How to safely stain or paint a baby crib

Just about every parent of an infant or toddler knows that, at some point, the crib being used is going to get chewed on during teething. Still, most parents want their child's crib to look good and to match the other furniture in the nursery. Staining or painting the crib is one way to achieve this. With nontoxic stains and paints, you can have a crib that looks like new in no time.

Wash the entire crib with the sponge and hot soapy water. Use a nontoxic or natural soap. Use the hose to rinse the crib thoroughly. Allow the crib to dry.

Sand the crib with sandpaper. Lower grit numbers produce a rougher sand and will let more of the staining material to soak into the wood. Dampen a rag or sponge and wipe down the wood of the crib.

Paint the conditioner on the wood of the crib. Use a nontoxic wood conditioner, such as TimberSoy or SoyCrete. Allow the conditioner to soak into the wood and to dry.

Paint a nontoxic stain or paint, such as TimberSoy or SoyCrete, on the wood of the crib. If you're using stain, apply as many coats of stain as you want until you get the desired colour, allowing drying time between each coat.

Paint the sealer on the wood of the crib. Use a nontoxic wood sealer, such as TimberSoy or SoyCrete. Allow the coat of sealer to dry.


Even if you work outside, it is a good idea to wear gloves and a dust mask while sanding, pretreating, sanding and post-treating. This will avoid you getting wood dust and dirt into your nose and lungs and keep the other products off your hands.