Part 1 – Painting a Playhouse
Depending on which children’s playhouse you’ve bought, it’ll either be made of plastic or timber.
A plastic playhouse is, by design, a lot harder to decorate or customise. You won’t really be able to paint it, and it’ll be hard to furnish it with things like shelves without breaking it. So for a plastic kid’s playhouse, you might want to skip ahead to our interior decorating ideas.
Because most kid’s playhouses are wooden, we’ll assume you’re looking at buying a wooden playhouse.
And painting or even wood staining a wooden playhouse can help to both improve its visual appeal and weather-treat it.
Painting or staining a wooden playhouse
Before you decide to paint or treat your wooden playhouse, you need to know how the timber has been treated.
It’ll either have been:
|DIP-TREATED||Dipped in a water-based treatment and allowed to soak and then dry to form a base coat. This protects against rot and insects for a time.|
|PRESSURE-TREATED||More effective than dip treatment. Treatment is applied under pressure to penetrate the timber’s surface. This offers enhanced protection from damage caused by moisture and UV rays for up to a few years.|
Whether your wooden playhouse has been dip- or pressure-treated, you’ll still need to apply a final wood treatment (at some stage). This will prolong your playhouse’s life and can be your first step in decorating it.
If your wooden playhouse is made from pressure-treated timber, there should be no need to apply treatment upon purchase. (You might consider doing it a year or so down the line).
Start by treating or ‘priming’ wood and cleaning off any dirt and/or grease. Check for splinters, cracks etc. (there shouldn’t be any, but it’s worth a look just in case). If there are, sand them down and clean with white spirit.
Then, you can either go about choosing from:
|WOOD STAIN||Wood primers and stains seal and protect wood from the elements. They can be used underneath paint.|
|WATER-BASED TREATMENT||WIll require annual re-application. Quick and straightforward to apply. Make sure to purchase a treatment suitable for smooth, planed playhouse timber. A water-based treatment would be best for your playhouse interior.|
|SPIRIT-BASED TREATMENT||For the exterior. Longer-lasting than water-based equivalents. Comes in clear or coloured treatments. If you’re planning to paint your playhouse, consider using a clear treatment.|
Once you’ve primed and treated your children’s playhouse, you can get on to the fun part of decorating – painting!
Painting your playhouse
Painting your playhouse can help to bring it to life. It can also be a fun project to undertake with your children.
Before you start, think about what paint, colour, and themes you want for your kid’s playhouse.
|COLOUR||Pick a manageable colour scheme! (I.e. ‘rainbow’ might end up costing a lot in money and sanity). We recommend bold block colours that contrast. Think classic blue or pink with white trim and window frames.|
|THEME||What does your colour scheme say about your playhouse? If you’re going for a classic Wendy house look, go for block colours. Or, try lighter tones if you want a beach-themed playhouse.|
|INTERIOR||Are you going to paint the interior? Will you have feature walls?|
|GET CREATIVE||Can you incorporate things like glitter paint for a splash of colour?|
By getting your children involved in the playhouse decorating process, they can start to make it truly their own.
Let them advise you (within reason) on the colours they want the inside and outside to be painted. Could you use stencils and let them paint a feature wall on the inside?
Part 2 – Decorating a Playhouse
Once you’ve painted your wooden playhouse (outside and/or inside), you can move on to decorating it.
Below, we’ve broken down into sections a bunch of ideas for decorating a children’s playhouse and why they’re so important.
And just to give you a quick overview:
What should I put in my playhouse?
- A painted featurette wall or stencil designs
- Home-made curtains
- Shelves and storage
- Kid’s furniture
- Blankets, cushions, throws
- Fairy lights
- A blackboard
- Board games
- Bean bags or a bed for sleepovers!
Let’s have a look at how these playhouse decoration ideas can bring your garden building to life.
Putting curtains in your playhouse can give your children a sense of privacy and trust. It says, ‘we trust you to play on your own without mum and dad watching all the time’.
On a more practical note, curtains in your playhouse are great for keeping it (and occupants) cool in summer. They can also block out the sun for nap times.
To make your own homemade playhouse curtains:
- Find a piece of material and cut it to a size that is slightly longer than the height of your playhouse window, and twice the width of the window
- Cut small holes three inches apart along the width of the fabric at the top
- You can use iron-on hemming tape to stop the holes from fraying
- Find a piece of rope or thick string instead of a curtain pole
- Screw or drill in hooks on either side and just above the window frame
- Hang your curtains
Top Tip: Choosing a fabric is a fun activity to do with your kids. Make sure your little ones have as much input as possible in decorating their playhouse.
And check out the video below for a quick guide to making curtains for your playhouse:
Boardgames and puzzles
Don’t forget – a playhouse is for play.
All this talk of painting and decorating might start to seem like you’ve created a piece of installation art. Don’t forget what’s at the heart of your playhouse decorating mission!
Invest in some fun board games and puzzles for the whole family. You can even scour the local charity shops. And why not add a blackboard feature to an interior wall? Give your children a chance to write and draw to their heart’s content.
See – the writing on the walls doesn’t have to be so bad!
Decorate the outside: Plants and flowers
If you haven’t bought a playhouse with planters, think about adding some.
Planters and flower boxes can give your kids another project to keep them busy. Plus, growing and caring for something can nurture a sense of responsibility and ownership.
Who knows, if you play your cards right, they might even offer to take care of the rest of the garden!
It’s pretty amazing what a bit of colour can do to any outdoor garden building. And fairy lights are nothing if not colourful.
You can even build them into your playhouse theme or swap them out at different times of the year. Think:
- Green and red for Christmas time or
- White fairy lights for a winter grotto, or even
- Red, white, and blue for the Platinum Jubilee (2022)
Either way, battery- or solar-powered fairy lights are a great get-around. Using fairy lights means you won’t have to run a power lead out to your playhouse. This is good news as an exposed wire and power point around your kids could cause all kinds of problems.
Plus, you won’t have to install any utilities to your playhouse. (If you’re sold on the idea, though, check out this guide to installing utilities in a garden building).
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