was thrilled to see that they were still in business and still providing an excellent product!” —Carolyn Hutchinson

Get it from Amazon for $8.99+ (available in two sizes and nine finishing shades).

20.

Upgrade your garage doors with a set of carriage-style magnets — it may be a tiny change but it’ll add major charm. The magnets take only seconds to attach and arrange so it’ll take you virtually no time at all.


Amazon, amazon.com

They won’t rust out at all because they’re made of a super durable UV- and weather-resistant plastic.

Promising review: “If you’re looking for instant curb appeal with little effort, you need to get these. These haven’t moved in large rain storms or excessive wind and hopefully won’t rust out like the more expensive drilled sets my neighbors have since there are no exposed screws or hardware.” —SG

Get them from Amazon for $11.68+ (available in standard and premium hinges and with the option for a lever).

21.

Replace your super old shower head for a fancy-looking dual-spray version that’ll make you feel like you have a whole new shower. It includes a handheld sprayer perfect for any hard-to-reach places, and it’s easier to install than you might think.


Amazon

Apartment Therapy explains how to easily replace your shower head, and this Amazon review has a great step-by-step for this particular shower head.

Promising review: “This is a great shower head set. Both heads allow you to easily change the water setting, and a distinct click lets you know when you’re right on that setting’s maximum flow. The exterior of the shower head combo is a nice shiny chrome, and it definitely provides a luxury feel. The hose is lightweight and very high quality. I haven’t had any problems with water leaking from either shower head or from the hose. For the price of this shower head, you can’t beat it.” —Nathan

Get it from Amazon for $25.99.

22.

Say goodbye to your dirty, cracked, or just plain boring switch-plates and replace ’em with these new shiny gold covers. They’ll elevate the look of any room with minimal effort.


Amazon

This is a change that takes only a few minutes: unscrew the old, and screw on the new!

Promising review: “I’ve ordered these before and they are a very good product. Good quality and they look good too. My only negative is that they are a little smaller in length and width than the plastic ones found in most homes (standard) so if the hole was cut just a little too large, you may be able to see the opening when using these covers.” —Alan

Get these from Amazon for $13.45+ (available in four finishes).

23.

Transform your plain mirror into one fit for an A-list celebrity with this LED light strip. And to think you were really about to toss your current mirror for one that costs hundreds.


Amazon

Promising review: “It looks beautiful on my new vanity! The brightness is incredible, and I love the dimmer feature. To line my mirror, I used about half the roll, and I wish it came with another plug/dimmer for the second half! I’ll definitely be ordering them. The light is strong, and shows you ALL imperfections (which I guess is the point, but wow, surprise!!) I am now hooked, and I’m telling my husband all the things in our home that HAVE to be lined with lights!” —Jenni P.

Get it from Amazon for $17.99.

24.

Give any room in your home a little extra storage space using some floating shelves. Empty walls are prime real estate for showing off cool candles, cute trinkets, and intriguing books.


amazon.com, amazon.com

Promising review: “I’ve been looking everywhere for shelves like these but have had no luck. Anything I found was either too big or over $100. These are fantastic. They go perfectly in my bathroom and allow me extra shelving for things I can’t fit on the counter top. I’m buying another set or two for my living room. They’re super easy to hang, especially if you have a drill.” —Stephanie

Get it from Amazon for $14.44+ (available in six colors).

25.

Finally, replace any nasty, gunked-up bathroom and bedroom trashcans with this super sleek option. It sounds like a no-brainer but we’ve all probably been using the same icky trash can for the last 15 years.


Amazon

Promising review: “I love this little trash can! It is the perfect size for a compact, or large bathroom. It blends in well, so it is hardly noticeable sandwiched in between my toilet and sink. Because of the size, it can easily fit in the sink if you want to clean it. The material seems durable as well. I’ve had this trash can for about a month now, and couldn’t be happier. For sizing, it fits a regular plastic shopping bag perfectly — now I finally have a use for all the ones I have stored away!” —Reina M

Get it from Amazon for $26.99 (available in two colors).

Reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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