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DIY Dictionary: 10 Terms to Know Before Starting Spring Projects

DIY Dictionary: 10 Terms to Know Before Starting Spring Projects

Spring has officially begun, which means that DIY season is also underway. But before you dive into your warm weather projects, it may pay off to prepare a bit. And we’re not just talking about updating your Pinterest boards, either. If you’re going to DIY anything this spring, you’ve got to learn the lingo!

We’ve compiled a list of 10 terms you may come across during your spring DIY projects:


You’ve probably heard of your HVAC unit or HVAC system. You may even remember receiving advice to have it inspected or maintained on a regular basis. But, what is it? Your HVAC system is your home’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning system. You know, the system that controls your comfort at home. If you haven’t already interacted with your HVAC system this spring, perform necessary maintenance now, whether your DIY involves changing a filter or phoning a professional!


This is your ground fault circuit interrupter. Whether you remember the technical term or the acronym, just keep in mind that this outlet can protect you when you’re doing any DIY electrical work.

3. Caulk

You may already know that caulk is a great filler for drafty windows or cracks. But when it comes to DIY projects, you also should know just how flexible it is. Caulk can help you even out some imperfections when you’re decorating too.

4. Grout

What caulk is to your DIY decorating projects, grout is to your waterproofing projects. This filler is typically used to seal gaps between your walls and ceramic tile. The paste also fills crevices between floor tiles. 

5. G-Clamp

This is a tool you may or may not have around the house. How can you tell? Well, go by its name. This clamp, which can hold wood or metal together while you’re trying to work with it, is shaped like the letter “G.”

6. Keying

When it comes to DIY projects, consider keying to be barely scratching the surface. Truly, this technique is a way to roughen a surface before you apply paint or plaster.

7. Masking

This term is an important tip for mastering any DIY painting project. Masking an area is covering it with tape to keep it safe from any drips when you’re painting nearby. You’ll definitely want to be good at masking before you complete your DIY projects.

8. Matte

Speaking of painting, before you apply a new coat to any DIY project, you should understand what the finish is. A matte color is dull and flat, with no shine. Satin paints give a slight shine and glossy finishes are highly light reflective.

9. Floating

If you’re completing any DIY flooring projects this year, you’ll want to know about floating. This term refers to flooring that is not nailed or glued down, but flooring that interlocks. When installing these floors, it is customary to leave a gap between the floors and walls to allow for expansion.

10. KISS

When it comes to your spring DIY projects, KISS means “Keep it simple and straightforward.” Maybe you’ve heard another variation of the acronym, but when you’re trying something new for your home, you want to make it as easy on yourself as possible. Simple, straightforward projects are sure to hit home for you.

These DIY definitions could go on long through your spring projects. But, once you get a handle on these 10, you’ll feel a little more comfortable completing all the DIY projects you have planned. Here’s to a DIY season full of Pinterest-worthy projects!