23 Home Upgrades With Before-And-Afters That’ll Make You Wanna Grab Your Toolbelt

You may not have a twin brother to help with your home reno, but your property is about to increase in value.

We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

1.

Elegantly frosted privacy film for your windows if your neighbors have waaaay too much access to what you do in your home.


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Promising review: “This film was just what I needed. It provides enough privacy without blocking light. I didn’t have any problems with it not sticking to the window. You just have to make sure the windows are very clean and remember to peel off the backing and spray lots of water before sticking it on the glass!!! I used an old credit card as a squeegee to get rid of the air bubbles. The application was very easy. I highly recommend this product!!!” —Selenable

Get it from Amazon for $9.97+ (available in five sizes).

2.

Self-adhesive black wood texture paper to turn your outdated cabinets into a contemporary vision.


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This wallpaper cutting and smoothing kit will likely help quite a bit!

Promising review: “I rent, so this was perfect for updating my bathroom cabinets. Looks like real wood, and it was very easy to install.” —GiGi

Get it from Amazon for $5.99+ (available in six sizes).

3.

A set of no-drill curtain rod brackets that were featured on Shark Tank. All you need is a hammer and curtain, and in a matter of seconds you’ll have a chic new entryway or window dressing!


Kwik-Hang

Kwik-Hang is a family-run small business working to make hanging curtains quick and easy. Everything is made in the USA!

If you’ve got an extra-long rod in mind (over 60″), they’ve also got center support brackets!

Promising review: “I was very please with the results and simple installation. It literally took five seconds total to install on each side! Where have these been all of my life 😂” —Kwik-Hang Customer

Get a pair from Kwik-Hang for $11.99+ (available in two sizes and in five finishes).

4.

A faux-marble surface cover because your laminate countertops have been begging for a glow-up. All you have to do is peel and stick for a glossy, easy-to-clean surface that’ll elevate the look of your space.


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Check out marble adhesive surface cover write-up to learn more about this inexpensive and super-cool product!

Promising review: “I do not have the money for a new vanity right now. Insert DIY project to cover my ugly pink bathroom vanity with marble contact paper. It looks 100% better and it’s super durable. It’s a little tricky to work with at first and then you get the hang of it. I’m buying more for my half bath! My vanity looks so great that I decided to do the tabletop in my laundry room, and that looks great, too!” —Natalie Evans

Get it from Amazon for $5.09+ (available in four sizes).


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Promising review: “This is great. The colors are vibrant and the paper quality is fantastic. It’s like real wallpaper! The seams overlap rather than line up against each other, so they’re visible, but only if you’re weird about that stuff and looking for the edges. I love it. My entryway says ‘this place is fun,’ and we’re foster parents so that helps us welcome people into our home.” —pentooler

Get it from Amazon for $69.99+ (available in two sizes and 45 styles).

6.

Or a roll of bright and floral peel-and-stick wallpaper for an instant room transformation that’ll have your friends asking for the name of your wallpaper guy.


amazon.com, amazon.com

Promising review: “Looks absolutely beautiful in my baby’s room! Difficult to line up at first but after the first few we got the hang of it. I will say the pattern is very forgiving. Some areas didn’t line up perfectly but you can’t tell at all. It was definitely worth the frustration because I’m so happy with the finished product.” —Julie

Get it from Amazon for $13.21+ (available in three sizes).

7.

A bottle of Feed-N-Wax wood polish that’ll not only enhance your cabinets’ shine, but also layer them with a protective coating of carnauba wax and beeswax, so there’s less polishing for you to do in the future.


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Promising review: “I LOVED using this in my kitchen. It made my cabinets look like they were recently redone. I didn’t do anything extra; I just wiped my cabinets with my normal cleaner and then used this and like magic my kitchen was brand new. I also used it on some shelving, banisters, and my hutch and they all looked amazing. And the hutch wasn’t as annoying to dust for a while.” —tiffany b

Get it from Amazon for $8.98.

8.

A fast-drying white grout pen so your tiles always have a bright backdrop to gleam against.


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Promising review: “These things are awesome! I cleaned my bathroom tile grout first because the lady who lived there before me really let it go. A few places stayed stained and I was worried it wouldn’t cover them, but all grout areas are bright white and look new now!” —Donna K Cook

Get it from Amazon for $8.99 (available in a variety of colors).

