Add walls to your DIY playhouse with the second tutorial in the small wooden playhouse build.
Wow, this week has been busy. I really just want to get this playhouse totally done. Partially because I want the kids to have their place to play outside. Partially because I have lots of other projects I want to get done this summer.
But mostly because it’s getting hot and I want it done before it’s too hot to work! So this week I built the walls of our DIY playhouse and now it really looks like a playhouse!
The walls were a bit more time consuming than building the deck (more to paint), but super easy. I built them all on our driveway and painted them while they were flat.
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Then moved them one by one to the backyard (with the hubbies help) and installed them. We secured them together while installing them. And within minutes the kids had moved in and loaded all the shelves with fun things for their “clubhouse”.
The day we installed the walls, we had to get them in early because my husband had to go to work. As soon as the walls were there the kids were playing and having so much fun. So I decided to tackle the slide that morning too (I share the slide install in this post).
After getting the slide done, the kids were in heaven. They played in the backyard ALL DAY LONG!
Seriously, I gave them a picnic lunch, which they ate in the playhouse. Then at 4PM they came in asking for a snack, which they wanted to take out to the playhouse too. At 5PM I finally pulled them inside to clean up because we had someplace to go that night.
I love that they are having so much fun playhouse outside. All the hours of hard work are totally worth it because the kids are playing outside instead of asking for electronics. That is a win for sure!
And I’m already noticing they are burning more energy so they are less restless and the house stays cleaner!
The DIY playhouse it not done yet though. I have to keep reminding myself of that (because I definitely want to take a bit of a break).
This week my plan is to tackle the railing and climbing wall. Right now the kids are using a step stool to get up to the playhouse. We are not doing stairs because they will take up more space (that we do not have).
And since kids love climbing, I thought why not “kill two birds” at once.
This wall that does not have siding on it is going to be wood slats all the way up so the rock climbing handles can also be attached to them.
A 4′ climbing wall just seemed kinds small to me, and then they would have to pull their bodies up over the deck to get in. The climbing handles on the upper wall will make it easier for them to climb all the way to the doorway.
And then next week we will add the roof! Making the DIY playhouse work for all weather is important to me. If they want to play outside in the rain or snow, perfect! It will also serve to protect the playhouse from the elements which will help it last longer.
And don’t miss the rest of the posts in the series. Click the links below for the rest of the playhouse build.
THE DECK || THE RAILING || THE SLIDE & CLIMBING WALL || THE ROOF
Printable PDF Plans
Prefer to print the instructions?
Get the complete build plans (from all 5 posts) in one easy to follow PDF for only $18.99. The plans include:
- List of required tools
- Detailed supply list
- Easy to read cut list
- Step-by-step instructions
- Easy to follow 3D drawings of each step
Material and cut lists include the totals for the entire build, as well as a break down for each step. Makes it easy to buy all at once or purchase as you go.
Click the link below for everything you need to build your own playhouse and so you can get the kids outside playing for hours on end!
How to Build DIY Playhouse Walls
- Miter saw
- I used my miter saw to cut all the 2x4s for the walls, but you could also use a circular saw for this.
- Circular saw
- Jig saw
- Impact Driver
- Speed square
- Measuring tape
- Optional: Kreg Jig
- Optional: FinishMax Paint Sprayer
- Wood (I used regular lumber, if you paint/seal it for the outdoors it will last for years)
- (12) 2×4 8′ boards
- (2) 4×4 8′ boards
- (2) 1lb box 3″ gold construction screws
- (2) sheets of 4′ x 8′ outdoor siding panels
- (1) box 1 1/2″ gold screws
- (6) decking screws left over from deck build
- (8) 2 1/2″ TimberLOK wood screws
- (4) 4″ TimberLOK wood screws
- Exterior paint
- I used Ultra White by Behr for the inside and Aqua Rapids by Behr for the outside (left over from these kid’s chairs I made).
Start by assembling the walls as shown in the diagrams below. I used 2 gold screws on each end of each 2×4.
Drill pilot holes for the screws to prevent splitting and make your life much easier. I was able to build all 3 walls by myself in 2 hours.
For the back wall, I used the Kreg Jig to easily attach the upper center stud (it will help hold up the roof rafters) since it was directly over the center stud. You could also do this by just carefully drilling in screws at an angle, but I LOVE my Kreg Jig and so I use it whenever possible.
Also, on the back wall we chose to add sideways studs to use as shelves like we saw in this amazing handmade hideaway from The Handmade Home.
Once all the walls were built, we sanded things down nicely before adding the siding. It would be way harder to sand the inside of the walls if the siding is attached.
Now it’s time for the siding. This part was easier with 2 people because the 4×8 siding was awkward to move by myself. Also the walls got a little heavy with the siding attached. I could move them myself, but it was definitely better with two.
It took us about 2 1/2 hours to sand and install the siding with 2 people.
We started on the back wall, cut 1 piece of siding to 4′ x 63 1/2″. Then installed it so there was 3 1/2″ overhang on the one side (the width of the other wall that would be attached next to it).
We secured it with 1 1/2″ gold screws. For the second piece of siding, I measured 63 1/2″ up and then the remainder of the width needed (don’t forget about the 3 1/2″ overhang). Attach it overlapping the tongue and groove of the siding panel.
