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Do It Yourself: Turn Something Old Into Something New #30DaysofGOOD

Hit the streets and find something you can renovate, upgrade, or repurpose.

Things are easier said than done, or so the old adage goes, and we couldn't agree more. That's why we do 30 Days of GOOD (#30DaysofGOOD), a monthly attempt to live better. Our challenge for July? Do It Yourself.


Weekends are primetime for DIY project work, and for the first weekend of our 30-day DIY challenge, it's time to get our hands dirty.

Your task is to hit the streets and find something you can renovate, upgrade, or flat out turn into another item. Look for something that is in sore need of a paint job, has a wobbly leg, or is just grossly out of style. For beginners, focus on items that need an aesthetic rehabilitation—paint projects are fun and highly-effective ways to bring new life to old objects. If you've got a bit more experience under your belt, look for a project that involves refinishing wood, repairing a piece of furniture, or repurposing a piece of classic equipment into a cool coffee table or shelf.

To keep costs low, check a local flea market, thrift store, or yard sale. All are sources of low-cost ideas with high repair potential.

The goal of the assignment is to do something—there's no way to get this wrong aside from not doing anything at all. Get as creative as you'd like. Found an end table that could use some cool polka-dots? Think that giant old-school TV set would be better off gutted and used as a bookshelf? Go for it.

Once you've selected your project, look around online and find some tips on achieving your intended result. Like I mentioned before, the best outcomes rely on proper preparation.

Here are a few ideas:

Beginner: Paint an old picture frame
Overview: Remove glass and artwork, sand old paint, prime, apply new paint, reassemble.

Moderate: Refinish a wooden table
Overview: Sand table, clean dust, apply multiple coats of stain, apply lacquer.

Advanced: Wobbly chair repair
Overview: Dismantle chair, remove hardened glue, re-glue the joints, secure together with clamps or rope binding while drying.

I find a lot of satisfaction in documenting my project's progress. Posting a before and after photo online is a great way to inspire others, and step-by-step photos of your process further help people who might want to take on the same project you have. Let us know how your project turned out—send us a description (and photos, if possible) of what you worked on this weekend. See you on Monday!

We're giving away $1000 for you to share your own DIY skills with others. Participate in our Host a GOOD Workshop challenge.

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