Crib Update - Lindsey Jane Co

How To Update Your Crib For $30

Adding a new addition? Congrats! Having a baby can be expensive. I’m due with baby #3 in a few weeks and wanted to update my crib without buying new. So I decided to update the crib I already had and it cost me right around $30.

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Here’s a little back story on the crib update

Here’s a little backstory. Our nursery is painted a taupe color. I wanted the wall behind the crib to be white, so I went ahead and painted it one day. It turned out really pretty but made our crib look very dingy and almost yellow.

I ordered my crib with my first baby (6 years ago) and when it came the back piece didn’t match the rest of the crib. But I decided to live with it rather than try to send it back.

So not only did the crib not match the wall, but it really didn’t even match itself! 

Needless to say it was time for an upgrade. I wasn’t willing to pay for a brand new crib when ours was still perfectly functional.

The cribs that I really loved were the ones with wooden accents on them and had a very simple shape. Boho style. But because of the molding on the top edges of the crib I didn’t think there would be any way to get that look with the crib that I had. So I decided just to paint the whole thing white and call it good. At least it wouldn’t look so dingy anymore. 

A happy accident for this crib update

While trying to decide how to update the crib, I went to move the crib one day and the top molding on the back piece popped off… so this got the wheels in my head turning.

One thing that I didn’t really like about my crib was the bulky-ness of it. What if I were to take off the back piece? Then the crib would at least have the shape that I was going for.

Cutting down the crib: with the jig saw and table saw

So I removed the molding and the back piece of the crib. I knew I wanted to cut it down to be about flush with the side pieces. 

So in order to update my crib, I broke out my trusty table saw (which I love! You can find out the 11 reasons i think everyone should get a table saw by clicking here!) and my jig saw for this project. (for more info on how to use your jig saw click here)

I used the jig saw to cut down both sides of the back of the crib.

The middle of the back of the crib had a groove cut into it so the back piece (that I wasn’t planning on using) would stay on. So I used the table saw to make the whole back piece flush with itself. 

A great discovery: the crib was made of wood

And then I discovered something wonderful!!!! This crib was made of solid wood!!! This would make a huge difference in how I update my crib.

I thought that it was made of some type of particle board, but was sooo thrilled to discover the exposed wood when I cut the top off!!

So the wheels got turning again. I didn’t really like the rounded edges of the molding on the top of the crib, so what if I cut them down to be square. It would give me the modern look I was going for. So I figured I would go for it!! 

Slicing the molding down for this updated crib

I set the table saw rip fence as close to the blade as I could safely get it. Keep in mind that the blade cuts off ⅛”. I didn’t wanting much more than that cut off.

I sliced the molding down starting with the tops and then moving to the outside edges and front, leaving the inside pieces because they were flush with the inside of the crib. 

This part was a little tricky because you need to keep a consistent pressure the whole time you’re cutting. Otherwise you will end up cutting too much or too little off in some spots, like I did with the back panel of the crib.

(I “fixed” it with a little paint)

At this point I needed to decide what to do with the back piece

I flipped the pack panel of the crib over and used it to experiment. Did I want the top piece to be painted or exposed wood?

So I sanded down some and left some white to help me decide. I even took the crib back in the house and did a rough assembly of it to see what I liked. I didn’t feel like either option looked finished. 

While I was in the house I remembered that I still had the top piece of molding that went on top of the back panel of the crib!! 

So I sliced it down the same way I did the side molding and that was it!! It was so perfect and uniform.

I sanded down the top trim on the front panel piece of the crib. This was to expose the wood to match the rest of the crib. I left the inside of this piece white. 

Time to prep for paint

Now it was time for paint! (almost) I used the palm sander and 150 grit sandpaper to sand the shininess off of the crib in all of the places I would be painting. (which was everything except for the back of the back panel)

I was tempted to skip this step but didn’t want to go through all of the work of redoing the crib only to have the paint scrape right off the first time a tractor toy gets driven across it. 

Then I vacuumed the dust off with my bucket vacuum (an affordable alternative to a shop Vacuum) and wiped the pieces down with a lint free rag. (I like to use old cut up t-shirts for this)

Time to paint

Then It was time to paint. Here are the types of paint and top coat that I used. Rust-oleum 2X coverage painter’s touch, they have great coverage! I used satin sheen in both the paint and the top coat. (I bought my Paint at the local hardware store)

Using masking tape I taped off the exposed wood so no paint would get to it.

We had some scrap 2×4 pieces that I rested the crib panels on so they were raised above the ground. That way I was able to paint the edges.

I did three or four light layers of paint on the front and back pieces. Enough to cover all of the small sanded edges, and give it a uniform look. 

Starting on the back side of each piece I painted a few light layers of paint. Then let it dry between each coat. Once the back had a uniform look I flipped over the panels and did the front the same way.

Painting the white strips on the molding

The right side is the new paint and the left is the old. It was very easy to tell the difference in real life.

When the paint had completely dried I painted the strips of white that were left in the corners of the molding. I used masking tape to tape off the wood again, only leaving the white strip exposed. (you could try taping it off like this in the first place and spray painting the strip) I used some bright white chalk paint and a small angled brush. 

I wondered if this step was necessary because of how tiny the white strip was. But as soon as I started painting you could tell how yellow the previous paint looked compared to the new paint. I’m glad I did it.

Paint the top coat

Then I followed the same steps with the top coat as I did with the painted coats. I started on the back of the panels and flipped them over to the front to paint them last.

I skipped primer. If I were to do it again I would have done the primer. This is because I had to do a few more coats of paint just to cover the corner pieces that had small spots of exposed wood from the palm sander. A coat or two of primer would have covered up these spots and I could have used less paint.

I ended up using 4 bottles of spray paint and 3 bottles of top coat.

The back of the back panel I didn’t paint because it would be against the wall.

Paint sanding and touch-up

If you have any spots that were sprayed too heavily or too close to the crib it will look like this. Using 400 grit sandpaper I spot sanded these places lightly until the build up was gone and the area was clean. I then wiped it free of any dust and sprayed another light layer.

Using 400 grit I lightly sanded over the exposed wood to smooth out any little bumps from the top coat.

Attaching the back molding using the Kreg Jig

Once it was dried out I needed to attach the molding piece to the back of the crib. I drilled a few holes with the Kreg Jig ( learn more about the Kreg Jig  and all of the reasons YOU NEED one by clicking here)

When I tried to attach the back with the Kreg screws the molding ended up with a big gap between the molding and the crib on one side because the molding piece was slightly warped. So I left one screw in the middle and then I used large clamps (with paper towels between them and the crib to protect the crib surface) and strong wood glue (You can find the kind I used here) to hold the molding in place until it dried. Then I added a couple of
1 1/4″ brad nails in each end of the molding to hold it into place.


Once everything was done, I assembled the crib! And that’s how to update your crib!

I’m SO in LOVE with it! I couldn’t have planned out how to update my crib any better. Sometimes it just takes getting into a project to really get inspired with it!

Follow me on Instagram for behind the scenes on these and more projects!!

I’m always posting more project ideas on Pinterest, follow along here!

For more project inspiration you should check out these posts!

Best wood for farmhouse signs

Now go make that project lady!!

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