45 Things That'll Help You Transform Your Place — Even If You Can Barely Paint
Sometimes a cleaner-looking toilet (ty pumice stone) or even a fringed floor lamp can make a huge impact in a meh room.
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 revive all sorts of wood surfaces and furniture in your home with some patient rubbing. Reviewers have used them to zhuzh up front doors, kitchen cabinets, wood floors, wood furniture, and just about any other wood surface. FYI, replacing kitchen cabinets can get up into the TENS of THOUSANDS of dollars. So this bb is def worth a go.
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: "Very impressed so far. Just tried this stuff on one of our kitchen cabinets and it really did a nice job. The cabinets are 15-year-old cherry-stained hard work cabinets (oak, maybe?) and are scratched deeply in certain parts from the previous owner's dogs. 20 minutes after applying this product and wiping it off, I can't complain at all about the results. It looks great in the picture, and even better in real life where you are not focusing on staring at imperfections. In addition to helping tremendously with the blemishes, it also leaves a nice glossy shine on the cabinets, making them look clean and fresh (not over the top glossy and fake). For the minimal price, I can't complain at all. Finally, I used about a 1/3 of an ounce to do the 36" double base cabinets and the 36" wide drawer, so I believe the 16-oz bottle will last quite a while." —Patrick Gallagher
Get it from Amazon for $8.98.
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!
3. 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.
4. 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. And a door draft stopper as *another* super easy installation to keep the outdoors weather where it should be — outdoors and not in your house.
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).
6. Velvet throw pillow covers for cozying up your spot on the couch AND distracting from how, TBH, you could really use a new sofa.
Promising review: "Simple and elegant cushion covers! They feel so soft. I purchased the jam color which is like a rose gold and black. Worth every penny. I’m going to order more for my bedroom. Great buy!" —Janelle
Get two from Amazon for $11.99+ (available in seven sizes and styles, and 32 colors; also available in single pillow covers).
7. Shrink wrap window insulation that could help you keep from spending more on AC in the summer or jacking up the heat in winter so you can sit in that lovely well-appointed den with the breezy windows that let LOTS of natural light pour in.
Promising review: "My husband and I put this kit on all our windows in about one hour. I was afraid it would look terrible having plastic on the windows but after you shrink and trim it is not so noticeable and it does keep out any draft and the stink bugs. I am going to try putting on the outside this summer on the cat door window to keep out the lady bugs and stink bugs which are terrible in our area." —Kat M.
Get it from Amazon for $6.59+ (available in four sizes and two styles).
8. 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!
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 $18.78 (available in two colors).
9. Floating bookshelves that'll 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 $10+ (available in a set of three and two sizes).
11. A roll of cabinet and drawer liners can make the inside of the cabinets you'd prefer to change a little more bearable by helping keep everything in place.
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 8 sizes and 14 colors and patterns).
12. A roll of decorative window film that'll give ya' some privacy without taking up the space of curtains or blocking out natural light! I put up some of this on my own bathroom window and it's FLOODED with beautiful natural light but no one can see that I'm flossing my teeth while naked. The freedom!
Promising review: "I have a weird skinny window in my house where no normal window covering works. People walking on our community trail can see up into our upstairs bathroom when the light is on and it's dark outside. Not a good plan at all. So I used this window film and cut different sized circles and placed then on this window to interrupt the view into the house. Worked perfectly! Very easy to use." —Marsgard
Get it from Amazon for $8.98+ (available in seven sizes).
13. 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.
14. A shower curtain liner with storage pockets for a streamlined bathing experience, especially if you're working with a rental or a bathroom that has enough storage space for, like, two bottles of shampoo on the bath edge.
Hello and welcome to my shower! Yes, this is my bathroom and I've been using this liner for three years. I love it SO MUCH that I've bought three 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 easy-glide hooks I paired with it 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 it from Amazon for $18.67.
15. A net for your patio umbrella as an ~extra layer~ so you can sit and survey your kingdom, even if mosquitoes have infested it. Let's get more use out of the deck!
16. 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.
17. 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. Just THINK of all the space it's gonna clear up in your closet where your brooms currently live.
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.
18. Magnetic garage handles will bring some serious curb appeal to your home for an EXTREMELY small fraction of the price of getting some carriage-style doors.
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 $19.99+ (available in several sets and variations).
19. 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.
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 it from Amazon for $6.79 (also available in black).
