How To Paint A Crib

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It was with a heavy heart that a couple of months ago, I removed my daughter’s side rail from her crib.

My wife and I had noticed that Mia was trying more and more to climb out of the crib, to the point where it was a bit dangerous to actually keep the side rail.

So her crib is now officially a toddler bed, and we’re into Stage 2..

My little girl is growing up.


How to paint a crib so you can get a beautiful result...every time.

However it got me thinking that we may wish to redecorate her room in the future and this might mean we need to paint her crib to match any change of interior.

We bought a convertible crib for Mia and it should last for quite a few more years, so it certainly makes sense to change the look of it, rather than replace it with another bed with a different colour and design.

For this blog post, I would like at the process of how to paint a crib, and what are the important factors to consider.

Is it safe to paint a crib?

Firstly, consider WHEN you wish to do the painting.

The recommended advice is that babies should sleep in the same room as their parents for the first 6 months, and this will be in moses basket, bassinet, or co-sleeping with mum and dad.

However, if you plan on moving your baby to their room after this period, painting a crib is probably one of the last things you want to do when you and your partner will be sleep deprived and paint fumes will be all around the house.

Therefore the most obvious time is to do it BEFORE the birth of your baby.

Pregnant women are advised not to decorate a nursery before the birth of the baby, because they can breathe in fumes, dust etc which could be harmful to an unborn child.

However, doing a bit of painting should be ok, providing you wait until just after the 1st trimester.

Secondly, think carefully about WHAT paint you’re planning on using.

The paint you choose should be lead free with no added silica.

To be honest, most paint should be ok, particularly water based ones, and even some oil ones are becoming safer to use these days.

Just check the label and if you have any doubts, get the advice of a professional

Also, look for paint which has low VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compound).

VOC’s are essentially chemicals that are released as gas into the environment. Under 50g per litre is considered safe. If even this concerns you, you can find paint which contain no VOC’s

With paint, most VOC’s are released into the atmosphere when the paint is wet and you can smell the fumes. Then as it dries it falls dramatically to a point where it can barely be measured at all.

How To Paint A Crib – The Process

1) Sand it down

If your crib hasn’t been painted before, give it a good sand down with some sand paper.

And even if it has been painted before, you may want to do this in order to remove any paint drips from an earlier paint job.

2) Wipe down

Next, give the crib a good wipe down with a dry cloth to remove any dust or bits of dirt.

3) Use a primer

You will need to use a primer if the crib hasn’t been painted before. This will make it easier for the paint to adhere to the wood.

If it’s already been painted then you can probably skip this step.

Let the primer dry.

4) Sand it down and wipe..again

Yes, it’s probably best to do this process again.

Use a softer piece of sand paper this time. It will help the paint stick to the primer a bit better, and wiping it down afterwards will keep the surface clean ready for painting.

5) Paint

At last, you’re ready to paint!

Brush in the direction of the wood so it has a nice finish. Don’t worry about applying too much paint here. It’ll need a second coat anyway.

Try and avoid any drips if you can, by moving over them with the brush.

Let the paint dry completely

After this, if you see any drips, sand them down gently and wipe with a cloth

Paint the second coat.

Hurrah! One newly painted crib for one.

I hope your baby appreciates your efforts…

If you’re planning on painting a crib at a later date, and you’re still in the purchase of buying one, check out this detailed guide on all the types of cribs, and the pros and cons of each.

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Author: Dad Racket

Graham runs the place around here. He likes making a "little noise" about all things to do with tennis and parenting. Check out his about page to learn more.

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