Jazz up your junk
Give old furniture a lick of paint; even rusty items are covered by Hammerite's Direct to Rust Paint (£6.49 for 250ml).
Help: a guide to painting furniture is on homesandproperty.co.uk; for tips on painting metal go to hammerite.co.uk.
Put up a pole
Replace a dreary old curtain track with a smart pole and buy some ready-made curtains. Tab tops or eyelets are cheapest, with no need to buy rings.
Help: find an excellent guide to fixing a curtain pole on polesandblinds.com.
Banish wall scuffs
You'll need to paint the whole wall to avoid a patchy look - apply two coats for a good finish. B&Q and Homebase have good own-brand colours at about £15 for 2.5 litres (enough for most rooms), though a big can of white emulsion is likely to be cheaper. A designer paint will cost £22-£25 (see farrow-ball.com or firedearth.com). To change a room's look add stencils or stickers.
Help: most painting info is on the can. Tips and a free iPhone app are at dulux. com; or call 08444 817 817. Crown also has a colour/painting app at crownpaint.co.uk. B&Q does interactive room design at diy.com. Stencil designs/tips are at hennydonovan.com and stencil-library.co.uk.
Give dreary kitchen units a facelift with a specially formulated paint for melamine. A new type by International gives a lacquer-like shine (six colours, £24.99 for a litre, right). There are also special paints for tiles and appliances. Help: there are painting videos and tips at international-paints.co.uk.
Date with a blind
The quickest way to change a window's look is with a new roller blind. Buy one for £10 to £20 at a DIY store, or pay from £30 to have one made to measure.
Help: video tips on measuring and fitting blinds are at web-blinds.com.
Hire a sander and sand your floors. Then, either add a couple of coats of lacquer, or simply paint them. International Quick Drying Floor Paint costs from £27.99 for 2.5 litres. Painted floors stand up to traffic amazingly well.
Help: for a step-by-step guide, go to hss.com, which has all the tools you need for hire. If you are painting, the tips are on the can.
Fill in the cracks
Fixing chips and cracks is easy if you have the right filler. For example, Fine Surface Polyfilla erases hairline cracks and little chips. Flexi Gap tackles holes around door frames and skirtings. Liquid Sanding brushes on to grotty old paintwork making it all ready for paint.
Help: watch step-by-step videos on polycell.co.uk; or call the Polycell advice centre on 08444 817 817.
New "paste the wall" wallpapers mean you don't need a table or messy glues. Prices start at around £20 a roll.
Help: for calculations, designs and video tips, download a free iPhone app from superfrescoeasy.com/index.
If you do need to call in a professional, visit www.homesandproperty.co.uk/tradesman.