A Repurposed Vintage Play Area~ Details, Tips, Tricks, Paint Colors

I had so much fun collecting all of the pieces for this little vintage play area for Ella. I thought I would share each of the before and after pictures with you, as well as my tips, resources, color choices, etc. 
I picked up the big wood piece at the local ReStore. I am not sure what it was. Maybe it was some kind of cabinet door or something? It is so huge that I am not sure. Anyhow, I painted the trim with my favorite creamy white chalk paint {recipe and color code here} and then painted the inside piece with chalkboard paint. To see my tips for homemade chalkboards, click {here}.
Chalkboard before and after: 
This little play kitchenette was something I picked up at the thrift store. I removed the pot rack and the hooks because I knew I wanted to hang the peg board above. After Granny passed away last year {here}, I pulled the peg board out of her garage to keep and use for Ella’s play space. All I did was freshen up the painted part a bit. I liked the wood of the pegs, so I just left it as is.
Here are the before and after pictures for the little kitchenette:
The kitchenette is laminate, so I primed it with a Rustoleum plastic primer spray paint. Then, I used 2 coats of my new favorite red spray paint (after I taped off the things I didn’t want to be red)~ Satin Red Heritage Spray from Rustoleum. I got it at Lowes. Love, Love, Love the color! And I am super picky about my reds! {Tip: I always use the comfort grip spray paint tool by Rustoleum~ also available at Lowes. It makes your spray paint have the most even coverage}
Here it is in the store if you are looking for it… 
and here is another shot of the finished piece:
This table was also another thrift store find. It had been well loved by its previous owner, and although sturdy, it was covered in paint and crayon marks. I decided to freshen it up a bit. First, I sanded the top of it down with a rough 32 grit sandpaper, followed by a finer 120 grit sandpaper. Then I rubbed the top of it with the Walnut stain by Minwax, and two coats of Jacobean (LOVE this color!!) stain by Minwax. I picked up both of the stains at the Home Depot. I wish I had gotten a shot of it without the table runner because the whole top is just so gorgeous and vintage looking.
I painted the base with the chalk paint and covered the whole thing with a coat of minwax wax. I love the patina it ended up with! I sprayed the chairs with my favorite creamy white spray paint that almost perfectly matches my chalk paint. It is called Heirloom white by Rustoleum and I have only found it available at Home Depot. 
I spiffed up the whole area with these vintage red striped linen towels I purchased off of ebay. I think I may need to find more of them because they are just so pretty. I have a project I will be sharing soon using these gorgeous towels.
The hutch was, yet again, another thrift store find. I forgot to take a before picture until I had already started painting it, so I ended up getting one midway through the first coat. You get the idea. It was a bright blue and I covered it with 3 coats of my chalk paint. 
Here is the before and after: 
I filled it with my vintage red enamelware collection. I have been collecting this enamelware for about 10 years now. I just put the smaller pieces in here for my little sweetie pie to play with. 
Here is another before picture (cell phone pic) of all of the pieces: 
and the after: 
I got the light fixture recently at a thrift store, and cut off all of the dangerous parts, then used a ribbon and a screw to attach it to the ceiling. 
Of course Ella needed a cradle for her babies. She loves to put her babies and her Minnie Mouse in there to go “naw-night.” It was already this color when I bought it at a thrift store, so I just freshened it up with my chalk paint. The adorable handmade vintage baby quilt was a gift from my mom, her “nonna,” and she uses it to snuggle her babies.   
I added several of these hand-embroidered touches into her play area. First, here with her dolly quilt. Then also with this sweet pillow I found at a thrift store. It was the perfect size to fit in her little vintage wicker rocking chair that I also found at a thrift store. {I am starting to sound like a broken record… :) Lets just say I am a veeeeeeeery lucky thrifter… knock on wood}
I also added these hand stitched napkins to her table. Yes, from a thrift store. 
When I found this ironing board at a thrift store, it was already this color and in really great condition. I just cleaned it up, sanitized it, and it was perfect. 
After everything was painted, it was so fun to put it all together. Ella loves to play up here in her little area. And, I will be honest, I like to play in here too. :)
Adding wood planks to these walls is still on my to-do list, and I think it will just be the perfect touch to this area!
To see the rest of this Family/Bonus/Playroom redecorating, tutorials, and furniture transformations click {here}.


  1. says

    Everything you do is so beautiful! You’re my decorating inspiration. I love how you break things down to make them seem so doable, rather than impossible!

  2. says

    oh the fun and spoiling of the first child is sooo much fun, especially little girls. I love every little detail you chose, right down to the red apples and the string in the basket oh my! Kristen you are a wonderful mother that is going to have a lifetime of fun ideas to keep the memories going on an on.Blessings to you and Ella on new adventures in her little girls house.


  3. says

    How very cute and sweet is that!?! You have done such a great job of making it wonderful for your sweet little girl. You are a really good Mom! xo Diana

  4. says

    I am so absolutely in LOVE with this play area! I saved every single picture as inspiration, in hopes of being able to do the same for my future daughter!! Thank you so much for brightening my day with inspiration and adding to my thrift store list :)

  5. says

    Fabulous kitchen set up for your cutie pie! Reminds me of the set up my mother made for my much younger baby sister from hand me downs from my sister and I and various cousins. She painted them all white and red as well. My sister used this set for several years before passing it on to a younger family member. Thank you for sharing this…I can’t wait for my sister to read this post. It is sure to bring back great memories.

  6. says

    Oh Kristen! I LOVE this! I’m so inspired by you! I need to start collecting stuff now for my little miss. You have such great ideas!!! Love how it all turned out!

  7. says

    This is the sweetest little kitchen play area I have ever seen! I would never have thought to make the whole area vintagey. I love this farmhouse/cottage style for my home and have always had a hard time fitting in the kids play stuff. I recently DIY’d them a play set and it definitely reads more modern and sleek-though the kitchen color is a sea cottage blue. You have given me more ideas to help it fit into our decor now! I just love when mothers prove kids toys can be asthetically pleasing!!

  8. says

    This is just so cute! I love the punches of red! Way nicer than MY kitchen! :) I’ll be featuring this on my blog tomorrow. Thanks so much for coming out to the party at Clean and Scentsible! Hope you are having a great weekend!

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