Homeowners typically have a list of projects, small and large, to tackle in the home. Some handy homeowners may attempt do-it-yourself projects and with some planning ahead, you can complete those tasks in a green way.
Atlanta interior designer Anitra Mecadon, host of DIY Network’s “Mega Dens,” shared her favorite environmentally friendly do-it-yourself projects and products.
1. Reclaimed wood
Old barn wood is being reused often in recent “Mega Dens” projects. “Barn doors are a huge trend. Everybody wants a barn door,” she said. You can use old barn wood to make the doors yourself, by drilling down the boards and screwing them together and, if you want, adding vintage-looking hardware. Old wood also can be used for side tables, coffee tables and entertainment centers. “It’s a great way to add character and style to the home,” she said.
“Artwork is another way to go green. People either leave their walls bare because they don’t know what to do or can’t afford what to do,” she said. “Art is like the jewelry in the room. I try to show people that art can be anything.” One of her favorite ways to make art quickly is by reusing an old or outdated canvas. Using her drywall spatula, she covers the canvas with a product like National Gypsum’s ProForm XP Ready Mix and lets it dry. Then with the same spatula, she goes back and scrapes paint all over the canvas, creating a piece of abstract art.
3. Secondhand furniture
Some furniture pieces are cheap buys at thrift stores and yard sales. Other furniture, especially pieces inherited from grandparents and other family members, hold sentimental value. But if the piece doesn’t fit with the style of your home, transform it by using no- or low-VOC paint and nontoxic milk paint to give it an antique look or the style you prefer. Don’t be afraid of bold colors, she said. You can tone down the colors by sanding the edges, which can create a worn look, and rubbing the piece down with a dark wax.
4. GREENGUARD-certified products
Mecadon is the new spokesperson for National Gypsum’s PURPLE® drywall products, which are resistant to moisture, mold, mildew, scratches and dents, and are GREENGUARD certified. Although they have a purple hue, the drywall color doesn’t show through paint and the product is installed, finished and decorated like standard drywall. The GREENGUARD program, by UL Environment, certifies products and materials that boast low chemical emissions and can improve the air quality. GREENGUARD-certified products range from adhesives/sealants to air filters to cabinetry to countertops to doors to flooring and furniture.