9.

A set of magnetic decorative garage door hinges to give them the classic carriage house door treatment.


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Promising review: “The only thing I don’t like is that kids think they are real and walk up and try to hang on the handles, which obviously just come right off. I have to admit it’s hysterical; it does teach the kids to quit messing around with things they shouldn’t because they think they break them…it’s downright comical. Other than that, you would never know they are magnetic. They stay on, you can pull them off easily to wash the doors and then just put right back on. Heavy rains and they didn’t come off. It’s -20 outside now, and they’re still stuck on with no problems. I got three sets — one double door and one single door, looks perfect.” —Rummy3

Get it from Amazon for $17+ (available in three styles/combos).

10. Classic premade wall panels that’ll help give your home a little character. These water-resistant additions might just add the dash of elegance you’ve been looking for.

Some reviewers used mounting tape in their apartments for a no-damage-to-the-walls installation while others added these panels onto their doors and kitchen islands!

Promising review: “Moved into an apartment with an ugly old plain front door that has seen better days. Since I cannot replace the door I decided to spruce it up, and these frame pieces are going to do the trick. They can be nailed or glued on, and then I have some colorful paint to cover them and the door…making the door look like it always was an upscale door with panels. I am happy with this purchase.” —tj44

Get a single panel from Amazon starting at $7.32 (available in sets and tons of sizes).

11.

An industrial wall shelving unit that can be mounted from your ceiling or left standing on your floor. Either way, this will give your library and cute tchotchkes an edge they never thought they could have.


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You will have to get your own shelves, though!

Promising review: “I had my doubts due to the price of these shelves, but I was pleasantly surprised! They are great quality, sturdy, easy to install, and the screws that came with them are good screws.” —WILL B.

Get it from Amazon for $79.99.

12. Faux-wood contact paper if the scratches in your real wood have leaned a little too far into the rustic aesthetic. This self-adhesive vinyl can cover up imperfections!

Promising review: “This product is wonderful for several reasons. It looks like real wood grain, the adhesive is just right, and best of all, the paper on the back has grid lines for ease of measuring and cutting! I needed to cover a (faux) dark walnut wheeled cabinet to make an island for my kitchen, which has cabinets of yellow knotty pine. When I first began the project I thought the adhesive wasn’t strong enough; ‘how is this ever going to stay on?!’ But as I continued, I realized it is necessary to be able to adjust as you are going along to keep it straight and get rid of wrinkles and air bubbles. At the end, when everything was definitely in the right place, I pressed it all down firmly and it stayed. For being just sticky paper, this looks remarkably good. I originally wanted to use real pine veneer, but it was WAY too expensive. For the price and ease of use, I highly recommend this product.” —M. Jamie Brown

Get it from Amazon for $12.22+ (available in five sizes and seven colors).

13.

A recessed light converter so you can hang the pendant lights of your dreams without having to get an electrician involved.


Amazon

Promising review: “This was a pretty easy installation considering the work is on the ceiling. I’ve been wanting to change out the two can lights over my sink for years, so I started investigating the easiest possible way to do so. Ran across this item, and watched the video on YouTube. What the heck, I thought! Rewatched the video before installation, looked at the directions on both the converter kit and the pendant light, gathered the necessary tools described in all instructions, and set upon my mission. The hardest part (for me) was getting the self-tapping screws started. I’m pretty pleased with the outcome, I must say! By the way, I’m a 55-year-old female who has worked at a bank all of my life. Yes! It was that easy. I would highly recommend it.” —Trisch Reeve

Get it from Amazon for $16.97.

14.

A bold and rich red door paint to let all guests know they’re about to step into the home of someone who isn’t afraid of taking risks. Just make sure to take your shoes off once you enter.


amazon.com, Amazon

Promising review: “WOW, this exceeded all our expectations. Easy to apply, dries very fast, and it’s holding up very well. It’s been over a year since we painted the front doors and they look great. They are easy to clean, too.” —Rimfire

Get it from Amazon for $36.16 (available in 20 other colors).

15.

