Maintenance and home repair are a never-ending reality for just about everyone—homeowners and renters alike. But it doesn’t have to be painful or necessarily expensive. The secret to making it easy is to fix stuff as it happens—right away, not next month or sometime in the future when you decide to sell.
The best way to ensure you’ll actually perform quick home repairs is to make sure you have top-notch repair products on hand—in a handy place you will remember.
Check out my collection of favorite home repair products, some of which you may have already. And if you have favorites not listed below, please let us know in the comments area!
Miller Scratch Fix pens are the absolute best for hiding scratches on furniture, floors, cabinets, doors, and moldings—even antiques. Makes scratches, stains, and imperfections invisible. Dries in seconds making multiple coats, if necessary, super simple.
These pens (available in a variety of colors) contain waterproof wood stain instead of ink, which means that once dry, even wax and polish won’t smudge it. Follow the directions exactly for the best result. Keep a set of these stain markers in the house to touch up nicks and scratches on all your wood surfaces to keep maintenance easy and manageable.
Weldbond Adhesive Glue
Weldbond Adhesive Glue is amazing for most applications. It’s super adhesive, while at the same time cleans up with water, is non-toxic, nearly odorless, and dries clear while remaining flexible.
This is the glue you want if your repair will remain visible. It works equally well on porous and non-porous surfaces, however, it’s at its best when you scuff the materials to be glued with something like a nail file or sandpaper.
Weldbond is great on most plastics, wood, metal, tile, porcelain, fabric—items all of us have around our homes that need to be repaired from time to time. Cures fully in only 24 hours.
As always, test any product new to you in an inconspicuous place first. You want to know exactly this is going to work and appear once you use it to make a home repair.
Original Gorilla Glue
Gorilla Glue comes in a number of varieties, many of which I can live without. It’s the Original Gorilla Glue that has saved my bacon more than a few times and occupies a permanent location in my repair products cupboard. It will stick anything together and hold it there for dear life and quite possibly through all eternity. However, the repair most likely will remain visible so plan your strategy carefully.
I love Original Gorilla Glue because it takes a while to dry (read the instructions carefully), which means I have time to reposition and get things just right. Original Gorilla Glue is perfect for situations where you just don’t have a clear, clean break with two like surfaces to join together.
Example: The wireframe on one of my lampshades broke leaving the thing hanging cockeyed. There was no apparent way that I could reattach it because, well, you’d have to see it to understand. But that was not an impossible challenge for Original Gorilla Glue.
It worked beautifully to attach the severed wireframe—delicately—to the lampshade fabric on the inside where it is not readily visible! That repair is now the strongest point on the entire lampshade. Yep, good forever.
Now you can understand why I don’t want to live without my trusty bottle of Original Gorilla Glue.
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CLR stands for “Calcium, Lime & Rust”—the unsightly household annoyances that this incredible product attacks.
Whether you have rust stains in your tub or crusty calcium deposits on your humidifier coils, CLR will come to the rescue. This is an amazing product, one you’ll be happy to have on hand when the need arises, which if you look under the rim of your toilet bowl, might be right now.
Quickly removes calcium, lime, and hard water deposits, soap scum, discoloration and dirt. Cleans and shines stainless steel, countertops, tubs, showers, tile, fixtures, and sinks. Use on plastic, ceramic tile, glass, stainless steel, faucet and shower fixtures, shower doors, fiberglass, toilet bowls and sinks. CLR enjoys a spot on the EPA’s Safer Choice Program recognizing the product as a safer alternative to harsg chemicals and contains no phosphates, ammonia, or bleach. Made in the US
Chances are good you grew up with a familiar blue-and-yellow can of WD-40 in your parents’ garage. It’s time to make sure there’s one somewhere in your home or garage.
Invented more than 60 years ago, WD-40 is the secret sauce of lubricants and other agents that displace water, repel dirt, and prevent corrosion.
Around the house, you can use it to silence squeaky door hinges, remove rust from garden tools, clean a whiteboard, and perform a zillion other household miracles.
- MORE: For Every Problem, WD-40
Bondo All-Purpose Putty
Bondo All-Purpose Putty is a homeowner’s best friend. It can fill and repair cracks and dents in drywall, metal, concrete, masonry, and wood surfaces.
This 2-part turns light gray when mixed with the white hardener, included. Fully paintable and sustainable. Excellent option to repair cracks in concrete surfaces; on painted exterior wood, metal gutters, knotholes in wood, loose tile, wood shingles, painted window sills, doors and door frames, brick, stone, and drywall.
Here’s the best thing: 3M Bondo All-Purpose Putty can be sanded and painted within 15 minutes of application, making it a quick fix for a wide range of household repairs. Wow, just wow!
VLP is a clear, high strength leather and vinyl repair product, designed to mend small rips, tears, and holes in most types of vinyl and leather materials.
A repair you make with VLP Leather and Vinyl Repair will become stronger than the original vinyl or leather material was before the tear because it actually dissolves the surface of the leather or vinyl creating an excellent bond.
This air-dry formula dries clear so the repair blends in—no color matching required. Easy to use, the repaired area will remain flexible. Resists weather and chemicals and will not become brittle. Amazing and quite inexpensive when you consider this may well stave off having to replace the sofa or other item that got ripped. It may not be ruined after all.
Black Gorilla Tape
Heavy-duty and double thick, Black Gorilla Tape is like duct tape on steroids. This is what you will reach for when you have a situation where you need to hold together rough, uneven and unforgiving surfaces like wood, stone, stucco, plaster—even brick. This tough tape is reinforced, weather-resistant, and holds up through extreme temperatures. No wonder it’s got “gorilla” in its name.
This stuff is super strong and extra sticky so please do not adhere it to a painted surface or other situation where you plan to remove the tape later (follow instructions on the label unless you don’t mind pulling paint or any other fine finish right off the wall).
You would laugh hysterically if you knew all the ways I’ve used Gorilla tape to get the job done while causing no harm.
Let’s just say that a Garage Sale sign plus Black Gorilla Tape will stick to any surface including a tree trunk—even through wind, hail, and snow—and then pull away without harming the tree when the event has ended. Or stay there for the next 100 years, had said Garage Sale poster failed to remove it. I’m judicious in the way I use Black Gorilla Tape because it is so powerful. And I love it.
This Stanley Jewelers Precision Screwdriver Set isn’t some ordinary set of garage-type screwdrivers, but I’m not quite sure they’re small enough to repair jewelry.
Nevertheless, this set is perfect for so many needs around the house. It includes two sizes of Phillips’s head and four sizes of flathead screwdrivers all housed in a handy red plastic case.
The secret to these screwdrivers being superior is their hardened blades. These small screwdrivers will not bend or twist like so many others on the market.
You will be amazed by how often you’ll reach for one of these screwdrivers—like when you need to remove a tiny screw to change a battery. This is a must-have toolset for any household.