How to Paint a Playhouse? A Guide to Painting a Wooden Playhouse

Wooden playhouses have some obvious benefits. They are eco-friendly, safe, and free from toxic materials, which makes them the safest choice for your children. Moreover, they are durable and long-lasting, can easily be re-arranged and decorated the way you and your kids prefer.

And this leads us to one of the main advantages of wooden playhouses. You can paint your outdoor wooden playhouse, give it a total makeover and easily adjust it while your kids grow.

Painting your wooden playhouse is a fun and educational activity for the whole family. It is a chance to reveal your kids creativity, let them express themselves, and teach them a lot about different colors, textures, and combinations.

Moreover, painting a wooden playhouse is an essential maintenance procedure that will protect the structure from elements and UV lighting and significantly expand the lifespan of your kids playhouse.

Painting a wooden playhouse can easily be a DIY project that does not require any special skills or experience. However, it has some peculiarities as well as a number of tips and tricks that can make the overall process easier and safer for you and your kids.

In this article, we shall provide a comprehensive guide to painting your wooden playhouse. We shall talk about tools and products you will need, different techniques, and specifics of every approach to painting a wooden playhouse. Eventually, you will be able to make your own informed decision and create a perfectly personalized custom-painted kids playhouse.

Is it Better to Paint or Stain a Wooden Playhouse?

When it comes to outdoor wooden constructions, including kids playhouses, people often wonder whether it is better to paint or stain the wood.

Painting and staining both have practical and aesthetic features. They both protect the wood from elements, fungus, and bugs. However, their action and efficiency may be a bit different for different types of woods and climate conditions. Therefore your choice may greatly depend on the area you live in.

At the same time, painted and stained wooden playhouses simply look different. And from this point, your decision will entirely depend on what image do you prefer.

Let's go over the main distinctive features of painting and staining of wooden playhouses so you can easily see the difference between them.

Painting a Wooden Playhouse

Paint is a perfect choice for those who are looking for eye-catching designs, prefer bright colors, and aim for an exclusive one-of-a-kind look.

Another distinctive feature of paint is that it smoothes the texture of wood, makes the construction look more sleek and polished.

Here are the PROS of painting a wooden playhouse:

  • Bold, eye-catching look;
  • Smooth surface texture;
  • Long-lasting and durable coverage.

However, painting a wooden playhouse may have certain pitfalls.

CONS of painting a wooden playhouse:

  • Painting may take quite a lot of time and effort.
  • Paint peels off after a certain period of time.

In other words, by painting a wooden playhouse, you will get a sharp and eye-catching look, and your kids will get a chance to express their creativity fully. However, before getting down to the project, you should be prepared to invest some extra time and effort if you want to get the desired result.

"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up."
- Pablo Picasso

Staining a Wooden Playhouse

Staining products protect the wood and highlight its texture. It is a perfect choice for those who are aiming at the most natural, rustic look.

Here are the PROS of staining a wooden playhouse:

  • Stain highlights the natural texture of wood;
  • It seals moisture inside the wood, protecting it from cracking.

But of course, staining a wooden playhouse may have some CONS:

  • The effect fades away, and the coverage should be renewed after some time;
  • The staining cover is less durable and more vulnerable to mechanic damage than paint.


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What Tools do I Need to Paint a Wooden Playhouse?

When it comes to any project, proper choice of tools is at least 50% of success. Here is what you need to paint a wooden playhouse:

  • Paint rollers – rollers are the ultimate time savers when it comes to painting large surfaces. Moreover, they allow you get an even seamless coating even if you are painting for the very first time in your life. A great choice for painting a wooden playhouse together with kids;
  • Brushes – although rollers will let you do most of the work fast, you may still need the brushes to get into hard-to-reach corners, give a final touch to edges or paint certain details precisely;
  • Paint trays – it is a cheap and ingenious solution, especially when you are painting with kids. Filling paint trays with color will help to prevent the paint from drying out or being contaminated. It also saves you a great deal of time and energy as paint won't be spread all over the backyard after the project is done;
  • Paint Tape – this take protects the areas that you want to keep clean, helps you create straight lines, and get and neat and clean result.

How to Choose Paint for a Wooden Playhouse?

Choosing proper paint is crucial. You definitely want the paint to last as long as possible, be low-maintenance, durable, and easy to apply. At the same time, it is essential to make sure that the paint is safe for your children and the environment.

