Re-finish a baby crib

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TracyB

New User
Tracy
Hi everyone,
My daughter is a mom-to-be for the first time and someone has given her a used baby crib that she wants me to refinish. I have never refinished anything in my life. The only finish I have ever applied is minwax stain and polyurethane. There are a couple deep gouges in the crib plus a couple pretty good scratches, otherwise the finish is pretty good. It appears to be a light maple color,not sure of the wood species. Should I sand the entire crib or try to fix the bad spots and try and blend it in? Also what is a "safe" finish for a babys crib? Any advice would be appreciated.
Thanks a bunch,
TracyB
 

mjmlbp

Frank
Senior User
I use shellac for childrens furniture. The shellac flakes you dissolve in alcohol kind. Not the premixed canned 3 year expiration stuff.


-Frank
 

Trent Mason

New User
Trent Mason
Tracy,

I'm hardly an expert in this area, but I refinished an entertainment center last year. It was a nightmare, as it had 5 coats of paint and dated back to the 1920's. I effectively stripped the paint and ruined a Porter Cable ROS in the process. But once it was all off, finishing was not a big deal. Hopefully someone will chime in here that knows much more about it than me, but I do it the old fashioned way and sand/strip until it's gone, then refinish.

Yours sounds like a good amount of sanding, then refinishing. Shouldn't be that bad. But I'm not an expert, I just stayed at a Holiday Inn Express lastnight. :rolf:

Cheers, :eek:ccasion1

Trent
 

DaveO

New User
DaveO
First you need to determine what the original finish is. You can test it with alcohol for shellac, lacquer thinner for lacquer, and if it's not those it's probably a varnish.
Is it a factory made piece or shop built??
All finishes once fully cured are safe for a crib.
Once you figure out what type of finish you have, you then need to determine the level of restoration you want to do. You can fix the gouges or leave them as some "character". Depending on the type of finish and level of restoration you desire you might just be able to clean it and apply another coat of the same finish. Or you might have to strip it completely and start from scratch.
If the latter, I would chose a chemical stripper over sanding. I guess that there are a lot of spindles/slats involved that would be very difficult to sand. Stripping ain't gonna be easy, but it would beat sanding.

Dave:)
 

TracyB

New User
Tracy
Thanks for the advice. It is a factory crib with the name "KinderKraft" on it. It doesn't look very old either, so its probably imported, I would guess. It is a light color, like maple, honey, or pecan maybe. I know very little about finishes or colors. Since it is a factory crib. Would it be a safe assumption that it is sprayed on lacquer or polyurethane? Thanks for your help.

TracyB
 

Travis Porter

New User
Travis
It is most likely a lacquer because of the quick drying time.


Personally, I would get some Murphy's oil soap and clean it with steel wool. Then I would get some Minwax stain that is a close color match and use it to touch up the gouges and other bad spots allowing it to dry over night. Top coat it with a couple coats of dewaxed shellac (the type you dissolve or Zinnser's Seal Coat).

Stripping it to bare wood would be a bear (pun intended), and it wouldn't really buy you a lot if anything in my opinion.
 

Gofor

Mark
Corporate Member
I do not recommend a total refinish, but if other "powers that be" insist on it, the best way to strip the coating off the slats and tight areas is with a card scraper. If it is a lacquer finish, it will remove it quickly and without the mess of a chemical stripper. I did a spindle-backed rocking chair last year, and this was definitely the best method.

Go
 
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