Repaint a Kids Toy




About: I like to make things for the internets. I also sell a pretty cool calendar at You'll like it.

There are a fair amount of kids toys that outlast their owner's interest. Some will be passed on from kid to kid and still be ready for more. The only problem is that their looks can fade and be less appealing. With a fresh coat of paint, however, it's easy to breath new life into an old toy and prepare it for some new adventures.

The amount of time this project takes depends on how complicated the toy is and how fancy you want to get, but a straightforward paint job like this one only took about an hour. Here's how to do it.

This Instructable was brought to you by Krylon

Step 1: What You Need

  • Old kids toy
  • Hose
  • Plastic bags
  • Masking tape
  • Krylon Fusion spraypaint

Step 2: Hose It Down!

For the paint to stick to the surface, you want it to be nice and clean. So get out there with a hose and some soap and scrub it down. Then leave it out to dry.

Step 3: Masking Off

So now you want to cover up all the parts of the toy that you don't want painted. On this toy that meant the steering wheel, the front grill, the seat, and the wheels.

For the grill and the seat, I just covered them with masking tape. Take the time to get a clean covering around all the curvy bits. It's slow and a bit maddening, but you'll really appreciate it when you're done.

For the steering wheel and the wheels, I first covered them with plastic bags and then used masking tape to stick them to the toy and to have a clean line of where I wanted the paint to stop.

Step 4: Paint!

Classic spraypaint technique here: spray in sweeping motions with a little bit of overlap. Apply thin coats and let each one dry for a little bit before going over it again. Keep moving and be sure to hit the surface from multiple angles.

The paint dries to the touch in 15 minutes, but can only be handled after 1 hour. For it to be fully chip resistant, you'll need to wait a week.

Step 5: Enjoy Your "new" Toy

With a new paint job, this old toy is ready to rock. Give it to a kid to enjoy and let it enjoy its moment in the sun once again.



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    11 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction this a Krylon advertisement in disguise? Does spray painting something really qualify as an "instructable"?

    3 replies

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I think so. The first sentence on the About page of Instructables is "Instructables is a web-based documentation platform where passionate people ***share what they do and how they do it***, and learn from and collaborate with others." (asterisks added) I'm favoriting this for later on. We're expecting a tater tot later this year and this will come in handy as I'm cruising garage sales for sure. Thanks for showing off your stuff, Fungus Amungus.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Not trying to hate or anything, I was just thrown off by the fact that the "Tools" list shows "Krylon Fusion" spray paint, and the video has an ad for Krylon embedded in it. It may not be an overt advertisement, but it's clearly product placement. The last three inscrutables from this person involve applying a coat of Krylon spray paint to something, and all have Krylon ad embedded at the end of the video, and all conveniently have the Krylon logo on the can facing forward in every shot from every angle.

    There is nothing necessarily wrong with that, but if this is product placement or an overt ad a bit of honesty and disclosure could only make this instructable better. For example: "This instructable is sponsored by Krylon...blah blah blah"

    Sorry I probably should have elaborated in my original comment. This comment is intended to be constructive. Have a wonderful day!


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    it seems to be part of a "Krylon Projects" section, with the below description:

    "Spraypaint is essential to many DIY projects. That's why we teamed up with Krylon to show off some cool uses of spraypaint in a series of Instructables. Try them out!"

    currently 5 instructables by Fungus Amungus, including the 'new' (not sure) Bottle Jack-o-lanterns...

    i felt the same way, when i read "This Instructable was brought to you by Krylon"... so yeah, krylon ad all the way lol


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Did you really paint a radio flyer orange? Red all the way man!!!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Hey Great Job!!
    Spray paint is such an easy way to give new life to old toys. I've actually had problems where the neighborhood brats.....i mean have made fun of my kids toys when they look bad. a litte paint and some bling and they shut up.
    couple things I recommend. For better adhesion you should really wash the surface with soap and water. use a degreaser like Dawn dishwashing soap. I also recommend going over the surface lightly with sand paper or fine steel wool so you get better adhesion. sand off rough edges where the plastic has been scratched. those will be the first places where the paint will fail so eliminating rough edges will prevent that. hit it with a tack cloth or a hose to get off the dust. for your project the surface was so worn and faided that i'm sure you got great adhesion without any problems. this is more a problem when the plastic is still shiny. spray paint needs a mat surface to really stick.
    for something like this you can tie a rope to the steering wheel and hang it from a tree so that you can paint the bottom at the same time without having a paint seam.
    I find it easier to remove the wheels so you can get a nice even coverage.
    for a little added protection give it a few coats of clear. let the color coat dry at least overnight before applying the clear.
    make sure you use a high quality paint mask. don't get use a crappy dust mask. spend the $30 for a good respirator. spray paint is wonderful stuff but you dont' want it in your lungs.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Awesome video. And I have to say, that little toy trike looks like its DYING to make some little kid happy!

    fungus amungusjeff-o

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Yeah, it did. It's funny how the paint has changed people's perceptions of it. Before, people would wince on seeing it. Now they love it.

    fungus amungusJuCo

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks! I love the grill as well. This thing is also built like a tank and will likely outlive this paint job as well.