Little Tikes Playhouse Makeover

Rachel | mapleandgrey
by Rachel | mapleandgrey
8 Materials
26 Hours

One day I was browsing Pinterest and came across playhouse makeover ideas. After seeing the inspiration I decided I just had to do my own makeover for my daughter’s birthday gift while she is still little. So I immediately browsed second-hand sites and found the perfect plastic playhouse for £25. We got it home, I cleaned it up and painted it and I am so in love with the transformation!

Find an old playhouse

This is the before. As soon as I saw this house for sale I fell in love with the character that it had and it was the perfect piece for the makeover I had imagined. The house was in good condition and just needed a clean up.


To do this I took it apart and sprayed it with a bleach spray solution and hosed it down thoroughly, including inside the walls. I then used a pressure washer to give it a more thorough clean and make sure I had a really clean base to apply the paint.

Pick paint colours

I used Rustoleum Universal all-surface paint and I bought it in satin black and satin white. It’s branded as paint and primer in one and does have the consistency and feel of a primer. The plastic on the playhouse was really rough so I didn’t feel I needed to roughen the surface with sandpaper before applying the paint.

Spray panels

First I sprayed all the side panels white. I was fortunate that this particular style of house has two large openings which meant less surface area to paint. Because it was a light grey colour I did not need to paint the interior, however I knew that I needed to paint it white on the exterior to achieve the look I wanted. Using a paint sprayer to apply the paint meant that I needed to thin the paint down slightly to get it to the right consistency for the sprayer. This took a little bit of practice as at times I did have issues with the paint running. To correct any runs I applied paint thinner with a small brush and using a gentle swirling motion spread out the semi dry paint which helped even out any large run marks.

Spray roof

To paint the roof I mixed the white and black paint together to create a slate grey. The paint in grey was not available when I was ordering so I made up my own shade instead. Two coats of paint were required for all the pieces and the paint was touch dry in an hour but not hard dry for about 8 days. It was essential to let the paint cure to avoid any marks when moving the pieces or turning over to work on the reverse side.

As the roof was a bright green I also sprayed the underside as that would have been visible from outside the house.

Paint the details

While most of the pieces came apart there was this section of the roof that I was unable to remove and also the top section of the door. So I had to carefully paint these pieces while they were attached to the front panel.

I sprayed the shutters using the satin black paint.

For the door I mixed a teal toy/furniture paint with the white Rustoleum universal paint, and again applied two coats. The exact shade I wanted for the door was unavailable to buy in a spray can so I mixed the colour as best as I could with the paint available and applied by hand with a medium sized brush. I removed the door handle and painted it gold.

The kitchen cooker/table I sprayed white and used the white paint as a primer for the shinier hob area. I then painted in a gold paint that was suitable for wood and metal and applied with a brush.


After allowing all the pieces to dry for at least a week I was finally ready to re-assemble the house. We just took care when we were attaching the shutters and door piece to ensure that we didn’t scrape off any of the paint in the process.

Add details

I bought plastic door numbers from eBay for about £2 and sprayed first with a primer and then hand painted with the gold paint.

These then screwed easily into the house and I touched up the screws with the gold paint to match. I also painted the door bell with the gold paint and reattached it. My husband is working on the electronics to see if we can get the sounds working again as the battery parts were corroded. I’m also planning to make a farmhouse style outdoor light but will add that on later.

The gold cooker hob also flips out for a table. After reassembling the house I had to use white spirit to remove some runs and overspray of paint around the window frames on the inside. I should have used tape to protect these areas but I hadn’t realised how much the paint would run. It was really hard to remove with white spirit and I also used a paint scraper. Hopefully this means that the paint is going to be very hard wearing in the outdoors and while the kids play with it, but this did add on time and I regret skipping this step!

I also took a small paintbrush and touched up some of the joins of the panels. When the pieces were apart I couldn’t tell which parts of the edges of the pieces would show once the house was reassembled and I had missed a few areas.


I added a few accessories, most were things we asked for from family members for my daughter’s birthday. This way she was able to have things for the house to unwrap on her birthday but it also kept the total cost of the DIY down.

The finished result! I got it finished a month after my daughter’s birthday but she loves it. I was so relieved to have this project done in time for her to play in it for the rest of summer. But also because I did end up putting in a lot of hours due to having to work on it in stages.

I also made an ice cream store on this side with the fold out table. She had the ice cream set for her birthday and I painted a £1 chalkboard gold for a menu.

I absolutely love the finished result! I’m not sure who loves it more, me or her! I could just sit and stare at it all day 😍 It wasn’t the quickest or cheapest project but so worth it for the result.

To see more of this and other projects follow along on Instagram!

~ Rachel ♡

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  3 questions
  • Gail Hubbard Gail Hubbard on Nov 18, 2020

    Thank you! My grandkids have a similar building but log cabin. With 2 little boys & 1 girl what would you recommend doing different in the paint pallet? This was an amazing project you did!

  • Emi51424153 Emi51424153 on Jun 09, 2021

    Hello, I’ve just found one of these on a local selling page

    just wondering how easy it is to dismantle? Does it come apart easily and is there any screws involved or just slots together?

  • Ter79492750 Ter79492750 on Apr 19, 2023

    Great job, looks awesome!!!

    I transformed one of these for my granddaughter. Completed with a working doorbell. I even add Christmas lights and her own Christmas tree around the holiday.

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