Espresso Crib Finish

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Forum topic by Tyler Brown posted 11-22-2011 06:28 AM 1643 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Tyler Brown

10 posts in 2689 days

11-22-2011 06:28 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question spray gun finishing

Help please!!

I’m looking at building a crib for our first child. My wife likes the espresso finish, & she has OK’d me to spend a little more than the cribs we’ve been looking at. $300-400. I want this to be a heirloom, but as it is my first woodworking project of this size, it will be hard to justify $600 for lumber. I guess what I’m asking is what would be the best way to approach this? I know it is always best to “begin with the end in mind.” With my budget, I’m probably looking at Poplar or some sort of white wood. What would you suggest for finishing? Keep in mind this will be a crib, so non-toxic. Depending on what the baby turns out to be this might even end up painted.

Looking forward to hearing all your great advice.

-- Tyler, Alabama, Not of this world - Romans 12:1-2

6 replies so far

View okwoodshop's profile


448 posts in 3172 days

#1 posted 11-23-2011 03:56 AM

First off,” Congratulations”on your first baby, I’m glad you are thinking this crib build thru,the non-toxic is most important as ease of cleaning,(think about cleaning in your design). my advice would be to build a small project with the same lumber you decide on and try different finishes on it before commiting to one. you may not like it after you start and could ruin a lot of hard work.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4929 posts in 3957 days

#2 posted 11-23-2011 07:10 PM

Poplar or soft maple should work well.
Finishing is another story. Choose your wood, cut a sample or two, sand to 180, seal with a wash coat of shellac, scuff sand to knock off the nibs. Then use a wiping stain of your choice to test the color.
I would use a water based poly for the finish. Modern Masters has a semi gloss that works well. I use a synthetic finishing brush to apply the finish. It will also spray well if you choose. You could even “tone” the finish coats to even out any color discrepancies.
Once the finish has fully cured it will be child safe.
I sold an espresso finished kitchen set 3 years ago that I really liked (so did the customer). It had a satin finish.


View a1Jim's profile


117091 posts in 3574 days

#3 posted 11-23-2011 07:32 PM

Hi Tyler
congrats on the good news
I agree with Bill about making a sample to stain first but you may end up with a blotchy finish if you use poplar an a wiping stain. I would suggest using some of Charles Neils blotch control after sanding to 150 -180 and after applying the Blotch control use some water base stain dye by General finishes and then a water base clear coat . This makes all of your finishes water base IMP a safer finish.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View derosa's profile


1577 posts in 2833 days

#4 posted 11-23-2011 07:45 PM

Based on your budget you should be able to do better then poplar. I bought all my lumber from Pittsford lumber (not cheap but real high quality) and woodcrafters(real affordable but required lots of looking to get decent boards) and was able to make mine for 425.00 with US made hardware out of cherry and purpleheart. Had I known better at the time I’d have visited Craigslist and really saved. Just take some time to look around and oak, maple, walnut or something cool and local should be possible.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

View Tyler Brown's profile

Tyler Brown

10 posts in 2689 days

#5 posted 11-27-2011 03:42 PM

Thanks for all the insight. I’m in central Alabama & am having a tough time finding sources for (affordable) hardwood. Woodcraft is about 45 min from my house & Hardwoods, Inc. is about an hour, but keeps normal hours, & since this is a government job it makes it hard to get off to pick up some boards. Are there any Central Alabama LJ’s that have better source for lumber?

-- Tyler, Alabama, Not of this world - Romans 12:1-2

View miles125's profile


2180 posts in 4003 days

#6 posted 11-27-2011 04:33 PM

Tyler, most best places are over in Georgia. Check out Sweetwater Lumber, Peachstate Lumber, Suwanee Lumber and Hogan Lumber.

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

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