Are you planning to paint your baby’s crib and wondering whether or not you need to consider the safety of the paint? Are you wondering why you need baby safe paint in the first place? We’re going to talk about just that today.
The truth is that the vast majority of the paints we use continue to release dangerous chemical fumes into the year, many years after they were first applied.
Using such paints in your house can potentially pose serious safety and health hazards. Most people think getting paint is as simple as getting the first one they set their eyes upon.
However, when it comes to choosing the paint that your baby will be exposed to, you’d need to be as careful as one can be. You’d need a paint that has no VOCs, no odor, that is non-toxic and safe for your babies.
A VOC is a Volatile Organic Compound, and these are very dangerous for your baby. Non-toxic paint for babies should be VOC-free. We’ll talk more about them in the buyer’s guide if you’re curious to know more. For now, however, let’s dive right into it and look at the best baby safe paint choices on the market.
1. Rust-Oleum 285140 Ultra Matte Interior Chalked Paint
Today’s Dads’ Choice Award for the best baby safe paint goes to Rust-Oleum’s 285140 Ultra Matte Interior Chalked Paint. Rust-Oleum comes in handy if you’re doing a remodeling job and don’t like to handle the terrible smell of thinners. It has great adhesive properties, yet surprisingly doesn’t aggravate your allergies. Rust-Oleum is made of 100% non-toxic materials and is safe for use. The paint is a non-VOC so you wouldn’t have to worry about long term exposure and is super easy to apply on interior surfaces without having to do a ton of prep work first.Read Our Full Review
2. Retique It Chalk Finish Paint
The Retique It Finish Paint allows you to get much faster results than you would get with a normal point. Retique It Chalk Finish is our pick for the best low VOC baby safe paint; it’s completely free of VOCs and is non-toxic, making it a baby safe paint, so you wouldn’t have to worry about any health hazards. It’s used by many professionals and is ideal for painting furniture and cabinets.Read Our Full Review
3. FolkArt 34150 Home Decor Chalk Furniture
FolkArt’s 34150 Home Decor Chalk had to be our pick for the best baby safe paint for cribs. FolkArt is unique among paints in the sense that it is extremely easy to layer and distress, creates a brilliant matte chalk finish that will look great in your nursery and their products are completely safe for babies, so you can enjoy the process without having to worry about any health hazards.Read Our Full Review
4. Tried and True Wood Stain
Tried & True Wood Stain paint is a great option if you’re looking for a baby safe furniture paint, it's the go-to option for the most hobbyist who takes their hobby seriously. It’s also great to have it if you’re planning to do paintwork in your baby’s crib.Read Our Full Review
Today’s Dads’ Choice Award for the best baby safe paint goes to Rust-Oleum’s 285140 Ultra Matte Interior Chalked Paint. Rust-Oleum comes in handy if you’re doing a remodeling job and don’t like to handle the terrible smell of thinners. It has great adhesive properties, yet surprisingly doesn’t aggravate your allergies. Rust-Oleum is made of 100% non-toxic materials and is safe for use. The paint is a non-VOC so you wouldn’t have to worry about long term exposure and is super easy to apply on interior surfaces without having to do a ton of prep work first.
Rust-Oleum gives a great vintage look on most surfaces; including wood, canvas, metal, and ceramic. So you’ll be getting safety with style.
With Rust-Oleum, your baby’s crib will have a one-of-a-kind appearance to it— what’s more, you wouldn’t need more than one coat of coverage, and it dries up in less than half an hour, making it an excellent choice for small projects as well.
A gallon of Rust-Oleum will fully cover up to 150 square feet, and it’s super easy to clean with soap and water, revealing a sheen that will likely stay there for a couple of decades, at least.
