play kitchen facelift (the after)


I set out on a journey to create a play kitchen for our youngest. The before was not exactly a pretty sight. With a bit of planning, supplies, shopping and whole lot of help from my talented husband, I was able to spend a mere $75 on a $12.52 Goodwill find. The result is nothing short of spectacular (at lease we think so). We were able to turn a blah KidKraft play kitchen into a gourmet kitchen fit for the likes of any Master Chef. Our Master Chef.

The DIY elements of this makeover were pretty simple. The bones of the kitchen were in good shape and I knew that since it was MDF construction that it could be repainted easily. After wiping down the kitchen with some degreaser (I used TSP), we then dismantled the kitchen, taking pictures along the way so we would remember how to put it back together.  Unfortunately, the countertop had to be remade with a new piece of MDF as the old one had water damage but this allowed us to give it the facelift it really deserved. I am all for reworking and reusing previously loved toys.

Since there was a lot of pastel pink, the guy at Home Depot suggested we spray prime first so that the colour would not come through. Once we did that and let it dry, we could then paint it. I bought a comfort grip paint sprayer and it was the best investment to make spraying easier. I also learned that I am terrible at spray painting! So my husband took over this part and made it look like a piece of cake. The only pieces we did not paint were the buttons for the microwave and the decal on the fridge for the water dispenser.

When all was dry, my husband reassembled the kitchen and added the backsplash tiles that were a great find at Home Depot for $1.50 a sheet. We removed the backing mesh and then stuck them on one by one with some “No More Nails” adhesive.  The cooktop, burners, rail and hooks were from IKEA. We are thrilled with how it all came together.

We happen to have had some wooden salad bowls we got from a garage sale and I picked up some plastic play food. The kitchen utensils on the rail were $5 from IKEA, along with the plant and pots on the shelf beside the microwave.


So what did I learn from doing this project?

  • Make sure you can fit your treasure in your car before you buy it. I bought the kitchen from Goodwill while I was alone with my little guy in his stroller only to find that it would not fit in the trunk. So I had to enlist my husband to help me go back to the store and strap it to the roof.
  • Better to buy more spray paint than you need and return the unopened ones than to run out in the middle of the project.
  • Empty single serving yogurt cups make a great tool to raise the pieces that need to be sprayed. (Do not attempt to flip them to spray the other side unless you are 100% sure the top side is dry – I learned this the hard way).
  • Need to save money? Borrowing helps. We did not have a tile cutter and that would have made the project more expensive if we had to buy one.
  • Ask for help. I knew I could not cut tiles or replace the water damaged counter by myself so I enlisted my husband. This project also reaffirmed my love for working on projects together as a team. Thanks love.
  • It is true, we do live through our children. Did our King need a play kitchen? Not really. I got many a comment from friends and family that I was really doing this kitchen for me. In part, yes. I never had a play kitchen as a kid. Now I do. I’m still a kid. Sometimes.

6 Replies to “play kitchen facelift (the after)”

  1. Thanks. The faucet came as part of the play kitchen by KidKraft. We dismantled it to paint it but it really is only 2 wooden knobs on a wooden base that was drilled out in three spots to add the knobs and faucet. There are washers on the bottom underneath so that even though they are screwed to the base, they can still move around. We sprayed it metallic silver and then happened to have some clear acrylic spray that we added over top. Did not want the metallic paint to rub off on little fingers :) It has held up well so far. Good luck on your project!


  2. Thank you. The faucet came with the kitchen and is wooden. We simply spray painted it with some silver metallic paint we had on hand and then gave it a coat of clear gloss spray. It has held up very well. We thought about putting a real faucet in but ended up liking how the wooden one turned out.


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