(UPDATE: This post has become very popular among people looking for tips to redo their plastic outdoor toys. It has been three years since we did this project, and it's time to repaint! The paint has held up VERY well, considering that we treated the table poorly during winter storage, and the boys jump off it run their bikes into it. If you decide to do this project, please follow the directions VERY carefully. I can only vouch for how well it worked for us using the EXACT method below. If you don't have time to allow it to be properly cleaned, prepared, and dried between coats, this isn't the project for you. We are glad we did it, but it was work! Please note that any other brand or type of paint may not give you the same results.)
We were blessed to receive several very nice plastic outdoor play items from my sister, who used to have a daycare. These items were sturdy, but had shown quite a bit of wear to their surface, both by being bleached by the sun, and by having lot of scuff marks on them. Normally, I wouldn't care about such things, but since the colors were also outdated, I wondered if we could give them a face-lift with some Krylon Fusion for Plastic Spray Paint I had seen at my local Walmart.
We decided to test out this product on something small to start with: the Little Tikes Picnic Table.
Here is how we did it:
1. We took apart the picnic table by removing the plastic bolt covers and using the power drill to take out the bolts.
2. We gave the table parts a thorough washing with a solution of dish soap and water; then we sprayed it down with a hose. (I used a small brush to get into the crevices of the joints.)
3. We let the pieces dry standing up to let all the water out. (This took about an hour on a breezy day.)
4. Then, the painting began! Using 3 colors of Krylon, we sprayed a nice coat of paint on the pieces according to this design: magenta would become red, yellow would become white, and turquoise would become blue. (Patriotic seemed much better than the "90's" theme it was currently sporting.)
We were sure to do this in a well-ventilated area in my husband's shop, and we followed the directions exactly for optimal coverage and safety.
The pieces were sprayed on one side first, and after they had 15 minutes to dry to the touch, we flipped them over for the second side. The hardest coat was the white, which required quite a bit of paint to cover completely. (The red had the best coverage.)
We even removed the "Little Tikes" name plates from the side of the picnic table. (They popped out with a screwdriver.) My husband covered the center with tape, so we could give the outer edge of the logo a fresh hit of the red paint.
We had to remember to spray the little bolt covers, too.
5. Now, after a minimum of 1 hour drying time, it was time to put everything back together. We used the drill again to put the bolts and covers back on.
We also did a little touch up on some places that we missed due to lighting issues in the shop.
Here is our final project -- (excuse the late night lighting.)
All in all, we were VERY happy with the new look of the table, and we used about 3 cans of the Krylon at $4+ each. I would do this project again with a hand-me-down or very cheap piece of plastic outdoor play furniture. It would also work great for giving a face lift to any of your older or outdated-looking pieces.
You can find the Krylon Fusion for Plastic at your local Walmart stores in several colors to match your DIY style.
*I am a participant in the Walmart Moms program. Walmart has provided me with compensation for my time on this post. Participation in this program is voluntary. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.