Wow. I took on quite the project this summer. I gave my old (31 years old to be exact) little tikes playhouse a facelift for my boys to enjoy. And it was 150% worth it. They are obsessed. I shared the backstory on Instagram, and got so many questions, I figured I would create a blog post, so I could share how it all went down.
I honestly did a TON of research before I started. And by a ton of research, I read like 4 posts on Pinterest. Usually, when I start a project, I get stuck somewhere along the line, and shove whatever it was going to be in a closet somewhere. But I got my 3 year old so hype for the final result (and this house is too big to hide) I didn’t want to let him down.
We started by giving the house a really good clean. I would recommend using a pressure washer if you have access to one, but I was too impatient. Brady helped me clean- we used dish soap and sponges. I went back over the crevasses with a baby wipe to make sure every spec of dirt was gone, and let the house dry completely before painting. It takes a while for the house to dry, because there are holes for connecting the plastic pieces, so there are places where the water can get trapped. I used an old bed sheet below the house, and then a plastic drop cloth under the sheet. You can’t paint it on the plastic drop cloth, or the paint will stick and peel off. If my garage was better ventilated and it wasn’t 23940283 degrees outside, I would have probably painted it inside. I kept having to remove dust, dirt and bugs from the house, and the project took several days to complete. So that was annoying.
Side Note- I was not able to get my entire house apart. The front panel and its door and windows were removed, along with the roof, but I painted the rest of it standing as an entire piece. It wasn’t the end of the world, but definitely took a little more patience (which I don’t have and still haven’t touched up what I need to), to get the shutters painted well and not spray the body of the house.
I used a plastic paint+primer spray paint to do the entire house. We used black for the roof, red for the door, gray for the shutters, and white for the body of the house. I have included a link to the brand of paint I used below.
The house definitely sucked up a lot of paint. The thing is old. It is dry. It needed a lot of paint. We used white on all 4 sides. I painted the inside, but very lightly. I know my boys won’t care, and I didn’t want to blow through a ton of paint and money for something that was not visible to the eye. I used a semi-gloss sheen on the sides, and satin on the roof and shutters. I would definitely recommending to let the paint dry for 24-48 hours before putting it back together. And KNOW it is going to chip. I had to do some serious touch up. And still need to do more. Once it is all said and done, I am going to do a final top coat to seal it all.
I let the boys go ahead and test it out this week to see how the wear and tear would be before I put all the paint away. The door chips a little where it rubs on the door frame. I am hoping after touch up and sealing, it will be a little better. Overall, I am very very pleased with the final product. I used some old planks from our fence to create a little front porch and interior hardwood floors, hung an old football flag outside, and made a rug out of extra coconut liner I had from my flower baskets.
More than anything, I am so grateful for the memories I had in the house when I was a little girl, and think its probably the coolest thing ever that it is around for my kids to use. I never would have dreamed that my kids would be playing in my old play house. Hopefully, we make a lot more memories with it!