- It dries quickly
- Has very little odor
- No VOCs
- Does not need prep work
- Gives an antique look
DADS NO LIKEY
- If you aren’t a fan of the antique look, you might want to consider something else
The Retique It Finish Paint allows you to get much faster results than you would get with a normal point. Retique It Chalk Finish is our pick for the best low VOC baby safe paint; it’s completely free of VOCs and is non-toxic, making it a baby safe paint, so you wouldn’t have to worry about any health hazards. It’s used by many professionals and is ideal for painting furniture and cabinets.
The Retique paint can doesn’t come with a CA Prop 65 warning, which means it’s safe for the long run and you wouldn’t need to worry about continued exposure to harmful fumes long after the paint has already been applied.
Retique It Chalk Finish Paint is safe for babies, it offers great value for money since a single liter can cover up to 40 square meters when applied in one layer, and if you’re working on large projects, Retique It can help you save a lot of money. For the same kind of coverage in other paints, you should expect to spend approximately twice the cost of a Retique It.
For best results, especially if you want the chalky exterior to really show, you should budget for at least 2 coats. That said, the finish is not only smooth but highly durable and great for hiding flaws on the painted surfaces. The paint also penetrates fully into the wood, acting as a
repellent to wear, tear, and water.
That said, it should be noted that Retique It paint was primarily designed for use on furniture and cabinets, so any attempt to use it on other types of surfaces may not give the best results.
- Great value for money
- Excellent finish on wood furniture
- Great for large projects
- Comes with lots of color options
DADS NO LIKEY
- Only for use on furniture and cabinets
- Needs multiple coats for a proper solid look
FolkArt’s 34150 Home Decor Chalk had to be our pick for the best baby safe paint for cribs. FolkArt is unique among paints in the sense that it is extremely easy to layer and distress, creates a brilliant matte chalk finish that will look great in your nursery and their products are completely safe for babies, so you can enjoy the process without having to worry about any health hazards.
FolkArt is particularly great for furniture as it doesn’t need any priming or stripping. You might have to add multiple layers and sand it to get an edgy appearance but given that you are a fan of that kind of look, you will not be disappointed with the results. Apart from that little bit, it’s the best brand you can pick for your craft projects.
FolkArt has actually been in the paint-making business for a while now (since 1976, to be exact), and they have perfected their products to make the process of creation, of art and craft, as fun as it should be. Moreover, their products are safe, so you can enjoy your work without
having to worry about your health.
Demand for the FolkArt paint is very high, as it is a high-quality non-toxic paint with lots of unique special finishes. It’s not only popular among remodelers and DIY enthusiasts but also sculptors and artists.
You can easily customize your surfaces, such as your baby’s crib, with a variety of excellent finishes, including enamel, outdoor, chalk paint, neon, glitter, multi-surface, and a whole lot more.
Another great thing about FolkArt is that you can use it on multiple surfaces besides wood, including metal, ceramic, plaster, terracotta, and canvas. The coverage also blends well to hide natural blemishes on the surface.
- Great value for money
- Has lots of different specialty finishes to choose from
- Requires about 1 or 2 layers for a good coat
- Dries very quickly
DADS NO LIKEY
- It is very thick and has a tendency to get streaky
Tried & True Wood Stain paint is a great option if you’re looking for a baby safe furniture paint, it’s the go-to option for the most hobbyist who takes their hobby seriously. It’s also great to have it if you’re planning to do paintwork in your baby’s crib.
This paint is 100% free of VOCs and harmful solvents. Moreover, it’s even safe for contact with food and eyes, which is to say that, once the paint is dry, you wouldn’t have to worry about any health or safety hazards even if it accidentally finds itself in someone’s stomach. Most commonly they are used on walls and floors in the food or health industries where hygiene standards are very high.
This makes this paint an excellent choice if you’re looking for paint to paint your baby’s crib. If your baby is fed in there, you don’t have to worry about the paint having an adverse effect on their health.
When it comes to woodworking projects; including children’s toys, cutting boards, cribs, and others, Tried and True is among the best non-VOC paints you can get.
The material itself is a mix of linseed oil, which is great at penetrating wood, and various natural earth pigments. This potent combination ensures that your wood is not only well protected from wear, tear, and the elements, but also that its natural beauty is enhanced by the paint.
