(Not) Easy, (Not) Cheap, & (Not) Fun!

A friend of mine was getting rid of her playhouse. A while ago I had pinned a how-to on painting a worn, faded plastic playhouse. I quickly skimmed over the post and figured it would take an afternoon to redo this free one from my friend. Awesome! We went and picked it up. 

Now, to be fair, I wasn't completely misled on what I was about to get into. The OP was quite clear that she only painted the outside. She used 3 colors plus a plastic primer on the door. 

I took that and ended up with 5 colors, doing the inside and outside, AND painting the trim and windows white. The OP recommended Valspar Color Radiance (VCR) because it seemed to work fine without a plastic primer.

I wanted to use this as my color inspiration. The VCR came in colors pretty close to these except I liked the brown and green better from the Valspar The Perfect Finish (VPF) line. They were out of VCR white, so I bought VPF. I grabbed a can of plastic primer just in case.

The colors and how much I used:
VCR Flat Silver Fox (4 cans) - Siding
VPF Satin Everglade Glen (1 can) - Upper Walls
VPF Satin Tropical Foliage (1can) - Shutters
VPF Satin/Flat White (5 cans) Trim, Wainscoting, & Ceiling
VCR Flat Caramel Honey (1 can) - Door

The paint cost about $5 per VCR and $4 for VPF, so roughly $53. Add in drop cloths and a roll of painters tape and you're done.

I bought a three pack of plastic drop cloths and set things up in the driveway. I took the roof and one wall off so I had easy access to the inside.

You can't tell from the above picture, but I started with the brown on the roof first. It went on like a dream. One coat and bam! Done!  Next I tackled the blue/grey on the outside walls. Yikes! It looked like there were pinholes all over the place!

You can also see them in the brown of the roof but the darker color camouflages them a lot better. White makes them show up the worst. I tried both a plastic primer base coat and adding a second coat of color. Neither really seemed to make a difference. These are holes in the plastic via the type and way it's made. It just so happens they are big enough for spray paint to only coat around them. 

Just as an aside, I had a new can of Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch in Summer Squash from another project that go scrapped. Some people SWEAR by the stuff for plastic so I gave it a shot on the door. Words cannot describe how terrible it was. It ran all over the place, bubbled up in corners, and was supper hard to control the coverage. I liked VPF the best of the three. 

This is how I taped off the white trim to paint the walls green. The white had what seems to be zero ability to cover over any color, so I had to do it first then tape over everything.

Unfortunately the white came off in places with the tape. I looked closer and I could easily scrape off any paint color anywhere with a light brush of my fingernail. So much for lasting through much of anything, let alone 3 boys. 

So I got the bright idea to cover over it with clear acrylic. I had a can that's probably 3yrs old (never used) that I dug out of storage, Ultra Clear by Valspar.

I sprayed it on all of the surfaces I thought would get heavy traffic - window sills, door, and door way. 

Imagine going from pretty f'ing terrible to I want to go jump in front of traffic. The paint started bubbling up everywhere.

I touched one bubble and the paint stuck to my finger and peeled off. I let it fully dry and then added a second coat. That seemed to seal it.

So from far away, in the dark, with one eye closed, it doesn't look too bad. What was supposed to be an afternoon or two turned into every free minute over 5 days. 

I also ended up with paint on anything that touched the drop cloths. Yay for overspray.

If I had it to do over, I wouldn't. It took up so much time and the end product was pretty mediocre at best. We are putting it in the basement, so I'm going to cover the bottom in heavy duty tape so there's no chance of the paint rubbing off on the carpet.


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