I painted mine with normal gloss paint. I found it very useful to be able to hoseitdown wipe it clean. Emulsion wouldn't be as good for that. None of mine used to eat the wood though, if they had been chewers I may have decided to leave the wood unvarnished or painted. If you wanted it coloured but not painted you could always wood stain it.
ohh nice thread thanks tethersend. I only want white so am thinking maybe gloss them (need to do 2). I want to paint them as I'm buying second hand cots and can't get any that are the same so am thinking paiting them would make them more uniform.
you buy paint and apply with a brush! not many paints contain anything like lead these days so id say you can paint with anything. i had a second hand cot for DD and painted with gloss paint...she is 12 now and has survived! lol