how to paint a crib white

How To Paint A Crib White?

As your baby grows up, you may want to update their crib to match their changing style or the new look of their bedroom. Painting a white crib can be an excellent option to give it a fresh and modern look without buying a new one. However, painting a crib requires more than just picking up a brush and a can of paint. In this article, we will guide you how to paint a crib white safely, step-by-step. We will also cover some essential tips, precautions, and alternatives to consider before you start your DIY project.

Can You Paint a Crib White? 

Yes, you can paint a crib white. However, you must use safe and non-toxic paint and follow proper safety precautions. Paints that contain harmful chemicals, such as lead or volatile organic compounds (VOCs), can pose a severe health hazard to your baby, who may chew on the crib’s rails or breathe in the fumes.

Choosing the Right Paint for a Crib

Safety should be your top priority when choosing the right paint for a crib. Look for paints specifically formulated for children’s products and comply with safety standards such as ASTM F963 and CPSIA. These paints are free from harmful chemicals and have low or zero VOCs. You can also consider natural or organic paints made from plant-based ingredients, such as milk paint or chalk paint.

Features to Look Out for When Selecting Pain

Apart from safety, here are some features to look for when selecting paint for a crib:

  • Non-toxic and low or zero VOCs
  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Easy to apply and quick-drying
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Non-yellowing and resistant to fading or chipping
  • Available in a variety of shades and finishes

Painting A Crib White: Step-by-Step Guide

Required Materials:

  • Sandpaper (220 grit)
  • Tack cloth
  • Primer (water-based, non-toxic)
  • Paint (water-based, non-toxic)
  • Paintbrushes (synthetic, angled, and flat)
  • Paint roller (mini, foam)
  • Painter’s tape
  • Plastic drop cloth
  • Respirator mask
  • Safety goggles
  • Gloves

Step by Step Instructions:

  • Prepare the crib: Remove all bedding, mattress, and hardware, such as screws, bolts, or knobs. Clean the crib thoroughly with soap and water, and let it dry completely.
  • Sand the crib: Use sandpaper (220 grit) to gently sand the entire surface of the crib. Sanding helps the primer and paint adhere better to the surface and removes any existing finish or imperfections. Wipe off the sanding dust with a tack cloth.
  • Apply the primer: Apply a thin coat of water-based, non-toxic primer to the crib using a foam roller or a brush. Start from the top and work your way down, making sure to cover all areas evenly. Let the primer dry completely as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Sand the primer: Use sandpaper (220 grit) to sand the primer lightly. Wipe off the sanding dust with a tack cloth.
  • Apply the paint: Apply two to three thin coats of water-based, non-toxic paint to the crib using a foam roller or a brush. Use long, even strokes, and let each coat dry completely before applying the next one. Remove the painter’s tape after the final coat.
  • Let the paint cure: Let the crib sit for at least 48 hours to allow the paint to cure and dry before fully assembling and using it.

Tips and Tricks for Painting a Crib White

Best practices for painting a crib:

  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the primer and paint you’re using.
  • Avoid painting the crib during humid or extremely hot weather, as it can affect the paint’s drying time and quality.
  • If you’re using spray paint, use a well-ventilated area, and wear a respirator mask and safety goggles to protect yourself from inhaling any fumes.

How to achieve a smooth finish:

  • Use a high-quality paintbrush and foam roller to achieve a smooth finish.
  • Apply thin, even coats of paint to avoid drips and uneven surfaces.
  • Wait for each coat to dry completely before applying the next one.
  • Sand the primer and the first coat of paint lightly with 220-grit sandpaper to ensure a smooth surface.

How to ensure the paint lasts long:

  • Avoid using abrasive cleaners or scrubbers on the crib.
  • Use a soft, damp cloth to clean the crib regularly.
  • Avoid exposing the crib to direct sunlight or heat, as it can cause the paint to fade or peel over time.

Alternatives to Painting a Crib White

Other ways to change the look of a crib:

  • Use decals or stickers to add patterns or designs to the crib.
  • Use fabric to create a crib skirt or to cover the crib’s side rails.
  • Add a crib canopy or drapes to add a touch of elegance to the crib.

Pros and cons of other alternatives:

  • Decals and stickers are a quick and easy way to add designs to a crib. However, they may not be as long-lasting as paint and may not be as easy to remove.
  • Using fabric to cover the crib is a great way to add color and texture to the crib. However, it may not be as durable as paint, and it may need to be replaced more often.
  • Adding a crib canopy or drapes can create a cozy and intimate space for the baby. However, it may not be as practical or safe as painting or using decals.

Precautions to Take When Painting a Crib White

Avoiding exposure to harmful chemicals:

  • Use water-based, non-toxic paint and primer.
  • Avoid using oil-based or solvent-based paints, as they can emit harmful fumes.
  • Paint the crib in a well-ventilated area, or use a fan to circulate air.
  • Wear a respirator mask, safety goggles, and gloves to protect yourself from inhaling or touching harmful chemicals.

Using protective gear during painting:

  • Use a plastic drop cloth to protect the floor and surrounding area from paint spills or drips.
  • Use painter’s tape to protect any crib areas you don’t want to paint.
  • Wear old clothes that you are okay with getting paint on.
  • Wear gloves to protect your hands from the paint.

Safety measures to take when handling a painted crib:

  • Let the crib dry and cure completely before assembling and using it again.
  • Avoid letting the baby sleep in the crib until the paint has fully cured.
  • Keep the crib away from direct sunlight or heat sources to prevent the paint from fading or peeling.
  • Check the crib regularly for any signs of peeling or chipping paint.

Caring for a Newly Painted Crib

How to maintain the quality of the paint?

  • Avoid using abrasive cleaners or scrubbers on the crib.
  • Use a soft, damp cloth to clean the crib regularly.
  • Avoid exposing the crib to direct sunlight or heat, as it can cause the paint to fade or peel over time.

How often to clean a painted crib?

Clean the crib as needed, depending on how frequently your baby uses it. Generally, wiping it down with a damp cloth once a week is sufficient. If there are any spills or stains, clean them up promptly to prevent them from setting in.

Tips for prolonging the life of a painted crib:

  • Avoid using harsh chemicals or solvents near the crib, as they can damage the paint and pose a health hazard to your baby.
  • Consider using a crib bumper or other protective coverings to prevent scratches or scuffs from toys or other objects.
  • Regularly inspect the crib for any signs of wear or damage to the paint, and address any issues promptly.
  • When your baby outgrows the crib, consider repurposing it or donating it to a needy family.


Painting a crib can be a fun and rewarding project. Still, it requires careful preparation and attention to safety. By following the step-by-step guide outlined above, and you can paint your crib safely and efficiently. After painting your crib, it’s essential to care for it properly to maintain the quality of the paint and ensure your baby’s safety.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I paint a crib any color I want?

Yes, you can paint a crib any color you want. However, choosing a non-toxic paint that is safe for your baby to be around is essential.

How long should I wait before using a painted crib?

You should wait at least 48 hours before using a painted crib to ensure the paint has fully cured and no longer emits harmful fumes.

What should I do if my baby chews on a painted crib?

If your baby chews on a painted crib, immediately contact your pediatrician and seek medical advice. Ensuring that the paint used on the crib is non-toxic and safe for your baby to ingest is essential.

Can I paint a crib that has already been painted before?

Yes, you can paint a crib that has already been painted before. However, it’s essential to ensure that the previous paint is fully removed and the surface is sanded and prepared correctly before applying a new coat of paint.

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