Wooden Play Kitchen Makeover
Have you spent hours searching for the perfect wooden play kitchen only to discover most of the options out there are either ugly, plastic, too big, too small, or just way too expensive?
Yea, same problem here, which is why I decided to use what I had, do a little upcycling, and do the easiest (and cutest) wooden play kitchen makeover ever!
With a minimal amount of toys in our home (Which is the BEST decision I have made as a parent) having open-ended play items like a kitchen, which can be used for kids of all ages is SO Important.
Get Help with Ditching the Toys and Going Clutter-Free at the Bottom of the Post with our Kids Clutter Bundle.
BUT that doesn’t mean we have to settle for something ugly right?
Upcycled Play Kitchen
I have Pottery Barn taste but more of a Target kind of budget!
We originally purchased a KidKraft kitchen for our girls for Christmas one year. By the next Christmas, it was literally falling apart. I was so disappointed because you would think that a wooden kitchen would be of better quality.
The second kitchen we purchased is a Hape brand but with the only colors, they offered to be lime green, neon orange, and bright purple I always knew it would be a DIY project.
I loved the Hape kitchen for several reasons. I simply was not going to settle for a plastic play kitchen. It did not fit the look I was going for and honestly, I try to stay away from plastic toys as much as I can.
The Hape Kitchen although it was pretty ugly, was wooden, had good reviews, and was in my price range.
I spent a lot of time browsing Pinterest looking for ideas of what I wanted to create and even joined a few Facebook groups for Play Kitchen Makeovers (yep, Facebook has groups for everything!)
The play kitchen renovation didn’t happen exactly when I wanted to because, well, life, but eventually I went around to getting it done.
Play Kitchen Revamp
When I finally decided to get moving on the play kitchen remodel it was almost summer and I was pregnant. That’s a perfect time to start a painting project, right?
Anyway, I decided that I would just take the project slowly and not try to do it all at once. Of course, the idea of this project spanning multiple days made me absolutely crazy but I was determined not to overexert myself during that pregnancy.
The first thing I did was decide on my paint colors. We had already had a girly pink kitchen so that was out. I wanted something that was a bit more realistic this go-round. I decided on a nice grayish blue with white and rose gold accents.
Sounds just like the perfect color scheme for a modern play kitchen right?
How to Disassemble A Wooden Play Kitchen Prior to Painting
My kids totally lost it when I started to take the kitchen apart. They play with it all the time and the idea of having to part with it for a day or two was just not appealing to them.
We had the same problem when I remodeled their dollhouse too so I wasn’t really surprised.
Taking the kitchen apart was pretty easy, even if I was chasing little girls around the house trying to keep up with the screws they were stealing! A bit of advice – put all the screws in a bag and put them in a place you will remember.
I only partially took the kitchen apart because I really only wanted to cover the bright orange areas. I mean who thought bright orange was a color moms would want in their playrooms??
For the parts that I didn’t want to be painted, I covered them with a thick roll of wrapping paper and painters tape. Much easier than taking the entire thing apart!
How to Paint a Wooden Play Kitchen – Spray Paint play kitchen
My mother-in-law is a firm believer that spray paint can transform ANYTHING. I took a leaf out of her book for this project and it simply does not disappoint.
The great thing about spray paint is it dries fast and it covers really well! Rustoleum is my favorite brand of spray paint because it covers the best and the spray nozzle isn’t hard to push. Plus I don’t get ANY paint on my fingers when I use this brand.
If you go for a cheaper paint you might get a crappy nozzle and get paint all over. Spray paint is sticky and hard to get off when you get it on your skin.
When you are spray painting make sure you stand an appropriate distance away and spray light layers. Otherwise, you will get drips and runs and that will totally ruin the look you are trying to achieve.
I always have random cardboard boxes in my garage thanks to my husband’s job so I set my projects on those to elevate them off the ground and to get better coverage on the sides.
If you try to paint on a concrete surface you will end up with paint that never goes away. If you try it on grass it’s almost impossible to not get grass lines on the bottom of your kitchen.
Also, and this might just be a Florida problem, but try and paint at the least buggy time of day! Nothing worse than getting bugs stuck in your paint!!
Finding a Realistic Play Kitchen Counter
Honestly, this was the hardest part of the kitchen remodel for me. Not actually doing it, but finding a countertop that I liked!
There are tons of tutorials about painting faux granite or marble but I really didn’t want to do that. I wanted a solid waterproof surface since my kids are known for taking actual food and drinks into their play kitchen.
Seriously, if you aren’t following my kid’s shenanigans on Instagram you should be! It will give you a good laugh and make you feel like you have it all together! My life is crazy!
My mom suggested that I use contact paper, like the stuff people put in their kitchen cabinets! Perfect idea mom!
The only problem was that I couldn’t find anything usable anywhere! Everything was weird patterns or not the right color. Wal-mart, Target, Dollar Stores, Big lots… they all failed me.
At this point, the length of time this project is taking me is starting to stress me out. Plus I am dragging two kids to all these stores with me to look for contact paper and that in itself is stressful.
So I’m laying in bed one night and literally laughed out loud at myself when I thought of the perfect place to find what I needed.
I preach the glories of Amazon on a regular and am quite embarrassed that the thought didn’t cross my mind sooner.
Of course, they had what I needed, I ordered it, and it arrived at my house two days later! Amazon Prime is my secret weapon!
Installing Faux Countertop
Contact paper is super easy to install.
The main problem you will have is bubbles. Cut yourself a piece slightly bigger than you need and roll it slowly, smoothing as you go, from one side to the other. If you have the option of some adult help, four hands will be much easier than two!
If you do end up with any bubbles just try to push them out on the sides. If they are too bad you may want to rip it up and try again. You will have to use a brand new piece because it will stretch as you remove it.
The most difficult part for me was the corners. I ended up just cutting little notches and folding the pieces over each other. The pattern I chose makes it hard to see that it isn’t just a smooth continuous corner.
Final Reveal of Wooden Play Kitchen
Once everything was dry and the countertops were put on, I just grabbed the hidden bag of screws, put it all back together, and added a few accessories!
My Favorite Accessories for a Realistic Play Kitchen
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