Plastic Playhouse Paint Makeover

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Wondering what the best paint for plastic toys is? Look no further! Learn how to paint on plastic outdoor toys easily with good results.

Four pictures of before and after of a plastic playhouse paint makeover

A few weeks ago a neighbor put up on Facebook that she was getting rid of a plastic playhouse that had seen better days.  My inner hoarder cannot turn down free things so I told her I would gladly take it.  I have to admit that my husband wasn’t convinced this was a good idea but I knew it would provide some entertainment for all three boys in the backyard now that the weather is turning nice and I knew how to paint plastic if needed.

I also learned how to spray paint fabric if you are interested as well!

After we had it set up in the backyard I could tell my husband Randy still wasn’t loving it-we’ve been putting a lot of work into the oudoor living areas lately so when he went back to work Monday I thought I’d surprise him by giving the playhouse a quick makeover to make it a little more aesthetically pleasing!

good bad painted plastic collage

This wasn’t the first time I’ve painted some Little Tikes plastic toys in our yard.  Last summer I spray painted a chair and table set (another one my hubby wasn’t loving due to it’s faded appearance.) That didn’t go so well for me.  Although I used spray paint meant for plastic I didn’t get a good result at all.  I was determined this time would be different.

Yield: 1

How to Paint on Plastic

Four pictures of before and after of a plastic playhouse paint makeover

Wondering what the best paint for plastic toys is? Look no further! Learn how to paint on plastic outdoor toys easily with good results.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Active Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost $15


  • Plastic Paint Primer
  • Plastic Spray Paint


  • Sponge


  1. Thoroughly clean the plastic item you wish to paint. Use a sponge with soap and water to clean all surfaces. Any kind of build up on the plastic can reduce the ability of the paint to adhere to the surface.
  2. If you suspect any kind of build-up on the plastic use rubbing alcohol to wipe down the surface before painting.
  3. Spray plastic with a plastic primer and allow to dry.
  4. Spray the plastic with spray paint specially formulated for plastic. Use light even strokes when spraying. Allow to dry completely between coats. Repeat coats until the desired color and coverage is achieved.

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When I was looking for paint at the hardware store I went in thinking I would buy Krylon Fusion plastic paint because that is what I read was best.  It was also what I used on the ill-fated table and chairs though so I wasn’t too disappointed when the store didn’t have it.  I found some Valspar Plastic Primer and threw that in the cart but I was not loving the color selection in the Valspar plastic specific spray paint.  I wanted the playhouse to match our house colors and I was drawn to a pretty gray-blue in Valspar’s new Color Radiance line.  The can said it was good on metal, wood, and plastic so I decided to give it a shot!

our home

The first thing I did was wash down the house with warm soapy water.  Then I rinsed it and let it dry.  I started spraying the roof black and I could immediately tell the difference with the Valspar paint than the paint I used last year.  It sprayed on perfectly-no drips, fantastic coverage…I was sold! I used the color radiance on the roof and house sides but for the door I used the plastic primer and regular red spray paint I already had on hand.  Again, with the plastic primer the paint went on great.  Oh and by the way, this is NOT a sponsored post, I’m just a spray paint lover and had to share with you guys when I find something that works so well.

Four pictures of before and after of a plastic playhouse paint makeover

The entire playhouse took only one coat which ended up being one can of black, two of blue and that leftover red. (I only partially did the inside of the house-my kids don’t care at all what it looks like, I was just trying to make it less of an eyesore for us!) The finish seems much more durable so far than the table I did with the Fusion spray paint-of course the area at the bottom of the door where it rubs when opening and closing is going to wear off almost immediately but I think that’s to be expected. I’m so excited with how it turned out and I think it’s new look has guaranteed it a bit longer stay in the backyard!

Have you painted plastic before? What are your tips for getting a good result?

If you get the spray paint on your skin, see this post showing how to remove spray paint from skin!

Update 2016 (3 years later): We no longer have this playhouse but passed it along to another family when our children outgrew it and last we heard it was still looking great with some minor touchups over the years!

