In A Day’s Work: Top 7 Time-Saving DIY Products

Hi ya’ll!  In the words of the great George Jones…

“It’s finally Friday!  I’m free again.  I got my motor running for a wild weekend.  It’s finally Friday!  I’m out of control.  Forget the working blues and let the good times roll!”

As I type this, I have that very song blaring on repeat in the background.  Yeah, it’s definitely been one of those weeks.  But, I’m so glad to be back here with you again.  Today’s post is all about time and how to maximize yours.  If you’ve been following me for awhile, then you know I have a full-time job, an awesome husband and two amazing little girls not to mention all the other things that come along with being an adult like paying bills, cooking, cleaning and my least favorite, doing laundry (actually, paying bills may be my very least favorite 😉).  All those responsibilities leave little time for DIY.  And let’s face it, for me, DIY time is like a glass of wine at the end of a long day- complete stress relief.  There’s something so freeing about being creative and getting my hands dirty so I try to make it a priority at least a couple of nights a week.  Since I usually only have about 2-3 hours of me time after the girls go to bed, I’ve found clever ways to maximize my time.  In fact, I almost called my blog In A Days Work instead of The Road Less Traveled since so many of my projects only take a day to complete because, well, that’s all the time I really have.

So, to help you maximize your own time, here’s a list of my top 7 time-saving DIY products.

  1. Drill


A drill is a major time-saver!  Don’t get me wrong, I have done plenty of DIY with a trusty Philips screwdriver, but hand turning just can’t compare to the speed of a drill and since most of them are battery powered you still have the freedom of easily taking it wherever you need it.  I use mine nearly every time I’m in the SheShop.

  1. Self-Tapping Screws

Self Tapping Screws

I seriously love these things!  I use them all the time like on this Rolling Cart, Grain Sack Striped Stool and Vanity Bench.  What makes these screws such a time-saver is that they rarely require pre-drilling and self-countersinking.  Just screw and go.

  1. Minwax Wood Finishing Clothes

Wood Finishing Clothes

These wipes are great because they’re not messy so you save time on the clean-up, they barely smell so you can use them indoors and they dry in an hour. That’s right, only 1 hour!!  I usually use them to stain bare wood before I paint it so I never seal the top with polyurethane.  I’ve also heard from fellow DIY’ers that these wipes seems to be self-sealing and work well without a polyurethane topcoat.  I did use them to stain an end table top that I never painted nor polyurethaned and it’s held up great.  I also used them on my Primitive Pantry Box Replicas.

  1. Painter’s Pyramids

Painter's Pyramids

These little gems help to prop up your piece so you can paint all sides in one shot instead of having to paint one side, wait for it to dry and then paint the other side.  I always use them when I’m painting small home décor items like frames, bowls and trays.  Since they’re a pyramid shape, only the tiniest surface actually touches your piece so even if the paint is still wet in that area, it is rarely affected.

  1. Elmer’s Carpenter’s Color Change Wood Filler

Wood Filler

This stuff is great.  It goes on purple and then dries tan so there’s no second guessing when its ready for sanding.  It also dries pretty quickly especially when filling shallow holes and gouges.  Check out Part I of my chalk painting tutorial for more details on how to use this wood filler.

  1. Rust-Oleum High Performance Enamel Spray Paint

Spray Paint

I’ve used many different types of Rust-Oleum spray paint, but this one is by far my favorite.  I typically will spray paint metal hardware with flat black paint and then apply chalk paint.  That way when I distress, the matte black shows through giving a more shabby chic look.  This spray paint dries to the touch in only 15 minutes and can be re-coated in less than an hour.  Woohoo!

  1. Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

Chalk Paint

Well, considering I wrote a two-post tutorial about chalk painting, I think it comes as no surprise that Annie Sloan’s chalk paint made the list.  Chalk paint is a time-saving miracle.  As long as your piece is in good shape, there is no prep work required other than a quick wipe down to remove any dirt or dust.  Even if you have to make some repairs to your piece, many of the other products that made the list can make that process a snap too then it’s on to paint.  Check out Part I and Part II of my chalk painting tutorial to see the whole process start to finish.

Hopefully these products can help you squeeze some DIY time into your busy day too.  If you have a favorite time-saving product, I’d love to hear about it.

Enjoy your weekend and see you Tuesday!

blog signature (black ink)- actual size

3 thoughts on “In A Day’s Work: Top 7 Time-Saving DIY Products

  1. Pingback: Get the Vintage Barn Wood Look with Brand New Wood | The Road Less Traveled Design Co.

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