Skip To Content

    26 Things For Anyone Who Lives In An Old House

    Things that'll help you feel like a genius problem solver when dealing with stuff like drafts, minimal storage, worn-out wordwork, and so many other issues.

    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. Wood polish and conditioner that'll help revive all those worn-out wood surfaces. Don't replace those kitchen cabinets or floors! Give 'em a facelift with this.


    Enhances the natural beauty and depth of grain on finished *and* unfinished wood. For use on antiques, dining tables, kitchen cabinets, wood doors and trim, etc.

    Promising review: "I'm not able to sand and stain my floors until spring but they are so dry and worn. I bought this hoping to keep them moisturized until we can refinish and I am amazed with this product." —nicole feather

    Get it from Amazon for $8.47.

    2. A wood scratch cover to hide all those dings and scrapes on the original trim and doors that've been around longer than you, SEEN some things.

    Promising review: "I can't believe how well Old English works! I recently purchased a home where a dog previously lived and had horribly scratched the woodwork. I thought I may have to sand and refinish the woodwork around two doors. Old English saved me a lot of work! " —Behold Behold!

    Get it from Amazon for $4.82.

    3. A door draft stopper the least handy person in the world could handle installing to prevent cold gusts from coming in. One things that old houses suffer from is gaps beneath doors.,

    Promising review: "So easy to set up! All you do is peel tape and adhere to a CLEAN and DRY door. Also looks great, I don't even notice it. I had a huge gap under my door. I could smell and hear everything from the hallway. Smells, drafts, and sound all are less of an issue now." —Brit B.

    Get it from Amazon for $8.99 (available in four colors).

    4. And an insulated soundproofing strip even the LEAST handy person can stick on their door to help get some peace and quiet, even if your kid is playing video games at *peak* volume in the living room.

    Psst — this insulated strip also stops air conditioning from escaping out of the crack around the door, saving energy and money!

    Promising review: "Product works really well! I needed a quick fix to my home office situation. I live in an apartment in Manhattan and never noticed how much sound comes in and out, until I had to be on conference calls working from home! This little tape made a big difference, took me a couple of minutes to install." —Sandra Revueltas

    Get it from Amazon for $7.97 (available in four colors).

    5. An adjustable window screen that'll fit a variety of window widths to help facilitate a crisp breeze... without the bugs.

    reviewer pic of expandable horiztonal screen in window

    Promising review: "Adjustable, portable, and lightweight, this window screen is well made. You can paint the wood to match your window. Now I can have nice cool air circulating in the house during the fall and winter months in South Carolina." —Maria

    Get it from Amazon for $4.93++ (available in 10 adjustable sizes).

    6. Interlocking Teak tiles you don't need tools to install to help cover up a hard outdoor surface that looks awful. That concrete patio slab is older than you, but it doesn't have to look that way.

    Promising review: "Living in Hawaii you have to select wise items that are weather-, salt-, and red dirt–proof, etc... In total I ordered 11 boxes to complete my yoga deck. I have a few left over to make steps on the back. Very pleased and happy. May order more for an outdoor shower project!" —Adazzle

    Get 10 sq. ft from Amazon for $77.99.

    7. Shrink wrap window insulation that could help you keep from jacking up the heat so you can sit in that lovely well-appointed den with the breezy windows.

    Promising review: "Love this product. We live in an old Victorian house with all drafty windows and we were freezing, so I bought two packs of this and installed on a few of the really drafty windows. The installation part I found it hard. You definitely need two people. It's easy for the plastic to get stuck to the tape. But with two people it was much better. The tape has held up except on some areas where I cut the plastic too close to the tape, so it eventually pulled the tape off the wood. Looks great when you dry it with the hair dryer. The only bad thing is that since our windows are really, really drafty, the air has pushed the plastic and it's become less tight. Other than that, it's still up, we have no more drafts (I even doubled it on one of the windows!), and it still lets it all the sunshine. Good product overall, a bit messy to put up, so get some help!" —EM

    Get it from Amazon for $8.99+ (available in four sizes and two styles).

