Swing Set Renovation. Learn how I renovated and revived our old, worn-out swing set with paint, stain, elbow grease, and some TLC.
I have been working on our swing set renovation for about a year (nothing like a speedy project, huh?). I am so happy to finally share pictures of the finished product.
We got our son a swing set from Walmart when he was 3 years old. After a year or two, the swing set really began to show a lot of wear and tear. We live in an area of Arizona that has hot summers, and very windy weather throughout the year.
The wind completely shredded the canopy. The wood and plastic pieces became extremely faded by the sun. Plus, we have been slowly working on landscaping the backyard, and I knew I wanted a special design around the play area. We are doing all the work ourselves, so it has been a slow process.
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How to Renovate a Swing Set
What needed updating:
- spray paint the plastic pieces
- stain the wood
- lay a brick border around the perimeter
- lay down weed barrier and mulch
- new canopy – purchase or make
I am so happy to say we finally finished this area! Here are some before pictures without any landscaping and to show how worn out it had become! (I thought I had some better before pictures but I could NOT find them!)
Paint all Plastic Pieces with Krylon Fusion
I started by removing all of the plastic pieces off the swing set. I purchased Krylon for Plastic yellow and blue to match the current pieces. This would be a great time to change up the look of your swing set if you wanted to choose different colors.
I gave each of the pieces a good scrub, allowed them to dry, and applied 3 light coats of paint.
I painted the rock wall grips for the ladder, the handles, the swing chains, the monkey bar, and some support pieces.
Helpful tip: Allow the paint to cure for the recommended amount of time (listed on the spray paint can). Mine required seven days for the paint to cure. Since all of these pieces were going to be seeing a lot of use from my kids I made sure to wait the full seven days. The kids were so restless about not being able to use their swing set for a whole week! But, I can happily say, I painted these last November and they still look as good as new!
Stain Wood Components
While the paint dried on the plastic pieces, I stained the swing set to match our deck. The new stain coordinates with the rest of our wood in the backyard, even though it is a little darker than the original color of the swing set.
This process took a lot more time and stain than I originally anticipated. I think I used about a gallon and a quart to stain all the wood. Since it was so faded, the wood required much more than I thought it would.
Create a New Canopy
To create a new canopy for the swing set, I used an old E-Z Up cover we had.
We have had the absolute worst luck with Easy Ups. They always seem to break or bend. I saved the fabric cover from this broken Easy Up. The blue color matches the swing set, plus it is made to be used outside.
Using the old canopy as a pattern, I cut out and sewed a new canopy. It was basically just a giant rectangle. I used one finished edge, so I only had to hem the other three sides.
Then, I used a grommet tool kit to add grommets to the shorter sides. The grommets allowed me to screw the canopy back on to the swing set like the original.
Any outdoor fabric would work if you want to make your own canopy. If cannot use your old canopy to create a pattern, make sure to account for the excess you need for a seam allowance and the amount needed to secure it to the swing set.
Add Landscaping to the Area
I had a rough idea in my mind of what I wanted the bricks to look like. Each time I would go into town (we live about a half-hour from Home Depot), I would purchase 10 to 15 bricks. This made the cost seem more reasonable, and I hauled and set the bricks a little at a time.
After what seemed like thousands of bricks, I eventually made it around the entire swing set.
I dug a small trench to set the bricks into. I used a trenching shovel to dig a narrow trench that was the perfect width for the bricks we chose. As I set each brick, I left about 1 inch of the top of the brick above the dirt so that it would hold in whatever we filled under the swing set with.
After installing all the bricks we added a weed barrier under the whole area. We purchased a truckload of mulch and put that over the top.
One other thing you will notice in the pictures is the grass! I am a midwest girl at heart and I have wanted grass in our backyard forever.
My husband was not convinced that sod would do well in our backyard. At the end of last summer, a friend of ours was laying sod in his backyard. He had a bunch of scraps leftover, and I jumped at the chance when he told us we could have them. I quickly prepared the ground in front of the bricks and we laid a little square of grass.
It did well last year and is coming back nicely this year as well! We have some patchy spots but that is mostly from the dog using it as a toilet! Hopefully, we can add more grass this summer or next summer so we have a larger area for the kids to run around.
I love that this area is done and looks as good as new again! Hopefully, it will be a few more years before I need to stain it again. Have you tackled any renovation projects lately?
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