I have big plans for this little swing set! By next summer, there will be a pirate ship in our very own yard. Picture this: a red and white striped cover (similar to this but with stripes instead of polka dots), a pirate flag like this, a steering wheel like this, some canons (can you believe I can’t find any decent photos or tutorials for this? I do have ideas in my head that includes PVC pipe), a telescope like this, and some battery operated lights twisted around the boards for night time play (this is not a requirement for a pirate ship but I think it will be stinking cute).
When we started our little swing set project it looked like this:
My mom spent a little more than three weeks with us this summer and she tackled a ton of projects while she was here. Getting this swing set cleaned up was one of those projects. We went back and forth between staining or painting. After a trip to Home Depot and visit with one of their paint specialists, we decided on Behrs Deck Over Paint in Wood Chip. We were told if we wanted to stain it, we would have to sand the whole thing first. That sounded horrible, so we decided to use this product. We purchased 2 gallons and off we went. I should mention, we kept N out of the area during the whole project which we completed over several days.
To begin, we needed to clean the surface. (Behr suggests that you use Behr Premium All-in-1 Wood Cleaner.) So we followed the product’s directions step-by-step. In this order, we wet the surface, used a pump sprayer to coat the swing set with the product, let it set for 10-15 minutes, used a bristle brush to scrub the surface, and lastly, hosed off the entire area. This part of the project was quick and easy and only took an hour or so.
Painting was easy but time consuming, as most painting projects are. We WAY underestimated how much the old wood would soak up the paint so we ended up making a run for an extra gallon (and not a drop was left when we were finished). Here are the official directions for applying the paint. We took a much less formal approach and just started rolling and painting everywhere. In some places, like the outside of the boards and under area of the floor, we were able to use a roller and other places required a paint brush. According to the product directions, you need to use two coats and we did. A couple of points to note: you need to let the area dry for 4-6 hours between coats and give it 24-48 hours after the final coat before you allow foot traffic. (This has a really strong scent similar to rubber cement so I chose to wear a mask.)
Between two of us, this took us nearly 14 hours! Yes, I said 14 hours. But we split it up over three days and as you can see from my final review below, it was totally worth it!
I love, love it! This swing set has been totally restored, the surfaces are smoother and safer for little hands and knees, and it is a rich, warm color that looks so nice in our backyard. We play on this nearly daily, so the 14 hours it took to update this swing set seems minimal compared to the time we have spent on it.
I should have kept receipts but didn’t (lesson learned!). I’m guessing we spent a total of $95 or so for this part of the project. At Home Depot, where we purchased our products, the Behrs All-in-One Wood Cleaner is regularly priced at $9.98 and the Deck Over is priced at $34.98 per gallon. When we made our purchase, the Deck over was on sale for, I’m thinking, $28ish a gallon.
So far, it is holding up very nice. I have heard reports of this paint peeling off but three months later and, so far, there is no sign of peeling in sight. Hopefully, the winter goes easy on us and I don’t have a different report next spring. Stay tuned for other pirate ship updates!