Then I drew a line from the top of the peak to the edge of the outside of the wall and cut the line with a jig saw.
I filled in the back of the screws with paintable, waterproof caulk. I also caulked the inside seam of the siding because it was really noticeable.
For the window wall, I used the L piece of siding that was left over from the back wall. This would make 2 smaller seams in the siding instead of one larger one. After putting the first piece of siding on, I cut out the window with a jig saw. Then attached the second piece in the corner and finished cutting the window.
I again caulked the screw holes and seams. It helped to hide these two small seams. Now time for paint!
I used my paint sprayer to spray 2 nice coats of white exterior paint on the inside of the walls. The paint sprayer is better for painting in the summer heat because it doesn’t leave streaks and brush marks. It’s also super fast for painting around all those corners and edges.
For the side walls, I also made sure to paint all around the front posts. And for the climbing wall, I painted both sides to keep it protected until the wall slats are installed (hopefully really soon).
After the white was dry, I painted the siding. I used a high nap roller and paint brush to get in all the grooves and texture. It was really quick and easy to get it painted.
It took me about 3 hours to paint all the walls by myself. Actually, the kids ended up helping me paint the turquoise on the back because they really wanted to help. But that probably ended up taking longer than it would have if I did it by myself.
The hardest part of the whole process was waiting until the paint dried and my husband had an hour to help me carry the walls and install them. I am not a very patient person when I get super excited. But I managed to keep myself busy until the next day.
Installing the walls was super quick and easy, it took the 2 of us about 30 minutes. Lifting them on the deck would have been easier with 3 people, but we managed. The back wall was secured 1 1/2″ away from the back of the deck and centered between the sides. We used (4) 2 1/2″ TimberLOK screws to secure it to the deck.
Then we lined up the side walls, making sure they were straight on the deck. Using some left over decking screws, we secured the back wall to the outside wall. Then using the 2 1/2″ TimerLOK screws we secured the wall to the deck.
For the front 4×4 posts, I secured them to the deck with (2) 4″ TimberLOK screws up through the bottom of the deck. The posts sit directly on top of each other, so I had to drive them in at a slight angle. But they are super secure now!
Now the walls are secure and ready for playtime! And it’s really looking like a playhouse.
And now for the $$$. Here is what we have spent so far:
- The deck = $196.96
- Slide = $99.99
- Rock climbing handles = $20.00
- (12) 2×4 8′ boards = $37.92
- (2) 4×4 8′ boards = $19.70
- (2) 1lb box 3″ gold construction screws = $7.94
- (2) sheets of 4×8 outdoor siding panels = $65.96
- (1) box 1 1/2″ gold screws = $6.97
- (6) decking screws (left over from deck build)
- (8) 2 1/2″ TimberLOK wood screws = $9.12
- (4) 4″ TimberLOK wood screws = $5.12
- (1) gallon exterior paint = $36.98
Total for Walls: $189.71
Total so far: $506.66
But there is no rest for this momma. Not yet! A couple more weeks of work and then we can just sit back and enjoy our summer!
Sunday 3rd of January 2021
Hi Kati! This is great. Question - what kind of siding did you use? Is it LP Smartside? If so, how do you think the backside will hold up being exposed to the elements? I know your house hasn't been up long... but I would love to know how many years you expect to get... I just used LP Smartside on our own playhouse (inspired by yours, which is adorable) and I'm wondering if I made a mistake with the siding since the windows and door are open.... Thanks!
Tuesday 19th of January 2021
I wish I could tell you exactly what siding I used, but I didn't write it down. I made sure to paint it well with an outdoor paint, inside and out (the inside is all painted white with outdoor paint) and it is holding up well after 3 1/2 years. If it starts showing signs of wear, touch up the paint. Outdoor paint usually needs it every so often anyway because the elements can be so harsh.
Tuesday 9th of June 2020
For the back wall, are the "shelves" structural or could I change the design and still be sturdy? I was thinking of reserving one section for a zig zag ball or car track?
Monday 22nd of June 2020
No the shelves are not structural, they are just handy for my kids to collect "stuff" ;)
Friday 15th of May 2020
The deck is 7’ but you gave it 1/4” between 2x6 boards. Was it more thank 7 then or did you take the 1/4s into account resulting in final product exactly 7?
Also, when adding framing wall (2x4) , the sides Ones how far are they (2x4, not the siding) from the decks edge?
Monday 22nd of June 2020
The boards run along the 5' long side not the 7', The 1/4 inch is included in the measurement and it lined up pretty well for me. The walls set in from the edge 1 1/2".
Friday 10th of January 2020
Did you use flat, satin, or semi-gloss finish for the exterior paint? Were both the same or was the white a different finish than the aqua rapids? Thanks!
Tuesday 4th of February 2020
I didn't write that down, but it was either semi-gloss or satin. I usually use semi-gloss in high-traffic areas because it holds up better and cleans off easier. They were all the same sheen.
Tuesday 2nd of July 2019
Hello! I’m having issues finding the roof tutorial!
Monday 15th of July 2019
Sorry about that. You can find it here: Our DIY Playhouse: The Roof.