Painting Playset Slides: Comprehensive Guide

Can you paint a playset slide? Yes, and it can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be? With this comprehensive guide, you’ll learn the painting process for all types of slides, products that work best and paint colours, paint techniques and coats, purposes of painting playground equipment and ideas for different styles. Learn how to paint plastic slides like Little Tikes’ or fibreglass slides with confidence!

The Paint You Need For Playground Slides

For plastic playground slides, spray paint is the most satisfactory solution. Spray paint is designed to adhere to shiny surfaces, such as plastic play equipment. It’s a lot less work than cleaning up with brushes and buckets.

Spray painting is also much faster than painting with brushes or rollers. It guarantees that the coating is uniform and covers the whole surface it is sprayed on. Plastic spray paint adheres to plastics better than other types for a longer-lasting layer that won’t fade. So it is ideal for outdoor playground slides.

However, while painting with brushes is slower, it is less expensive (per square foot) and covers a larger surface area than sprayers. There are generally more colour options with the ability to combine colours. When brushing on, you typically only need one layer of priming and paint. Larger areas need painting using brush-on paint.

For Spray Paints

Primer in the spray gun
Primer in the spray gun: Photo 186100876 © Anze Furlan | Dreamstime.com

If you’re not using an all-in-one primer, apply two coats of priming first, then wait for 1-2 hours to dry before initial spraying the first coat of paint. It’s a good idea to use a sealer when the paint coat has completely dried, whether you used an individual primer or an all-in-one paint. The paint’s life will considerably extend as a result of this.

For spray paint, we will recommend the ones with the two in-1 option, which has paint and primer in them. The top two products worth mentioning here are the RUST-OLEUM Universal Hammered Spray Paint and KRYLON Fusion Paint Gloss Sunbeam.

These ensure proper paint sticking to your slides and won’t budge for a reasonable amount of time. And for primers, we suggest RUST-OLEUM Plastic Primer Spray.

For Brush-On-Paint

If you’re painting a broad area, brush-on paint for plastic could be a suitable option. Acrylic-Latex Paint is the ideal paint for outdoor and playground plastics. Regular latex isn’t tough enough, and non-water-based paints, such as solvent-based paints, are far more hazardous and harder to work with.

With this, you’ll need a water-based multi-surface primer (typically branded “Plastic Primer”). Sealing your newly painted plastic is optional, but it will considerably increase its life and durability.

I suggest RUST-OLEUM Painter’s Touch Latex Paint and KRYLON COLORmaxx Acrylic Latex Brush on Paint for brush-on-paints. And lastly, for primer, we will recommend Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 All Surface Primer.

Cleaning & prepping the plastic surfaces

Sanding is part of good paint prep
Sanding is part of good paint prep: https://unsplash.com/photos/aO4c6o4H2MI.

The first step should be thoroughly cleaning a playset with water with a rag before starting your new paint job. Dish soap is a mild detergent. It has no bearing on the integrity of the playset.

You can drain stagnant water in the playset, so it dries quickly. Use a pipe to remove the soap and water from the slide and inspect for debris if left. Enable it to dry until proceeding to the next phase, using a hose to remove the remaining dirt from a Playepep slide.

Before painting with clean solvents, you can remove dirt, dust, mould and mildew altogether. Sanding removed all imperfections, too—fine grit, meaning between 1200 and 220 grits. Fine grit sandpaper is optional but advisable because it adds adhesion by creating a rough surface layer for the primer and paint to adhere, helping you achieve a fine and smooth finish.

Enhancing the paint for an even harder stick by sanding, although it is optional. It is simply sanding the soft, extra thin portions. Use finely brushed sandpaper for eliminating imperfections.

Apply Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is an excellent choice to clean up and wipe down the remaining dirt on a playset. It is not compulsory to use rubbing alcohol, but it can ensure clean the playset before applying an updated coat. Use another clean towel.

How To Paint Outdoor Plastic Slides?

The playset’s surroundings determine the colour of the new paint. Choose a bright, vibrant colour that children will enjoy. You can choose gender-neutral colours like yellow, chrome, green, or orange.

There will be two types of step-by-step painting guidelines and two types of methods for applying paint. First for spray paint, and the latter for brush-on-paint.

 Painting Guidelines| Spray Paint

Spray Paint a good method for painting slides
Spray Paint an exemplary method for painting slides: https://www.twenty20.com/photos/

It will depend on exactly what product you are using, like all-in-one spray paint or not, when painting plastic. If not, you need to prime your slide with two coats and let it completely dry for 2 hours. I recommend you use a sealant and premium paint if you want the paint holding for long-lasting.

  • Choose the appropriate paint and primer for plastic, glossy surfaces. For proper painting, we recommend Acrylic Latex and “Plastic Primer”.
  • Just like the previous spray paint method, make sure to clean your slide properly with a dishwashing agent and alcohol pads to remove any greasy residue.
  • After cleaning and drying it, apply the primer, stirring it well with your synthetic paintbrush. Coat and cover it evenly.
  • Let your primer dry for at least a few hours, depending on the weather. Also, don’t use more than one coating of primer.
  • After drying the primer, stir your paint and apply it using a synthetic paintbrush. We recommend you use smooth and overlapping brush strokes to cover and coat the slide adequately. One layer of coating is enough, but you can give it another layer if you wish to.
  •  Afterwards, let the paint dry for a minimum of 24 hours. One night before applying a sealing agent.

