Not only are HGTV’s “The Cousins” stars John Colaneri and Anthony Carrino frequent guests on the show, but now they’re also authors of a DIY book for kids What Can You Do with a Toolbox?
(Take a peek inside John’s eclectic home here.)
They came in to remind us that home improvement doesn’t have to be hard, even if (like Rach!) it isn’t your forte, and schooled us on the ABCs of DIY, with some help from John’s daughter Lily!
Here are their go-to tips for DIY success:
1. Learn How to Measure Without a Buddy
Did you know that you can prevent your measuring tape from bending or retracting even if you don’t have a handy partner to hold the other end?
There’s a small hole on the hooked tab of almost every tape measure that the "Cousins" call a “nail and screw grab," so if you’re working solo, just slip the slot over a screw or nail, and it won’t move an inch while you’re taking measurements.
Watch them demonstrate in the video above!
And, they had one other super helpful home improvement tip: when figuring out what piece of art to hang above furniture, make sure the framed piece is about 75% of the width of the furniture.
“It’s going to give you a nice proportion," says Anthony.
Pretty smart, huh?
2. Practice Before You Drill
Anthony and John say you should drill a few practice holes on a piece of scrap wood or plasterboard before you start on the wall—that way, you’ll build up your confidence and precision beforehand without having to fix holes later.
Also, if you’re just starting out, invest in a nail punch to help keep the drill bit in the right place.
Don’t stress if you do make some mistakes, though—here’s how to fix holes in your wall like a pro. (It’s easier than you think!)
3. Prep Before You Paint
Why enlist outside help when you can paint walls yourself?
For an extra-smooth finish, the cousins recommend cleaning your walls with soap and water if there’s any caked on oil or dirt, and then brushing on paint (they suggest a semi-gloss or matte finish for interiors).
While you’re at it, wash your rollers and paintbrushes too, it’ll prevent any fuzz from ending up in the paint.
Rach also got the lowdown on their book, which provides fun, new ways of getting kids involved in DIY tasks by introducing them to the essential items in an everyday toolbox. With adorable illustrations, the book is also accompanied by an awesome audio component called Novel Effect, which includes "The Cousins’" voices reading the book and authentic construction sounds (recorded at a real site!).