7 Pro-Approved Shortcuts for Nearly Any Home Improvement Project

Tackle paint jobs, prep work, maintenance, and repairs quickly and easily with these expert tips and tools.

The following content is paid advertising created in partnership with Hyde Tools. Its facts and opinions are those of BobVila.com.

  1. "Shortcuts" that don't cut corners.


    Whether you’re a painter, builder, or general contractor by profession—or just a dedicated DIYer who sets the bar high—you’re no doubt busier than ever right now. So chances are you’d appreciate learning a few smart ways to tackle projects more efficiently without sacrificing quality!

    Call them shortcuts that don't cut corners—and rely on Hyde Tools to help you master them. Check out how the pro-approved tools and techniques ahead allow you to zip through seven common home improvement projects. You’ll get more done in less time and be proud of the top-notch results.


  2. Mix in mere minutes.

    Mix in mere minutes.

    For your next project that entails mixing, work faster and more easily with the HYDE® Stir Whip (available at hydestore.com; $8.98) attached to your power drill. Its 18-inch-long, ⅜-inch-thick steel shank outshines shorter mixing paddles, letting you reach all the way to the bottom of a five-gallon bucket to fully blend any compound from paint to drywall mud with less drill drag thanks to the multi-finger design. Plus, those fingers are flexible enough to fit right through the pour spout, saving you from ever having to remove the lid and expose the contents to debris at the worksite—and the paint itself from skinning over while you work.


  3. Paint a room posthaste.

    Paint a room posthaste.

    It’s only an average-size room, but once it's empty, you feel like you're gearing up to prep and paint an arena. Save the time spent switching tools between tasks with the HYDE® 17-in-1 Painter's Multi-tool (available at hydestore.com; $13.02). Use it to pull nails, remove outlet covers and wall switches, scrape off old paint, apply putty, open cans, and even clean your rollers when you’re done. You’ll be surprised how many functions this little wonder performs—and how speedily you’ll be ready to start the next room!


  4. Sand sans dust.

    Sand sans dust.

    Cleaning up dust is no one’s favorite time-consuming chore. To prep surfaces without the mess, deploy the HYDE® Dust-free Vacuum Hand Sanding Kit (available at hydestore.com; $22.99). The hand sander comes with a six-foot hose, sanding screen, and an adapter that snaps easily onto your wet/dry vacuum. You’ll suck up 95 percent of the dust that would otherwise be scattered around your site—or, worse, get breathed in—as you work.


  5. Clean the deck like a demon.

    Clean the deck like a demon.

    Power washers expediently banish dirt, grime, gunk, and mud from your deck and other exterior surfaces, but they can be tricky and uncomfortable to use—especially when trying to maintain a water stream that's perfectly perpendicular to the surface for maximum cleaning power. Simplify the task with the HYDE® 28-Inch Pivot Nozzle Wand for Gas Pressure Washers (available at hydestore.com; $89.03). Its twist grip control lets you direct the nozzle within a 90-degree angle so you can aim the steady stream right where you need it (at the underside of your deck or up the house's vinyl siding) without contorting your body or suffering hand fatigue. All the power without the pain!


  6. Fill holes in a flash.

    Fill holes in a flash.

    If filling up nail holes slows down your paint prep, tackle it with the HYDE® Better Finish Nail Hole Filler (available at hydestore.com; $4.22). This all-in-one wall repair tool packs joint compound into a twist-top flexible tube that doubles as a smoothing blade. Just squeeze to dispense the perfect amount of putty into the hole, then swipe it smooth without changing tools. After use, the replaceable plug will keep the compound fresh for up to three years—guaranteed!—saving you money as well as time. Win-win, anyone?


  7. Make fast work of removing wallpaper.

    Make fast work of removing wallpaper.

    The trick to pulling off past-its-prime wall covering is scoring it first to allow steam or liquid remover to reach in and loosen the heavy-duty adhesive. So grab the HYDE® Wallpaper Scoring Tool (available at hydestore.com; $15.18) to expedite the process. Just work the tool over the wall in a circular motion, and its stainless steel teeth will perforate the paper without damaging the wall beneath.


  8. Paint a door on the double.

    Paint a door on the double.

    Don’t wait for paint to dry! Simply set your door two inches above your work surface and hold it steady on HYDE® Painter’s Pyramids (available at hydestore.com; $4.95). These small plastic points support up to 200 pounds and offer extra maneuverability as you work. Even better, because paint won’t stick to the rounded ends of the pyramids, you can flip the door over the instant you’ve finished one side to paint the other. Get doors done in half the time and then move on, reusing the pyramids to raise objects of all shapes and sizes that need a fresh coat.


  9. Don't Miss!


    Clever project ideas and step-by-step tutorials delivered right to your inbox each and every Saturday morning—sign up today for the Weekend DIY Club newsletter!