Home Improvement Hacks on a Budget: 15 Ideas Under $50

Twin Cities’ home owners know how daunting it can be to take on home renovations. Costs can quickly spiral out of control! But they don’t have to. Here are 15 affordable home improvement hacks, all under $50, courtesy of the team over at Thrillist.

It’s easy to bite off way more than you can chew when you’re overhauling your home. It’s even easier to spend way more than you intended.

The truth is, though, that you don’t have to spend much at all to make a big difference. $50 can go a long way—here’s proof.

1. Paint boring linoleum or vinyl flooring

What you’ll need: paint, painter’s tapepolyurethane floor finishing
How much: $40-50
How long: 1 day
Rather than pay a pretty penny to tile over your dull linoleum or vinyl floor in the kitchen or bathroom, make it look like you did by giving the surface an interesting painted pattern. Once you’ve settled on something, mock it up with painter’s tape, and paint in your colors of choice. Once dry, give it a coat of polyurethane to keep it protected and easy to clean. See more.

2. Paint outdoor planters with glow-in-the-dark paint

What you’ll need: Glow-in-the-dark spray paintclay pots, plants (optional)
How much? $30-50, depending on quality of pots
How long? 1 hour
Outfitting your backyard with enough lighting fixtures to keep the whole place glowing is expensive and involved. Instead, cover clay planters with a few coats of glow-in-the-dark paint. See more.

3. Add faux black wainscoting to a wall

What you’ll need: 1′ x 3′ sheets of wood, nails, paint
How much? $30-50 depending on size of wall
How long? half to full day
This one’s a little more involved, but it has the power to truly transform your entire room, and make it look like you spent a whole lot more on it than you actually did. First you’ll need to measure the wall(s) you’d like to deck out, and figure out how many planks of wood you’ll need to achieve the faux-latticed look. Cut and mount the pieces of lumber uniformly along the wall, and once the basic structure’s in place, give it a coat or two of dark paint. See more.

4. Create a mirrored backsplash with decals

What you’ll need: Self-adhesive mirror tiles
How much? $15 per 20-pack
How long? 1 hour, or longer if you have unsteady hands
Brighten up and add the illusion of space to your kitchen by lining the walls beneath your cabinets with mirrored tile. Only, instead of going all-out with grout, pick up a pack of peel-and-stick mirrored tile sheets, which will cut down on both cost and mess. See more.

5. Paint a designer area rug

What you’ll need: Plain solid color rugpainter’s tapefabric medium, paint
How much? $50
How long? 1-3 hours
Don’t even think about spending hundreds of dollars on that kickass CB2 area rug. Buy a blank one, mock up a cool design outline with painter’s tape, and paint it like a pro. Let the design dry almost completely, remove the tape, and then give it an overnight dry before placing it in any trafficked area. See more.

Want more home improvement hacks? Head on over to Thrillist’s website for the full list of 15 home improvement hacks under $50.

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