The variations on a child’s wooden playhouse are almost endless and whether you’re looking for something small or large, traditional or quirky there’s bound to be something out there for you.
If you can’t find what you’re looking for then perhaps attempt to make one yourself! Regardless of your chosen method of obtaining a playhouse, once you’ve got it assembled you’re going to want to do something to finish it off.
If nothing else just a simple wood preservation (they’re not cheap after all!).
Planning your wooden playhouse
When choosing how to decorate your playhouse your imagination is the only real limit. Your best bet is to come up with some design ideas and then narrow down to the favourite one.
Some things to consider would be:
- Are you going for a natural look or a more colourful finish?
- Are you going to paint patterns or designs (if so you could use stencils)?
- What are you planning for the inside of the playhouse?
- Are you going to have lighting or any other type of electrics?
Preparing to decorate your wooden playhouse
First things first, get your surfaces ready. Although wooden playhouses are designed for children, they are still often quite rough around the edges so a look around to check for sharp edges, possible splinter risk etc. would be a good idea. Give any problem areas a quick sand to make them safe.
Next look for any waterproofing issues. Do any holes or cracks need filling in order to protect whatever you’re planning to put inside? Finally we’d suggest cleaning the surface of the wood with something such as Owatrol’s Net-Trol wood cleaner to ensure any contaminants, dirt or grease which may effect your finish are removed.
Can I paint my brand new wooden playhouse?
If your wooden playhouse is brand new, we would suggest applying Seasonite new wood protection and then leaving it for 6-12 months before applying your choice of finish. This is because new wood is coated with mill glaze which prevents penetration and effects the performance of most finishes.
New wood also absorbs and lets our moisture very quickly and without regulation this can cause splitting and warping. Seasonite can be applied in a single coat and then the surface can be left to weather safely and naturally. Please note Seasonite should not be applied to Oak and contact us before using it on any hardwood surface.
Painting your wooden playhouse
How to create a natural look for a wooden playhouse
If you’re after a natural look and want to preserve the wood finish then we would highly recommend using Owatrol’s Textrol penetrating wood oil. As a saturating oil it penetrates into the wood to protect from within whilst preserving and enhancing the natural look of the wood. It offers enhanced protection from damage caused by moisture and UV rays and requires minimal maintenance.
Textrol is applied wet-on-wet meaning you apply another coat before the first has dried. You continue applying it until the wood is saturated it and no more can be absorbed.
Textrol is available in 6 different colours (including clear) and is non film-forming so will not crack, peel or flake.
For a similar finish with a water-based product you could use Aquadecks water-based finish for wood. It is available in 3 colours, gives a matt finish which accentuates the natural look of the wood and can even be used on brand new surfaces.
It also a penetrating product which provides enhanced UV protection and prevents splitting, warping and cracking and it is applied in 2 coats (wet-on-wet).
How to create a colourful wooden playhouse
If you’re looking for something more colourful or perhaps something to fit in with the colours in your garden then we would recommend using an opaque wood finish.
There are many available on the market but we would suggest Solid Colour Stain all-in-one wood treatment and finish as it provides excellent protection from the elements and is easy to apply in just 2 coats with minimal (if any at all) maintenance.
Even better, it’s guaranteed for up to 5 years against peeling or flaking (15 years on vertical surface, 5 years on horizontal surfaces) when applied according to the instructions and it’s available in 35 awesome shades for creating unique looks.
If you want to experiment with different colours you should perhaps consider ordering some sample pots to try out first?
It really is up to you how you want to paint your playhouse. There are some classic looks including painting the exterior in one colour with the doors and window frames in another! This is quite a classic look but there’s no reason why you can’t be more adventurous!
Don’t forget to think about what you’re going to do with the inside of the playhouse. If you’re intending on painting it we would highly recommend a nice light shade to make it look nice and roomy in there and to maximise the light through those diddy little windows!
What is the best way to paint a wooden playhouse?
To be honest, this question is difficult to answer without knowing the exact style you’re planning on painting the playhouse in.
As a general rule though, we would recommend working methodically across the surfaces of the playhouse from top to bottom to prevent drips. We also recommend painting the window frames and door last (especially if you’re painting them a different colour).
Make sure you leave adequate drying time as specified by your paint manufacturer and try not to drip it all over your garden!!
How to decorate a wooden playhouse
Once you’ve got your basic paint job sorted you can put your feet up and relax…if you want! But why stop there? You can use stencils or everyday objects to draw patterns and shapes onto the playhouse – perhaps some little bushes around the outside?
Or brightly colored flowers or butterflies? How about a sign for the front or a number on the door? Or even personalise it with your child/children’s names? You could even get the children involved with hand prints or their own painting style (please remember to check information from your paint manufacturer before letting children use it).
When it comes to the inside the list is endless too. You could simply paint it white or cream to maximize light. Or you could be a little more adventurous with bright colors. Alternatively you could leave it as it is and decorate with wallpaper or children’s artwork.
A few things to consider:
- Are you going to add curtains or other soft furnishings?
- Is there going to be furniture such as a kitchen?
- What activities do you intend for your children to be doing in the playhouse?
Putting the finishing touches on your wooden playhouse
A few ideas for finishing touches:
- Fairy lights (mains powered or battery operated)
- A nice welcome mat (serves as protection for the inside too as muddy shoes will make less mess inside)
- Curtains, table cloths and other matching fabric
- Kitchens, tables and chairs and other furniture
- Bunting or flags
- Window boxes (with or without plants inside!)
- Cushions or beanbags for a nice place to relax
- Bookshelves or board games for more or a clubhouse feel
- How about an easel or chalkboard – you could even paint a chalk board on the side of the playhouse?
The only real limit to what you can do with wooden playhouse is time investment and imagination! Try to get the whole family involved for some great memories which just like your playhouse will last for years to come.
If you’ve had success with a playhouse makeover then please do send us a picture or two, we’d love to feature you here!