Painted Plastic Outdoor House Makeover
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DIY Playhouse Makeover: All Done for Free!

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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!

*Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are our own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. Read full privacy policy here.  

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.

Before DIY playhouse makeover of a purple little tykes house that has chipped paint

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

Hose

Dish Soap (is there any other kind that works like this brand?)

Sponge

Paint Brush

Spray Paint

Paint that can be used on Vinyl Siding

Other Colors of Indoor/Outdoor Latex Paints (we used leftover samples and cans)

Drop cloth

Painter’s Tape (optional, but here is my favorite brand if I need crisp lines on any of my DIY projects, like my painted accent walls)

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.

Bucket of water and soap used to clean dirty and scraped Little Tykes Playhouse

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 the 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.

Blue spray paint added to front door and window trim of little tykes playhouse

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 owner’s 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.

Paint brush and cream vinyl siding paint used in DIY playhouse makeover

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!

Painted playhouse showing brush strokes

And…

Here is the final DIY Playhouse Makeover that again was FREE!!!!!!!!!!!

Blue, cream and purple little tykes playhouse with small red chair and marbled pot with plant

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.

Do you have leftover paint and painter’s tape? You could try to create your own herringbone or hexagon accent wall! This is a great inexpensive way to change a space in your home.

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!

how to paint plastic toys with little tikes playhouse

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).

Using the same cream outdoor latex paint and mixing other latex paints with it (even if they were not meant for outdoors) seemed to do the trick.

Painting plastic roof of playhouse

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.

Little Tikes Playhouse makeover with different colors

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.

plastic flower box with holes drilled in

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.

Wooden numbers with craft paint

I was so happy that once again, I was able to use the supplies I already had. Therefore, I painted the small wooden letters with cheap craft acrylic paint that I had.

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.

DIY playhouse address

***Wooden letters used for the address***

And when completely dry, we used our favorite super glue to carefully attach the numbers to the house.

My children love using their imagination and playing in our playhouse and they do not care that is was a DIY upcycled toy makeover!

Hello! My name is Erin and I am a DIY nut. Currently, I live in Ohio with my beautiful family. I am an artist, teacher and lover of all things DIY. I hope this site inspires you to become a DIY nut!

6 Comments

  • Jenn Summers

    What a great project! I love how it turned out. We actually had gotten one of these free too, years ago while we were in the city. Dump fees are so high it is much easier on the pocketbook to give it away. I did a full front lawn of free this year and it went so fast, It was awesome! You did a great job remaking yours Erin I wish I had thought about doing their free set years ago. I will definitely see what I can do with their little tikes picnic table! Thanks for another inspiring post!

    • Erin

      Hi Jenn! Thanks for the kind words. I do agree sometimes it is just easier to post an item for Free than have to get rid of it yourself. One woman’s junk is another’s treasure! Thanks and good luck with your little Tikes table. Spray paint meant for plastic did seem to do the trick. We will see how it holds up over the different weather cycles we have here.

  • Rachael

    The impact of the dark blue door with the little red Adirondack chair is fantastic. So great that you could pull this off for free (well, apart from the elbow grease).

    • Erin

      Thanks, Trina. When I first started looking at things in the Facebook groups I had to do a little research. I figured that might help some people acquire FREE items for their DIY projects!

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