NNNY – Day 10: The economics of DIY

It doesn’t takes a shrink to explain the satisfaction (and relief) that comes from gutting and renovating a house. Since we were working off a shoe-string budget we did most of the grunt-work ourselves minus the electrical and kitchen of course.

As we had access to pretty much any tool we required (the fortunate thing about being on the farm) we pretty much just needed the paints, primers and elbow grease. And by just, I mean a lot.

Farm house reno - and this was the easy part.

Farm house reno – and this was the easy part.

So, fast-forward to the new year; still riding the wave of satisfaction from the reno, I take on the relatively simple task of refinishing a side table. Strutting into Bunnings like a veteran, I grab the paints …. and the brushes…. and a paint scraper….and sand paper for a grand total of $70.54. Huh? The paint was only $18?

Seems I’m not alone in this scenario, and retailers know it. While paint prices have stayed relatively the same over the years, it’s the accessories that bring in the profits. And it’s the DIY trend that is driving the market.

“Paint is what brings people in but it’s the accessories that are maximising sales”, according to Australian Hardware Journal. And it’s not just simple accessories like a paint brush and roller. As DIYers look for quicker and easier ways to complete a project, suppliers are responding to this demand by developing new products and redesigning old ones – at a cost of course. For the time-poor weekend renovators, the cost appears to be worth it.

That’s all fine and dandy, but it still burns my britches that a simple project could cost so much – damn that capitalism.


NNNY – Day 10

10 JANUARY 2014 

No. of new items

No. of used items

Cost of new items

Cost of used items

Exempts amount

Matching amount

Evaded amount


       4  $76.40  $76.40  $1

TOTALS: To date

       4  $76.40  $76.40  $1



Hardware Journal, n.d., The painting extras that retailers love, accessed 10 January 2014, http://www.hardwarejournal.com.au/article.asp?ArticleID=2208


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