Can Chalk Paint Be Used on Baby Cribs

Can Chalk Paint Be Used on Baby Cribs?

Chalk paint is a type of paint that is made from a mixture of calcium carbonate, water, and color pigments. It was first created by Annie Sloan in 1990 and has become a popular choice for DIY furniture projects. Chalk paint has a matte finish and is known for its ability to adhere to almost any surface, making it an ideal choice for furniture painting. Can Chalk Paint Be Used on Baby Cribs?

Yes, chalk paint is safe for baby cribs if you follow the proper safety precautions. It’s important to choose a non-toxic and safe brand for children, such as Annie Sloan Chalk Paint or Rust-Oleum Chalked Paint. These brands are designed for furniture and will not harm your baby if ingested.

Safety Concerns When Painting a Crib

Before we dive into the specifics of chalk paint, note that there are safety concerns when painting a crib. If your crib was built before 1978, there’s a possibility that it contains lead paint. 

Lead poisoning can cause serious health problems, such as brain damage or seizures in children who ingest it. Therefore, hiring a professional painter who knows how to test for lead content in furniture is crucial before starting work on your project.

Even non-toxic paints can give off fumes that may not be healthy for infants or toddlers who spend lots of time sleeping near them daily. To avoid any potential health risks, it’s important to choose a well-ventilated area to work in and consider moving any other furniture away from where you’ll be working.

 How to Paint a Crib with Chalk Paint?

Before starting, you must have all the necessary equipment on hand. You’ll need sandpaper, a paintbrush, chalk paint, and a sealer. Here are some simple steps to follow:

  1. Clean the crib thoroughly with soap and water. Allow it to dry completely before moving on to the next step.
  2. Sand the crib lightly with fine-grit sandpaper. This will help the paint adhere better to the surface.
  3. Apply the chalk paint in thin coats, allowing each coat to dry completely before applying the next one. You’ll likely need 2-3 coats to achieve the desired look.
  4. Once the paint is completely dry, apply a sealer to protect the finish. This will help prevent chipping and make the crib easier to clean.

You should not paint any surfaces that will come into contact with your baby’s skin, such as the inside of the crib or the mattress support. Only paint the exterior surfaces of the crib.

Tips for Achieving a Professional Look

  • Apply thin coats of paint to avoid drips and ensure an even finish.
  • Allow each coat to dry completely before applying the next one.
  • Use a high-quality paintbrush to avoid leaving brush marks.
  • Sand lightly between coats to ensure a smooth finish.
  • Use a sealer to protect the paint from chipping and make it easier to clean.

How to Care for a Chalk-Painted Crib?

Caring for a chalk-painted crib is relatively easy, but following some guidelines is important to ensure that the finish lasts and the crib remains safe for your baby. Here are some tips for caring for a chalk-painted crib:

Avoid harsh cleaning products: Use a soft cloth or sponge, mild soap, and water to clean the crib. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners that could damage the finish.

Protect the finish: Use a clear wax or sealant to protect the chalk paint finish. Apply a thin layer and buff it with a soft cloth to create a smooth, protective layer over the paint.

Watch for wear and tear: Keep an eye on areas of the crib that may experience more wear and tear, such as the edges of the rails or areas where the baby’s feet may rub. Touch up any areas where the paint has worn away or become scratched.

Keep it dry: Chalk paint can be prone to water damage, so keep the crib dry and avoid exposing it to water or other liquids.

Follow safety guidelines: The paint and any sealants or waxes you use are safe for baby furniture. Follow all safety guidelines and recommendations for crib care and maintenance.

With proper care, a chalk-painted crib can last years and provide your baby a beautiful, safe sleeping space.

According to a study published in the journal Pediatrics, approximately 3,500 infants die each year in the United States from sleep-related causes. As a result, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has strict safety standards for baby cribs to ensure they provide a safe sleeping environment. While there is no specific data regarding the use of chalk paint on baby cribs, it’s important to choose a safe paint for baby furniture and follow all safety guidelines and precautions to prevent potential harm to your baby.

The Benefits of Chalk Paint for Cribs

Chalk paint has several benefits for cribs, including:

  • It’s non-toxic and safe for babies.
  • It has a matte finish is perfect for a vintage or shabby chic look.
  • It can adhere to almost any surface, making it easy to update an old crib.
  • It’s relatively easy to use and requires minimal preparation.

Choosing the Right Chalk Paint for Your Crib

Select a brand that is non-toxic and safe for children. Some popular brands include Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, Rust-Oleum Chalked Paint, and Fusion Mineral Paint. Consider the color and finish you want to achieve before making your final choice.

 Chalk Paint DIY Ideas for Your Nursery

Chalk paint can be used for more than just cribs! Here are some other DIY ideas for your nursery:

Dressers and changing tables

Bookshelves and toy storage

Picture frames and wall decor

Wooden toys and blocks

Alternatives to Chalk Paint for Cribs

If you’re not a fan of chalk paint, there are other options for painting your crib. Some popular alternatives include:

  • Milk paint
  • Mineral paint
  • Acrylic paint

Just choose a non-toxic paint that is safe for your baby.

 Common Questions About Painting a Crib with Chalk Paint

Can you mix chalk paint and regular paint?

Yes, you can mix chalk paint and regular paint, but it may affect the finish and texture of the paint. Chalk paint has a unique matte finish and is often used for distressed or vintage looks. In contrast, regular paint has a glossier finish and is typically used for more traditional applications.

Mixing the two paints may result in a matte and glossy finish, and the texture may also be affected. And if you mix paints with different bases (such as oil-based and water-based), they may need to adhere properly or dry correctly. 

Can you paint a crib without sanding it?

You can paint a crib without sanding it, but it’s important to properly clean and prepare the surface before painting to ensure that the paint adheres properly and lasts. Sanding is one way to rough up the surface and create a better surface for the paint to adhere to, but there are other methods as well.

 Before painting the crib, clean it thoroughly with soap and water to remove any dirt or debris. You can also use a deglosser or liquid sandpaper to help the paint adhere without sanding. Apply the product with a cloth or brush and let it sit for the recommended amount before wiping it off and allowing it to dry completely.

Do you have to use chalk paint to distress furniture?

No, you do not have to use chalk paint to distress furniture. Distressing is a technique that can be applied to various types of paint, including latex, acrylic, or even oil-based paints.

To distress furniture, you typically apply a base coat of paint and then lightly sand or use a sanding block to remove some of the paint in areas where natural wear and tear would occur over time. This can be done before or after a final coat of paint or sealant is applied, depending on the desired look. 


Painting your crib with chalk paint is a safe and easy way to update an old piece of furniture. Following the proper safety precautions and using the right materials can create a beautiful and unique look for your baby’s nursery.


Is chalk paint safe for babies?

Yes, as long as you choose a non-toxic brand of chalk paint, it is safe for babies.

Can I paint a crib with regular paint?

It’s not recommended to use regular paint on a crib, as it may contain harmful chemicals. Stick with non-toxic paints that are safe for children.

How long should I wait to use a chalk-painted crib?

Wait at least 24 hours for the paint to fully cure before using the crib.

Do I need to sand the crib before painting it?

Yes, it’s important to sand the crib lightly before painting to ensure that the paint adheres properly.

Can I use chalk paint on the inside of the crib?

No, you should only paint the exterior surfaces of the crib. Avoid painting surfaces that will come into contact with your baby’s skin.

How long does chalk paint take to dry?

It depends on the brand of paint you’re using, but most chalk paints dry to the touch within 30 minutes to an hour.

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