This week we’re revisiting some of the most popular summer stories from the archives. Here’s one:
Consider this our ode to the humble hardware store, the affordable emporium of just about anything you need (and several things you didn’t know you needed). The wares in a hardware store epitomize beauty in function: These are practical workhorses, often designs that haven’t changed in decades (or even centuries). They’re built to last, sometimes multi-purpose—and many of them are surprisingly good-looking.
Over the years several hardware store essentials—from drop cloths to trusty porcelain light sockets—have made their way into each of our arsenals and become Remodelista icons. Here are the hardware store favorites we’ve returned to, and used in our own homes, again and again.
N.B.: We’re advocates of supporting your local hardware store—the dustier, the better—but if shopping online is easier, national stores do the trick, too.
1. Silver-Tipped Lightbulbs
3. Classic Clothespins
5. Porcelain Light Sockets
7. Clamp Lights
8. Ball Jars
9. Flour Sack Towels
10. Copper Scrubbers
11. Terra Cotta Pots
12. Clothespin Bags
13. Retractable Clotheslines
14. Galvanized Pails
15. Cast-Iron Pans
16. Tension Rods
17. Wooden Clothes Hangers
18. Drop Cloths
19. Plumbing Pipes and Fittings
20. Dustpans and Brushes
21. Multi-Use Brown Paper
22. Workhorse Fan
24. Folding Clothes Racks
25. Peg Boards
More tried-and-tested Remodelista essentials, see:
- The Ikea Essentials: Editors’ 10 Favorite Kitchen Tools
- Editors’ Picks: 10 Storage Finds From Ikea That We Own and Love
N.B.: This story originally ran on February 21, 2019 and has been updated.
Frequently asked questions
What are some essential budget hardware store finds for design DIY?
Some essential budget hardware store finds for design DIY include items such as screwdrivers, paint brushes, sandpaper, utility knives, measuring tapes, clamps, and safety goggles.
Where can I find screwdrivers and what types are recommended?
Screwdrivers can be found in hardware stores, and recommended types for design DIY include Phillips head and flathead screwdrivers in various sizes.
What types of paint brushes should I look for in a hardware store?
For design DIY, it is recommended to look for paint brushes with synthetic bristles that are suitable for both latex and oil-based paints. Different sizes of brushes may also be needed for different projects.
Is sandpaper available in hardware stores and what grits are commonly used?
Yes, sandpaper is commonly available in hardware stores. Grits such as 100, 150, and 220 are commonly used for various sanding purposes.
Do hardware stores sell utility knives and why are they important for design DIY?
Yes, hardware stores sell utility knives which are essential for design DIY tasks such as cutting and scoring materials like wallpaper, cardboard, and packaging.
Are measuring tapes necessary for design DIY projects?
Yes, measuring tapes are essential for accurate measurements in design DIY projects. They can be found in hardware stores in different lengths and materials.
What are clamps used for in design DIY and where can I find them?
Clamps are used to hold materials together during gluing, painting, or drilling. Hardware stores have a variety of clamps available, including spring clamps, bar clamps, and C-clamps.
Why are safety goggles recommended for design DIY and can they be purchased from hardware stores?
Safety goggles protect your eyes from potential hazards during design DIY, such as flying debris or harmful chemicals. Hardware stores typically have safety goggles available for purchase.