The UpSkill Project Workshops

The goal of The UpSkill Project, Powered by Lowe’s is to give homeowners the confidence to say “I can do this!” and tackle their home improvement projects themselves.

This post is sponsored by Lowe’s. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

The UpSkill Project

Buying a house can be scary and not just because of the huge financial investment. A house is a never-ending work in progress, new or old. There is always going to be something that needs to be fixed or tweaked or (if you’re anything like me) changed. Hiring someone to paint or make a small repair can be expensive, but doing it yourself can be downright terrifying and overwhelming. The goal of The UpSkill Project is to give homeowners the confidence to say “I can do this!” and tackle some home projects themselves.

About The UpSkill Project

Lowe’s is already a destination for so many to purchase the supplies needed for their projects. Their associates’ know-how to actually get it done. The UpSkill Project provides homeowners with side-by-side instruction in their own home. To participate, Richmond area residents submitted a video detailing the skills they’d like to learn to tackle a home improvement project and what having those skills would mean to them.

Lowe’s selected four individuals and gave them a $2,000 project budget. Plus, a team of experts to teach the necessary project skills. Over two days, the Lowe’s team helped these homeowners. They empowered them with the knowledge, and confidence, to DIY another project in the future! My friend Liz took on her backyard through the UpSkill Project. She blogged all about building her new patio. To see if The UpSkill Project is hosting a contest in your area be sure to visit their website!

The UpSkill Project Workshops

The workshops are designed to help anyone with some of the most common DIY projects people want to tackle. The UpSkill Project Workshop in Richmond, which I attended, focused on painting, plumbing, and tiling.

Painting Workshops

There were paint demonstrations for painting cabinets or furniture, as well as repairing drywall holes and damage to prep a wall for painting. The workshops also included information on paint sheens and types, as well as recommended products.

I learned about bonding primer for painting cabinets or furniture, something I’d never heard of before. It’s a heavy duty stain-blocking primer that also improves topcoat durability. It’s definitely something I wished that we’d used when we painted the cabinets in the bathrooms! If we ever get around to painting the kitchen cabinets, it’s definitely something that I will be investing in! UpSkill Project cabinet painting demonstration

UpSkill Project painting

Lowe's UpSkill Project cabinet paint

Tiling Workshops

There were also demonstrations on tiling. While we’ve tiled before in the girls’ bathroom, we had help from my father (a general contractor). Our instructors, who were local Lowe’s associates, taught us some grouting techniques, as well as the differences between sanded and un-sanded grout. For example, un-sanded grout has a smooth texture and is better for vertical surfaces, like backsplashes. Sanded grout is better for flooring and larger grout lines because it is more resistant to shrinking and cracking.

Also, one of the most common issues when people DIY their tile projects is that they don’t work the grout down in-between the tiles enough. This causes the grout to become loose and fall out over time. I’m hoping to put some of these skills to work on our kitchen backsplash in the future. The several months from now, post-baby and newborn stage future. 

Plumbing Workshops

At the plumbing station, we learned about replacing a bathroom faucet and hooking up water lines. These are tasks that seem very daunting, but with the right know-how, it’s actually quite simple. Replacing a bathroom faucet is one of those projects that should take a novice DIYer about an hour to complete. One of the biggest things is making sure your new faucet fits your sink. The easiest way to ensure you buy the correct faucet is to take the old one with you. A Lowe’s associate can easily help you find the correct faucet and offer advice and tips for installing that specific faucet.

I thought that was excellent advice since we’ve been known to buy incorrect parts sometimes and make multiple Lowe’s visits in one day. I also learned about this awesome tool called The Drain Weasel! It’s made specifically for cleaning hair out of a clogged drain. This isn’t really a problem for us at the moment (woohoo for pregnancy hair!) but when the postpartum hair loss kicks in we are definitely going to need it!

UpSkill Project plumbing demo

My Local UpSkill Project Workshops

Our local workshop and hanging out with The UpSkill Project team, Lowe’s associates and Richmond area UpSkill participants, as well as fellow bloggers Liz and Kim was a lot of fun. I asked for recommendations for kitchen cabinet paint and products, plus there was a whole discussion about colorful vs. white cabinets. I also talked up the plumbing instructors about a problem Jesse recently corrected in our master bath with an outdated gasket. Plus, how best to handle similar issues in the future. UpSkill Project workshop bloggers

If you’re in Richmond and missed the workshops, you can still visit your local Lowe’s store for recommendations and help with techniques for your project any time. If you’re not local to Richmond, The UpSkill project is coming to a number of cities across the country throughout the year. Check The UpSkill Project website for a list of dates and locations to see if they are going to be at a Lowe’s near you!

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