12 Must-Have Tools for Home Improvement Projects

12 Must-Have Tools for Home Improvement Projects

Do you like to tackle your own home improvement and woodworking projects?

Maybe there’s a DIY-er in your family who spends more time in the workshop than in the house!

If their obsession is more than a passing hobby, they probably need a few tools to round out their “must-have” collection.

To help you along, we’ve compiled a list of indispensable tools that should be part of any workshop or garage collection to help get things done faster, easier and better.

Get your painting project started!

1) Level

Nobody can accurately “eyeball” something to tell whether it’s level or not, and slight errors will make frames, shelving, floorboards, or other objects look completely off-line. This tool takes all the guesswork away. In fact, it can’t hurt to have several levels of various lengths.

 

2) Putty Knife

A putty knife is great for scraping dry glues and paints and for spreading putty, paste and spackle. Having a 1½-inch size for scraping and a 5- or 6-inch one for spreading is infinitely helpful, and will pay itself back quickly over the years.

 

3) Reciprocating Saw

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If you’re cutting wood for any number of home improvement and DIY projects, you will find that a reciprocating saw is an essential workshop tool. A reciprocating saw is an all-in-one tool that can take the place of several others. It uses a pull and push blade motion to cut in hard-to-reach places where no other type of saw can fit.

 

4) Hammer

Pounding nails, pulling nails, tapping things into place — it almost goes without saying that you need a quality hammer. An expensive hammer is long and lightweight; its leverage can assist you when you take that wall down.

 

5) Power Drill

Drilling implies creating holes, and a power drill is the ultimate luxury when tired hands have turned too many screws. It adapts not only to drill bits to bore holes, but also to every kind of screw-head bit, making larger projects go quickly and with less muscle. Just be careful to stop when the fastener is tight, so you don’t strip the screw head. You will appreciate this tool’s power.

 

6) Utility Knife

From cutting paint around windows that are stuck closed to opening boxes, scoring drywall or even trimming the edges of carpet, the uses are so many that you’ll be surprised how you ever got by without one.

7) Cordless Grinder

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For metal cutting, smoothing or grinding, nothing but a cordless grinder will do! If your projects involve masonry or concrete with misplaced re-bar or anchor bolts, this handy tool will prove quite the workhorse over time. Or slice through plaster or stucco without ripping out the expanded metal lath.

8) Nail Set

A nail set is used for sinking nail heads below the surface of the wood, so that you can then fill the hole with wood putty and sand it, to make the nail disappear. This way the hammer never has to make an ugly dent in the surface you are pounding.

 

9) Tape Measure

Your tape measure is indispensable for estimating material quantities, figuring out placement of objects, and calculating floor plans and furniture sizes. It’s always a good idea to measure more than once to make sure you’ve got it right.

 

10) Miter Saw


A miter saw has a specialized blade that allows you to cut at a variety of angles, making it easily one of the most useful tool in the workshop. Making cuts for crown molding, picture frames, door frames, or window casings? A miter saw is your tool! The saw blade is mounted on a swing arm that pivots left or right to produce the perfect angled cuts each and every time.

 

11) Phillips Screwdriver

A Philips or X-shape screwdriver is probably one of the most common tools in any toolbox. If you have a have a handle that accepts interchangeable tips, you can cover a wide range of screw types and sizes.

 

11) Flathead Screwdriver

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A flathead or straight screwdriver is invaluable; most light switch plates use straight screws, for example. Having the right size flathead can make a difference, so start with at least a set of three
(small, medium and large) to be able to handle most jobs.

 


12 Days of Tools at GNH

 

Looking for the perfect gift for that woodworker, craftsperson or DIY-er in your life? Visit your local GNH Lumber today for great savings on select DeWALT, Stanely, Bostich and Paslode hand and power tools!

Maximize Kitchen Space

5 Ways to Maximize Kitchen Space During the Holidays

Maximize Kitchen Space

December is a busy month for the kitchen. Many of us spend our time planning and shopping for the holiday season, as well as welcoming family into our homes.

While it’s an enjoyable time, it can get quite chaotic, especially when you’re the one that’s preparing all the food.

Get your kitchen design project started!

To save yourself some stress this holiday season, consider these tips for both reorganizing your home and maximizing kitchen space:Continue reading

Centurion Trim

Centurion Trim

Claymark Centurion™ is the highest performing exterior finishing system manufactured by Claymark from New Zealand Radiata Pine.

Centurion™ is a timber cladding system which has been developed to protect your greatest asset – your home. Centurion Primed Exterior Trim has been developed specifically for the USA market and includes all of Claymark’s state-of-the-art technologies to provide a product that will last and which gives a superior finish.

