Top Tips on How To Paint a Crib

ECOS Paints 03/05/2021
Top Tips on How To Paint a Crib

If you have a baby on the way, chances are you’ve experienced nesting instincts. You’ve scrubbed the house from top to bottom, organized all the baby’s clothes, and even vacuumed out the car for good measure.

One nesting task you don’t want to put off is getting your baby’s crib ready, especially if you plan to paint it. If you want to do the job right before the baby arrives, check out our top tips on how to paint a crib.

Choosing Paint

It’s easy to be flippant about paint when it’s going on the walls. But when it’s surrounding your sleeping child, you want to make the best paint choice possible. Here are three things to keep in mind when choosing paint.


Paint can significantly impact the indoor air quality of a home. This is bad for adults but could be even worse for babies, potentially leading to long-term respiratory health issues like asthma. Add to that a baby’s tendency to teeth on the sides of their crib, and choosing non-toxic, water-based paint is crucial.


There isn’t one right answer for the best gloss to use on cribs. Since you will likely be cleaning your crib frequently, you may want to opt for slightly more durable paint. However, the highest gloss isn’t necessary unless you have a visual preference for it. Semi-Gloss usually works well for baby cribs.


As with gloss, there is no wrong answer for a crib’s paint color. After all, by the time your baby develops color preferences, they probably won’t be sleeping in a crib anymore. Choose one that either matches or complements the colors present in a nursery. If you want to reuse the crib for another child, consider painting the crib a more neutral color such as white, grey, brown, green, or yellow.


If you have painted other furniture, you know how to paint a crib. As with any painting job, preparation is key. Wipe down the surface of the crib, lightly sand it to help with adhesion, then wipe the surface down again. Priming the surface is a good idea if your crib didn’t already have paint on it or you are painting it a lighter color than it was already.


From here, you can apply the paint in even coats using a small, handheld brush. If your crib has rounded spindles, some people find it easier to use a mitt or sock dipped in paint or an airless sprayer. Allow the paint to dry fully before applying a second coat.

Note on Timetable

If you aren’t using water-based paints, remember that paint VOCs will linger in the air long after the paint is dry. They may linger for as long as two to three months, so it may be a good idea to paint the crib and nursery before your nesting instincts kick in. If you want to avoid VOCs altogether, try our non-toxic* paint for cribs. You and your baby will rest a little easier.

*Non-toxic - Conforms to ASTM-D4236, specifically concerning oral toxicity, skin irritation and respiratory effects.