Learn how to paint a Little Tikes plastic playhouse
I ABSOLUTELY LOVE when I get something for FREE! I guess you could say I am somewhat of a junk finder and this DIY Playhouse makeover fits right into that category. It is fabulous when things can get a wonderful makeover for next to nothing. My last free find was this Midcentury modern dresser that we have in our guest room!
Awesome Free Finds: Little Tikes Playhouse and Toys
Here is my latest FREE find! This wasn’t found like I normally find things. This awesome Little Tikes playhouse was in someone’s garbage at the end of their street. I wish I could take the credit for snagging it, but my mother is the one that knew my kids would LOVE to play in here.
How to score free or cheap items for DIY makeovers?
We go into a lot more detail in this post about the lingo used to make and save money using Buy-Sell-Trade Groups on Facebook. Hopefully, the tips learned can help you score some amazing items for your DIY projects.
As far as children’s toys and outdoor toys go, if you can a Little Tikes toy for close to FREE, jump on it now! Even if it isn’t in the best condition, it will save you a TON of money!!
Check out how much this playhouse would cost as a new purchase! I don’t want to brag, but I didn’t pay anything, because my DIY playhouse makeover used supplies I ALREADY HAD!
*I guess it is worth noting that this plastic toy redo was done in two different summers. The first makeover did not cost anything as we used supplies we already had. The makeover of the makeover (read until the end) only cost a little because I had to buy a plastic flower planter box. I honestly had all the other supplies at my house.
Supplies needed to transform Little Tikes Playhouse
Dish Soap (is there any other kind that works like this brand?)
Paint that can be used on Vinyl Siding
Other Colors of Indoor/Outdoor Latex Paints (we used leftover samples and cans)
Steps to create DIY Playhouse Makeover
1. Thoroughly clean the playhouse. I used dish soap, a hose with this type of nozzle and my FAVORITE type of sponge. I am absolutely in LOVE with the power of this sponge.
Yes…I did just say I love a sponge…
Make sure that you try to get off any loose paint chips and that is as clean as possible.
2. Choose your colors of spray paint. Make sure it is a spray paint that will work on plastics. Here are the spray paints that I used. I sprayed the moldings, roof and details. I did not worry about using painter’s tape because I knew I was going back and using vinyl siding paint and a brush.
UPDATE: After one year, I am in the process of giving a second makeover to this plastic playhouse where I am not using spray paint. See the extra additions to this playhouse makeover at the end!
If you so desire, you can spray inside the Little Tikes playhouse. I actually just sprayed one coat in the bottom half to give it an artsy feel, without wasting too much paint. I didn’t want to be inhaling spray paint inside the plastic box of a playhouse for too long!
Please note that my blue coat of spray paint wasn’t as even as I would like on the door. I ran out of that color and really didn’t want to purchase more paint. It is just an outdoor playhouse after all…
If you are looking for other DIY projects that involve spray paint, check out my office desk remake and how to use spray paint to create a really cool marble effect.
3. Begin painting siding with a brush and vinyl siding painting. This actually took longer than I anticipated because of all the bumps. The reason I used this paint, is because I had it from touching up deck stain spots from previous owners of my real house.
Even though I say this took longer than I expected, this DIY playhouse makeover was mostly still done while my kids were napping! I was working hard, but it definitely was worth the few hours it took to redo the eyesore of a playhouse.
Optional: Once I had put the cream vinyl siding paint (a slightly cheaper version of the paint listed above) on the little tikes playhouse, I realized that I would need two coats to really make it look okay. I DID NOT want to have to do that since it did take me longer than I anticipated for the first coat.
HUGE BUYING PAINT TIP I JUST LEARNED!
As we have been stuck at home and I have been limiting my trips to the stores I just saw that you can get free delivery on 8 oz. paint samples from one of the big box stores! This may REALLY come in handy for our future projects!
As you can see in the picture below, it would have been okay to leave with one coat, but it definitely needed something else.
Therefore, I decided to mix a little regular gray latex paint with my cream siding paint. I used this new color to do a dry brush technique on the siding. This covered up any imperfections and made my DIY playhouse makeover become a shabby-chic DIY playhouse makeover!
Here is the final DIY Playhouse Makeover that again was FREE!!!!!!!!!!!
It amazes me every time I am able to a DIY transformation or DIY makeover for nearly nothing!!!
This house is perfect for our younger children to play with, while the older ones can play on their DIY wooden playset. We have so much fun in our backyard.
Here are a few other budget-friendly DIY projects
If you are like me, you already have an extra supply of DIY material for a lot of the projects I post about.
Or you might have extra paint and plaster (or you might have to go buy this for a few dollars), then you may want to check out how to remake furniture with your own DIY chalk paint!
I hope that we encourage your creative side. Make sure you pin this project for later if you need DIY inspiration or need to check back about how to use Facebook groups to get FREE things that can get a DIY makeover!
Pin for later!
DIY Plastic Playhouse Makeover: 2nd Edition
As I stated at the beginning, after one winter of being stored outside, I need to give a little refresh to this Little Tikes Playhouse. Last year, I did not paint the roof.
So this year the purple plastic roof had to go. My bad spray paint job (which I admitted earlier also didn’t hold up as well).
In this picture, you can see I mixed these two types of paints in an old cashew jar. For the plastic door of the playhouse, I mixed a red-based semi-gloss paint (we had leftover from painting a door) with the outdoor latex (cheaper version linked here) to allow it to work on the plastic.
Coming Soon: A little extra touch for imaginative play!
I have yet to add one more thing to this playhouse. You will have to check back soon to see the nice red door, finished makeover (for the second time), and one extra addition that I know my daughter will love!
Update: We finally finished this playhouse (again this year)!
And while this playhouse makeover was not completely free anymore, it still came pretty close. Using supplies you have on hand will always make DIY projects go smoother.
We added a plastic flower box by screwing it into the playhouse and adding fake flowers that were bought on clearance at a local store for $3.
My husband even drilled holes in the plastic container so that any water would drain easily.
Create easy playhouse address
Originally, we were going to add metal house numbers. We knew when we saw how big they were that it just wouldn’t really work. 4″ numbers were pretty much the standard size we could get and that would have taken up the whole side of the door.
I really was excited when I found these smaller metal numbers, but my local store didn’t have them and I didn’t want to have to pay for shipping. So after searching around and not really liking the mylar numbers or other options I could find I remember the wooden letters and numbers I used in our DIY word canvas art project.
How to seal wooden numbers?
When they were dry I added this type of mod podge. It is supposed to protect things in the outdoors. You only need a small amount. We applied around 3 coats with a brush and let dry in between. I will have to update this next year to let everyone know how the numbers hold up.
***Wooden letters used for the address***
And when completely dry, we used our favorite super glue to carefully attach the numbers to the house.