Saturday, August 27, 2011

Reviving an Abused Playhouse

I've wanted a playhouse for the kids for what seems like FOREVER.  I finally came across one on Craigslist that said, "Good Condition".  When I got there to pick it up, I discovered that their idea of "good condition" and mine, didn't exactly mesh.  However, I already had the kids all pumped up and I thought that the house had potential.  Why not make it into a weekend project?
Above is how it started.  I had to move it in the truck, broken down into pieces.  Getting it apart was interesting.  The previous owner and I were jumping all over it until she finally went and got a neighbor to come help wrench two pieces apart.  I'm telling you, those suckers weren't moving AT ALL.

Non-existent doorknob

Busted and missing 2 shutters.

Rogue spray paint

Some funky, smelly algae-like stuff.  It seriously STUNK.

Busted phone.

     Okay, so the first thing we had to do was scrub it down.  There were crayon marks, mud scuffs, and some unknown funky smells coming off of this thing... so I put the kids to work.  (I scrubbed too, but I snapped pics in between.  When else do you catch your kids cleaning without complaint?)
Next, it was time to de-stinkify this thing.  Some weird moldy dog turd stink kept wafting off of it.  After cleaning off the outside, I poured a vinegar solution inside of it, sloshed it around, and let it sit.  (Will drill holes in the bottom for additional drainage once the paint has cured 100%... which is tomorrow.)

Then, it was time for a trip to the Home Depot.  Don't forget that if you have a military ID, you get 10% off your total purchase.  Cha-ching!  I picked up Rustoleum spray paint for plastic, 3 drop cloths, face masks, a bifolding door knob and a 1/2" washer. 
Now, it's time to paint everything....

Wait for it to dry, then flip it over and paint again.  Once THAT is dry (and any subsequent coats of paint that may be necessary), then you can assemble it.

    I had to completely replace the doorknob because it was trashed.  I kept the back washer attachment, found a 1 3/4" bi-fold door knob that looked nice and a 1/2" washer for the front (so the knob wouldn't slip into the doorknob hole).  Paint the washer the same shade as the door, attach the knob... voila!  New doorknob.  Works well since Little Tikes doesn't sell replacement parts for this particular playhouse.  (Nice to find THAT one out after buying it.  Grrr....)
I wanted the entire thing to look new, not just the outside.  So I had painted both sides of the playhouse before assembling it.

Done!  Now I'm just letting it sit until tomorrow so the paint can cure.  Unfortunately, the telephone was a casualty of war.  I'm going to look for a replacement phone elsewhere.  For now, They'll have to be content. 


  1. Great re-do! Maybe you can find one of those plastic toy rotary phones at the store or possibly a thrift store and attach it to the wall.

  2. Thanks, Ashley! I agree, I think I'm going to look around for some replacement phones and adding it later wouldn't be hard at all. I still left the original phone attachment (flat, metal screw thing) in the wall, just painted over it a bit so it would blend in.

    Makes me want to go find more busted toys... Lol! Save them all!

  3. Great job on the redo. It looks new again!

  4. Wow looks great! Did you have all the shutters, they just weren't attached?

  5. Nope, didn't have the shutters (unfortunately) and... can you believe this... Little Tikes doesn't sell them! Agh! I decided to just move them around so all of the front windows have them and the back window is completely open. Might put a window box or something on it, but still trying to decide. :)

  6. We just snagged this EXACT SAME playhouse flt $5...also in poor condition! My husband spent a couple of hours pressure washing it and putting it back together. Our 2 year old is in love, but it sure is faded and ugly! I need to get this doorknob ASAP! And at some point in the future paint it like this!