    8. An indoor/outdoor rug built to weather rain and more, which'll be even less effort to cover up an ugly outdoor surface.

    outdoor room with the rug pulling all the decor together

    Promising review: "Love this rug. These were recommended by a friend for use on my outdoor patio. They are terrific. So easy to clean and no matter what the weather brings, they always look fantastic. And they make my outdoors look like a living room. Great, inexpensive way to spruce up a backyard." —Miami

    Get it from Amazon for $51.

    9. A roll of self-adhesive marble film – it still won't be the breeziest project for your bathroom countertop, but will be super renter-friendly!

    on top a reviewer's plain bathroom counter, on the bottom the same counter covered in marble film

    Promising review: "I used this adhesive film to turn two cheap IKEA tables into less cheap looking IKEA tables because I'm not made of money, but I would like others to believe I am. Super simple to use and you get a ton of it for the price. I was really pleased overall. The pattern actually looks like marble, not a weird pixel-y repetitive pattern so that's great as well. Also it was delivered same day which was miraculous as my DIY initiative tends to fade approximately 48 hours after I discover a project I want to do." —Spencer House

    Get it from Amazon for $11.64.

    10. Concrete paint for a refreshed look that'll make a HUGE difference on your stained concrete patios, walkways, or garage floors.

    OK, so painting your concrete patio may not sound like the easiest upgrade but if you're no stranger to painting and want a big impact, give it a try!

    Promising review: "Pictured is my garage floor after cleaning / etching and then after painting. My floor, a two-car garage, is about 400 square feet. The one gallon of paint covered it all and left me with enough for touch up, if ever needed. Like most painting jobs, it's the prep (washing, etching, edge tape ) that takes the time. To keep the rinse water from pooling when etching, I used a leaf blower instead of a recommended squeegee. That worked great! The paint rolling took me maybe an hour. Resist the temptation to walk on it for a couple of days. I wouldn't drive on it for a week. The pic on the left is after etched and washed. The picture on the right is after one coat of paint." —Gary F. Lee

    Get it from Amazon for $32.98+ a gallon (available in two shades of gray).

    11. Some under-cabinet lights to bring a modern touch to any outdated cabinets that you wanna replace later. But it'll be a little while. *And* this strand makes for super easy installation if you're in a rental!

    kitchen with plain white stock cabinets with lights underneath them to make it look so much better

    Promising review: "I had my doubts but I thought, what the heck, for the price I'd give them a try. I am in real estate and known as a lighting snob. The first thing I look at in a kitchen if there is under cabinet lighting. These are so nice (it helps if you have a lip at the bottom of your cabinets) They are a true white, very bright, and I was lucky they were just the length I needed. I just ordered a set and had them shipped to my mom's as her halogen transformer which is buried in a wall, fried and I drives me nuts that the workspace on the counter is dark. I can't wait until I make the 250-mile drive to install them. I may buy more just to use at our listings!" —pauly

    Get a 10' strand with 60 lights from Amazon for $17.99.

    12. And if you want a total kitchen transformation, a kitchen cabinet painting kit that requires ZERO stripping or priming *might* make you wonder if you're in someone else's house before you've had your coffee.

    Kit includes low-VOC, low-odor, water-based acrylic paint and primer in one. Requires a one-day application process that dries in a soft, satin finish. Covers 100 square feet of cabinet surface (40 linear feet), which is typical of most kitchen cabinets. Ideal for use on wood, laminate and primed, or painted metal cabinets. Formulated to cover most existing wood finishes and paint in a single coat.

    Promising review: "You can see a before and after in my pictures but this paint was AMAZING and a huge transformation to my outdated kitchen.

    The Process:

    - I started off by completely cleaning the wooden cabinets with KRUD KUTTER PC32 Prepaint Cleaner/TSP Substitute. I read a lot of reviews on this cleaner and heard that is was great for cleaning off oils and dirt and it really did wonders.

    - I sanded down the cabinets.

    - I then primed the cabinets with a special wood primer.

