Preparing Our Baby Room

In Family Updates, Photo Galleries by David Waller25 Comments

What a fun project it was to refinish a crib that many Waller babies have used over the past three decades. Now we are pleased to see how quickly we were able to sand it down, stain it with a golden oak stain and put a new seal coat on it. Priscilla was so diligent sanding while David made a new spindle for one that was broken. Now it seems good as new.


  1. Please see if there is a conversion kit available for the crib – drop side cribs have been banned for a few years now, but conversion kits are available to make these cribs safer.

  2. I would hesitate to use an old crib, especially a drop-sided one. They do not conform to the current safety standards and children have died in them. Also, as to the refinishing, I sure hope you used non-toxic, babysafe stain and sealant. Babies suck, lick and chew on their cribs.

  3. Beautiful handiwork. Can’t wait to meet the newest Keller-Waller addition. Praying for an easy labor and delivery for Priscilla!

  4. What a precious tradition! I don’t know if you are aware but they have discontinued cribs with the drop down rails because children were getting hurt in them. You can buy a kit that will allow you to fix the issue so you can use the crib. Priscilla is beautiful. I am so happy for you guys. It won’t be too much longer before that precious baby arrives.

    God bless you guys,

    Lisa E.

  5. The crib looks wonderful! Good work! I also wanted to echo the poster above that recommended getting the kit to to fix the drop down side of the crib. We too have an older crib and sent away for the kit and the crib is usable and most importantly safe! Good luck on the upcoming birth and GOD Bless!

  6. Does the crib meet current safety standards? I would be very worried about using a 30yo crib.

    Babies suck and chew on everything – I hope the finish you used is non-toxic.

    God bless,

  7. Hello,
    I absolutely love your website. You two are such a cute, young couple. Just love how Priscilla stays so active during your pregnancy (I did the same by keeping up my exercise routine at the gym (with mods of course)) and it will make for an easier delivery.

    However, I am quite concerned about the crib. You added varnish to it, which can take weeks for the smell to go away. Even if the smell goes away, your newborn may be able to smell it. Babies, newborns especially, are quite sensitive to smells. I understand that you want to keep up tradition, but maybe varnishing the wood wasn’t the best idea. Also, the crib is quite old and industry and national standards have changed. Did you try passing a ball the size of a baby’s head through the bars? I had a friend who lost her baby by strangulation, because she wanted to use the “family” crib. Looking from your pics, crib bars tend to be much closer than back in the olden days. Have you considered a bassinet, something that can be moved easily from say living room to bedroom, wherever one of you ends up sleeping? My baby slept near me and my hubby for the first few months in a bassinet, and after she outgrew it, the “top” of a fancy pack and play.

    Well you two have a safe and happy pregnancy.

  8. Looks wonderful!! What a handyman! My husband and I are going to use my sister’s crib; something with added sentiment since she has passed away. I think it is a beautiful tradition!!

  9. We have a bowl of pecans sitting on our kitchen counter that remind us of you.:) Thanks for sharing the pictures, as it is exciting to see you preparing for your precious blessing. We are praying for you:) The crib looks great! Beautiful work, great thriftines, and what diligent work to complete such a task! May God bless you and keep you and make His face to shine upon you. With Love, the whole Dash family….. Bobby, Leighanne, Austin, Gabe, Cadence, & Emily

  10. What a beautiful tradition to hand down such a wonderful piece of furniture. Isn’t it amazing how well made furniture used to be compared to what we can buy in stores today? I couldn’t worry about the drop side. There are lots of ways to work around it whether the way you use or getting a conversion kit. You guys are going to make great parents and I’m sure you’re well-informed. Relish this time of preparation.

  11. Hi David and Priscilla,
    Thanks for opening your lives to us. I appreciate that. I’m hoping to share some wisdom with you, as a mother of 6 children. Please know this is not criticism, but genuine heartfelt sharing.As others who care about you and your sweet baby have mentioned crib safety has come a long way, praise the Lord. Cribs with close bar spacing (smaller than a soda can), permanently fixed sides, and a snug firm fitting mattress are best. I know you have put a lot of hard work into this lovely family crib, and Pinterest has a lot of great ways to repurpose cribs so that it can still be an important piece of furniture in your home.
    Carseats are another item that needs to be purchased new, for each child (expensive, I know). The reason for this is that the foam and padding becomes shaped to each childs body, and less able to absorb impact, particularly as each child is shaped differently.
    Clothes passed down are always sweet to see in use again, and favorite books too.Maybe some wall hangings that have been in the family would be fun to use again.
    I just want all of your children to be very safe, I know how much you love your baby.God bless and keep you.

    1. You do not need to rebuy a crib or a car seat for each child. That is absurd. I have three children, and all 3 have used the same crib and the same car seat. The car seat has a 10 year life time before it needs replaced (although 5 years is recommended) and every piece of baby furniture I bought for my first daughter in 2007 was recalled six months later. Not because it was dangerous but simply because people weren’t using their brains.

  12. I raised my 12 children using this style of crib (albeit the higher quality ones, since they would be used by future babies)…and old style carseats, etc.. No problems at all. Items refubished from thrift stores as well as family heirlooms are treasures. We are excited for you both !!!! ūüôā

  13. David and Pricilla,

    We all are so happy for you…congratulations on the new coming baby. Boy, you sure did get a lot of advice on your baby crib. So I thought I would share one of our funny stories. One of my daughters ate the paint and polyurathane right our crib. She was my child who smiled all the time. She had woken from her nap and was happily chewing away but I had no idea. When I went in to see her…the shock was scary…her beautiful smile was tainted with shiny black chips. It looked like her teeth were rotting out. It took me a few seconds to realize what it was. But she turned out just fine…and still smiling! Enjoy your time with your little one….God bless!

