Are you ever too old for a playhouse? The answer is obviously no. But when you have to kneel AND crouch to make it inside, some creativity is all you need to find new ways to enjoy it. Since it’s getting harder for me to play IN my kids playhouse, I went ahead and did a wooden playhouse makeover instead. I’m a rebel like that.
Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Anyway. On to the wooden playhouse makeover project.
We purchased our playhouse from CostCo last year when they went on sale. We loved that it was all cedar and just the right size to fit in the space next to our lilac bush. Fast forward to this summer when Brooke from Nesting with Grace posted her front door makeover. I fell in love right away but knew it would never suit our house (because our roof is an orangey brown).
Tips for Painting a Wooden Playhouse
Tip #1: Don’t do it with a toddler. I’m really not sure what my thought process was here. The roof went ok because my toddler couldn’t reach, but when I attempted to do the sides…well…let’s just say we all took a shower afterwards.
Tip #2: Prep the house first. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate prep, but I used our leaf blower to clean sand and dirt from the house before painting it. You could also sand it if you were feeling extra rebellious.
Tip #3: Get the right kind of paint. We used Behr Premium Plus Ultra. We also primed the roof, door and three sides before applying the paint. I’m not sure it was necessary to prime. On the one side I did not prime, I used two coats just like I had on the rest of the house. Also, a quart of black paint was PLENTY for the roof and I only needed a sample size of pink paint for the door. I bought a full gallon of white paint for the sides, thinking we will save the extra for future touchups.
Tip #4: Use a brush. It will cover the siding much better. Going over the brush strokes with a roller gives a smoother finish, but I did not. Why? Well, the main reason was lack of time, but I also think the brushed look adds character. It is a playhouse after all. A little whimsy never hurts.
I really love how sweet the soft pink looks against the white. I found the cute garden fencing at Home Depot, and I love how it both defines the play area and adds a special touch. The kids really feel like this is *their* place to play and imagine.
Adding Playhouse Toy Storage
The kids love to be messy with the playhouse, and I think that’s great. So, I wanted to add toy storage that was both easy and practical for them. I bought three plastic planter boxes and drilled holes in the back for zip ties. The planters were mounted on the fence, and boom! Easy toy storage.
A great perk is that the trays under the planters detach, so when it rains, we can drain water easily. Another perk is that they’re versatile. Next year we might plant a little playhouse garden in one or all of the planters.
What are our favorite sandbox toys? Great question! This year, I discovered these stainless steel bowls from Ikea. We use them with hand rakes and shovels, and those are the most frequently used toys. My son likes to bring his trucks out to play in the sand too. My daughter cooks all kinds of delicious goodies in the playhouse kitchen with her bowls.
So, what is so amazing about these bowls? First of all, they are stainless steel. That makes them super durable. Second of all, they are small. Small in comparison to sand buckets, anyway.
Sand buckets are meant for the beach where it is totally ok to dump sand anywhere in the vast area of sand. But sand buckets don’t do great in a yard. That is, unless you want big piles of sand in your grass.
Now, it is possible that you still get huge piles of sand in your grass with these bowls. But, if you do, you will also have a tired kiddo 🙂
Another pro tip: locate your playhouse and sand area away from your house. The longer the distance to track sand off their feet/clothes/hair before coming into your home, the better.
We added landscaping fabric inside the playhouse and around the sides. Then, we dumped mulch inside and around. The kids play with sand and water inside the playhouse, and the fabric and woodchip combo cuts down on the mess. If we did it over, we would also add fabric under the sandbox to prevent weeds from growing through the sand.
Now, I bet you are wondering: is there any downside to a playhouse? Glad you asked! The one downside to our playhouse? It can get buggy. And it’s really hard to avoid because the airflow through the playhouse is limited, so mosquitos and black flies like to hang out around it.
We do a couple things to help with the bugs: 1) Blow the buggers out with a fan (battery mounted inside the house or using a standing fan) 2) Put bugspray on our kids and use the Off! Clip ons clipped to the roof of the playhouse.
Future Playhouse Plans
The wooden playhouse makeover is done for the season, but we’re already planning a few tweaks for the future. Next summer, we will probably tackle:
- Painting the inside of the playhouse
- Decorating the inside & adding storage
- Adding a large chalkboard behind the playhouse
So stay tuned for more updates to this cute little wooden playhouse.