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Revive an old children’s toy with a playful rainbow design

29 Jul 2020

Breathe new life into an old children’s toy with a fun new look using colourful Resene testpots.

You will need:


When Sarah found this old doll bed at her local Salvation Army store, it was not in great condition. It had a few screws loose and looked really old and dirty with watermarks on the base.  It’s always a shame to see wooden toys end up on the scrapheap, so Sarah decided to give it a new lease of life with a bright and happy paint job.

Step 1 First, tighten the loose screws and give it a really good clean. Give it a light sanding, then wipe it down with a damp cloth to remove any dust and prepare it for painting.

Step 2 Apply a full coat of Resene Quick Dry primer undercoat using a testpot brush and allow it to dry completely.

Step 3 Apply two coats of your chosen colour – Sarah used Resene Spray – to the whole bed using a testpot brush. Allow each coat to dry completely before applying the next. To speed up the drying process, you can use a hair dryer on a low heat setting.

Step 4 Decide which colours you would like to use for your rainbow. Sarah chose six colours: Resene Gelato, Resene Big Bang, Resene Golden Glow, Resene Retro, Resene Escapade and Resene Bunting.

Step 5 Mark out the shapes of your rainbow in pencil, then carefully hand paint each stripe using a small artist’s brush. Allow your first coat to completely dry and then apply a second coat.

It’s fun to paint freehand and you get a fantastic, imperfect result. Sarah even continued her rainbow threads onto the bedhead and foot too, so that even when blankets go on, you can see the paint effect.

Top tip: If you need to take more time to paint your design and you find the paint is drying a little too fast, use Resene Hot Weather Additive to help slow down the dry time.

Give an old toy new life with a fresh coat of paint and a fun, bright design. This doll’s bed is painted with a base of Resene Spray, the rainbow colours are painted in Resene Gelato, Resene Big Bang, Resene Golden Glow, Resene Retro, Resene Escapade and Resene Bunting.

project and styling Sarah Herring