The swingset is only about two years old, but the wood was showing a lot of wear and tear. The elements around here are pretty rough. We have a near-constant horrible wind situation that I believed help beat the stain right off our swingset. There is almost never a day where I don’t whine about the wind. I’ve nearly lost a child-filled stroller or cart in parking lots so many times because of the crazy local wind. You add snow, rain, sun and climbing children to the mix and the wood was balding fast despite our best efforts to water seal it.
This is actually our second swingset. We inherited our house’s “old” swingset when we moved in, but the wood to it rapidly decayed and it became unstable by our second or third year here. Considering the age of our house, the original swingset wasn’t old enough to need tearing down, but there it was. It was totally unsafe to use. Now we are overly paranoid about the life of our swingset’s wood. When my husband saw this year’s wear and tear on the swingset, he wanted to stain it instead of water seal it. I wondered if we might have more fun with exterior paint.
We debated a bit on what color to paint it before I had a vision to paint it freaking adorable. You’d be amazed at how few painted swingsets come up on google and pinterest. The lack of images made me worry that I might be insane. What if it turned out ugly? What if my neighbors thought it was an eyesore? All in all, it was a paranoia fest, but I went forward anyway.
Just to make things more crazy, I let the KIDS pick the colors (though I picked the tones) AND help paint it.
They loved helping, but they wasted so much paint and were so annoying, that I had to cut this short before what was supposed to be an enjoyable experience turned into me losing my temper. Lily was somewhat decent at painting, but Rose is only 3. Based on this experience, do not let a 3 year old paint a swingset if you don’t want to lose your mind. Seriously. Three year olds CAN NOT PAINT. AT ALL. She got more paint on her than on the swingset.
The project cost more than I expected. When you look at a swingset, there doesn’t seem to be much to paint. What I forgot to account for was the fact that every piece of wood on it has four sides. The thing also sucked up a lot of paint. We ended up using three full gallons of Behr exterior paint instead of the three quarts I originally brought home for the project.
Time will tell how the exterior paint does on the swingset, but for now I’m just enjoying the way it looks. And, much to my relief, most of my neighbors seem to like the swingset too. Unless they are just being nice. Their kids like it anyway and now a lot of neighborhood kids are harassing their parents for painted swingsets. It will be interesting to see if our neighborhood swingsets are all still bare wood next year.