20. Stainless-steel-effect contact paper to get you the modern look of fresh appliances for chump change. Now this *will* take a little bit of patience to apply and smooth out but WOW what a transformation!
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 $16.38.
21. Affresh dishwasher tablets can get rid of residue that ends up creating odor and buildup on your dishes. Turns out, you don't need a new dishwasher; it just needs a proper cleaning.
Promising review: "After using this product, I am happy to report that my $5 investment saved me over $500. I was ready to replace my dishwasher due to super cloudy glasses, residue, and dishes just not getting clean. Then, I became aware that the water softener was no longer doing its job so I had the rental company replace it. Dishwasher performance improved somewhat. I decided to do two more loads before deciding to purchase a new one. Then I saw a product test review for Affresh. I was ordering some stuff from Amazon anyway so I added that to my order. When it came, I tossed one of the tablets into the bottom of the full machine per the instructions and ran the regular cycle. I did not expect the results I got! The glassware that I thought was permanently etched and ruined came out like new. Same with cutlery. The difference is unbelievable. I will use this faithfully every month, as recommended. I can even put it on my subscribe and save order so I will get a new pack every six months. I am amazed!" —Sheila
Get them from Amazon for $5.99.
22. A pumice stone toilet bowl cleaner to remove all sorts of stubborn rings that've been staring at you every time you're in the washroom. Nope, you do NOT need a new toilet. Your OG just requires some zhuzhing.
Promising review: "OMG!!! It works!!! After having this toilet buildup I gave up on everything, but I saw that this product 'worked' and decided to give it a try... with a little elbow grease and some music blasting in the background I managed to remove it all!!! I can’t believe it. I’m so happy, I was so embarrassed when company came over and would see that, not no more... yay!!!" —Asdrubal Orantes
Get it from Amazon for $11.40.
23. A fume-free oven cleaner that'll revive an oven that you thought was too far gone. Sometimes you can't replace an oven because you're renting! (Or, bc budget!) Clean it with this and then use that oven!!
24. Goo Gone for making all sorts of sticky messes you've resigned to living with disappear — including that old magnet that fused with your rental apartment's fridge (me) or stickers fused with garage door windows (my friend who just bought a house). Seriously though, this stuff is MAGIC for anything you've considered tossing thanks to a sticky mess.
Seriously, a swipe of this stuff made the goo leftover from a magnet wipe away like magic. Of course after I'd ruined a manicure unsuccessfully scratching away at it.
Promising review: "I used this on my JBL LSR4236P Studio Monitors and it worked very well. For some reason JBL decided to put some kind of weird adhesive on the front of these monitors, which caught every piece of cat hair and dust that touched it over the years. Used this with some paper towels and a little elbow grease and the adhesive came off quickly. The Picture I added: (Left) After Goo Gone (RIGHT) Before Goo Gone." —Andrew
Get it from Amazon for $6.80.
25. Grandma's Secret, an under-the-radar solution with serious stain-removing prowess — like, cleaning pen from a white leather couch.
It can remove oil, grease, ink, grass, and blood stains for all my vampires out there. Psst, a few months ago I recommended this to a friend who fell in a puddle of motor oil on a sidewalk, then accidentally wiped it on her camel coat. It got the stains out!
Promising review: "I love this stuff! I stumbled upon it years ago at my local quilt shop of all places. It does exactly what it says it will do, it takes out any stain you throw at it. I was most impressed by how it takes out blood, I had an 'accident' in the middle of the night wearing light pink PJs. I had just gotten the PJs from a friend for my birthday and was devastated at the thought of them being ruined. Before washing them (and risking the stain setting), I dabbed a few drops of the spot removal on the spot, scrubbed the stain with an old toothbrush and left it sitting for about a half hour. I did that twice. To say it did a good job on the spot is an understatement; you couldn't even tell there was a spot to begin with! I call it the little magic in a bottle, it's a lifesaver! You must buy it, don't wait." —Stiixgirl
Get a 6-pack (which is so worth it) from Amazon for $33.89.
26. Lighted curtains for an ethereal look in your indoor oasis. The right lighting can totally change up a room's look!
Some reviewers note that they're way easier to hang up if you leave the strings tied, then untie them once you have the lights mounted where you want them. Layer them with some sheer curtains for an effect like that on the left.