A cabinet makeover kit that doesn’t require any stripping or priming. Quickly upgrade your kitchen cabinets and enjoy having guests ask you how much you paid for that “renovation.”


amazon.com

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 $69.95 (also available in gray, deep brown, mint, and black.

16.

A faux-granite DIY paint kit for a less expensive kitchen upgrade sure to impress!


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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 two colors).

17.

A gallery wall kit complete with seven varied frames so you can customize any wall in your home with pictures and artwork hung in an eye-catching array.


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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 nail size prior to putting holes in your wall!” —Megan Lingerfelt

Get it from Amazon for $37.62+ (available in three colors).

18.

A pack of four wooden or acrylic leg replacements to revamp your couch or dresser, because your aesthetic is constantly changing and your furniture needs to be able to keep up.


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Promising review (for the square legs): “These make my sofa look and feel amazing! I immediately noticed how much easier it was to get off of the once low-to-the-ground sofa without putting pressure on my knees. And they make my sofa look more elegant!” —Washington DC

Promising review (for the acrylic legs): “I love these furniture legs. I needed to raise my two chaise lounge chairs that are in my bedroom and I decided on these. Perfect! I love the way the chairs look. I would definitely recommend!” —rosalyn

Get them from Amazon: the wooden legs for $21.99+ (available in seven sizes) and the acrylic legs for $36.90+ (available in two sizes).

19.

A bucket of chalked paint that dries into a super-velvety matte texture, giving your furniture a unique and modern touch.


amazon.com, Amazon

Promising review: “This paint works marvelously for staining interior brick! I researched for a long time and looked at many project reports for staining a raw brick fireplace. Finally I committed to this chalk paint and my fireplace looks better than any I have seen elsewhere.” —maina donaldson

Get it from Amazon for $17+ (available in 12 colors).

20.

A set of thick velvet slip covers to bring your vintage ’80s-style couch into the 21st century. This set includes nonslip straps so you won’t have to worry about constantly adjusting your new seats.


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Promising review: “I have never been so excited about a slipcover. Total transformation of our couch and love seat. I was worried about it not working on our leather couch, but it stays on really well due to the straps and the separate cushion covers. LOVE.” —Brian/Liz

Get it from Amazon for $41.49+ (available in two sizes and 10 colors).

21. Peel-and-stick subway tiles that’ll make for the best (and most Joanna Gaines–approved) bathroom sink backsplash. Oh, and these bad boys are waterproof and heat resistant.

Promising review: “I run a cat rescue and we just built a new building. I use the bathroom sink to bathe cats, and the drywall was getting wet. I didn’t want to spend $300 for someone to install tile, so I found these and these were by far the most realistic. I’m going to use them in the kitchen next!” —Showstopper

Get it from Amazon for $39.99+ (available in six colors).

22.

Or set of peel-and-stick tiles to make renovating your bland kitchen a whole lot easier (and cheaper)! These eco-friendly tiles are easy to install, clean, and maintain. HGTV is shaking!


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Each pack comes with 10 11.8″x11.8″ self-adhesive sheets.

Promising review: “I absolutely love this backsplash!! It was easy to install and looks like real tile once it’s on the wall! I would definitely recommend this product to anyone looking to add backsplash to an area of their house while staying on a budget. It will turn out looking great! JUST A NOTE: We used an adhesive spray to to make sure the tile stays in place. Better safe than sorry!” —Anna

Get a set of 10 from Amazon for $25.49+ (available in four styles).

23.

A pack of gray Medina peel-and-stick floor tiles that will breathe new life into your home (and cover any preexisting scratches in your hardwood floor that your landlord won’t pay to fix). These water-resistant tiles are the perfect blend of polished and practical.


amazon.com

Promising review: “For under $100 and I redid my entire bathroom! We moved into our home two years ago and our small main-floor bathroom had hideous orange mosaic tiles. We want to eventually gut and rehab our bathroom but wanted to give it a cheap facelift. Floorpops made that possible and a very inexpensive option! We used caulk to seal some of the tiny gaps and caulked around the tub and underneath the baseboards for a good seal. The tiles are not moving at all and have adhered OK.” —Agnieska

Get 10 tiles from Amazon for $16.43.

The reviews for this post have been edited for length and clarity.

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