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Painted Outdoor Playset

I’m revealing the playset today! It’s actually been finished for a couple months, I’ve just had a hard time sharing it because there’s a lot of emotions related to the playset for me. So I kind of needed to sit on it for while, if that makes sense.

A Special Gift

The playset was actually a generous and special gift to the boys from my mom and stepdad. My parents, but mostly my stepdad, always wanted to get the boys a playset. Before my stepdad passed away on May 6th, he was able to see the area we created for the playset, but he wasn’t able to see the completed playset. I was in the middle of making over the playset, in pieces in our garage, when he died, and then I spent many of my nights after his death in the garage finishing it up. I’m sure would’ve loved the finished playset and watching the boys play on it. It just breaks my heart that he wasn’t able to see it. The boys know it was a very special gift from Grandpa Ken and Grandma Bonnie. Owen and I often talk about Grandpa Ken when Owen is swinging on the playset. So the playset is one of many ways we’re keeping Ken’s memory alive.

Prepping the Area

You may recall from Instagram Stories that we had our lawncare guy help us level off this part of yard because it slopes. Once that was done, Brad installed landscaping timbers all around. And then Brad and I moved around 15,000 pounds of pea gravel from the driveway into the playset area. I’ll share all about creating that area in another blog post.

Outdoor Playset Reveal

As a reminder, this is what the playset, the Charleston Lodge by KidKraft, looked like when it arrived in multiple boxes. It’s made of cedar so it was a bright orange-brown color. The windows were green, the gables were yellow, and the door was stained dark brown.

KidKraft Charleston Lodge

And here’s how it looks now!

gray outdoor playset

I wanted the playset to blend with our house, so I used leftover gray solid stain from my deck staining project from last year for the majority of the playset. I spray painted the windows and gables white to match the trim on our house. The playset came with a lot of interior brackets that I had to spray paint gray. I wasn’t a huge fan of the flags and clock, so I left those off of it.

I’ll write another post detailing the staining and spray painting process.

gray and white outdoor playset

The roof is the same color as the stain on our deck flooring, but in a solid stain. I’m not going to lie– I don’t love it. I wanted to do a darker gray on the roof, but I thought that might heat up too much in the sun. It’s fine though, I’ll just stain it a darker gray in a few years when it will need to be re-stained. I also don’t love how I stained the brackets to match the roof. To be honest, I didn’t know where they went on the playset. Brad just handed the pieces to me and said these are part of the roof, so I stained them accordingly. I’ll solid stain them white to match the brackets on our house when this stain starts to wear off.

kidkraft playset

I solid stained the door navy blue to help offset the green and yellow accents.

blue playset door

We added this cute doorbell. It doesn’t work so my children are forced to say “ding dong” when they push it.

playset doorbell

The downstairs part of the playhouse features a kitchen area with a cooktop and sink. I didn’t solid stain the countertops because I knew they’d see a lot of wear and tear, so I sealed them. I did the same with the floor upstairs. You can see the true color of the playset and how the entire thing would’ve been that color. It’s… vibrant.

kidkraft playset kitchen

The playset also came with a bench that’s inside the playhouse. The boys like to eat their snacks and lunches while sitting on the bench at the counter. It’s pretty adorable.

kidkraft play set kitchen

The backside of the playset features a mini rock climbing wall to get upstairs. We added the grip bars.

Owen insisted that we keep the landscaping timber scraps for him to build with. My father-in-law and Owen built the fence for the “backyard”.

You can also see in the photo below how the playset matches our siding.

gray and white playset

painted outdoor playset

kidkraft charleston

The playset came with two standard swings and the glider swing (the flames make it go faster). We bought the toddler swing separately. Emmett swings on all three.

kidkraft swingset

gray playset

Here’s how it looks from our deck. I’m planning to landscape along the side of timbers closest to the lake. And I’d like to add some sort of trees, bushes, or ornamental grass between the playset and our fence to give us and our neighbors some more privacy. So drop your suggestion for tall but not thick tree/bush/grass in the comments.

stained gray playset


In other exciting news, I’ve decided to create a Patreon. With the decline of Amazon affiliate commissions, decreases in ad revenue, and the encouragement from some supportive readers, I’ve opted to dive into the Patreon space. This way I don’t have to start shoving affiliate links and other swipe ups down your throat 24/7 on Instagram Stories.

Since I’m getting started on Patreon, I’m taking baby steps with one tier. I may share sneak peeks, exclusive content, and other goodies in the future. My long-term vision is for it to be like our own secret society of sorts. But for now, this is an opportunity to support my work directly. I’d greatly appreciate it!

And to thank you, for those interested, I’m offering hens (succulents) for purchase to my Patrons. Plus, I’ll share a hens and chicks care document on Patreon. And I’ll create a thread where people can ask any questions that aren’t covered in the document. Remember, once you get the hens they should keep multiplying so you only have to buy them once.

While I’d love to give away tons of hens, I have a limited quantity so it’s going to be first come, first serve. And I’d also love to give them away for free, but it would cost me a small fortune to ship that many boxes.

But you don’t have to be interested in the hens to become a Patron. Thanks so much for all your support! I truly appreciate it.

Click here to head over to my Patreon page!

hens and chicks

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  1. So inspired by how you made the playset your own! Thank you for sharing.

  2. Looks great! Finding a swing set that isn’t ugly is hard work. It’s such a great tribute to your step dad. I hope the boys have a lifetime of fun memories from it.

    In regards to the living hedge, it depends on how wide you want it to get. North Pole arborvitaes are a narrow tree that would give you year round interest. Variegated Japanese forest grass, el dorado feather reed grass, totem pole grass all get pretty tall.

  3. Jess Heimer says:

    Buckthorns are great for “tall but not thick.” We have standard and fine-line(which are more aesthetically pleasing but don’t grow as fast.) I put some standard on the edge of our front garden bed for privacy and they’ve grown from volunteers to six feet tall-ish in two years.

  4. Crista Carpenter says:

    It’s so stinking cute!!! I know I need to invest in something for Addie, there’s just so many out there. I always hate the colors, I never thought of staining/painting it. This opens up a whole new world!!!

  5. I love this! It turned out so great!!

  6. I Love it Chelsea. The makeover turned out wonderful. What a lovely memory and sentiment to have of your step father for the boys.

  7. It looks fabulous. Congratulations on all the hard work

  8. A beautiful gift from your Mom and Step Dad. Looks great! Rose of sharon is a beautiful plant to add privacy, and it can bloom all summer. It grows tall but not wide.

  9. If you are ok with leaves falling off and just having branches in the winter, look into Japanese Willows. They are wispy but full, pinkish green leaves in spring. They provide an nice barrier from our neighbors.

  10. This looks great! And I love that you kept the timber pieces for building. What a great idea.
    Hens and chicks always remind me of my grandma. She had them all along the side of her house. I used to love transplanting them.

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