Centurion Trim

The features of Centurion Primed Exterior Trim are:

  • Manufactured from New Zealand Radiata Pine using timber from well managed and FSC® (FSC-C008215) certified forests;
  • Manufactured to the highest precision standard and with a high quality finish;
  • Produced from the highest quality finger jointed block;
  • The Tru-Core® treatment system provides excellent durability characteristics and protects against fungal decay, insects and termites;
  • Pre-coated with a 100% acrylic primer and UV sealant undercoat;
  • 50 year warranty against fungal decay/rot and insect attack (including Formosan termites); and
  • 5 year warranty on the paint finish (conditions apply).

Tru-Core® Treatment Process:

The Tru-Core® treatment process is a highly effective way to protect wood in exterior environments. The Tru-Core® process uses a unique carrier system that ensures preservative is carried directly into the timber to achieve 100% penetration of both the sapwood and heartwood. The carrier system is water based so it contains no organic solvent or harmful chemicals. The mix of bio-actives ensure that the timber is effectively treated for fungal attack and rot, insects and termites.

Coating Technology of Centurion Primed Exterior Trim:

Centurion™  comes pre-coated with an acrylic  primer and undercoat system with the following benefits:

  • The latest in waterborne coating technology for safe handling and performance;
  • 100% acrylic composition
  • Resistant to tannin and resin bleed;
  • A finish that provides better adhesion and flexibility for the coating;
  • Coated on all 4 sides for protection and enhanced stability; and
  • Claymark Centurion™ 5 year limited primer warranty.

Sleep soundly at night knowing you are using Centurion Primed Exterior Trim, a product that is unrivaled by any other on the market today.

Click Here for Product Sell Sheet | Learn More about Centurion Exterior Trim

How to Choose Paint Trim

How to Choose a Paint Finish

How to Choose Paint Trim
Picking just the right paint for your interior painting project involves more than just color selection – you also need to determine the right paint finish. Didn’t even think about finish, did you? That’s ok! A lot of people overlook the importance of paint finish, and underestimate the role it plays in the overall appearance of your newly-painted room.

Choosing the right finish for your interior project will depend on the look, durability, and ambiance you want to achieve. Understanding the basic differences between paint finishes will help guide your selection process.

Get your painting project started!

So, let’s jump right in! The most common interior paint finishes are: flat, matte, eggshell, satin, and semi-gloss. Let’s take a closer look at these 5 options:

Flat

The flat finish is available only in latex paint. It’s clean, opaque qualities make it a great choice for walls and ceilings. It is also the least shiny finish available. That said, it does not clean well, and is not recommended for kitchens or bathrooms – and definitely not a children’s bedroom.  The only way to get rid of drawings and fingerprints on a flat-finish wall is to paint over them!

Matte

Matte finishes are also low-shine. It’s perfect for busy areas: hallways, family rooms and kids’ rooms. It’s easy to apply, highly washable, and hides existing wall colors well. We recommend Regal Select Waterborne Interior Paint – Matte (548). It features paint and primer together in one application. Plus, it’s Zero VOC, low odor and provides a mildew resistant coating.

Eggshell

The eggshell finish is often used for decorative finishes because it provides a low shine. It cleans up better than a flat finish would, but probably not as well as you would want in a kitchen or bathroom.

How to Choose a Paint FinishSatin

The most popular paint finish is the satin finish.  It has more sheen than eggshell, and cleans better too! This finish is a good choice for woodwork, walls, doors, and hallways. It’s also great for bedrooms and dining rooms. While this finish is washable, it’s not “scrubbable,” so this is another one to skip if you’re painting a playroom.

For kitchen and baths, we recommend an acrylic satin finish enamel. Use Benjamin Moore Kitchen and Bath (322)  for exceptional durability and color retention, as well as mildew-resistance, even under humid conditions. It’s ideal for use over clean, gloss surfaces, and it’s self-priming on most surfaces, saving you time!

Semi-Gloss

A semi-gloss paint will give your room a subtle shine while adding the durability of an easy-to-clean color coat. It’s scrubbable without being too shiny, making it perfect for moldings, doors, windows – and little Picasso’s bedroom, too.

Tip: Semi-gloss finishes reflect light very well, making imperfections in your walls more noticeable.  To avoid highlighting these imperfections, take the time to prep your walls and make them super smooth before applying the paint.

Not sure which finish best matches your project? Check out this product comparison guide from Benjamin Moore.

Choosing the right paint finish is just as important as picking a color.  Not only does it impact the appearance of your room, it has a big effect on how well you will be able to clean and maintain its walls and surfaces!
Now that you have a basic introduction to each of the major paint finishes, you are better prepared for your trip to GNH to pick out paint.  Can’t decide between two finishes? Ask a GNH expert! And most importantly… Have fun!