This post combines a few things that I really love: free side of the road junk and spray paint. And of course, my kids! Now that we are onto our second summer in the house, we've gotten through some of the more pressing home fix ups and have a little bit of time for some fun stuff. This summer, we focused on making our yard more kid friendly. We had our yard fenced in a few months back, and since that was a more expensive project, I've been looking for deals for the little extras I wanted to add to the yard. At the top of the list for this summer was some type of playhouse or structure, and a sandbox. With a little bit of luck I was able to cross all three off early in the summer, yay!
My first find definitely came with a stroke of luck! My husband and I happened to be driving home late one night after a visit with friends, and just down the street from our house we spotted a great old Little Tykes house out on the side of the road! Despite the fact that it was nearly midnight, I made Hubs pull over because this was a score, no way was I letting it sit until morning. I'd been stalking a few on the Facebook swap pages, and they can go for upwards of $50, so free sounded pretty good to me, especially since I knew I wanted to give it a little face lift. So there we were, in the dark, on the side of the road disassembling this little house and cramming it all into our Jeep, because just like groceries, we wanted to make it all in one trip. Luckily, the darkness kept us from seeing the substantial layer of grime (and spiders' webs) that covered the house. It got a nice sudsy bath the next day! There were also a bunch of random, rusty screws sticking out of the doors and windows, which had to be removed (still trying to figure out their original purpose).
|Our house even came with this sign...not *quite* move in ready though|
|Ordinary, bland Little Tykes house, after its bath|
Once my freebie house had a good scrub down, I had to decide what color scheme to go with. I considered a gray/navy/deep red, but that didn't quite fit with the woodsy setting under our hemlock tree. Instead, I went with a nice mossy green as the base color, tan shades for the shutters and roof, and a pumpkin pop for the door. I used "Rust-oleum Painter's Touch 2X Ultra Cover Paint and Primer".
The roof and door knob are easy to remove from the house, and the sides can be taken apart. I believe you *should* be able to take the door and shutters off, but I was nervous about snapping one of the connections, so I didn't fuss with it too much. I've consulted with my personal adviser, Google, who confirmed that most people have a hard time getting the shutters/door to budge, but a few Hulk moms have claimed victory. Personally, I just took a little time to tape the edges around the windows and door, as I was aiming for pretty good over perfect. I also used a trash bag to cover up the areas that I was worried about over spraying, but found that I really didn't need it after my first window. After a little practice I was able to get my spraying pretty accurate. Unfortunately I didn't think to take a picture of how I used the plastic bag to cover the windows, but it should be easy enough to figure out on your own. Of course, I recommend starting with the back window where you'll be less likely to be bothered by any mistakes. You can easily unscrew the doorknob before painting the door if you'd like it to be a different color.
The first piece I sprayed was the roof, mainly because it is the easiest to take apart. The roof has two pieces, and you will also want to spray at least part of the underside. The underneath edges can be seen from the outside, so mark off the point where you can see them, and spray at least that far on the underside. I used one can total for the roof, although I did not spray the entire underside.
|The roof can easily be removed and sprayed on its own|
I decided to spray the sides while the house was still standing. You could also lay each piece down and spray it on its own, but I didn't see any real benefit to that method. I was a little worried about paint drips, but the drips I have are minimal. Just remember to spray from far enough away and you should be fine. I also appreciated that I didn't have to do much bending by keeping the house standing, nor did I have to do much to protect the area. Also, since I worked on this project during nap times and evenings, the house was still available for E to use while I worked on the project. The paint is dry to the touch within 20 minutes, and able to be handled within an hour. It is fully dry in 24 hours.
|In progress spray painting|
|London Fog (roof and door knob), Cinnamon (door), Nutmeg (shutters),|
and Moss Green (siding/walls) were our color choices.
As far as wearing goes, there are a few spots that a small amount of paint has scratched off, in the high traffic areas. E grabs onto the window of the door in one spot to open and close, so there are a few scratches there. Also, the areas where the edge of the window rubs against the wall to open and close has worn a bit. Other than that, we've had the house outside for almost two months now and it still looks great. I plan on taking it in before winter and the really harsh weather arrive.
|Small areas on the edges have slight wearing after|
a month of opening and closing.
For finishing touch, we added street numbers and a potted marigold. I'm looking for a good replacement door knob too, and maybe a few other touches to add to the outside. I'd love to find a nice free side of the road picnic table!
|Happy with his house!|
Overall, this was a pretty fun and satisfying project. I have a better appreciation for graffiti artists now, because after a few hours of spraying my wrist definitely was aching! I love transforming my finds with a simple spray painting, and now I get too look at something that is more fresh and my style than the washed out and faded original colors.
|Home Sweet Home|
Have you done any side of the road redo projects this summer?