Playhouses are EXPENSIVE! We knew we wanted something for the kids to play on in our backyard but we weren’t quite ready to make the $1,000+ investment. Plus, we felt like so many of the swing sets we looked at weren’t great quality. The wood felt cheap and the ones we had seen didn’t seem to wear and tear well.
So, I decided to get crafty and spruce up an old swing set from the 1990s! The frame was incredibly sturdy and had so much potential…and it was FREE from a neighbor. You can often find old swing sets on facebook marketplace or from people getting rid of them for free or at a fraction of the cost for a new one. They just need some TLC.
Here is what the swing set looked like before we started the project. It had previously been stained, had some chipping stain and the swing set pieces were pretty worn.
To begin, I used a hand sander and sanded down all of the rough spots of peeling stain that had previously been applied. I wanted to make sure the wood was exposed and smooth so that when I applied a new stain it would adhere to the wood. After the sanding was completed I used a handheld brush to remove dust and any remaining debris. Then, got to staining! Before this project I didn’t realize you could purchase wood stain in paint like colors! Using a STAIN in super important, NOT an exterior paint. Over time, paint peels! Cabot Solid Color Stain and Sealer.
I used a mason brick paint brush roller and a hand held paint brush to apply. It took me two coats…and about 10 hours of painting time.
I used a wood stain in black for a little pop of color! Applying the solar lights, the welcome home sign and the wreath were by far my favorite parts! We also bought a new web swing and regular swings to bring back some life and newness to the swing set. Overall we put in about $200-$300 on swing set improvements. MUCH cheaper than buying new!
I was thrilled with the outcome, but so were the kids!