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DIY Doll Crib Makeover with Chalk Paint & Mod Podge

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This post is sponsored by Plaid Products and Blueprint Social. The opinions are my own, per usual.

A DIY Crib Doll Makeover with Chalk Paint and Mod Podge Pearl.

Chalk paint is magic! A chalk paint makeover is just what this beat up doll crib needed, and as I edit this post a year later I can tell you it has held up really well. Sometimes the preparation for a project can be daunting to me, especially when it comes to painting. Pinterest is full of posts with tips for painting, how-to guides for different projects, and ways to fix mistakes. Instead of reading them all and feeling prepared, I always ended up feeling discouraged! So my painting project (making over a vintage crib) kept getting bumped down further and further on my to-do list.

Plaid Products came to the rescue, with the chance to try out Folk Art Home Decor Chalks and Waxes and Mod Podge Pearl. I’d read about chalk paint before but the projects I’ve seen it used for don’t really fit my aesthetic. While it is fabulous for distressing and layering colors, it also looks great used mono-chromatically too! It requires zero primer, zero sanding, and it’s really easy to blend in touch-ups. I used the Mod Podge Pearl to make a toy sign to show day/night; the pearlescent finish makes it feel a little bit fancier.

Doll crib before

Before we had my daughter, we set my son up with a cute little baby doll. He kept sticking it in boxes to sleep, so when I saw a $5 vintage baby crib for sale, I swooped in. He liked rocking all his toys, so we moved it into our family room. The only drawback was that the colors and design details didn’t mesh well with the rest of our house. I kept planning and planning to get it primed and painted but never found the time when the weather was nice enough to do it outside, so it sat and grew more and more chipped.

Check out these other posts while you’re here:

modern baby doll crib

Using the chalk paint was pretty much scentless, so I could do it in my basement. There was zero prep work other than wiping it down for dust. FolkArt has 42 colors and 3 waxes to choose from – this is painted in the cobblestone grey with clear wax. I sewed a simple cover for the mattress, made from Geo Pop Canvas by Robert Kaufman Fabrics.

Modern baby doll crib with a day and night sign

You can see the night/day sign hanging with the moon showing – one of my son’s favorite games is to declare ‘SLEEP TIME!’ and order everyone around to bed so now his dolls and softies can join in too!

Pin this wood crib makeover for later with this link or image:

A DIY Crib Doll Makeover with Chalk Paint and Mod Podge Pearl. See how a vintage crib got updated with a chalk paint makeover into a modern, graphic baby doll crib.

If you’re thinking of using chalk paint & wax to makeover a piece of furniture or toy, it’s so easy, but I’ll walk through the steps I took!

DIY doll crib makeover

chalk paint crib

Step 1

Paint! No prep needed, get a paintbrush or foam brush and layer a thin coat on. You can see it’s a little streaky with a first coat – it dries quickly to the touch but you have to wait 2 hours in between coats. Do a second coat.

Chalk paint wax

Step 2

Use a clean cloth or brush and add a coat of wax. It rubs into the wood nicely, but needs to set and dry overnight before you buff (or distress, if you layered colors or want to roughen it up).

one coat vs two

You can see the difference in streakiness here! A second coat and wax looks great. That’s it! You’re done.

If you’d like to make a day/night sign, that is just as easy.

mod podge pearl before and after

This gives you an idea of the Mod Podge Pearl effect, this is with two coats and it’s pretty subtle.

Step 1

Sunshine sign beginning

I used a small, 5″ X 5″ balsa wood square for the base, drilling two holes in the top and using the Mod Podge to seal the base layer. After that dried, I used a regular gluestick to affix the sun and then layered Mod Podge over top of that. I let it all dry, and then repeated for the opposite side.

Step 2

sun sign

I threaded ribbon through, and was done! No extra painting or sealing necessary. The Mod Podge is non-toxic, in case the baby gets a hold of the sign and decides to taste it.

day and night sign diy

Now my son can flip it to sleep or awake time for all his dolls and friends!

Softie stuffed baby doll crib

As you can see, it gets a little crowded in there. We love softies! In the crib, from left to right, are a Little Driver Wheel, this cute peanut baby, a patchwork ball my mom made, this wool seal, and a Little Artist Palette. I am so happy to look over and see this modern, fresh crib instead of a faded, stained powder blue eyesore.


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Alicia @ Felt With Love Designs

Tuesday 15th of December 2015

I spy some handmade toys in that crib!! I love the crib you painted! I'm not sure what I would paint but the little one wants a "baby" for Christmas so it would be super fun to find a crib at the thrift store to makeover.


Saturday 12th of December 2015

So great! I haven't used these yet, but I've always wanted to give them a go.


Saturday 12th of December 2015

I love this! I have a wooden cradle that looks shabby and would be awesome spruced up! After reading about chalk paint I think I want to use it on all my furniture :)


Friday 11th of December 2015

Thanks for the demo -- I especially appreciated seeing the pictures of "first coat" and "after", and the reminders to WAIT between coats and after waxing. I get ahead of myself sometimes....

Claire G

Thursday 10th of December 2015

WOW! I have a very similar doll crib that could use some sprucing up. I'd love to try the chalk paint project that you showed here!!

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