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How to Paint a Baby Cot

Updated April 17, 2017

Baby cots are the safe respite where you place your child when he is ready to enjoy a restful sleep. After ensuring the bars are spaced properly and the mattress is at the right height, the last thing you'll want to worry about is whether the materials used to decorate the cot are toxic or not. If you are not aware of your cot's origin or production process, you can actually paint it with your approved, safe paint to remove any possible doubt. Painting the cot yourself also affords you the freedom to style your furniture as you like.

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Spread out a dust sheet on the ground outside and place the cot directly on top of the cloth. Make sure the cloth extends around all four sides of the cot to protect the ground during sanding and painting. Painting outside will allow the paint fumes to dissipate without affecting your breathing.

Remove the mattress from the crib and set it aside while you work. Keep the mattress inside to make sure it stays free of dust and dirt. The rest of the cot will stay intact the entire time.

Scuff the entire cot using sandpaper until the surface is smooth and soft. If there is a thick layer of paint on the cot, use coarse grit paper. For stained or raw cots opt for finishing sandpaper which is finer.

Wipe the sanded cot with a tack cloth to remove all of the sanding grit. Give the cot a final rub with a damp wash cloth and let the wood dry completely.

Use a small paintbrush with your chosen colour of paint in order to reach even the smallest parts of the cot. Test a small, inconspicuous area to practice your brush strokes and to make sure you like the colour of the paint on the cot.

Apply the paint in long, even strokes until you have one, thin layer of paint covering every surface. Leave the paint to set until the cot is dry to the touch.

Apply more coats of paint to the cot in the same way until you get the desired colour. Let each coat dry completely before applying the next one. Replace the mattress in the cot once the final coat has dried.


Paint your cot with oil, latex, or even acrylic paint as it suits your needs, just make sure that whatever type you choose is clearly labelled and non-toxic and free of lead. Pick the new colour for your cot by coordinating with your nursery decor, favourite baby item, or even with the colour of your baby's eyes. Use a power sander when stripping brand-new furniture to cut down the work time as new finishes are much thicker and harder to remove.


Older or worn cots may require priming before painting in order for the colour to show up properly. Check the brightness of your test patch of paint to see whether you need to apply the primer or not. Never put your child in any piece of furniture that in unsafe or broken in any way.

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Things You'll Need

  • Dust sheet
  • Wooden cot
  • Sandpaper
  • Tack cloth
  • Wash cloth
  • Small paintbrush
  • Lead-free paint

About the Author

Leah Perry has been writing articles, product descriptions and content since 2006 for websites like My Dear Child, Modular Kitchen Cabinets and On Track Lighting. The subjects of her works span topics from children to home and garden, home improvement, sewing and cooking.

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