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To Refinish or Not to Refinish a Baby Crib

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Some parents may want to refinish a cherished heirloom baby crib. Before you start the project make sure you can complete the task. You need the right attitude and you cannot be overwhelmed by the amount of work involved, or be too impatient to complete the job. This project will take a number of days. 

First step is inspecting the baby crib. Old cribs may not meet all the current safety standards. Never use on old crib that hasn’t been thoroughly inspected. Any of these items are a potential hazard to the safety of your child.

1) Any damage on the crib needs to be evaluated for safety. A woodworker may be able to help you with replacement parts. The crib needs to be very stable.

2) Any missing parts must be replaced. Some manufacturers may have supply parts or again a woodworker may be required.

3) Make sure the crib is assembled properly and all items are in working order, including the brackets for the mattress support. Many manufacturers will have their instructions on their internet site on the proper assembly.

 4) It may be necessary to sand the crib to remove all splinters or rough edges,

 5) The crib slats or spindles must be spaced no more than 2 3/8-inch apart. Several babies have sustained injury or death because they were caught in the slats that were too wide.

6) Any corner posts over 1/16-inch above the head or foot board must be removed. They can be cut off, and then the top must be sanded to a smooth finish. These tiny posts can catch a piece of clothing when the child begins the stage of climbing out of the crib.

 7) Any cutout areas on the head or foot board should be removed or filled. You can cut the areas out and insert a solid panel, or place a solid panel over the cutouts and secure with recessed screws. The tops of the screws can be filled with wood filler and later painted.

 8) Most older paints contain lead and must be removed. If you are in doubt, remove the paint or varnish. All chipped or peeling paint must be removed. If you are pregnant, you should not be around any lead paint in the baby.


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