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6 Must-Haves To Avoid DIY Pinterest Fails

Fixer Upper's Chip Gaines spills his secrets for not wrecking your projects. Hint: You should own more than a glue gun.

Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

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You've def watched Fixer Upper and dreamt about transforming a neglected house into a shiplap farmhouse paradise like Chip and Joanna Gaines pull off in every episode.

High Noon Entertainment / Via

Not there yet? (Neither are we.) Feel better! So what if the first dresser you rescue from the curb and repaint doesn't look like it belongs in Magnolia Home? Mistakes happen, but according to Chip, Pinterest fails are easier to avoid if you have these handy must-haves on hand when tackling projects.


"The pretty part doesn’t happen magically," says Chip. "It happens in the process."

1. A 5-in-1 tool with a paint scraper will be your new go-to for almost every tough task. "If I could only carry one tool in my back pocket, it’d be that paint scraper," he says.

"You can use it in a million different contexts," he says. Like, scraping off paint, scraping out grout or thin set, opening a box, opening a can of paint, cutting carpet, and the list continues.

Get one from Amazon for $5.35.

2. Make the paint scraper even handier by wrapping duct tape around the handle.

Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

Chip picked up this trick from a friend who loves to camp and duct tapes his water bottle for some utilitarian help in emergencies. "There’s been a dozen times I’ve gotten into a pickle and torn that duct tape off that handle," he says.

Get a 50-yard roll of duct tape from Amazon for $8.24.

3. A stain-masking paint primer that will instantly make any room look better.

Chip and Jo learned early that priming stained walls made a project seem less intimidating. "I’d buy these pieces of junk, some of the worst houses you’d ever seen. My in-laws always thought they were crazy. There's something about priming the interior walls, getting them covered up, stain, mildew, water damage, When you sort of give your project a chance to kind of reset the button, primer makes a huge impact."

Get some from Amazon for $29.98.

4. A pocket flashlight for inspecting shadowy corners.

The guy who once ate a cockroach on a dare, (season 2, episode 1), finds himself exploring lots of dark, dank places like Texas crawl spaces, attics, chimneys and more.

Get one from Amazon for $8.31.

5. A square that will help you make good technical cuts.

Yes, it's shaped like a triangle. But don't call it a triangle! In-the-know DIYers (and now, you!) call it a speed square.

Get one from Amazon for $5.97.

6. And a good-quality hammer for, well, hammering nails.

Chip prefers a wood handle because it "reminds me of the old days."

Get it from Amazon for $12.23.

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