How to Choose and Use Paint for Baby Crib?

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Your baby’s crib is a major focal point in their nursery, and many new parents choose to paint older cribs to make them look brand new.

You may also want to paint a new crib to make it match the nursery.

Knowing how to pick and apply the right paint for baby crib helps you feel confident with getting started on your nursery project.

Is It Safe to Paint a Baby Crib?

Painting a baby crib is safe and fun to do.

However, you need to be aware of a few basic safety precautions.

For instance, older cribs that were painted before 1978 may have been coated with paint that contains lead.

This paint must be removed completely since painting over it could cause your baby to be exposed to lead.

Stripping lead paint is a project that is best left to a professional who knows how to minimize toxic dust.

You can, however, safely strip and paint newer cribs provided that you choose safe paint for baby crib that does not cause fumes or leave traces of chemicals behind that your little one might pick up on if they chew on the rails.

Can I Paint a Crib While Pregnant?

With today’s new low and no VOC paints, you can feel safe about painting your baby’s crib.

While you should not smell heavy fumes as you use these paints, you may still want to take additional safety precautions such as wearing a dust mask.

This is especially important if you need to sand the crib before you paint.

If you are further along in your pregnancy, then remember to take frequent breaks and to stay hydrated.

Painting is an enjoyable way to prepare for your baby, but it also involves expending a little energy.

What Is Involved With Painting a Baby Bed?

The process of painting a baby bed is relatively simple.

To start, you will need to decide if you want to strip the original paint off or use primer so that you can just add new coats over the old ones.

If you sand the crib, you may need to use hand sanding to get around delicate curves and spirals on the crib rails.

Once you have prepped the surface, you will then apply the paint for baby crib according to the recommended instructions.

This usually involves applying a coat and allowing for a little drying time before you paint on the next one.

In most cases, you only need two or three coats to give the crib a beautiful and long-lasting finish.

Keep in mind that you need to consider the scope of your project when you pick out paint.

If you are choosing to mix paint for your baby’s crib or prefer a rare color

then you need to purchase enough of it to complete your project to avoid differences in the color of the finish.

Should I Use a Stain or Paint for Baby Crib?

Staining a crib requires you to strip the original paint off to the bare wood.

Since the stain soaks into the wood grain, it gives the appearance of a more natural finish.

This technique is often used when someone prefers for the crib to have a wood look such as oak or pine.

Paint covers up the wood, and you may prefer to paint the crib instead of using a stain if you want your baby’s bed to be a non-wood color such as white or gray.

Painting is also the way to go if you are choosing a colorful paint for baby crib.

Staining the baby crib also requires you to do the additional step of adding a final coat of lacquer or varnish to hold the pigment in the wood.

This step is done in a similar manner as painting, but you will also need to make sure that the varnish you use is safe to put on a baby crib since this will be the coat that your baby is exposed to during their time in bed.

What Is Toxic Vs. Non-Toxic Paint?

Many types of paint contain toxic compounds that are designed to do things such as keep pests out of wood or to stand up to outdoor weather elements.

Since your baby’s crib will be safely kept inside of your home, you do not need to have paint that contains these chemicals.

Non-toxic paints do not contain lead, silica or chemicals such as benzene that could harm your baby or make you sick as you paint the crib.

While they lack dangerous chemicals, you can still expect for non-toxic paints to provide years of beautiful coverage for the crib.

What Is Non-VOC Paint?

Non-toxic paints are broken down even further into the categories of low and non-VOC paint.

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are chemicals that produce off-gases that are released into the environment.

If you’ve ever had a headache after smelling heavy fumes from paint, then you were probably exposed to a type that contains VOCs.

Although paint tends to lose its odor within a few hours to weeks, it can continue to release these dangerous gases for more than a year after you put it on a crib.

When you think about how much time your baby sleeps in the crib, it just makes sense that using a low or non-VOC paint type is the best choice for their safety.

A non-VOC paint is specially made to ensure that your baby is exposed to as few chemicals as possible.

You will also find that this type of paint is easier for you to use while you are pregnant since it tends to have a very low odor level.

What Other Ways Can I Make the Crib Paint Safe?

It is always best to buy quality paint for baby crib that is designed to withstand heavy use.

Over your baby’s first year of life, you can expect that they will use the sides of their crib to pull up to a standing position.

They may also smell and chew on the sides of the rails to satisfy their need for oral exploration.

Once you have painted the crib, you can further protect the finish by adding clear guards along the top rails to reduce the risk of damage from your baby’s teething behaviors.

As a general rule, it is best to choose safe, non-toxic paint with low VOCs for your baby’s crib.

Now that you understand the reasons why, you can start picking out paint colors that match your baby’s nursery theme.

Additional information:



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