I’ve had my eye out for a playhouse for our daughter. I knew we didn’t want to spend a lot of money on it, and was in the market for something reasonable and used. Then, a few weeks ago, our neighbor asked us if we would like to have the little plastic playhouse that had been sitting in their yard for a month. Um, YES! It seems like in our neighborhood, toys like this get inherited from neighbor to neighbor, and this little house was no different. The neighbor next to them had passed it along for their 3-year-old daughter, but unfortunately, she was just not interested in playing with it. I mean, when you have two big brothers like she does, a playhouse isn’t exactly as exciting as racing down the driveway on scooters or jumping with your big bro on the trampoline! But for our 3-year-old, it quickly became one of her favorite things.
Needless to say this playhouse has some miles on it. My neighbor had power washed it, which was a bonus for me, but there were a couple layers of paint from previous makeovers that gave this beauty a very special look. Our daughter didn’t seem to mind, but...well, the gears were turning in my head of how to make this look super cute.
As I was scrolling Pinterest looking for tutorials and inspiration, my daughter looked over my shoulder, saw a picture of a painted playhouse and said, “MOMMY! Can you make my playhouse like THAT!? With a black roof, and white walls, and a pink door and blue windows? And a number 4. Actually, can it say 4 dollars??”
I could hardly say no to that kind of enthusiasm! Especially since that is exactly what I was planning to do anyway! Well, except they don't make dollar-sign house numbers...
The project didn’t go exactly as planned, nor did it turn out perfectly. And I fully realize that this may need to be touched up or repainted every once in a while, but it’s a whole lot better than before!
Here’s how we did it…
How to Paint a Plastic Playhouse
Sponge or cleaning brush
Paper towels or drying cloth
Spray paint specifically for plastic (I used Krylon Fusion All-in-One)
How we did it:
First, I used a bucket of warm, soapy water and the brush we use to wash the cars to scrub down any grease, dirt, and debris from the outside of the playhouse. This was fun because the kids helped! Make sure this dries completely before you move on to the following steps.
Wipe down the areas you plan to paint with a dry paper towel or cloth to make sure you get any remaining moisture or dust before you start painting.
I started by taking the playhouse apart to paint but quickly realized this was ill-fated. It was so much easier leaving it together and painting that way because I could see which areas were exposed and needed to be covered. Not to mention it was more comfortable for me than bending over. You can either take it apart or leave it together depending on how much painting you want to do. We only painted the outside of the house, so I didn’t need access to the inside to paint. I also recommend setting up in an area with no wind or breeze, because so much of my paint blew away when I was spraying out in the yard. I moved everything into our side garage, made sure it was ventilated, and wore a mask.
Here is approximately how much paint I used (way more than I expected):
3 cans for the roof - Glossy Black
5-6 cans for the walls - Glossy White
2-3 cans for the windows - Matte Vintage Blue
2 cans for the doors - Glossy Pink Blush
Optional: clear coat for finishing heavily used areas
To paint, I removed the roof and set it aside. I sprayed several coats of the glossy black on these. Then, I painted the windows vintage blue and the door pink blush. I did not bother taping anything off at this stage. I did have some issues with the paint bubbling because it reacted with whatever kind of paint was used by the previous owners. I don't think this would be an issue at all if you were starting with unpainted plastic. Here is what the roof looked like after the first coat.
Once the windows and door were completely dry, I covered each window flap in a plastic grocery bag and covered any exposed areas with masking tape. I was worried this would peel the paint off, but I had no issues. I also covered the door in a sheet and did my best to tuck it around the edges so I could paint the walls. After they were all covered (I should mention that we tried to find a way to remove the doors and windows for painting, but could not), I did about 3 coats of the gloss white on each side. It could probably still use one more coat, but I ran out of paint and wasn’t about to run out to get more. You can add a clear protective coating at this stage if you want to, I was sick of painting, so I called it a day.
The hard part here was waiting for everything to dry so I could take all of the bags off and put it back together!
We finished it off with a fancy, vintage glass doorknob. After trying to screw the knobs into the existing hole, Kyle decided super glue would do the trick, so it is glued on. If it falls off, I’ll glue it again, but it seems pretty sturdy! We also superglued the house number to the side because the hardware that came with it wasn’t going to be long enough to reach the threads of the number.
Last, Kyle drilled screws into the plastic to secure the shiny doorbell, and it was done!
I added a random plant pot from our patio, a tiny eucalyptus wreath tied on with jute, and our old welcome mat to complete the look. I’m so excited to have a cute little house to look at, and our daughter could hardly tear herself away from playing with it after we got the bell installed! I’m probably going to lose my mind listening to the dinging, but I think she will get so much enjoyment from it all! The total cost of this playhouse makeover was around $100, which I know is less than the cost of a brand new one, not to mention this is way cuter anyway!
This project was inspired by Lolly Jane.
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