How to Stain a Rainbow Playset

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Things You'll Need

  • Power washer

  • Drop cloth or blankets

  • Screwdriver or socket set (possible if removing plastic parts of the play set)

  • Rubber gloves

  • Paint stripper

  • Large paintbrush

  • Towels

  • 100-grit sandpaper

  • Exterior wood stain with water seal

  • Paint thinner


Power washers can be rented from most home improvement stores.

Use the paint stripper in small sections (no larger than 6 feet) so you can clean off the stripper and old stain before the stripper evaporates.

All Rainbow play sets come stained with a 10-step water-seal process. This process will protect the equipment for a long time; however, it can not protect it forever. Over time the wood will need to be restained and sealed for further protection from the elements. Rainbow play sets do not come with the ability to choose the color of stain used on the wood. Restaining the wood to a desired color will require the same process as applying new stain to an older unit.

Step 1

Clean the rainbow play set with a power washer. Remove any bird feces, dirt, mud and other debris from the unit. Allow the wood to dry completely.

Step 2

Cover any plastic parts of the play set with a drop cloth or old blanket. Any slides, tubes, and swings will need to be covered or removed with a screwdriver or socket set.

Step 3

Put on a pair of rubber gloves.

Step 4

Apply a generous layer of paint stripper onto the wood with a paintbrush. Allow the paint stripper to rest on the wood for a few minutes before removing it. If you are restaining a new unit, allow the stripper to rest on the wood for five minutes before removing it.

Step 5

Wipe off the stripper with old towels. Scrub the stripper in areas where the stain is not coming off. Repeat as needed. Rinse off the play set again with the power washer or with a garden hose. Allow the set to dry completely.

Step 6

Sand the surface of the wood using 100-grit sandpaper to remove any remaining stain. Follow the grain of the wood when sanding. Brush off the sandpaper dust with a towel or broom.

Step 7

Apply the stain with a paintbrush beginning at the highest point of the unit. Continue applying the stain, working your way down the unit. This will prevent drops of stain from landing on completed areas. Work the brush back and forth into the stain and onto the exposed clean wood. This will blend the stain into the wood, and prevent darker and lighter areas of stain. Allow the stain to dry completely.

Step 8

Apply a second coat of stain to the surface of the unit. Allow the second coat of stain to dry completely.

Step 9

Clean the paintbrush with paint thinner.


Meg Warren

Meg Warren began writing how-to articles professionally in 2009. Born and raised in St. Louis, Miss., Warren has always been a creative person through art, writing and music. She is currently pursuing an associate degree at Patricia Stevens College for interior design.