Painting Guidelines| Brush-On-Paint

There are three types of slides you can paint on whenever you want. The first and easiest one is the plastic playground slide. The second is the metal playground slide, and lastly, the wooden playground slide. The following are the general guidelines for metal and wooden slides:

  • Choose the appropriate paint and primer for plastic. For proper painting, we recommend Acrylic Latex and “Plastic Primer”.
  • Just like the previous spray paint method, make sure to clean your slide properly with a dishwashing agent and alcohol pads to remove any greasy residue.
  • After cleaning and drying it, apply the primer stirring it well with your synthetic paintbrush. Evenly coat and cover it.
  • Let your primer dry for at least a few hours, depending on the weather. Also, don’t use more than one coating of primer.
  • After drying the primer, stir your paint and apply it using a synthetic paintbrush. We recommend you use smooth and overlapping brush strokes to cover and coat the slide adequately. One layer of coating is enough, but you can give another if you wish to.
  • Finally, let the paint dry for at least one night before applying a sealing agent.

Types Of Slides You Can Paint On

There are three types of slides you can paint on whenever you want. The first and easy one is the plastic playground slides, the second is the metal playground slides, and lastly, the wooden playground slides. The standard guidelines I can give here for the metal and wooden slides are as follows-

Metal Slides

  • To remove slag, sandblast or wire, brush the weld, then paint the welded region with zinc-rich paint. Spray cans and pots of zinc-rich paint are available for brush painting.
  • Clean the play equipment using warm and soapy water and clean all the surfaces using a terry cotton rag. Ensure to remove all dirt and oil.
  • Allow the metal slide to dry as metal-to-metal pipe-to-bar joints take longer to dry.
  • Using 280- to 320-grit sandpaper, sand all surfaces. To remove paint dust, wipe surfaces with a clean cloth.
  • To guarantee an excellent paint bond, use a universal etch primer. It depends on which style the manufacturer used on your metal slides, spray paint or brush paint.
  • Use lead-free, exterior-grade paint. Again, keep in mind the manufacturing origin.

Plastic Slide

We already gave instructions step by step on how to paint your plastic slides using spray paint or brush-on-paint.

  • Clean your slides with dishwashers and rubbing alcohol. Let it dry.
  • After drying, apply primer to your slide if you’re not using an all-in-one spray paint. Primer goes for spray paints and brush paints.
  • Then, when your slide is dry, apply spray paint following the methods that we mentioned before.
  • For brush-on-paint, use the smooth and overlapping process (ensuring that you do not use too much paint and apply an even coat).
  • Let the paints dry and then apply a second coat for spray paint but only one coat for brush-on-paint.

Apply sealant on spray-painted slides before curing. However, for brush-on-paint slides, the final step is to apply your sealant after curing it overnight.

Wooden Slides

 

Wooden Baby Slide
The old wooden baby slide needs a paint job: https://www.twenty20.com/photos/.

For wooden playground slides, check for splinters in them. If there is any, remove it and then sand your wooden slide.

  • To avoid harm and all sharp edges.
  • Protect wooden playground slides from the weather; try using a toxin-free wood preservative.

Clear or coloured wood preservatives are available. Brush on the preservative freely, allowing it to sink into the wood.

It is optional, but you can paint wooden playground slides with lead-free exterior paint. Click the tab to discover more about wooden slides.

Tips And Tricks

After painting it, I recommend trying multiple helpful hints and techniques if you want a perfect functioning and durable plastic slide. There are numerous approaches to improve slides and slide maintenance suggestions to explore clicking right here.

DIY Tricks On Slowing Your Slides

Playground slides are made following safety requirements. Although adjustments may be necessary. If your playground slides are slippery, then there are few things you can do to fix this issue.

Plastic Slides

To begin, ensure the slide is clean and oil-free. Use liquid dish soap to thoroughly clean if it’s greasy. Scrub the surface with a soft rag or sponge, then rinse well with a garden hose.

  •  If that doesn’t work, try adjusting the friction. Tape a stretch of duct tape across the whole slide surface, starting at the middle and going down the length. Buy a duct tape that matches the colour of your slides.
  • I recommend you not to sand the plastic slides.

Metal Slides

Use a cloth or sponge to clean it with water and liquid dish soap if the surface is excessively slick and oily. Remove any excessive grease or lubricants that are causing the slide to be so smooth.

  •  If the angle is too extreme, consider utilising a tire under the slide. This makes sure to lessen the curve to be in balance and become too steep.
  •  A further action you can do to minimise the steepness of the slide, dump dirt under it.

DIY Tricks On Making Your Slides Faster

You don't want the slide to fast
You don’t want the slide to fast: https://www.twenty20.com/photos/

Slow plastic slides are less entertaining for youngsters and might cause “friction burn.” The encouraging aspect is that you can undertake some measures.