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How to Spray Paint Fabric

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  1. Hello! I recently repainted and primed a plastic slide someone gave us for free. I’d love to know if you have any recommendations for making it “slippery” again! The paint turned out beautiful but it’s unfortunately made the slide a bit tacky and my kids have a hard time sliding down it

    1. I’m not sure but perhaps some sore of polycrylic spray to give it some sheen? I’ve never painted a slide so I don’t have experience with that issue. Sorry not to be more help

    2. Hoping someone can give me an idea on how to paint small areas of plastic outdoor toys. The item is tan brown and dark blue. I’m wanting to repaint small areas that had stickers on them that were coming off or came off to make look better. Please help if able afraid spray paint won’t work cause it’s small areas. Please help if able

    3. My Mom always said she used wax paper for slides when she was little. It didn’t matter if the slide was stone, wood, or some other material, the kids would put a sheet of wax paper under their bums’ and travel down the slide. After a few runs the wax transferred to the slide and it became an ultra fast chute! This worked great on the large plastic slide I had growing up. Every spring I would bring out a sheet of wax paper and prime the slide. It’s a bit like using wax on skis to reduce friction.

  2. Hi!

    I’m attempting to do this with a picnic table set and I used the Kyrlon Fusion staying it was good for plastic but I noticed it not adhering. I tried looking for the plastic specific spray paint but it seems they don’t carry that line anymore? Where did you get your spray paint? I didn’t want the bright kid colors and am having a tough time with the Krlon Fusion spray paint.

    1. Unfortunately it looks like Valspar discontinued that line so I’m at a loss of what to recommend. I didn’t have a good experience with the Krylon Fusion.

  3. How has this held up?
    My daughter has a huge little tikes climber and I already spray painted it once and now it looks AWFUL!
    Also used plastic paint.

  4. I have a little tykes plastic swimming pool slide combination and I picked up for very reasonable price very faded I want to spray paint it but I’m worried what to use because once you put the water in I don’t want it all coming off what do you suggest

    1. I don’t think the water will cause it to wear but areas that get a lot of use do tend to show wear quickly-for us it was the doors of the little playhouse. Hope that helps! ~Melissa

      1. How did you keep the colors from getting on the other parts of the house? Did you use newspaper, tape, plastic, etc.?

  5. Hi,
    I’m curious about paint choices. I’m trying to repaint one of those older plastic cars that you sit in and use your feet to make it go for my nephews. My oldest nephew is a year and seven months, the car has a roof and door so it would be considered an enclosed space, and I’m just really worried about choosing the wrong kind of paint for this project and it being toxic for them to be around. Can you suggest anything for me to work with that will be baby safe?

  6. I have a lavender plastic toddler bed. Looking to pass it down to baby boy. Would like to spray paint it blue. Concerned it won’t hold up anybody with that experience

    1. Use krylon paint with the printer in it I did a toddler bed from red/blue paw patrol to yellow/green John deere 4 yrs ago still holding up great

  7. Hi Melissa,

    Would you recommend using a clear coat sealer to finish it off? My used play set that I got has 2 slides. I was wondering if using a clear coat sealer would help keep the slides smooth for sliding and keep the paint from rubbing or wearing off from my grandson sliding on it. I’m concerned that the paint without a sealer will start to rub off onto his clothes.

  8. This is probably a stupid question…but did you dismantle the playhouse before you painted it? If you didn’t, what did you do to block off the sections you weren’t currently painting?

    1. I didn’t disassemble it (that’s far too much work for me!) I just taped newspaper over the sections I didn’t want to paint as I was using each color-much faster! Hope that helps!


      1. Great, I’m definitely going to go that route as well, then! We picked up a little house from the curb in our neighborhood, haha. It definitely needs some love, but I don’t think I’m willing to put in that level or work! Thanks for your reply!

  9. Can you give an update on how the paint has held up over time? Interested in tackling a project like this this weekend! Thanks.

    1. I don’t have the playhouse anymore Taryn, my children outgrew it and I passed it along to another family when we moved 2 years ago, I recently saw them passing it along via FB and it looked very nice still but I’m sure it would show some wear up close just from use.

  10. Do you have to rub it down or anything before you paint? I desperately want to do my daughters play house because it’s faded so much!

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