DIY: How to stick to your renovation resolutions

  • 16/03/2023
  • Sponsored by - Resene

So this is the year you're going to tackle that project or renovation you’ve been mulling over. Whether your plans come from the giddy optimism of a new year, or you’ve been considering a change for a long time, it can be tough to get started, keep the project on target, and of course, stick to your budget.

Here’s some tips and tricks to help you take the plunge - and stay on track.

Organisation and planning

Resene colour consultant Jackie Nicholls says while there can be many challenges when renovating a home, a bit of thought and planning can make all the difference.

“If you are undertaking a major renovation it would definitely be worth reaching out to an architect or professional designer,” she says. “They will be aware of regulations and have a knowledge of products and possibilities. Most importantly, they will bring a new perspective to your ideas. They can reduce your stress while helping you to realise your dreams.”

She adds that if you do use an architect or designer, it’s a good idea to stay involved in the project to make sure things stay on track and on budget - and that you’re getting what you want, and what you’re paying for.

“Staying involved is very valuable, without looking over everyone's shoulders, of course. Sometimes even the best plans need to be tweaked as things evolve and good communication will be critical. Always speak up if it's going in a direction you don't love, you have to live with it once the job is done,” says Jackie.

Resene senior architectural representative Rebecca Long suggests setting a timetable for your project, to help keep things on track, particularly if it’s a DIY job.

“Set yourself a rough deadline and be flexible,” she says. “Make sure to allow extra time to perfect your prep work, then stand back and enjoy the rewards of your new colour scheme before you start work on the next project. 

“Taking time out along the way to reward your progress will also help motivate you to finish the whole job.”

Sticking to budget

An important part of the journey to planning and getting started is knowing how much you have to spend, and developing a project that will work for your budget.

Getting good advice early on, will help you know what you can achieve for your budget, and how to get the most from your money by helping you choose the right materials. Jackie says “it’s a very different environment these days. Product delays and price blowouts can leave you in a difficult position. Engaging good tradespeople that are easy to talk to is crucial. 

“Resene can give you some good painting contacts if needed, from reliable tradespeople and our certified Eco Decorators (using environmentally friendly practices), and they will be happy to give you a quote so you can plan your costs.”

Top tip: When you’re planning painting projects, tools like Resene’s paint calculator and Resene test pots can help you work out exactly how much paint you’ll need and what colours you love, before you commit.

Get creative

If you’re struggling to find the motivation to get your projects started you might be missing out the fun part - getting creative and letting your imagination run wild.

Start with some visual aids, like a mood board or a simple online document where you can save your favourite pictures, patterns, shapes and colours. Almost everyone responds to colours and nothing will be more motivating than playing around with Resene colour charts or Resene testpots to find the combinations that give you a spark of joy and excitement. Even if you’re a strictly white-on-white fan, you’ll be surprised how much time you can spend finding just the right white, whether it’s classic crisp Resene Alabaster, warm and creamy Resene Spanish White, or on-trend Resene Half White Pointer with its subtle notes of grey and beige.

Even if your project is more practical like simply tidying up a fence with a fresh coat of paint, or giving the ceiling a new lease of life, give yourself permission to get a little creative. Instead of a plain stain or a standard white, could that fence benefit from bolder green Resene Waterborne Woodsman Rangitoto, or can you add touches of colour to match your flower garden in Resene Tropical, Resene Daylight or Resene Roadster. 

If your ceiling needs painting, are you brave enough to tackle the growing trend for coloured ceilings? Maybe just a subtle shade of pink in Resene Soul Searcher? Or something bolder like Resene Ocean Waves for an eye-catching contrast against your neutral Resene Sea Fog walls.

The point is, no matter how simple or mundane your project seems, take a moment to think a little deeper about the possibilities - and at least let yourself imagine how much better your room or your exterior will look so you stay inspired and motivated to finish.

Other tips for staying on track:

  • Have a big-picture end goal, but try to focus on each smaller job as it needs doing. It’s a good way to enjoy the small wins, keep the project moving forward and avoid getting overwhelmed by the whole project.

  • Follow other home renovators for inspiration and ideas. Habitat by Resene is a great place to start as it features a completed house project every week with a huge range of styles and ideas to get you inspired and motivated. By the same token, starting a social account to share your small wins and progress with friends and supporters is a great way to get motivating compliments and feedback.

  • Like all other resolutions (New Year or otherwise) cut yourself some slack. If your circumstances change or you realise you’re over-committed, reframe your project. Opt for just one small part to get started. Nothing is more de-motivating than being overwhelmed, stuck or feeling like the project has become a chore.

  • Ask for help and not just the expert kind. Call on some friends and family to pick up a paintbrush or a sander. Fire up the BBQ as a thank you.

  • Take time off. Feeling tired, stuck and overwhelmed is guaranteed to stall your project so be sure to walk away from it for a few days if and when you need to. It’ll give you a fresh perspective and motivation.

  • If you have a few half-finished projects that need your attention but you’re more interested in starting something new, make a list. List everything that needs finishing, and assign an amount of time you think it needs to get done, and any materials you need or roadblocks that have stalled it. It’s a good project management technique that helps you visualise what needs doing. Start with the smaller jobs, assign them to a weekend or other free time, and start tackling them one by one. The satisfaction from finishing things off should have you build up momentum to get through the rest of your to do list.

When you’re tackling new projects you might find yourself also painting surfaces you haven’t prepped or painted before.  Ask staff at your local Resene ColorShop for advice to make the job easier or use the free online Ask a Resene Paint Expert service.

Article created in partnership with Resene