What finish would you recommend to use on a baby cradle?
Greg Williams: Virtually any clear coating normally used for furniture will be safe once the film has dried thoroughly. This includes lacquer, shellac, varnish, and polyurethane. The amount of coating material that a baby could ingest is minute, and the clear coatings don’t contain pigments that could be injurious.
Michael Dresdner: It is true that any clear coating, once dry, is safe, but if you are really worried, why not use shellac? It is beautiful, easy to apply, easy to repair, and is completely edible. In fact, most of the shellac imported into the country ends up coating candy, fruit, vitamins, and medicine tablets. You’ve consumed shellac if you have ever eaten Raisinettes, Malted Milk Balls, or Junior Mints, which, as Kramer says, are “very refreshing.”