I’m in phase III now of a treehouse makeover for the girls; I’ll show you phase I and II in another post, but today I wanted to show you our tire project from Hubby’s old snow tires.
This idea stemmed from an image I’d seen from ItsyBits&Pieces:
Isn’t this perfect for a teen/tween hangout?
Unfortunately we don’t have the room for this many tire seats, and the backing – while adorable – is also a bit of a real-estate waste in our fort – so I went with a single-seat tire project.
Ever wonder how to paint tires? It’s actually quite easy, but you can’t skip the primer.
CAN NOT. DO NOT.
Spray paint is fantastic, but you need a really sticky base for it to adhere to, particularly because these tire seats will compress and expand as people sit on them. You NEED primer.
Let’s go back a step – first step in our tire project is to drill a few drainage holes in what will become the bottom of your tire project. Drill them at the highest point as that will become the lowest point when the tire is flipped over (and where any water will accumulate).
Next you’ll want to wash off dirt, dust, grease, tar – all those fun things that accumulate on a tire. A hose and some and water should do the trick, but I chose to use my favourite go-to Rust-Oleum® Canada KRUD KUTTER®. I sprayed the tire down, let it soak for a few minutes and then used a scrub brush and the hose to clean off all the gunk that was released.
Now for the primer – it’s not a gratifying step, trust me, I understand – but you really and truly need a good primer if you want the paint job on your tire project to last more than a week. I used a paint brush and did my best to get into all the nooks and crannies with my Zinsser® Bulls Eye 1-2-3® indoor/outdoor primer.
I purposely left the bottom of the tire alone since it will be sitting on the ground or on the floor of the treehouse and won’t be visible.
Once my primer was completely dry, even in the nooks and crannies, I did two thin coats of Rust-Oleum® Canada’s Painter’s Touch® Ultra Cover paint in sun yellow.
Two coats on this tire seat took a can-and-a-third of the spray paint and look at how bright and cheerful it is!
To create the seat portion of our tire seat, you’ll need 3/4″ plywood or – what I used – scrap pressure-treated fence boards. If you use plywood, remember to drill holes in it here and there so that water can drain out. If you use scrap wood, leave a small gap between each board for drainage.
The 2×6 boards holding my tire seat together were scrap pieces also, and were attached using 2″ deck screws. You’ll notice that the 2×6’s are smaller than the seat part – this is so that the top of the seat (the flat part) will lie almost-flush with the top of the tire – the braces will be tucked inside. (you’ll see in a later step)
I may have gone a tad bit overkill on our tire project in that I layered two pieces of 2″ foam to create the padded seat.
You don’t really need a 4″ cushion on your seat – but it sure does feel comfy.
I picked up some fabric that would go with our treehouse set and set it beneath the foam and seat base with enough excess on each side to allow me to pull the fabric up over the base and staple into place. I purchased 1 metre (about 1 yard) of outdoor fabric and I had more than enough.
Start by pulling up opposite sides – 12:00 and 6:00, then move to 3:00 and 9:00 and staple in place.
Then pull up the edges to split the difference between these – so 1:30 and 7:30, then 10:30 and 5:30. Continue until all the fabric is stapled taught. I’m sure there’s a way to upholster a round object without getting pleats, but since this is an old tire that is going outside – I felt secure that a professional upholstery job would only go unnoticed.
Tuck your seat into the tire rim and you’re done!
Yes, 4″ of foam is a tad ‘puffy’.
It almost looks like bubble wrap, or that temperature popper that comes out of a turkey.
It also looks kinda comfy.
I know, I know – Miss Maddie is on the iPad (again/always), but at least now she’s on it while getting some fresh air.
The seat from our tire project is removable and precious treasures can be tucked inside and hidden away.
I also added a coating of Rust-Oleum’s Never Wet® protector spray to the fabric section to keep water out. I’ve used it on all of my patio furniture and it’s amazing at keeping your cushions dry so you don’t have to wait for them to dry out after a rain.
Easy, fun and a great way to prolong the life of your treehouse/playhouse by “tweening it up”.
What I used:
Have a great one!