A Crib Conclusion

On Friday, I told you all about our crib, how I found it for sale on Kijiji, how I freaked out for a while about the drop side and the lack of information on them, how we broke it during assembly, and were shocked when the company sent us a replacement piece, no questions asked. The crib was, however, still natural pine. Not the right colour.

What was the right colour? For a long time, I had just assumed white. If necessary, I could have figured out a way to get a white Jenny Lind crib. Throughout the process of breaking, and then fixing the crib, I realized I didn't actually have to stick with white. In fact, why would it? I had a whole world of colour to pick from. Now, one month after the project began, the crib has gone from simple pine to something far more interesting.


There are a myriad of tutorials in the blogosphere on how to paint a crib. It's time consuming, but it's straightforward. Of course, the first question I asked myself when I thought about doing this was "Is it safe?"

Short answer, yes

Longer answer: In my research, I learned there's pretty much no paint on the market today that isn't safe. They don't make paint out of lead anymore after all. Nonetheless, it's wise to use a good quality low VOC paint. This isn't a place to skimp. After all, I hear babies are likely to chew on their cribs and may very well end up ingesting little chips of paint. 

We did choose to be a little careful with the sealer we chose for the crib. When we polyurethaned our kitchen table, we went with an oil-based sealer. This time around, I went with a gentler, non-toxic water-based polyurethane. It tends to be lower VOC and cures faster. 

There are three steps to painting any piece of furniture, and a crib is no different:

Sanding: It doesn't have to be perfect. Just enough to rough up the surface to give the paint something to bond to. We used 80-120 grit sand paper, and didn't worry too much about getting into each crack and crevice of the Jenny Lind spindles, but we did our best.

Painting: We did three coats, but this stage can be played a little by ear. If you're getting enough coverage with two coats, it's all you need. I used a brush in the difficult to reach spots at the end of each spindle and a sponge roller everywhere else. Contrary to what you might read on other blogs, a paint sprayer is not necessary. You'll get a perfectly smooth finish with a little sponge roller. Of course, if you have a paint sprayer, it's certainly a legit way to get the paint on those spindles.

Sealing: If you don't seal the painted surface, it won't have any durability at all. This maybe doesn't matter for a piece that is never or rarely touched - a side table, tucked into a difficult-to-access corner. We used a combination of a normal synthetic hair brush and a sponge brush to apply the polyurethane. This step was the most painful since we were already exhausted by the project by the time we got to it. Thankfully, water-based poly dries really fast.

And, done. Seems so simple, right? So easy, so doable. 

I didn't want to touch another paint roller by the time the project was done. I was sick of sandpaper and paper and polyurethane and I was almost - almost - sick of the crib itself. But, now that the crib has been very carefully set up, the offending drop side immobilized and placed against the wall, the mattress covered in a freshly laundered crib sheet and tucked into place, I'm so glad we went through all that work. In the end, the place our baby sleeps won't matter in the least, but I think this slaving over a project for him or her has been good for me anyway. Each time I faced those little spindles, I knew exactly who I was doing this for. Maybe it's a stretch, but each turn of the paint roller, each spindle turned greeny-blue felt like a commitment made in love and determination. 

I know. Sappy.


  1. At first I wasn't sure about the drop down side but I love how my crib has a drop down side now, I didn't use it until we had to drop the crib down because my daughter learned how to stand up, but when we did then it was harder to put her in when she fell sleep in the car and needed to put her in her crib without waking her up. I also love it now when I have a hard time putting her to bed being pregnant again having trouble putting laying her down. It has also came in handy when we have had a babysitter watching her, easier for her to put my daughter to bed. We have never had a problem with it.

  2. I loooove the crib! What a lucky little baby :). Im sure all those spindles were pure torture but you can be proud of it now!!

  3. I can totally see that it would be easier to use. I did test out the drop side function of the crib before we put the immobilizers on and I didn't love it. It seemed kind of awkward to me. Probably some drop sides are better than others!

  4. I love the colour!!!! So happy you were able to figure it all out in the end!

  5. I really love the minty colour. It's perfect. Love the whole thing!

  6. Luann Allen-MedeirosApril 29, 2014 at 11:45 PM

    Love the color. I bought wooden cradle painted white at a garage sale when pregnant with our first, Tony spent far more than a new cradle would ever cost on refinishing, but each of our three kids slept in that cradle...and it will be passed on to their children. Taking the time to do a project like your beautiful crib is something that you can enjoy for this generation, and hopefully the next.


  7. I had the same crib for my son. Loved it. Fast forward 8 years.... Expecting another baby and desperately want this crib I sold nearly a decade ago! In my research I found that it's not just the drop-side that's the issue, the brackets that are used to attach the mattress holder to the frame are plastic, and need to be exchanged via Stirkcraft's website for metal ones. I have my work cut out for me! Your crib looks stunning! Congratulations!


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