Would you like to spend more time with your children? Are you looking to save money on the bigger household expenses that you have, such as furniture? If you answered yes to either of these questions, consider building your own children’s furniture.
You may be thinking to yourself that this endeavour is too difficult. Well, think again. Sure, building furniture is not a simple task, but it depends on what you are building. If you want to build a vanity with an attached mirror and drawers, then you might run into some difficulties, but children’s furniture is great in that it is usually relatively basic and easy to construct.
The easiest forms of kid’s furniture you can build are desks, side tables and stools. You may want to begin with a stool and move on to side tables and then desks. Look at a furniture-building book, or better yet, check online. There are tons of resources there for furniture builders at all skill levels. After you have a list of the materials, head out to get the timber and any nails, screws, glue or hinges that you may need. Make sure you construct the furniture in a well-ventilated area as the wood glue used in the woodworking process and the sawdust that can accumulate can be toxic. If you don’t want to use wood to build, consider kids furniture kits that have everything included in them and may be made out of plastics or metals. Just be sure the materials are kid friendly.
If you are successful with building kids furniture, you can even consider turning it into your own business. Try out new plans and blueprints, and once you get better, make up your own ideas. Talk to your children about the kinds of furniture they like, and get artistic. This is sure to be a fun and rewarding activity.
Best Paint For Kids Furniture
Children’s furniture generally takes a beating by young kids. Children play rough and are usually quite physically active. It is not uncommon that children will use a bed or dresser as a prop in various games. In time, scrapes, paint chips and scuffs will appear on the furniture. One can easily renew a child’s furniture with a simple paint job. Make sure to use non-toxic paint to protect a child’s health.
Most hardware shops carry nontoxic paint if you ask. Latex or water based paint is a good place to start. This type of paint is very versatile, easy to correct mistakes, easy to cleanup and easier to use than oil based or acrylic paint. This is usually for indoor projects and should be marked as such. Indoor paint is also good as it usually stands up better in regard to stains.
Non-toxic paint generally comes in a wide range of colours and finishes, or sheens. The most popular sheens for furniture are flat, satin, semi gloss and gloss. The best finish to use on furniture is usually satin, semi-gloss or gloss. These sheens are more resistant to stains than the flat finish. Often when it comes to children’s furniture, you will want to apply a couple coats of non-toxic paint to the furniture, letting each dry thoroughly between painting (several hours is recommended). Then allow the furniture to dry overnight.
Next, you will want to apply a non-toxic sealant such as natural wax or oil, to the child’s furniture. This provides protection for the furniture without compromising your child’s health.
In addition, you can also use a coat of water based, non-toxic polyurethane as a final topcoat after the paint is dry. This is to protect the finish from stains and damage.
Then it is a good idea to leave the furniture in a well-ventilated area to dry for a few days if possible. This will eliminate any residual odours or fumes that may be present, thus making things safer for your child.
Best Wood For Kids Furniture
The best wood for children’s furniture is a two-part discussion; it depends on what the use will be for and how it will be used. Obviously, safety is the first thing that comes to mind, but after that what is the furniture going to be used for. Is it going to be something that gets a lot of use or is it going to be used for something nicer, like at the dinner table? Establishing how the furniture will be used will help you in purchasing the best wood to use for children’s furniture.
Well-designed furniture avoids a lot of common dangers that are associated with wood furniture splinters, metal burrs, and sharp edges. A natural wood look is visually appealing and is often copied in more inexpensive materials. Natural looking surfaces include the texture and markings of woods such as oak for example. Staining is often applied to surfaces to make a less expensive wood mimic the look of another more expensive wood. Transparent finishes such as varnishes and shellac are added applied to add a protective surface and a glossy sheen. Composite wood is the most common material for inexpensive furniture and is often made up of particleboard, MDF, and Masonite. This type of furniture is often painted or a plastic veneer is applied that simulates wood.
Certain plastics and composite wood materials used in furniture may contain chemicals that are harmful to children. Paints may carry the risk of lead or other chemicals in them that can be harmful if a child is teething.
Solid wood furniture is the best option for children, and furniture in general for all ages. But it is often very expensive, hence the popularity of composite board. Any furniture that will not break down easily, for example if it has a thin wood veneer, is safer for a child. Pine is a very inexpensive wood that is used in a lot of furniture and is a great option. The farther one can get away from poorly painted surfaces and cheap composites the better.