  14. Nice job David! I wanted to comment on the fact that you are being a good dad already with getting that crib up to date. I wouldn’t want to be you right now with getting all those comments about the safety of the crib and all that. I’m sure you both are mature and wise enough to make sure that your child will be safe. Besides, you can’t forsee everthing that could happen, but you have to trust God with the little one He has allowed you to raise for Him. God will look after your baby. If that crib is thirty years old and had killed anyone I would like to think that you would have retired it long ago. Anyway, I thought the crib project looked great and imagine it was very rewarding. I have done a few projects like that too and it is a lot of fun.
    May God bless you both with the wisdom and grace to be the best parents in the world. Congratulations!


  15. That crib is too old. Those cribs have been deemed unsafe. Yes, maybe we live in a nanny state but there are certain rules there for a reason. For a hundred dollars you can buy a safe crib at a place like Ikea. If you have the funds to travel to Australia certainly you can afford to buy a safe crib for your baby. I really hope you have a safe car seat and baby carriage for the new one. You can buy used on clothes but some items are a safety risk.

  16. Although I’ve never met you, you seem like a wonderful and intelligent couple who make good, intelligent choices. You seem to have set off a bit of a debate with this post! If I may add my two cents, I think if you feel comfortable with the safety of your furniture, go for it. In my family, we have a bassinette that is over 100 years old that every baby in my family has slept it, including me. Does it meet the current, rigid safety standards imposed on just about everything we buy for children? probably not, as it was built before those standards existed. But, it’s solid as a rock and I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s a beautiful tradition to pass down furniture and other items in a family and again if you feel comfortable using it, maybe with a few modifications, go for it! Bless you both.

  17. My oldest son is 32, and I still have the crib used by him and his younger brother. It was perfeccty safe then now meaning it meets all the current regulations and always has met them. I think people forget that crib regulations are not new to this century, and many many older cribs meet the guidelines. Perosnally, I cannot imagine you doing anything would would being possible harm to your child. Prayers as you move forward to delivery of your son.

    Blessings, Mrs. Mari

  18. Yikes. Yes, all of us slept in cribs that are now deemed unsafe. Here’s the reason they were recalled: Some of the children who slept in them died because of the safety issues, those people are not around and cannot comment on the internet because they are dead. The whole point is that the percentage of associated deaths is high… we simply did not know that things were unsafe. Frankly I know that the crib my brother and I had was unsafe because it is VERY unsafe for a child to learn to get the gate down and “escape”. Yes, we were fine in the end but what if we had gotten caught in our bedding and slipped? I won’t even get started on using conventional, potentially toxic finishes never meant to go on cribs. I guess I value my children more than a 100 dollars. A crib at Ikea is 69.99 to 119.99 and mattresses start at 34.99. All formaldehyde free and meeting safety standards. A nice car seat can be bought for 50 dollars. Strollers are a bit pricier but I can tell you that the used stroller we had for our first child looked fine but we soon realized it was unsafe. Why would I risk my child’s health and life over saving a few dollars? I can make sacrifices in other ways like one less vacation in my lifetime or not buying a brand new car (always buying used cars!). Children are DYING because of these unsafe cribs. Just one model in one year was the cause of 3 child deaths and there are hundreds of models out there. Just because YOU didn’t die doesn’t mean that your child is somehow safe too.

  19. My wife and I are first time readers and it isn’t safe to use a drop down crib! Please buy a conversion kit to finish and please don’t use paint either!

    Julia and Samantha D.

  20. Dear Friends,

    As a childcare center director (where we submit to stringent regulations on the use of cribs), mother of three, and grandmother of three, I can share the following:

    Every crib that you buy on the market today has paint or varnish on the wood. It is then sealed with some type of sealcoating that is rendered non-toxic upon curing. As this wise young couple did seal the varnish, it will be just as safe as what you buy in the store. The spindles look very close together- certainly within specifications for safety. There have been thirty deaths from side-lowering cribs in 10 years. With 3.5 million live births per year in the USA (30.5 million babies total in ten years), it is NOT a high risk item, particularly for parents with a particle of common sense, who know better than to pile up toys and blankets in the crib that might cause choking or breathing issues. A simple L-bracket on each side will render the side-lowering feature unusable, if desired. No need to buy a kit!

    To the young couple, this looks like it was a fun project and a beautiful crib for your new baby boy. Congratulations!

    Lois H.

  21. Hi David and Priscilla,
    I love how you both got to work on the crib your baby boy is about to lie in!
    I also have done a similar project on the cribs my girl has spent so much hours in sleeping and dreaming without the world entering.
    Sorry about all the people above that (in my eyes) seemed a little to much concerned about the safety of your child. But that’s how it works around the internet. We watch, and we all want to help out.
    These day’s it doesn’t take a village to raise a child but an entire world.
    Everyone was not judging just curious about how you planned this.
    I am sure you never meant any harm and thought about this very carefully.
    I don’t think you were dense when you prepared this bed for your child and I don’t think that you will be in the future.
    God’s creation is safe with you because God never leaves the precious kids he creates.
    Lot’s of love, peace and joy for you both, your baby boy √°nd this crib from Joke, from the Netherlands.

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