Introduction: Restoration: How to Bring a Cedar Swing Set Back to Life

Check out the video for a quick overview!

Step 1: Taking It Apart

  • I bought this swing set on craigslist for $500. I considered it a steal since it was made of cedar and only about 5 years old. These types of swing set can cost $2,750. (he still have the original receipt.)
  • It is really important to take all the plastic peaces off when refinishing a swing set. It helps keep a professional look. Also makes for a lot less clean up.

Step 2: Sanding, Lots of Sanding!

  • I found that using a low grit sand paper like 80 was much more efficient that using a paint scraper. I was far to cheap to use a chemical paint stripper, plus I did a lot of this outside, on grass.
  • I moved to a higher grit on things there would be touched a lot, for the roof I didn't bother.
  • Make sure you whip down everything before staining it.

Step 3: Stain

  • I used the middle of the road stuff from home depot. The can says that it will last up to 3 years (I doubt that).
  • It says to use 2 light coats, I used 2 heavy coats on the entire thing. With the summer sun and heat it dried quickly.
  • It took almost 2 full cans.

Step 4: Spraying Painting the Plastic

  1. I used a paint color called Meadow Green. It might as well be called "Swing Set Green". It went perfect with the brown from the stain.
  2. I roughed everything up with sand paper. Mostly to remove the stain the previous own left when he didn't remove the parts before staining.
  3. It is really important that you remove or tape the separate parts, this avoids more work later. It also gives your a professional look.
  4. I sanding down the first coat with steal wool, it removes a lot of the bumps and allows for a great second coat.

Step 5: Fixing the Sticky Plastic Chain

  • I searched the internet and could not find a decent way to fix a sticky plastic swing set chain. So here is what I came up with.
  • First I tried Rubbing Alcohol, Goo-gone, Gas, Paint Thinner, WD-40, Nothing worked.
  • Then I found 1" heat shrinkable tubing on amazon. I use much smaller versions of this in electronics work. This stuff worked great and it was relatively cheap.
  • I cut it just enough to cover the plastic.
  • I used a propane torch. I would have used a heat gun but I don't have one. I shrunk right around the chain.
  • It was surprisingly bendable.

Step 6: Putting It Back Together

Put everything back together and ENJOY!

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Bio: As a young lad Tom spent most of his days at the heels of his father, working in their shop, also known as the basement ... More »
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