How to decorate playhouses with paint

snow playground image by Sandra Henderson from

A playhouse is where a child's imagination can come alive. Little girls may enjoy a tea party with playmates or her dolls. Boys may consider it a clubhouse for their friends. Select the paint for the playhouse based on the age and gender of your child. This project will be fun for parents and children as they pick colours and exchange ideas. Allow your child to take the lead with decorating under your guidance.

Fill cracks around window and door frames with exterior caulking. Caulk will seal cracks to prevent water from seeping into the interior of the playhouse and damaging paint. Small tubes of caulk can be purchased at home improvement stores. Cut the tip off the applicator then squeeze and drag the caulk over the cracks.

Use medium-grit sandpaper to sand rough edges around the windows and door. Rub your hand over the area to check for roughness and repeat sanding until the surface is safe for a child.

Paint the wood with a primer inside and out before painting on colours. Primer will protect the wood and will help the exterior paint go on smoothly. Less exterior paint will be needed to cover the wood when a primer is used first. Use a wide paintbrush, about 3 inches, to paint on the primer.

Select a water-based acrylic or latex exterior paint. Pick up several paint swatches from a home improvement centre. Choose colours to match the family home or lean toward the whimsical side by selecting several different colours for the door and window frames.

Choose a light colour for the interior. Most playhouses are lacking electricity so light coming in through a window or door needs to reflect light. Dark colours will absorb the light and make the small space seem even smaller.

Paint window and door frames with the colours you and your child have selected. Paint the door a separate colour from the door frame. Paint the window ledge a different colour from the window frame.

Paint your child's hand with paint and let her press hand prints on the door and interior walls. Have a bucket of clean water ready to wash off the paint immediately and a towel for drying the hands.

Create polka-dots by tracing circles around different sized plates, saucers and cups. Use a separate paintbrush for each colour to avoid having to clean the brush after using different colours.

Sketch flowers around the bottom of the exterior. Sketch the flowers about 1 foot high and keep the design simple to make painting easier. Paint the stems and leaves green. Paint the flower heads an assortment of colours.

Consider painting a camouflage exterior using brown and shades of green. Make painting faster by keeping the sections large and uncomplicated. Use freehand to create the design. Once the design is sketched, dab the different sections with paint to keep track of where each colour will be painted.

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