Monday, June 8, 2015

Little Tikes Playhouse Makeover

Brand new, the outdoor plastic playhouses can be quite pricey.  I've seen them range in price from $130 - $500+.  However, if you're able to snag a used one through a yard sale, local resale website, or neighbor, you can have a beautifully customized playhouse for a fraction of the cost.  You can only imagine how much this type of project was right up my alley.   I forgot to take a before picture of the house in it's original state.  It was a well-loved, outdoor playhouse one of my neighbors sold me for $35.  It was in good structural condition and just showed signs of being enjoyed and loved.


The first thing I did was head to Lowes and pick up paint.  I have never been very good with spray paint; I'm very impatient to wait for it to dry, I don't like taping off areas, etc.  Especially when dealing with plastic, there is a considerable cure time of a couple weeks.  Also, I'm sure that the paint will come off in areas that get a little more wear and tear, but it's an easy fix.  Again, it's a used toy, so I'm not too worried about it.

I didn't keep track of the number of cans of each color I used.  Here's a pretty close guess:

-  Walls (interior and exterior): 4 to 5 cans Valspar 12-oz Churchill Hotel Vanilla Satin Spray Paint
-  Door (interior and exterior) and Roof (exterior): 2 cans Valspar 12-oz Tropical Oasis High-Gloss Spray Paint
-  Windows (interior and exterior): 2 cans Valspar 12-oz Thistle Field Satin Spray Paint
-  Mailbox, house address numbers, and Drawer: 1 can Valspar 12-oz Pink Burst High-Gloss Spray Paint

While at Lowes, I also picked up some super glue, house address numbers, a mailbox, and some 3M removal wall hooks.  I gave a coat of paint to the wall interiors (I don't need perfect walls, so one coat was enough).  I let it dry a couple days and then did the exterior.  I then painted the door and windows.  I decided to leave the window shutters in the open position as the constant rubbing of the windows and the wall would probably end up taking all the paint off.  I didn't tape up the house  when doing all the windows and doors.  Instead, I just used a cardboard box to provide a backing  to avoid getting to much paint on the walls.  It wasn't perfect work, but doesn't look bad.  If you are into being more exact, you could use painter's tape and take more time.

Little Touches

*Flower Boxes

I made little flower boxes for three windows and attached them with twine to the shutters by those helpful tub handles.  They are the perfect size and really add some color to the house! These are the supplies I used from Hobby Lobby (luckily these items were 50% off):
-  Small Green Metal Oval Tub with Handles
- Waterfoam Brick:  1 was enough for all three flower boxes.  I just sliced it up and arranged the blocks inside each tub.
- Fake Flowers:  I purchased 3 and used wire clippers to cut the flowers and leaves so I could arrange them in each tub.


The mailbox did not have a level surface on the back, so I cut a 1/2" slice of an old yoga block (so random) and glued it on the back to make a flat surface that I could easily superglue to the house.  I can't wait to put mail in there for her one day...maybe Highlights magazines and little letters.

*House Number
No real significance to the actual number "231."  I just like how that number sequence looked on the door.  Again, I used some super glue to make quick work of affixing them to the door.

-  A little garden decor bird from Ross Dress for Less
-  Garden Chair
-  Door mat

*Interior Decor
-  I had a Drawer Cart in the garage that we never use, so I painted it Pink Burst and added a tray I found on clearance at Ross.  It makes a nice place to store the play kitchen items.
-  I removed the glass from frames purchased at my localdollar store and stuck them on the wall with some Command Small Picture Hanging Strips.

*Play Items

-  Inexpensive, plastic cooking set
-  Learning Resources Healthy Dinner Basket
-  Hape Gourmet Grill and Shish Kabob Play Set:  After looking at a number of play grills, my husband and I really liked this one.  It was easy to assemble, looks just like dad's grill, and I find it absolutely adorable!
-  Little Tikes Cozy Coupe with Trailer that she received for her birthday.  Believe it or not, Lola pug enjoys riding in the little trailer when we go on walks around the neighborhood.

There you have it.  Although Gabby is a bit too young to really appreciate all the wonders of a playhouse, she already enjoys sitting on her "patio" and going inside.  I plan to leave it in the garage to provide a shaded play area for hot days and to avoid getting too dirty in our backyard.  I'm very happy with the finished project and think she will get a number of years of imaginative play out of it with her family and friends.


  1. This came out so cute! How has the paint help up over the last 2 years??

  2. Hello, Tina and thank you for the compliment. It has been used indoor, so the only wear and tear was created at the windows where there is some friction for where pieces rub together. Otherwise, it is holding up very well.