Eight years ago when we moved into our home, there was one big-ticket item that I dreamed about and was ready to make a reality. A backyard playset. Once our fence was installed and our landscaping complete I couldn’t wait to purchase one of these monsters. You know, the kind that are in 10 boxes from Costco, Sam’s club or Rainbow? We chose the one from Sam’s Club because I liked the brown wood and green accents. I liked how they blended into the landscape of our yard. After a week of assembly (yes, it took a full week) the kids couldn’t get enough.
Well eight years later it’s wear was showing and becoming a bit of an eyesore. I think that most people think that because it was built to be outside, it must weather the elements great! Or they think “It’s made of cedar, so there shouldn’t be any upkeep.” Well neither of those are true, even with the nicest wood playset you need to maintain it if you want it to look great in your yard We knew something had to be done so we had sprayed it with a regular outdoor stain in a pump sprayer in the past. But this time we wanted to know if we could stain a wood playset and have it last and look amazing.
Here are a few before photos:
After a lot of research, it can and should be done.
Check out our playset before and after:
Here is how we did it. We started out by removing all of the metal hardware and rock climbing holds. Then with a Mouse sander we sanded the entire playset. This took about 3 days of a few hours each day but wasn’t difficult. The hardest part was keeping our 3-year-old off the playset during the staining phase!
We chose Behr Premium Solid Stain Weatherproofing in Padre Brown from The Home Depot (this is NOT a sponsored post, I just love the product and highly recommend it). Because we chose a solid stain, it went on just like paint. We used a small roller in some places and inexpensive chip brushes from Harbor Freight for the rest. The stain was a thick solid brown. It was expensive compared to other stains (even in the Behr line), but it had the longest lasting formula and that was well worth it for us. Basically 10 years on all horizontal surfaces and 25 on all vertical. This is important because after all the sanding and then staining, we didn’t want to be doing this again next summer. Our playset took 2 gallons of the all-in-one stain and sealer.
The difference is spectacular. On the left you can see the rock wall where the top 75% is sanded with the remaining 25% untouched. Then on the right you can see the rich brown stain that makes the playset look new, well, better than new if you ask me. You can not see the wood grain and I thought that I would miss that variation, but I don’t. The texture is still visible through the stain and that is enough for me.
Behr has a lot of colors to choose from depending on what your backyard style is, but I love the Padre Brown with the green accents on the playset.
After it was all stained, with two coats and a couple of days later, we added all the green handles and rock holds back on.
I am loving the playset again. And the kids are too. The playset didn’t end up as that big of a “big-ticket” item after you divide out the amount that our kids have used it. We paid about $1000 for it and I think it is one of the best $1000 we have ever spent. The imaginary friends, conversations, and adventures that have happened on this backyard swing set are priceless.
Do you want to come play with me?
Have you stained or painted your outdoor playset, playhouse, or swing set? Or have you used Behr Weather Proofing stain? Tell me about it in the comments.