New v’s DIY Second Hand Nursery Furniture
One of the big expenses of a new baby is furnishing their rooms. Deciding exactly what you do and don’t need for them, if they will share your room/bed. Have a bassinet, cot, co-sleep, etc.
While choosing a bassinet in our bedroom for the first few months but also having a separate nursery for baby for later on, and for his day sleeps was an easy decision for us to make, deciding on recycled furniture or a completely new set up was a bit tougher.
Initially we were going to buy a new set from Baby Bunting to cover everything. It was a convertible cot/change table/draws with a bassinet attachment that converted to a toddler bed with change table and draws, that then once again changed to a single bed with bed side tables/draws. I was impressed. Especially after comparing the cost of all these things to buy separately it just seemed like the sensible way to go.
Then I was hit with terrible morning sickness and exhaustion and had to cut back at work, so it was becoming a much less likely scenario for us to buy everything new. A friend from work had saved her daughters cot from several years ago and offered it to us. It was a little under the weather but with some TLC it could be brought right up to standard and look almost new. After having to give up work all together much earlier than planned getting pretty much anything new was starting to look like an impossibility so we looked over what we already had and didn’t need to buy and were offered the rest from kind families that heard we were struggling. So far, all the furniture for our babies room has cost us nothing at all. It ranged from a white change table (that I honestly wouldn’t have brought for myself, but it was free and in good condition so I can’t complain), dark cream set of draws and a weird green cot with pealed paint and no screws to hold it together.
If you get creative all of this is a easy fix. After a trip to Bunnings to get the right screws, some paint brushes, paint (talk about your colour scheme before you go, it helps a lot.) sand paper, a surface prep liquid for areas we couldn’t sand back and some helpful advice we were ready to go.
Things to discuss before you start your Reno:
- Colour/theme. We wanted a Pink and Yellow Owl theme for a girl or a Blue and Green Dinosaur theme for a boy. You don’t have to choose a theme, or even bright colours. A plain neutral colour can look great if you want something simple or even something that is really easy to do. If your not patient go a single colour and keep it basic. Also works of you don’t know what your having.
- What type of paint you will use. Most baby sites recommend using a water based paint, however in discussing this with a professional painter and the Bunnings guy we were assured it doesn’t make that much difference in this day and age as the chemicals used in paints nowadays are much safer. As long as you allow a good month or so for drying time for the fumes. We chose a water base anyway. It dries faster, which is both a good and a bad thing. You get it done quicker and can apply the second/third coats after a couple of hours rather than a day or two. However, as oil paint dries slower, it also smooths itself out so you get less brush strokes and a smoother finish. You also need to decide mat or high gloss. Mat is cheaper and usually you can get it in sample pots which knocks the price down again as you don’t actually need that much paint. However, high gloss is easier to clean. You can just wipe it down with a cloth and it’s as good as new if bubs chucks on it or gets poop or food on it, mat isn’t quite as baby durable. You can however get a spray to go over mat paint to make it glossy.
- Who’s painting what. I know, it sounds silly, but my biggest regret is my husbands painting technique. It’s terrible! We worked on all the furniture together and he was so messy I was constantly going over his work to fix it up. Particularly the fiddly bits. You need to make sure, whoever does the majority of the work has an eye for it and if your a bit anal about how things look, or your partner is, make sure the anal one does most of the work, if not all of it. In saying that, my husband was much better at sanding than I was so he did most of that.
- This wont be done over night, you will loose motivation and just get busy so make sure you allow a lot of time to finish your project and allow as much extra drying time as possible. Ideally two months plus.
- The age of the original furniture. Safety standard do change. Make sure everything is secure and can’t come apart. Look for a safety standards list if your not sure the furniture complies with current standards and just generally make sure everything moves smoothly and as it’s supposed to, and things that shouldn’t don’t. If you don’t feel good about the piece, don’t use it.
- Only wear old clothes, even water based paint can be impossible to get out, although metho helps and will assist in properly cleaning your brushes as well.
- If you paint inside make sure you cover your floor with plastic or cardboard, a sheep wont keep the paint drops out of your carpet.