Plastic Slides

Use warm water and mild liquid detergent. Any filth coated on the plastic slide will go away using this mixture.

  • Scrub the slide from top to bottom with a coarse cloth or soft-bristled brush. Rinse your slide with a garden hose once you make sure there’s no more caked dirt on it.
  • Allow the slide to dry thoroughly before moving on to the following stage, which will be easier and more effective.
  • Then rub the wax paper over the whole surface of the plastic slide. By doing so, it helps to transfer the food-safe wax, which makes it slippery.
  • If the surface contains grooves, use fine-grit sandpaper to make it a smooth surface.

 Metal Slides

First, using water and liquid dish detergent, clean the surface.

  • For mild rust, scrub the rusted area using a wire brush and/or abrasive pad. For heavier rust, sprinkle the Citric Acid powder immediately on the rusted site while the slide is still wet. We recommend gloves.
  •  Get an electric sander or grinder using a flap or stripping disc to remove more extensive rust areas.
  •  Now, using a wet rag, clean the spot. And allow it to dry thoroughly.
  • Apply a rust sealer, which is both necessary and straightforward to maintain your slide rust-free.

Purpose Of Painting Playground Equipment

Painting other types of playground things
Painting other types of playground things: https://www.twenty20.com/photos

The sole purpose of painting playground equipment is to mimic the vivid liveliness in the atmosphere for your children to enjoy playing there. This allows you to make your children’s lives colourful and youthful.

It’s a wonderful method to save money by painting outdated and fading plastic playground equipment like a swing set, monkey bars and even rock climbing pieces. You do not need to purchase a new set or item. Save your money for more pressing requirements.

Painting is the most effective way to repair dull play set surfaces that have been exposed to the elements such as sunlight, dust, rain, and snow over time. This paint job should last a long time if you use high-quality priming, paint, and sealer.

 Ideas For Different Types of Paint On Varied Slides

Differing color for your slide
The differing colour scheme for your playset slide: https://www.twenty20.com/photos/

There are plenty of fun designs to choose from when you plan to paint on your playground slides. So, if you are wondering about unique ideas for painting your slides, here are some colour schemes to brighten up the focal point of your backyard; “for your kids anyway”.

  • Nature green effect where you can mimic the environment and keep everything green and brown.
  • Sea effect where you can bring in the beauty of large water bodies using many shades of blue.
  • Techno like effect which can mimic the sci-fi imaginations using purple and yellow
  • You can also follow the primary vivid and neon colours to make it eye-catching using red, orange, green, and blue together.
  • A great option would be to paint the slide using the theme of a famous children’s cartoon-like Spongebob or Tom and Jerry. Children love to use playground equipment bearing the theme of their favourite show.

Final Thoughts

Now you’ve uncovered all there is to know, paint plastic playground equipment and various fun paint ideas for other surfaces, it’s time for the final thoughts.

Painted slides are one of those great DIY projects and a way to add some colour to your backyard or kids play area. It can help bring up their mood when they go out every day. The paint job should last for several years if you paint it with high-quality paint and sealers.

If you are still wondering if it’s possible to paint the plastic slides, the answer is definitely yes! Go ahead and paint your slide now so that kids can enjoy playing on them without having any issues.

And don’t forget to share this guide online by sharing its link in forums, or if you need some tips for keeping your new painted slides looking like a brand new slide, click on the link.

Sources of Information

M. (2021d, July 31). How to Paint Plastic Playground Equipment – Fully Restore | Playground Resource. Playgroundresource.Com. Retrieved October 18, 2021, from https://playgroundresource.com/how-to-paint-plastic-playground-equipment-fully-restore/

M. (2021e, October 4). How to Make Playground Slides Faster or Slower – Easy Fix | Playground Resource. Playgroundresource.Com. Retrieved October 18, 2021, from https://playgroundresource.com/how-to-make-playground-slides-faster-or-slower-easy-fix

K. (2021b, October 8). Can You Paint a Playset Slide? | Safe Playset Paint Guide – Best Playground Sets. Best Playground Sets.Com. Retrieved October 18, 2021, from https://bestplaygroundsets.com/paint-playsets/

5 thoughts on “Painting Playset Slides: Comprehensive Guide”

  1. I have always preferred plastic slides over metal slides. Metals slides are too hot, especially on a sunny day and you end up getting burnt. But this is an interesting topic that you have chosen. I know a lot of moms will find it interesting as this is something they would want in their backyard. Thank you for this. 

    Reply
  2. Wow, this takes me back to my childhood days when both my brother sisters, and I spend so much time outdoors playing with our swingset along with our friends. There is so much that can go on outdoors that is filled with fun and excitement. The painting of the sliding board can be so much fun as you experiment with various colors. Thanks so much for sharing this post and helping to bring back my childhood memories.

    Reply
    • That’s awesome. Those were the days we played no troubles on the slide. Yes, this could be exciting for this task or project. If you get, the kids involved in the upkeep of the playground equipment will genuinely make it a particular time.  

      Reply

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