The 4 Messiest DIY Projects—And How to Make Cleanup a Breeze

Do-it-yourself projects around the house can be very rewarding, not least because they give you greater control over the final product and save you money on labor costs. Sometimes, though, cleaning up after all that work takes just as much time and effort as the project itself! Fortunately, you can clean up quickly after four of the messiest home improvement and design projects if you're armed with the right tools and techniques. Read on to find out which tools can help you conquer the chaos unleashed by these four supremely messy projects.

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  1. 1. Painting the Ceiling

    1. Painting the Ceiling

    All painting projects have the potential for splatters and spills, but painting overhead is virtually guaranteed to leave a mess everywhere. Gravity causes excess paint to run down the roller's handle onto your sleeve and splatter anything below, with the frustrating tendency to drip onto the one item not covered with a tarp. Cleaning up after you've finished painting a ceiling is usually a hassle, but it doesn’t have to be! Click through to find out how to remove paint messes quickly and safely.

  2. Solution: The Quickly Clean Glove

    Solution: The Quickly Clean Glove

    Scrub away messy paint drips and spills easily and thoroughly with the revolutionary Quickly Clean Glove. Featuring deterioration-resistant materials and an innovative weave, the reusable Quickly Clean Glove effectively takes the place of chemical cleaners and solvents in removing paint splatters from wood trim, tile floors, painting tools, and even your skin! The glove stretches to fit comfortably over most hands, allowing the user to easily wipe away water-based paint messes with just a finger. Simply slip on the glove and dampen with plain water to clean brushes, roller trays, handles, and every errant drip that found its way onto flooring and countertops. Available from Home Depot; $3.97.

  3. 2. Sanding Drywall

    2. Sanding Drywall

    Few DIY projects create as much dust as sanding fresh drywall. The moment you start sanding down joints, fine airborne particulates fill the space with clouds of dust, reducing visibility and sending you into a coughing fit if you’re not wearing a respirator mask. Even if you cloak the room in plastic sheeting, the ultrafine dust seeps through cracks and under doors to leave a powdery white coating on everything it touches, including unprotected carpeting and upholstery fabric. Ready to ditch the traditionally messy—and, frankly, hazardous-to-your-health—method of drywall sanding? A smarter dust-free sanding system lies ahead.

  4. Solution: The Dust-Free Vacuum Pole Sander

    Solution: The Dust-Free Vacuum Pole Sander

    The best way to clean up the dusty mess is to not make it in the first place. If that sounds impossible, you haven't seen the Dust-Free Vacuum Pole Sander from Hyde Tools. Its special sanding head attaches to any standard shop-type vacuum via a 6-foot-long flexible hose to effectively suck up most of the dust particles as you go. Power up your machine, and the attachment draws drywall dust into the vacuum canister, where it remains until you dump it out. Available from; $87.48.

  5. 3. At-Home Auto Maintenance and Repairs

    3. At-Home Auto Maintenance and Repairs

    DIY automobile or motorcycle repair can really do a number on a concrete driveway or garage floor, subjecting the surface to splatters of brake fluid, globs of grease, splashes of transmission fluid, or a mini oil slick from a bumped pan of drained motor oil. Don’t let automotive-related spills become permanent fixtures on your driveway. Click ahead to find out how you can prevent those stains from sticking around without a lot of hard work.

  6. Solution: The Pivot Nozzle Wand for Gas Pressure Washers

    Solution: The Pivot Nozzle Wand for Gas Pressure Washers

    The first step is to spread a layer of kitty litter over fresh spills to absorb as much liquid as possible. After allowing 30 minutes to a couple of hours for the spill to be absorbed, sweep up the litter and discard it. Next, use a nylon brush to work a degreasing solution, such as trisodium phosphate (TSP), into the stained concrete surface to dissolve residual oil or solvent. Finally, blast away all traces of the spill with up to 4,000 psi from a gas-powered pressure washer fitted with the Chrome-Plated Pivot Nozzle Wand. The lightweight wand's nonslip rubberized grip allows extra control of your spray. And, with just a simple twist of the handle, you can rotate the nozzle to easily reach splatters from tough-to-clean spots like the foundation of your house or the side of a curb—all with no bending, squatting, or twisting on your part. Available from; $85.57.

  7. 4. Wall Repairs

    4. Wall Repairs

    No matter whether you call it “mudding” or “taping,” DIYers will agree that smoothing compound over drywall seams is one sloppy job. The standard method involves preparing compound with a heavy-duty drill in a large bucket—or buying ready-mixed compound—then scooping it into a smaller mud pan and applying dollops to the drywall seams using various sizes of trowels. While that process works great for professionals dealing with big jobs, it can create a headache for handy homeowners making small wall repairs—unless they avail themselves of a simpler, new-to-the-market solution from Hyde Tools.

  8. Solution: The MudGun and MudPaks

    Solution: The MudGun and MudPaks

    Meet the MudGun, a game-changing new way of dispensing drywall compound. The process is similar to using a caulk gun: DIYers drop a ready-to-go MudPak into the canister of a MudGun and pump the trigger to dispense compound right where it’s needed. The MudGun's interchangeable heads enable you to easily distribute compound on both flat seams and corner wall joints, and the kit's finishing head breezily applies very thin finish coats for the smoothest possible seams. The result? Less fuss to apply, and fewer messy tools to clean later. Available from; $87.25 for the MudGun and $4.89 for each MudPak.

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    If you have the money to hire a handyman for every household woe, go ahead. But if you want to hang on to your cash and exercise some self-sufficiency, check out these clever products that solve a million and one little problems around the house. Go now!