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I am super excited to share our daughter’s playset makeover with you guys, but I need to be honest: an hour after I started this project, I regretted it. My feelings eventually changed once I got over a few hurdles, but the first day was a bit rough. OMG. It was 98 degrees outside and I was convinced this would be a quick weekend project. Um…no. However, I did love choosing the paint colors, the exterior “lights” and the decor. My husband had his own plans for landscaping the front of it and I just knew this would be such a cute playset once complete. I do have some tips that will hopefully save you some time should you dare try this project. Lol
We bought this playset for our daughter for her 3rd birthday in June but didn’t start the makeover until September. My husband was determined to put it together himself and it took him a few days, but he did a great job. I knew immediately I was going to paint her playset similar colors to the exterior of our own house. I went to Sherwin Williams and carefully selected paint chips to mimic the colors but knew I wanted her to have a girly, light pink door and it was my favorite part of this process because it took 5 minutes! 🙂
I spray painted the white windows and gables with a black spray paint that included primer. I chose Utterly Beige for the main body of the house, Rachel Pink for her door and Iron Ore (my favorite black paint color) for the roof. When I spoke to the attendant at Sherwin Williams, he suggested I prime the entire playset first for longevity and coverage. He told me that cedar will absorb the paint and will require several coats if I don’t. Sure! That shouldn’t take long! I really did believe I could knock it out in an afternoon. LOL So I told him that I will take the paint that will require the least amount of effort. He suggested a gallon of primer and then to also use exterior paint with primer in it.
I woke up early on a Saturday morning and was shocked at how thirsty cedar was! It is also a very rough textured wood, so my genius plan of rolling it on with a roller was not going to happen. So I continued on with the primer and by noon, it looked like I barely started! There are crevices and nooks/crannies everywhere. I stepped back to admire my work and was horrified. It was a faded, barely-there white (the primer) and looked as though I had only spent about 20 minutes on it. TIP # 1: Use a sprayer. Rent one, borrow one- but for your sanity, do not try to hand paint primer on a cedar playset in 98-degree weather.
After I painted on all the primer I could physically reach (even standing on a ladder!) my husband finished the top half and roof. I then started painting the playset body Utterly Beige and to my surprise- it went on much easier! The primer had helped smooth it out, so although I wouldn’t exactly say it glided on, it was much easier to work with. So, I didn’t mind this as much and did a bit after work a few days and on the weekend. Again, my husband had to paint the top parts I couldn’t reach on the ladder and remove the top windows so I could spray paint them.
I bought new hardware for her little door and the cutest solar lights. These were just $15 and look like real exterior lights! We bought the solar path lights along her walkway for $2 each. The pavers, mulch, and the miniature boxwoods and plants are from Lowe’s. My sweet husband spent an entire afternoon to lay out the pavers and landscape her cute little porch. It was his idea to hang the American flag and I think it adds such a cute little touch. But my personal favorite? Her buffalo check “doormat”! It is actually a placemat from Pier 1 and under $6! The cute pig bell is from Pottery Barn, but I already had it and it’s a few years old.
TIP # 2: Stain the roof with black stain. Don’t even bother painting it, just stain it black. Easy, absorbent and quick! In hindsight, I probably should have just stained the entire thing. The roof black and the playset “body” to match our deck. However, I’d still paint her door a blush pink and add the lights and landscaping! ❤️
Honestly, I’m happy we did it. I do love the way it looks and more importantly, our daughter adores her “house”. It wasn’t horrible, but as I said, the beginning was not much fun and I generally like painting projects. Now that the fall season is here, I think it would be a more tolerable project simply because you aren’t drenched in sweat crouching in a tiny little playhouse to get in crevices. It was more work than anticipated, but the end result is exactly what I hoped and again, our daughter absolutely loves it. That’s worth everything, right?