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4 DIY tools that make less mess

Elaina is a Phoenix-based freelance writer, blogger and co-founder of the Kidlee baby book app. Check out her blog, Fun Finds For Mom, for product reviews, recipes and fun activities for moms and kids.

Less mess, less stress

Putting off that home improvement project because you dread making a huge mess? Well, weekend warrior, it's time to reconsider. Sometimes a simple tool is all you need to minimize the mess (and the stress)!
1

3M Clean Sand System

3M Clean Sand System

Have an awesome dresser you scored on Craigslist just sitting in your garage waiting to be spruced up? Stop delaying the sanding project because you don't want to deal with having dust everywhere. The 3M Clean Sand System is an easy-to-use sanding tool that has a vacuum built right in. Instead of spreading dust as you sand, this handy tool sucks it right up while you work. Less mess, less cleanup!

Watch the Clean Sand System in action >>

2

Rubber caulking smoother

Rubber caulking smoother

Quick tip: Always use paintable caulk. You never know if you'll decide to paint over it at a later date!

If you've ever tackled a caulking project, you probably know how messy it can be. Thankfully, there's a simple tool that lets you smooth the silicon as you go, without using your finger! Pick up a smoothing tool at the home improvement store for just a few bucks and tackle all those baseboard gaps that have been driving you nuts. Simply use your caulking gun to lay down your bead or line of caulk, and then run a tool like the Vitrex Flexi-Tip Sealant Smoother along the line of silicon to achieve a smooth, even result. Take a wet paper towel, wipe off the tip of the tool and voila — you're done.

3

Tile-setting mat

Tile setting mat

Installing a tile backsplash is a fairly inexpensive way to upgrade the look of your kitchen. But as any Design Star fan knows, this DIY project rarely goes according to plan. What if you could add a backsplash without mixing or applying a speck of mortar? Thanks to adhesive tile mats like SimpleMat, you can! These peel-and-stick mats work like big stickers and let you skip the mortar and go straight to tile application and grouting.

See how easy it is to work with a tile-setting mat >>

4

Rubber band

Rubber band on paint can

Photo credit: The Mommy Files

Planning a painting project? Skip the drips by stretching a humble rubber band across the middle of an open paint can. This will allow you to dip your brush, and then scrape extra paint on the rubber band as you lift it out of the can. This solution keeps paint drips inside the can, meaning there will be no messy paint drips and spills to clean up when you're done painting. So go ahead — get out that chalkboard paint and go crazy!

More renovation inspiration

Weekend DIY kitchen updates
DIY vs. hired help: Choosing the right path
Deciding which home projects to tackle first

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