Here is what you need to consider choosing the paint for an outdoor playhouse:

  • Use exterior paints only – those paints are more durable and have components that help them withstand the effect of elements, extreme temperatures, direct UV lighting, mechanic damage, etc.;
  • Use water-based paint – such paints are free from potentially dangerous toxins and chemicals, which may start evaporating right away or throughout some period of time, affecting you and your kids. Using toxic paints for wooden playhouses may lead to allergies and irritate sensitive skin. That is why we always recommend and use water-based paints for our wooden playhouses.

Should I Use Matte or Gloss Paint for an Outdoor Playhouse?

Choosing between matte and gloss paint is not entirely a matter of personal preference and aesthetics. Yes, matte coverage smoothes the texture of wood, hides all imperfections, and provides a warm velvet visual effect. At the same time, glossy paint highlights the natural structure of the material, has a bright, eye-catching finish, and looks bold and attractive.

However, matte and gloss paints have certain practical features, which may affect your final decision:

  • Matte – it is the most forgiving coverage. It hides some minor cracks, holes, and imperfections of the wood, making the texture look smooth. Matte paint is pretty dense, and one coat is usually enough for the desired effect. This feature is especially useful if you are painting your wooden playhouse together with kids who normally don't have much experience and skills and want to see the result as soon as possible;
  • Gloss paint – it is the choice for those who are aiming at bold, eye-catching painted playhouses. Gloss paint is also more durable to bad weather and mechanic damages. Even if it gets dirty with footprints or dust, you can easily clean gloss paint coating with water without the risk of damaging it.

At the same time, both matte and gloss paints have their disadvantages which may indeed appear dealbreakers for some people. For example, the matte coating is less durable to mechanic damage and contamination, and you can hardly just wash the dirt off without damaging the color. The good news, you can simply repaint the damaged area.

At the same time, gloss paint will highlight all imperfections of the wood and may require some skills to apply. Moreover, you may have to apply several coats to achieve the desired effect. Some extra effort is the price you will have to pay for the bold and sleek look of your outdoor playhouse.

How to Prepare a Wooden Playhouse for Painting

Some basic preparation will save you a lot of time while painting your wooden playhouse and help you achieve the desired result right away.

Here is how you should prepare an outdoor playhouse for painting:

  • Rub the entire outer surface of the playhouse with a damp cloth. It will take off all the dirt, dust, and other contaminations. That way, the paint will attach firmly to the wood's surface. You should do it even if you just got your wooden playhouse. Dust and dirt settle on the surface instantly during storage, transportation, etc.;
  • Sand out bumps, chips, and old paint – if you are dealing with a playhouse that has been painted before or has already spent some time outside, it is better to sand the surface, get rid of old paint and imperfections;
  • Plan the image and attach paint tape – this way, you will protect areas that you want to paint into a different color, create clean and neat lines, or protect windows and doors from fresh paint "bleeding" over them.

Painting a Wooden Playhouse Step-by-Step

Now that the house is prepared, you got the proper paint and tools; it is time to start painting!

  • Step 1 – Take the smallest brush and work along the window frames, edges, and all other parts blocked out by the paint tape;
  • Step 2 – take the big brush or the roller and cover the middle parts and large surfaces. Make sure to follow the texture of the wood and make the paint fill up all cracks and grains for a smooth and finished look;
  • Step 3 – if needed, wait until the first coat dries and paint the playhouse again until you get the desired effect;
  • Step 4 – take the small brush and work through all imperfections and small details for the perfect finished look.

Now you know why and how you should paint your wooden playhouse, which products and tools to choose from, and how to achieve a neat professionally-looking custom painting that will make your kids playhouse truly unique.

Painting a wooden playhouse is a fun bonding activity for the whole family. It is your chance to introduce kids to some tools and practical skills, let them work with their hands, create something of their own, embracing their creativity.

However, painting a kids playhouse is still a project that will take a lot of time and effort. Once kids get involved, there is also a strong chance that you will have to do a lot of cleaning in your backyard when the work is done.

In case you don't feel that you are entirely prepared for the hassle, you can choose from the variety of our pre-finished playhouses. We use eco-friendly water-based paint and create unique color palettes that meet the expectations of the pickiest little customers.

"Creativity is intelligence having fun."
- Albert Einstein

Written by WholeWoodPlayhouses