The 5 Rules You Must Follow When Painting Nursery Furniture

Painted Dresser and Doll House

Painted Dresser and Doll House

Choosing the perfect furniture for your newborn is an exciting, yet daunting, project. The furniture you choose will set the tone for the entire nursery - contemporary, casual, vintage, traditional. You also need to consider versatility, longevity, and last but definitely not least, safety.

Choose the crib first, since it will be the focal point of the room. You may find the perfect piece, but then realize you don't care for the color. If you're up to the task, you can repaint the furniture yourself. But first, there are some things you should consider.

Safety First

Before you start, research to make sure there are no recalls on the furniture. If your nursery crib has been used before, make sure it meets current safety standards, such as the space between the slats and the new regulations regarding drop-side rails. If possible, contact the manufacturer to see if you can obtain any missing pieces or parts.

Get Organized

Before you start painting, organize your work area. Gather all of your supplies - drop cloths, paint brushes, screwdrivers, towels, paint - and make sure you have plenty of working room. You need to have sufficient ventilation as well, especially if you are pregnant. Spread out the drop cloth to protect your floors. Secure the edges of the drop cloth to ensure they don't get tracked into your painting area.

Plan and Prepare

It's essential to spend plenty of time preparing the crib before you paint it. Failure to do so will result in a sloppy-looking project. Take the time to do it right.

First, you need to clean the furniture. Wear gloves and a mask to protect yourself from dust and chemicals, and safety goggles to protect your eyes.

Mix mild detergent with hot water, and dampen your towel with the mixture. Strip the furniture of any paint by using a chemical stripper. Use sandpaper to remove any remaining paint. This is especially
important if you suspect the paint is lead-based. Fill any holes or cracks with wood filler. Wipe the furniture again to remove any sawdust or dirt. Apply a layer of primer according to the type of furniture you
are painting, such as wood or veneer.

Time to Paint

Choose a paint that is safe for your baby, such as an organic paint or a zero-VOC (volatile organic compound) paint. If you plan to use the furniture for more than just the newborn years, choose a neutral color rather than a gender-specific color. Paint using a sponge roller rather than a brush, as it's less likely to leave streaks.

Putting it All Together

Allow plenty of time for the paint to dry and the fumes to disperse before putting your baby in the same room as the newly-painted furniture. Place the crib in a quiet spot, away from walls shared with
bathrooms or a sibling's bedroom. If you place the crib near a window with blinds, be sure to secure the cords to protect your baby. Also make sure there is a working smoke detector in the room.

And finally - just relax. As important as your baby's room may seem to you right now, it's okay if everything isn't exactly as you want it to be, especially if your baby arrives early. You can still complete projects later, as you have time. For now, your baby just needs a safe place to sleep, and plenty of snuggle time with you.

Amy Kirkegaard is a freelance writer who writes on a variety of baby-related topics,such as cloth diapers, nursery furniture, and double strollers. She previously worked in marketing and human resources for an oilfield equipment manufacturer.

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