    - Once the primer dried I used the Nuvo paint on the cabinets. I did four very thin layers of paint. It is vital that you keep each layer very thin because it will dry weird. I found that in the corner of the cabinets where paint puddled even a little bit that it would cracker so make sure that you keep thin layers

    - Additionally, I ended up purchasing regular brushes outside of this kit. A few blogs said that they used the foam brushes; however I did not like how the paint laid on the cabinets with them." —Danielle Joy

    Get it from Amazon for $69.95.

    13. Floating bookshelves to get you soooo many compliments and give you an excuse to talk about your favorite recent reads. Anyone who lives in a house that seems to have slightly crooked walls (they exist!) or just oddly shaped rooms that don't play well with suitcases will find some stylish solace in these.


    Promising review: "These are so much fun! We ordered the small size, which fits standard hardback books (approximately five to seven hardbacks in my experience). They're a great way to add some extra storage to our very small home, and we've placed them in our hallway so people ask us about them all the time. I'd highly recommend!" —LaBuenaVidaMere

    Get it from Amazon for $17.98+ (available in a set of three and two sizes).

    14. A couch clip-on table for that side where there's zero space to squeeze in a side table for your beverages and the remote. Shoutout to weird room layouts!

    table surface clipped onto an arm of a couch.

    Get it from Amazon for $24.99+ (available in three wood finishes).

    15. A roll of cabinet and drawer liners that'll guard your kitchen essentials from any chipping or flaking from those cabinets that seem to have been around longer than your grandmother.,

    Promising review: "Very awesome stuff. The bottom of my cabinets had a rough, crumbly texture. This is a great fix to keep the silicone pieces of my dishes from picking it up. Feels a lot cleaner and it looks great! Highly recommend for looks and function!" —Kelsey Ware

    Get it from Amazon for $13.99+ (available in six sizes and 19 colors and patterns).

    16. A rust stain-removing gel to help the gross shower surround. Lots of folks have gotten clean in that bathroom but it that doesn't have to feel that way.

    Promising review: "I cannot say enough great things about this product. We just purchased a home that has a well with very high iron content in the water. I tried everything to remove the stains from our three toilets but nothing worked. I found this product online and immediately went to Amazon. The results blew me away. I didn't have to scrub at all. I let it sit in the tank for several hours and the results floored me!" —Toni Huitt

    Get it from Amazon for $12.97.

    17. And a shower curtain liner with storage pockets and double-hook curtain hooks for a streamlined bathing experience, especially if you're working with a clawfoot bathtub. (LUCKY YOU. I dream of one.)

    Elizabeth Lilly / BuzzFeed

    Hello and welcome to my shower! Yes, this is my bathroom and I've been using both of the products for coming up on two years. I love them both SO MUCH that I've bought two replacement liners since this inaugural one. Now, I'm not the best at keeping things clean so if you're one of those people, you can def get more than eight months' use out of one of these beauts. The hooks are still going strong though, so no need for replacing those. The liner is an excellent storage alternative to a regular old shower caddy. Want more deets? Read my full review for the storage shower curtain liner.

    Get them from Amazon: liner for $19.99 and 12 hooks for $6.21+ (available in several finishes)

    18. A slim cutlery organizer here to prove that, yes! You do have room for all your cutlery in your tiny kitchen drawer! Scoot over, forks. Seriously, did people in circa 1904 only have one fork per household?!

    open kitchen drawer with the slim organizer holding lots of flatware with plenty of leftover room in the drawer for other kitchen tools

    Promising review: "Yes, this little utensil tray is really that good! I went from using 12 inches of horizontal space in a lovely but huge wooden utensil tray to about using about four inches (whatever the width of this godsend is). It stores my butter knives, steak knives, spoons, forks, and a slew of little teaspoons. I'd guess that the max capacity for each slot is about 10 pieces. For example, I fit four butter knives and four steak knives into the first/knife slot easily, with good wiggle room. This is such a great design. Using this tray opened up about half of my 18-inch wide drawer, which allowed me to decompress the other drawers in my kitchen a bit. I highly recommend this item. It's worth every penny." —Kathleen Cooke

    Get it from Amazon for $9.99.

