Revitalize Vintage Playhouse Toys

Playhouse toys can be for a small dollhouse or for a playhouse in the backyard. If you have vintage playhouse toys, it's likely they are a little dilapidated and worn. It's possible to safely repair a lot of these toys with a little bit of care and know-how.


Do a little research on the toys you have before trying to restore or alter them. A lot of collectors want to have these in the condition they are in, rather than altered in any way. If you are planning on re-selling your playhouse toys, check the re-sell market for what people are looking for. If you have a valuable piece, it is recommended that you get the toy repaired by a professional.

Wooden Toys

Vintage wooden toys have a distinct look to them. They look worn and faded. To some, that look is prized, and in most playhouse models will not be altered. If there is an area that needs to be repaired, then choose a bit of the same tone of paint and lighten it with white paint and water. Apply it like a whitewash and practice with the tone first on a scrap piece of wood. Wiping excess with a dry rag is also a good technique.

Plastic Toys

There are a few vintage playhouse toys that may be made of plastic and have scuff marks or dirty edges. Use a slightly damp “magic eraser” to rub the scuff away. Do not use acetone products on plastic, because it will remove the finish. Alcohol and a cotton ball also does a good job in cleaning plastic. Use a cotton swab to get into smaller areas and crevices.

Metal Toys

Baking soda and lemon juice creates a non-toxic, all natural metal cleaner for copper and brass. Mix these two together until they are the same consistency as toothpaste. Gently wipe this paste onto a soft towel against your copper or brass.

To clean silver, get a non-gel type of toothpaste. With a soft bristle toothbrush, scrub your silver. Once you've established some suds, sprinkle some baking soda onto it. The silver will then need to be soaked in salted water inside of an aluminum container. Once the silver has soaked, rinse it with tap water. Dry thoroughly to keep from rusting or oxidizing.

Poly Hair

It is easy to revitalize a vintage doll's bad hair. Use regular soapy water and wash the hair thoroughly. Use conditioner to soften and untangle. You still may need to add a detangling product, then comb through. Don't apply heat, but use your fingers and a brush to reset the original hair style.

There are many ways to revitalize your vintage playhouse toys, either for use today or to preserve for reminiscing and collection. By taking the proper steps of evaluating your collection, researching and properly restoring each piece, you will have a collection that is in good repair and sought after. Remember that some repairs should not be attempted by someone who is not skilled in antique or vintage repair.