Cherie Barber says painting is “within the skill of everybody”.
Cherie Barber says painting is “within the skill of everybody”. Contributed

DIY home renovations made easy

TV SHOWS based on renovations and home improvements have proven popular but is undertaking a DIY project as easy as it looks on television?

Australia's renovating queen and full-time professional renovator Cherie Barber said with enough knowledge, careful planning and research it was possible for home owners to transform their properties and add value through DIY renovations.

Her top tip to dramatically change the look of a home was to use paint.

Ms Barber said painting was "within the skill of everybody" but the objective was to create a bigger, brighter and better space.

Painting a room in a light colour would help create that illusion, she said. Replacing old floor coverings was another way to instantly improve the appearance of a room.

"Rip up old floor coverings, old carpets and cheap old tiles," Ms Barber said.

There were so many affordable products on the market including beautiful floorboards, laminates and great linos that were cost-effective and easy to install, she said.

Adding bulk and scale was a key way to add value to a property, Ms Barber said. One of the simplest ways to achieve this is to go through the home, remove any old, thin skirting boards and replace them with wider, more modern, versions.

Other budget-friendly renovating tips Ms Barber gave included replacing older-style curtains and long vertical drapes with slim-line venetians, installing better quality internal doors, and updating fixtures and fittings.

Hire a handyman if needed as this could be cheaper than a carpenter and use gloss paint instead of matt or satin options.

Ms Barber said it was crucial for renovators to stick to their budget, shop around and negotiate every dollar spent. "Every dollar you save is another dollar of profit," she said.

Bunnings marketing and merchandise general manager Clive Duncan said before tackling a major DIY task it was important to assess your skill level.

"A quick chat with a team member from Bunnings may be all you need to get under way. However, you can always seek further advice by attending a DIY workshop, downloading a DIY brochure, or watching a DIY video online".

"New products are making DIY easier than ever. Bunnings Warehouse has expert team members on hand to provide advice and guidance to renovators."


  • Plan your painting project from start to finish with these easy to follow tips from Inspirations Paint & Colour:
  • Source inspiration from decorator magazines and online photo galleries.
  • Acknowledge both existing and new furnishings that you want to incorporate into your home after the makeover.
  • Experiment using colour chips and sample pots at home to see what it looks like with your lighting, aspect and decor.
  • Inspirations colour consultant Lisa Christie said how colour was used was personal and would vary depending on light levels in your home, the placement of doors and windows, floor coverings, existing objects and personal preferences.

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