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Thread: Paint or Not paint an old Baby Buggy

  1. #1
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    Paint or Not paint an old Baby Buggy

    We have an old buggy/bassinet that's been in the family for a long time. I've never seen it. It's just come from my aunt (who slept in as a baby--and she's in her late 60s) who is downsizing and it's going to be used soon for my younger sister's baby (due in August).

    Currently it's at a DIFFERENT sister's house in Kentucky and she says it's in remarkably good condition for its age. She said the body is much better than the wheels, which could use some paint, she says.

    The buggy is ivory. Any thoughts as to whether she should repaint it the same color, or make it a crisp white, or just leave it as is? She has seen similar ones online for in the $400 range, so it's worth something monetarily, but we've no plans to sell it any time soon. (I may even use it when I have grandbabies in the next few years, Lord willing.) I just don't know if painting it would ruin the value? Or if it doesn't matter?

  2. #2
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    my first thought would be... is the current paint lead based?
    Nancy in western NY
    before you speak THINK
    T is it True? H is it Helpful? I is it Inspiring? N is it Necessary? K is it Kind?


  3. #3
    Super Member cashs_mom's Avatar
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    A lot depends on the condition, the actual age and whether you are just going to slap some paint on it or do a restoration. If it was your aunt's and she's in her late 60's it's probably 40's or 50's and could be in good enough shape to use as is. Personally, I would leave it as it is, if it's usable.
    Patrice S

  4. #4
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    I am with Nan and the first thing would be to order a lead testing kit. If the paint tests fine then it is up to you. If you don't plan on selling it as an antique, it won't really matter if painting it devalues it. If it is a buggy, a good wash might be enough. If it is a bassinet with bars, there are new regulations for spacing.

  5. #5
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    I love family traditions and apparently this piece is among those things to be passed down. When one of my grandchildren was being expected, I repainted the bassinet that I had used for my children. It was white but was aging. I used spray paint to freshen it and made a new liner for it. It looks good again. I would try to "kinda" match the color that's on the piece you have so any missed spots won't be too evident. I doubt lead-base will be an issue as use of the piece will be of a limited time and before Baby is chewing on the surface. And certainly Baby will not be sampling the wheels.

  6. #6
    Senior Member osewme's Avatar
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    I've learned a lot from watching The Antiques Roadshow & one thing they always emphasize is don't paint over the original piece as it will lower the value of it. You can clean it but don't paint it. Original paint/patena is critical in antique pieces.

  7. #7
    Power Poster ManiacQuilter2's Avatar
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    I agree with osewme. You need to check first if the old paint has lead but painting it will cut the value of this antique in half.
    A Good Friend, like an old quilt, is both a Treasure and a Comfort

  8. #8
    Power Poster lynnie's Avatar
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    my first thoughts were with Nan also, you MUST ck to see if it's lead based, which it probably is. In that case, you must paint over it, and then in your choice I don't thnk painting it will loose vlue. I watch some antique shows, and alot of items are refurbished and it adds value to it. I guess anyone can take paint off too to make it look aged. I think it would have more of a sentimental value to it too. Please show us a picture of it.
    put off till tomorrow what you can do today, and if you procrastinate long enough, you may never have to do it.

  9. #9
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    If it were mine I would not paint it nor use it for a baby. I would clean it up if needed, then put a pretty baby doll in it and use it for a decorative piece and share the back story with anyone that should ask.

  10. #10
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    This must be a hard sided buggy, right? In my mind I envision fabric type buggy body.....anyway, my question is what if it's lead painted? Is the child going to be chewing on it or lying in it? Many of us grew up with lead painted houses, etc........I never chewed on wood trim or walls and neither did my children growing up, nor I might add, "climb" onto dressers and have them topple onto them. I just don't understand this cover/remove lead based paint. Good that the now paint formula has removed/replaced the lead. I am more concerned about lead piping still being used to bring water to some communities/houses.

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