Promising review: "It's been a couple of years since I've had these but THEY ARE GREAT. I bought the curtain and lights separately and used it to create an accent wall in my teeny tiny NYC apartment. I got tons of compliments on them and it was SO easy to set up. I just used thumbtacks to place it into the wall (probably not the best idea but hey, it worked)." —katrinaforreal
Get them from Amazon for $17.99.
27. Or a fairy light photo display with lil' clips so you can easily swap out the photos as you please. It'll create a lovely feature and help add another light source (every room needs three!), which will be especially welcome if you live in a place that has no ceiling light!
Promising review: "So I got mine and quickly fell in love with it. I clip my pics on them and hang these lights on my walls. I turn off all my lights and let these clip lights illuminate those memories I've had stored on paper. It felt warm, and the lights are just right that it doesn't saturate or desaturate my pics. Plus they look great! Pictures hold great. I'll be ordering more in the future since my picture collections are getting bigger ♡" —GoPackGo
Get them from Amazon for $12.99+ (available in three lengths and in warm white or yellow).
28. A fresh new set of switch plates that'll help 'em blend into those (hopefully!) freshly painted walls, even if the landlord painted the switch plates to match (YOU CAN STILL TELL). Can you screw in a screw? Then you can handle this transformative swap.
And if you're especially petty, you can copy my move of saving said switch plates with a piece of marked duct tape so you know where you put 'em when you leave. This was one of the first things I did in my current apartment, thus rendering the switch plates barely noticeable — which is how I like them!
29. Or an attention-grabbing outlet cover made to look like a mix tape in case you're ALL about the details.
30. A hanging frame helper so you can finally get all your wall art up and make it feel like home. (You can only lean so many frames prints against the wall as a "look.")
We all have that stack of leaning framed art we just haven't gotten around to hanging just yet. This tools helps you measure your wall art that needs hanging and then measure out the perfect place to install hardware.
Promising review: "This makes picture-hanging a breeze. I would have paid twice what I paid for it. Look at what I was able to hang. The tops, bottoms, and sides align." —Scott Sheppard
Get it from Amazon for $19.47+ (available in five sizes).
31. Or an aesthetic collage kit to take even more of the guesswork out of it for ya' because all the images are already sourced!
32. A glam floor lamp that, TBH, has no biz being such a showstopper! But I'll allow it. Swap out that multi-arm plastic/metal lamp from college (you know the one) and the feel of your whole room will change.
33. Or a posable lamp with some real personality you can move around and re-pose around your home as you dang please.
Promising review: "This lamp is fun and whimsical. I really like it! It was pretty easy to assemble and it makes me smile. It looks just as pictured so no surprises. Best for 'modern' decor. It gives out decent light but it's not super bright. I have it by my work desk and I can certainly work by it. I change it around every few weeks. Great purchase!" —Chicago Sue
Get it from Amazon for $104.99+ (available in five colors).
34. A power washer to do the hard work in reviving outdoor hard surfaces like sidewalks, gates, patio furniture and more! Yep, THAT's the color of your patio.
Note that you need to be careful on wood when using a pressure washer because it can be too intense and actually damaging!
Promising review: "I love this washer. It competes with my 2,200-psi gas-powered pressure washer, which in fact I sold to keep this. But doesn't have the noisy gas engine or the heavy weight. Easy to move around, lightweight, and has great power. Very quiet. I love all the attachments and the different stream types. The soap dispenser works well. I'm cleaning everything, my deck, my house, the garage doors, the concrete slab. It takes off all the dirt and mold from the old concrete stairs and sidewalk." —Tim S.
Get it from Amazon for $159.
35. A drill brush cleaning kit you can attach to your drill/driver for an informercial-like cleaning sesh that'll have you seeking out all the dirty surfaces you've been ignoring. This'll handle all the elbow grease.
Includes three brushes that'll attached to a standard handheld drill.
Promising review: "I’m in love with this. I manage many apartment properties and finding people to do the cleaning has been tricky business, so I end up having to get in and clean these horrendous filth pods tenants lived in and left me to deal with when they move out. The ovens and stove tops are usually the worst, and I absolutely hate cleaning. I came across this drill attachment set, and let me tell you, it helped me tremendously! I still had to get in with a putty knife on some of them but it really cut down my elbow-grease time. If it wasn’t for this drill attachment, I think my arms would have just fallen off trying to clean it as good as I did! My only con would be that it doesn’t have any extension of any sort, so I really had my drill all up in that oven, but well worth it." —alicia haats