12 DIY updates that anyone can do

Revive your home in 48 hours, whatever your DIY skill level, with these simple and effective decorating projects

Is your home looking tired and dated? Why not make the most of a long weekend - bank holiday or otherwise - and breathe new life into your surroundings with one of these DIY updates. They're simple enough to complete in a couple of days (or less) and mean that trip to the pub is guilt-free - you've earnt it!

Need to banish the clutter and simplify your life? READ: 11 incredible easy ways to organise your life

1. Paint the banisters

hallway with staircase having painted banisters

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Chris Everard)

Painting the banisters instantly refreshes a hallway. But, you can create an even more eye-catching finish by taking your easy update a tiny step further and painting the rails different colours. Choose shades that harmonise, such as greens and blues, and work an ombre effect by gradually moving from the pale end of the spectrum to darker tones as you move up the staircase, working away from the light source. Alternatively, you can create funky stripes. You won't need much paint, so it's also a good way of using up all those sampler pots you've acquired.

Buy now: Similar eggshell paint, B&Q

2. Spice up your woodwork

corridor with wooden shelves and painted door

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Colin Poole)

Painting a door in a vibrant shade is a great way of introducing colour without changing the rest of the décor. Edge the door in a contrasting shade, so the colour flashes out when it's open.

3. Wow with wallpaper

study room with metal chairs and desk

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Dominic Blackmore)

It is possible to do a good wallpaper job in a weekend... just consider using it in an unusual way. A horizontal frieze is easily achieved, either at ceiling or skirting level. Keep the rest of the wall neutral for contrast and pick out the colours of the print in accessories and fittings.

Find out which decorating rules it is ok to break! READ: 6 decorating commandments that were made to be broken

4. Get creative with vinyl

hallway with carpet flooring and umbrella stand

(Image credit: Harvey Maria)

An effective way to create a zoned area in a large space is to lay vinyl tiles in a 'rug' effect. As well as fitting a group of tiles to sit under your dining table in an open-plan kitchen diner, you could make a runner of tiles in a hallway or a focal point in front of a fireplace. Dry-lay the tiles first to get the right arrangement for your 'rug' then cut any tiles that need to be shaped using a Stanley knife. Once the area is covered, lift the tiles then fit them permanently. The tiles then need to be laid on a flat subfloor and fixed in place using an adhesive recommended by the tile manufacturer. This'll work with ceramic tiles, too – just make sure they are the same size and thickness to ensure a smooth finish.

Buy now: Lattice Tiles, £49.95 per pack of 12, Harvey Maria at John Lewis

5. Paint your own mural

bedroom with cushions and bedside table

(Image credit: Crown Paint)

Forget wallpaper - why not use your DIY Skills to create a beautiful feature wall that's an artwork in its own right? Start by painting your wall a base colour, then cut out some triangular shaped templates to create your design. Fix to the wall temporarily then apply masking tape around each triangular. Then remove the template and paint inside the tape using a selection of paint colours, one shade at a time. Make sure you let each section dry completely before moving on to the next one. Once the mural is dry, peel the tape off.

Buy now: Quick Kiss and Peek-a-Boo Feature Wall, £13 for 1.25 litres; Gentle Olive, Carrie and Tropical Ocean matt emulsion, £14 for 2.5 litres, Crown Paint at B&Q

6. Make over your mirror

oval shaped mirror on white walls

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Simon Scarboro)

Give your frame a colourful and quirky update with decoupage. Take a look at the wallpaper offcuts and choose favourite sections of the design, such as rose blooms and leaf sprays. Place the cutouts on the top of the frame and move them around until you're happy with their position, overlapping sections if you wish. Using a pencil, mark trim lines on the cutouts where they overhang the edges of the frame. Remove cutouts and trim along the pencil lines. Brush glue on to the back of the cutouts from the centre outwards, being careful not to have too much craft glue near the edges. Carefully place each cutout in place on the frame, pressing down at the centre and then smoothing out gently towards the edges with a clean, dry cloth to ensure the cutout sits flat. Let the glue completely dry before hanging up.

This DIY update will be done by lunchtime, meaning you can spend the rest of the weekend having fun. Win-win.

7. Create a statement splashback

bathroom with splashback wall and printed sink units

(Image credit: TBC)

Give your bathroom a boost with a colourful splashback. Consider a panel of stripe-painted Perspex; it's a quick and easy way to emulate the style of treated glass. And it's simple to do. Just mark off a strip of the panel using masking tape and use matt emulsion to paint a stripe. Allow the section to dry, and repeat the process to create a series of stripes. Once complete, fix the painted side to the wall using a strong adhesive and seal all around with clear silicone for a watertight finish.

8. Elevate a doorway

room with white door blue tiled flooring and white walls

(Image credit: James Merrell)

Add impact to an architrave with a frame of bold colour. You don't have to be a skilled DIYer to produce a finish like this - simply mark out your design with masking tape, then paint with emulsion. To add a similar scrolled detail to the top, fix the wall decoration in place with adhesive, then paint to match the frame and skirting. Instant interior revamp!

Buy now: Reproduction plaster mouldings, Miles and Wilde

9. Re-mount your artwork

white wall with carved frame

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Chris Everard)

Love your artwork, but want to do something out of the ordinary with it? Here's a simple and effective solution: put modern prints in trad, decorative frames, or mounted on bright backgrounds for a fresh look. Alternatively, mount treasured but formal family portraits in something super-modern, just to throw things off kilter nicely.

10. Be influenced by bistro blackboards

bistro blackboard with wooden round table and chairs

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Tom Meadows)

Give your dining area a bistro vibe by transforming an existing chalkboard wall (previously used for shopping lists and kids' scribbles) with beautiful typographical descriptions of your favourite meals or ingredients.

If you're starting fresh, an alcove in the kitchen makes an ideal location for a blackboard-paint wall. Mark out sections and use chalk pens to a fill in the gaps. You can even leave a space free for the weekely groceries list if you like.

Buy now: Rust-Oleum Black Matt Chalkboard Paint 750 ml, £12, B&Q

11. Fab window film

room with pineapple print window film

(Image credit: The Window Film Company)

To add a subtle element of privacy, use a decorative window film to cover bathroom windows. Available in myriad designs and simple to install, this easy fix can radically transform a room. To prevent air bubbles forming under the film (which are a nightmare to get rid of), before you apply the film spray your window with a light coating of water and detergent.

Buy now: FB021 Frosted Window Film, Frostbite at The Window Film Company

12. Punk up your lighting

room with chandelier and white ceiling

(Image credit: James Merrell)

Got a friend staying over for a weekend? Then give them an unexpected treat in the guest room (and sort yourself out with an instant interior revamp at the same time) by wrapping fabric around a classic, cut-glass pendant. Complete in mere minutes.

Buy now: Similar feathers and fabric, Hobbycraft

Which idea will you be undertaking this weekend?

Deputy Editor

Jennifer is the Deputy Editor (Digital) for Homes & Gardens online. Prior to her current position, she completed various short courses a KLC Design School, and wrote across sister brands Ideal Home, LivingEtc, 25 Beautiful Homes, Country Homes & Interiors, and Style at Home.