10 Home Improvement Projects Everyone's Afraid Of (And How To Do Them)

All day, people are posting amazing projects - big and small - to Hometalk, and we're always impressed. But every now and then, we see a project that we would be WAY too nervous to try ourselves. Which made us curious...what projects is everyone the most afraid to try?
We asked the community what projects they fear the most, and here's what we found out! But instead of just telling you what they said, we're telling you how to brave these terrifying feats. Turns out, no matter what the project is, there's an easier way to do it than you might know! Good luck :)!

1. Redoing a Staircase

It seems like people are most afraid to tackle their ugly staircases, but everyone who's done it says it's not only easier than it looks, but so worthwhile!

2. Painting Kitchen Cabinets

Next least popular DIY on the list was painting the kitchen cabinets. Everyone want to do this, but no one wants to do this. The painted kitchen cabinet trend has us all dreaming, but if you're too nervous to actually pick up a brush and do something about that desire, this might convince you to try!

  • This thorough cabinet makeover takes some time, but, says the poster, "if you want a paint job that will look great and stand the test of time, it's best to take the time and do it right." Get a professional finish, from sanding and painting to caulking and sealing all those awkward gaps.

  • Then again, you could opt for chalk paint or milk paint, and skip all that sanding and priming. It took this Hometalker just 5 days!

3. Redoing a Tub and Shower

It's no wonder that people are pretty terrified to rip into their fiberglass bathtub surround or start breaking through their tiled shower - this is a big job! But the finished result (as you'll see in these posts) is just so incredibly worthwhile. There are a couple different ways to go about updating your bathing space, so choose one that won't scare you off.

  • To start with the most challenging but biggest change, this step-by-step tutorial can help you pull apart the fiberglass surround on your tub in a single hour.

  • Too big too fast? No worries - adding wood paneling doesn't require any bashing or breaking, and it can be done, beginning to end, in one weekend.

  • The simplest option for a drastic bathtub makeover is this easy and elegant mosaic project. Make your bathtub look 10x better in half a day, with some artistic tiling.

4. Ripping up the Carpet

If you live in an older home, you've probably got carpets everywhere, and if you're like many people here, chances are you're quite tired of keeping them clean, fixing them, or even seeing them at all! Getting that crisper, cleaner flooring look isn't as tough as you might think.

5. Updating Wood Flooring

Word on the web is that people are apprehensive to update their dull wooden floors. But there are so many ways to rejuvenate or makeover a blah wooden floor that there's no reason to push it off. Here are a few options:

6. Recovering Countertops

After everyone has dealt with their cabinets, the next item on the kitchen (or bathroom) makeover list is those dull countertops! Luckily, some countertop updates don't have to be pricey or take up a huge chunk of time, so what is there to be afraid of? You got this!

7. Putting in a New Kitchen Backsplash

With so many breathtaking backsplash updates on Hometalk, it's no wonder that people are itching to redo theirs, too. But all that ripping down, building up, and tiling seems like quite a headache. Have no fear, these are here to help:

8. Painting Over Tile

Believe it or not, painting tile is just about the same as painting a blank wall. The idea makes a lot of people really nervous, but those who have braved it say it was easy as pie. Here's an idea to give you courage to take on your tiled spaces.

  • She covers her tiles in oil-based paint & the effect it shockingly bright and totally refreshed! Who knew you could get that look without tearing out and replacing the tiles?

9. Adding Open Shelving

This trend has been around for a couple of years now, and people are still loving it from afar. Well, it's time to take the risk and turn your closed and cloistered cabinets into airy open shelves. There are three pretty simple ways to do it!

10. Installing Barn Doors

Barn doors are everyone's new favorite way to break up the rooms in your home, while simultaneously saving space and instilling some style. It's not a surprise - they're so charming! But, according to the Hometalk community, they're also a little intimidating. Not anymore:

So, do you feel invigorated to take on those daunting tasks? If we missed the project you're too nervous to take on, let us know what it is in the comments! Good luck, Hometalkers - and remember to share your finished projects so we can all celebrate with you!

Suggested materials for this project:

    Hometalk Highlights

    Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


    Have a question about this project?

    Ask a Question
    • Painting kitchen cabinets
      CarolCarol Jackson, NJ · asked Feb 02, 2016

      • Since kitchens get so much use, I highly recommend oil base primer and paint. Clean the cabinets with a TSP solution. If your cabinets are in good condition, there is no need to sand. For a professional look, remove the doors and all the hardware and hinges. Label each door (1, 2, 3, etc.) with magic marker under where the hinge will be re-attached. Make sure you don't paint over the numbers. Then when you go to rehang the doors, you will know which one goes where. I then always use a liquid sandpaper followed with oil or latex primer. I much prefer oil primer and paint. It is a bit more of a pain than latex, but it will last so much longer and won't flake off--and is more washable. Painting cabinetry correctly is work and not something you probably want to do again any time soon, so I think the effort of oil is worth it. Others will probably disagree, but I have painted just about everything and the oil will hold up. If you use latex, use a high quality primer and paint.
        Debi53Debi53 Broadway, NC · answered Dec 29, 2016

    • Scarlet Paolicchi
      Scarlet Paolicchi Nashville, TN
      on Jan 31, 2016

      I love the painted stairs idea!

      • Hope Williams
        Hope Williams Young Harris, GA
        on Feb 1, 2016

        These are great suggestions for these projects. The one thing I would add is to just replace your fiberglass tub/shower unit out. Rip it out and start fresh! It's the best way to be sure your not just covering up mold and mildew or rotting floors, subfloors or joists. Just my opinion on what I've found over and over again. You may not even see water damage or a hairline crack but they can be there. I opted for safe and never regretted it.

          • Hope Williams
            Hope Williams Young Harris, GA
            on Feb 1, 2016

            @Danielle I agree with Heather Cooney. I replaced my one piece surround with a brand new, 5 ft. cast enamel, left hand drain for $185 from Home Depot. The tile I used was bought from The Restore for less than $100 and the mortar and grout, bought from the same restore, (leftovers), cost less than $25! Labor was me, so it was just sweat equity. So I completely don't see a reason to NOT replace it. I would not spend money to tile an old fiberglass tub.