Rejuvenating the Play Set

Our son, the Little Mister, has had this wooden play set for about three years now.  He loves it!  This Denver Wooden Swing Set was a gift from Santa his very first Christmas.  It sits in our backyard where there is sun beaming on it for most of the day.  Although it is still a rather new unit, it had started to fade pretty badly.  And, the fabric over the fort was torn at the top, from years of waving in the wind.

We knew it needed a refresh.  So, we decided to stain it and change the fabric over the fort.  We were able to do everything in one weekend.  For this project, we enlisted the help of my brother and my husband's teenage cousin.  She did a perfect job getting into the hard to reach nooks and crannies we struggled to get to with our old backs and knees.

The first step to this refresh was to remove the slide and swings from the unit.  We removed all the hardware from the wood, except the adjoining plates on the top corners of the swing set portion.  We sanded all the wood, just to smooth it a little.  My brother was nice enough to do all the sanding while we worked on other stuff.  After everything was sanded, we wiped it all down with a damp rag to get rid of any dust from the sanding.

We used the Olympic Stain in the Redwood color for all of the wooden pieces.  This was mixed for us at our local big box home improvement store.  The color is a little darker than the original color of our cedar play set.  But, we wanted to tone it down a bit anyway, so this worked well.

We applied the stain with a stain grade paint brush.

This is how the play set looked after we finished staining.  It was already starting to look better.

To bring the plastic rock climbing rocks and handle bars back to life, we spray painted them using some Valspar outdoor friendly spray paint.

There was one "rock" we were unable to remove because the screw attaching it was stripped.  (You can see it in the picture above.)  So as not to cause further damage that could render it unsafe for use, we decided to leave it attached and tape it off to paint the wood around it, and cover the wood with a plastic bag when we needed to spray paint the rock.

To spray paint that piece, we draped a trash bag over the wood behind it (poking a small hole through which we passed the "rock").  We secured the trash bag to the wood with tape.  We did this so spray paint would not get all over the wood we had just painted.  Then, we sprayed the piece and left it to dry.

Once all the pieces were dry, we reattached the handles, rocks and slide.

As mentioned earlier in this post, I also made a new canopy top for the fort area.  I found some outdoor fabric on sale at JoAnn and used three yards to make the topper.

The original canopy measured 2 ' 8" wide and 5' long.  I cut the fabric with about an extra inch to spare on all sides.

Instead of sewing, I opted to use some adhesive iron-on hemming tape to hem all sides.  I felt this could work because the canopy was going to be stapled down taut anyway.

We stapled the canopy to the fort, in the same way it was attached with the original fabric.

After tacking the fabric to the wooden fort, we put the play set back together by reattaching the swings and the slide to the unit.  And, it was as good as new.  Sorry the picture came out so dark, it was overcast when we took it.


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