A crib finish

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Blog entry by Huckleberry posted 07-09-2009 04:57 AM 1736 reads 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I know that I have been away for a time and fortunately it was for a good reason and that is business is good in this down time. I consider myself fortunate that I am in this position and in need of your guys experience. I am making a crib for a client and they want a “safe” finish on the crib for obvious reasons. I am also making a changing table which I will finish in lacquer. I want to be close in the sheen on both pieces and given the time I have left before I need get this done a hand rubbed oil finish is out of the question as I have 6 days left before my dead line and at least another 3 days for construction. I would appreciate any and all advice.

-- I cut it twice and the damn thing is still too short!@#$%

13 comments so far

View Gary's profile


9324 posts in 3398 days

#1 posted 07-09-2009 05:09 AM

Last crib I built I used a toy makers clear finish from Rockler.

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View lew's profile


12017 posts in 3720 days

#2 posted 07-09-2009 05:23 AM

I have used water based poly

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Grumpy's profile


23841 posts in 3816 days

#3 posted 07-09-2009 08:12 AM

Huck, why not look up the www on the major paint manufacturere you are bound to get something there.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3550 days

#4 posted 07-09-2009 09:06 AM

I go with poly it’s tough and safe.Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3787 days

#5 posted 07-09-2009 12:49 PM

Another option that might want to consider is shellac. It will give you a nice sheen, it will protect the surface of the wood and the only toxic element is the denatured alcohol which evaporates within minutes.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3733 days

#6 posted 07-09-2009 02:27 PM

you can really go with anything. non of the clear finishes today are toxic… WHEN CURED... but you need to make sure that they are cured.

View Jeff's profile


95 posts in 3263 days

#7 posted 07-09-2009 06:12 PM

I agree with teenagewoodworker. After a lengthy discussion on kitchen safe finishes, it was determined that most all clear finishes are non toxic, only the solution used to dissolve them is toxic until it evaporates. So when they are fully cured, what is left is non-toxic. So what you’re looking for is something that will cure rather quickly. I really don’t think you’ll find anything that will fully cure in less than 7 days. Dry, yes, but not fully cured. Now, is the new baby going to be chewing on the thing right away, probably not, so I would say you’re safe with just about any clear finish as long as you give it time to dry, which a couple of days should be good. Even if the cure time is 30 days, I doubt a 1 month old will be gnawing on it by then either. Shellac would be my preference, since is does dry rather quickly and you can build up a couple of coats in a short period of time. Just make sure you give yourself at least 12-16 hours, preferably 24 hours, after the first coat before applying more coats, which can be applied within 45 minutes.

-- - In the end, everything will be okay. If it isn't okay, it isn't the end yet.

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 3251 days

#8 posted 07-09-2009 07:31 PM

Over thirty years ago, I used lacquer on the crib I built for my kids. No problems ( well except the green hair—-at least what was left of it, the purple teeth, webbed toes, etc.)

Seriously, it didn’t seem to be a problem, although my kids never really chewed on the crib like some. I think others are right obout the cured finishes, but I would check with manufacturers to be sure. You can’t be too careful these days with lawsuits like they are. That and kids are way too important to take chances. Good question. It probably needed to be addressed.


View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3268 days

#9 posted 07-09-2009 11:06 PM

i know a toy maker who uses walnut oil on his toys for can be re applied as needed…but just a suggestion.

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Big_Bob's profile


173 posts in 3674 days

#10 posted 07-09-2009 11:50 PM

I used the water based nitrocellouose sealer and lacquer from Valspar.

Made a fantastic finish.

-- Bob Clark, Tool Collector and Sawdust Maker

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4211 days

#11 posted 07-10-2009 02:48 AM

Old Frank always said shellac was made from the lac bug and was harmless even dry. So like taww said I’d go with shellac. A couple good coats and let it dry good. There you go. Nice finish.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3638 days

#12 posted 07-10-2009 12:38 PM

I would go with a water base poly.

View Elaine's profile


113 posts in 3588 days

#13 posted 07-12-2009 01:47 AM

Shellac or natural oil finish, walnut, etc. is what I’ve used in the past for little ones. I read years ago that anything food safe was best for baby’s cribs. You can always go to Michael Dresdner’s sight and ask the guru himself.

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