DIY Project: Spray Paint Plastic Little Tikes Outdoor Toys

(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  Normally, I wouldn't care about such things, but since the colors were also outdated, I wondered if we could give them a face-lift with some Krylon Fusion for Plastic Spray Paint I had seen in-stores. (You can also find it cheaper here at Sherwin Williams official website!)

PLEASE NOTE: Krylon sells a general "fusion" type paint, as well, but it's not the same. Please pick the one designed specifically for plastic with PLASTIC in the name. You might not find it online at places you usually shop, but hardware stores and other online outlets will have it.

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.


  1. That looks great! It's nice to know there's a spray-paint just for plastic.

  2. Nice job! I have one of those big plastic climbing gyms with slides that need spray painting attention. I let this summer pass me by, but i plan on redoing it next year.

  3. Awesome, just the ticket I was looking for. Brilliant instructions as well. Thanks guys, you just made my day.

  4. I've been looking to update a playhouse I bought off a Mommy a few weeks ago, thanks for the thorough instructions!

  5. I used this same Krylon Fusion paint on a Little Tikes playhouse. Unfortunately, I am not having the same results. The paint scrapes off easily. I have no idea why it is not sticking to this plastic. Very frustrating. It said no primer was needed so I did not use one. Going to the hardware store tomorrow to see what they recommend. Needless to say, this makeover is now costing me a fortune in spray paint.

    1. I'm sorry to hear that you aren't having good luck with this project. The paint can be costly, which is why we went with a picnic table first, to see how well it worked. I'm sure you followed the directions carefully, but things that can cause the paint to scrape off include: not allowing it to seal before putting it back together and using it, too high humidity in the area at the time of painting or sealing (which can delay the process by a few more days), not allowing the plastic to dry fully before painting, not thorougly cleaning the plastic. As with any project, I'm only have my own experience to speak of. This is a very old project, done over 4 years ago, but most of the paint is still in tact. There will be peeling over time, but -- for us -- it was minor and only with the harshest of exposure (having bicycles piled on top over the winter, for example). I wish you better luck than you've been having, and thanks for sharing your experiences!

    2. I've been unable to find the Krylon Fusion paint anywhere. I'm giving it the 'ol college try with Lowe's Valspar, it says it will work on plastic among other things

    3. I read the Valspar works great. How did yours turn out?

    4. How did it turn out?

    5. I read the Valspar works great. How did yours turn out?

    6. How did it end up working out Shelley? I can't find the right blue in the Fusion line so I am going with Valspar as well.

  6. Nice Job.Im picking up a little chair and table set tomorrow for free from facebook. It certainly has seen better days, thus why it is free. I'm going to my local hardware store tomorrow and getting these spray paint cans for plastic and are really going to spruce it all up. Just part of my grand daughters presents for Christmas. I can't wait to get stuck into it and see the end result. Thanks everyone for the tips on the Valspar range 👍


Post a Comment