    19. A watermark-removing cloth that could also do wonders on the nail polish remover you dribbled down your bathroom vanity two years ago and you've been pretending like isn't there.

    Promising review: "Worked wonders! I spilled nail polish remover on my nightstand. This worked like magic! Just rub lightly with the cloth." —JMac

    Get it from Amazon for $4.99.

    20. An unassuming wall-mounted broom organizer to become your cleaning station with five spots for long-handed tools and six hooks to help corral product bottles. After all, you're living in these digs for the charm, not the the lacking storage space.

    Promising review: "Perfect! Exactly what I needed to organize my mop, broom, scoop, etc. Efficient and easy to use. A little hard to get my scoop into it but that’s cause it’s thicker than the rest of items. Love that there are hooks. Spray bottles and cleaning product bottles hang perfectly on there too." —Kavita Chandanie

    Get it from Amazon for $13.99.

    21. Magnetic garage handles that'll bring some serious curb appeal to your home for an EXTREMELY small fraction of the price of getting some carriage-style doors. Your house is old but these'll make it look *historic.*, Amazon

    Promising review: "I’ve been wanting to upgrade our garage door for a long time and now I have no idea why I waited! The magnets are super strong. Purchased two sets but only used one set of 'handles,' I wasn’t a fan of how close I had to place each set next to each other with the narrow spacing on the door itself. Paired with the magnetic 'windows,' it looks like a brand-new door!" —MrsPirate

    Get them from Amazon for $11.68+ (available in several sets and variations).

    22. A fireplace whitewashing kit for a transformation on the cheap. Don't even LOOK up how much it'll cost you for a new fireplace surround. Trust me.


    Includes everything you need to whitewash a range of brick colors. Designed specifically for brick and should NOT be used over ceramic glazed or coated masonry. The paint is water-based and coated surfaces will not allow for absorption.

    Promising review: "Love it, easy to use and very clear instructions. I used the ration for thicker coverage i did not want too much of brick showing through. Great quality and everything you need comes in the box kit. Worth it for me. Rags included as well as a great quality brush even the plastic tarp and painters tape. Perfect kit to get my project done!" —Erini

    Get it from Amazon for $39.95.

    23. Cat paw chair socks that'll keep those gorgeous original hardwood floors looking perfect.


    Get 16 from Amazon for $4.99.

    But if you hate cats, check out these plain furniture protectors.

    24. A stingray drain cover to make you actually enjoy looking in your kitchen sink. *Plus* it'll save your poor old kitchen sink pipes because it catches food scraps before they migrate down there, stink up your kitchen, and cause some major plumbing problems.

    sting ray-shape cover for kitchen sink drain

    Get it from Amazon for $1.99+ (available in two colors).

    25. An outlet-charging shelf that'll give ya a spot to park your phone or a speaker. It's more or less just creating a shelf out of thin air! No more balancing stuff on the edge of your envy-inducing pedestal sink.

    reviewer pic of the shelf with an Alexa speaker on it

    Promising review: "Has a nice port to allow wires and has a small lip to keep items in place. Very easy and fast to install. Requires only a small flat head screwdriver to remove existing outlet cover and install this. Comes with two face plates to fit different outlet types." —Janet A

    Get two from Amazon for $7.99 (also available in black).

    26. Stainless-steel-effect contact paper to get you the modern look of fresh appliances for chump change.

    And when you move or change your mind, you can easily remove or reposition it!

    Promising review: "Amazing job at updating my wall oven. I searched for months trying to see what would be an alternative replacement to my dated wall oven (25 years old). The thing is, my old oven has always worked very well, so I couldn't really justify paying $2,000 to replace my working double wall oven only because of cosmetic reasons. Then it dawned on me that maybe if I updated the oven with this metal covering it would look like real stainless steel. So for literally the cost of $10 I updated my oven. The update is virtually unnoticeable unless you tell someone, and what's the best thing of all, it leaves no fingerprints. Best $10 I ever spent." —B. Lenj

    Get an 18-inch x 6-foot roll from Amazon for $12.10.

    Reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity.