Playhouse Makeover

The last time Henry stayed at my mom’s house, he fell in love with the Little Tikes playhouse she has in her yard. It’s the classic playhouse, he loves opening and closing the door and shutters. Kid loves being shut small spaces – he frequently crawls into the bottom cabinet in our entertainment center and into a tiny cupboard in the kitchen. The playhouse is bigger, but I think it’s still got some of the “shut-in” appeal.

When we got home, I started the hunt for a playhouse of our own. It was a legit HUNT, guys. I was searching every day, multiple times a day. I went to local thrift stores a couple times a week, was calling the children’s consignment shops. Searched on Facebook Marketplace, OfferUp, Craigslist. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying there were no playhouses available. There were plenty, actually. They were either expensive ($100+), or were sold before I could even send a message.

I searched for over a month. It was around mid-May when I started my search. Then finally, I lucked out near the end of June. Seriously lucky, too. I got the house for FREE. Woo!


Obviously the first thing I had to do was clean it. I tried a couple different ways of cleaning – soap, comet, and SOS pads. The SOS pads made a huge difference, but it was also a TON of work. Just that one small section of roof was way too much effort. The other two were better than nothing, but still not great.

Left to right – Soap, steel pad (SOS), comet, and uncleaned.

I knew I needed a pressure washer. I could go to Home Depot and rent one for a day for not too much money, but it would require like…actually going and getting one. Turns out that a neighbor had one I could borrow! Praise Jeebus! Pressure washing is amazing, y’all. So fresh and so clean.

The house had obviously been used outside for years and was definitely a little worse for wear, even after pressure washing. So I decided to do a full makeover, and that meant paint. I looked up different color palettes people had done before on Pinterest and went with colors I wish I could paint our own place in.

So many people have done this exact thing that there was a lot of information on what to do. I jumped straight in. I removed all the shutters (before power washing) and the door. Some of them came off easily, while some were a struggle. I had to break out my chisels for leverage.

Two coats on the first shutter and the difference is AMAZING. If there’d been one color I would’ve left original, it was the shutters. But I really wanted it completely custom, and they were the easiest to paint anyways.

Next up was the roof. It’s actually the best looking part of the whole house in terms of paint coverage – but black will do that for you.

This was after one coat. The second coat made it super believable as a real roof.

I chose grey for the main house, because duh of course I did. I contemplated painting the trim separately, but after using spray paint for a bit, I didn’t want to do anything so detailed.

I think the shutters contrast quite nicely to the grey. I was originally worried that the grey was going to be too dark, especially with the black roof. I went with a lighter blue for the front door, just to brighten it up a bit.

I went with white for the inner walls, and opted to do the baseboards as well as a bit of a fun detail. You can see that I tried taping here, but the spraypaint did what it wanted… I learned from this though.

When I started doing the bottom, I taped for a nice line, and then held a cardboard box over the white areas. It wasn’t perfect and I needed to do some touchups, but it was not really that bad.

I let everything dry for a full day and was super antsy to put it together for him to play with!

AND AUGH IT’S SO FREAKING CUTE. SO. CUTE. SOOOO CUTE. The door and shutters were harder to get back in than it was to take out, which is saying something. But they’re so. flippin. cute. AUGH.

It was really hard to take pictures of the inside, but I didn’t want that to hold me back from sharing. I hope you all like it as much as I do. Henry seems to fully enjoy it as well!