If you’ve been following along, you know that we’re turning a corner of our yard into a play area for Miss O. The last piece we added this year, in addition to the sandbox and the pool, is a set of climbing tires.
I got the tires for free online. There are always people around who want to get rid of tires – I posted my request on a local moms tag sale group, but you could use Freecycle or Craigslist, etc. The guy actually had more than this and I considered taking more, but I’m trying not to take in items that I don’t have a purpose for (plus they wouldn’t fit in my car), so I left them behind.
They were pretty dirty when I got them, then they sat in the woods for 6 months so they were pretty filthy. It’s perfectly fine to use the tires as is, but I’m a fan of pretty colors so I decided to paint them, so they have to be clean. I used a cap full of cleaner in a bucket of water with a long handled brush and scrubbed until the caked on junk was gone, then rinsed.
I let them sit out in the sun to dry out, flipping them over occasionally. Mr. O thought I was nuts because when I flipped them I dropped them so the water caught inside splattered everywhere. I actually did that on purpose to get as much of the water out as possible.
I sprayed about 2/3 of the tire – no sense in wasting paint on something that’s going to be buried. They needed 2 coats, though the yellow could have used more. Once they dried I dug 4 holes about half the depth of the tires – not as easy as it sounds here in rocky Connecticut – stuck them in, back-filled the dirt, and pressed it down.
So far, so good! Even Ferris Bueller likes them. 🙂 The area around the tires will be filled in with mulch eventually to give a softer landing and more consistent look to the area.
I would do things differently if I could go back. First, I didn’t realize until I went to clean the tires that one was significantly larger than the others. Since I chose from a pile of tires I could have been more particular…
I also learned the hard way that all painting should be done at the same time. I didn’t buy enough paint (I ended up needing 2 cans of blue, 3 of yellow) so I had to spread the painting over 2 days, which means I needed to clean the tires again since it rained. No big deal, but it was time I didn’t have to spend.
Still. Not to shabby! Miss loves to climb on them and they’re a neat addition to our little play area.