With a coverage of 100 square feet per gallon, this paint is ideal for large and intensive projects. It’s definitely going to save you money!
- Great for interior painting
- The coat is highly durable
- Wide coverage makes it great value for money
- No odor
DADS NO LIKEY
- The color options are extremely limited. It's great for enhancing the natural look of wood, rather than adding any new color
Yet another Rust-Oleum product! However, with how great their products are, it makes sense to have another one on this list.
The more we expose ourselves to harmful paint fumes can cause serious health issues. Infants and babies are even more vulnerable to these health hazards, considering that their immune system is far from being fully developed.
With the Rust-Oleum 200241H water-based paint, you don’t have to worry about those fumes anymore. This paint is 100% environment-friendly and contains absolutely zero warning symbols on the container.
To take it a step further, the Rust-Oleum water-based paint has a PASS rating on tests for food items, which is to say that, even if your infant licked the paint while playing in their crib, it’s completely safe and doesn’t pose any health or safety hazards. Needless to say, that you should make sure the paint is dry first before letting your infant anywhere near it.
Rust-Oleum’s 200241H Water-Based is our pick for the best baby safe DIY paint. You can use the Rust-Oleum water-based paint for lots of different applications, both indoors and outdoors, including countertops, decking on the balcony, garden furniture, and wood flooring. The adhesion is superb, ensuring the paint sticks to the surface of the wood for many years to come. It’s also great at enhancing the wood’s own beauty.
Rust-Oleum water-based paint comes with Varathane; a material that offers stain and scratch resistance and hides the imperfections of the surface underneath. Surfaces that you add this paint to should remain beautiful and smooth for as long as they have a coat on them.
The coverage is also pretty good at 125 square feet per gallon. This should allow you to quickly finish medium to large projects. It takes about 30 minutes to dry up and should be ready for recoating in under 2 hours.
- Dries quickly
- Very easy to clean with soap and water
- Highly resistant to wear and tear
- Can be used both indoors and outdoors
- Enhances natural beauty of wood
DADS NO LIKEY
- Durability is reduced when used on exterior furniture
- A little pricey
Baby Safe Pains Buyer’s Guide
Perhaps the first question we should be asking before we dive into baby safe paints is whether it’s safe to paint a crib at all. The simple answer is yes. It’s not only a good idea from an aesthetic point of view, but also from a functional one, as good paint improves the durability of furniture.
That said, what kind of paint you use is very important. You want paint that has no VOCs, no odor, and that is non-toxic. You want paint that is 100% safe for your infant.
What are VOCs?
The safest paints are those that are non-toxic, more specifically with zero VOCs. These are typically water-based paints. But what are VOCs?
A VOC is a Volatile Organic Compound, derived from paints that are made using products that are by-products of petroleum (oil). These chemicals are harmful to human health.
The problem with VOCs, as you might have inferred from the ‘Volatile’ part of the abbreviation, is that they are discharged by the paint as it dries. In fact, the only part of the paint that remains on the wall is the solid part. Over time, everything else gets released into the air.
Once in the air, VOCs react with oxygen in the air to form ozone. Ozone is great when it’s high up in the atmosphere, as it protects us from the sun’s harmful rays, but it’s not good when it’s too close to the ground. It can damage our lung tissue when inhaled, even in very low concentrations, leading to potentially fatal outcomes. Now combine this with the fact that VOC concentration in regular paints used in the house is up to 10 times what it is in exterior environments.
For those working with paints, coming into direct contact with VOC paint boosts their chances of getting certain types of cancer by up to 40%.
As you can see, this stuff is not safe for adults, let alone babies. That’s why it is important to select non-toxic and VOC-free paints with no warning labels on the can.
What About Natural Paint?
Another category you might have heard about is natural paint. Natural paint is made from natural materials, such as soy oils, linseed oils, and citrus oils, as well as plant pigments, chalk, clay, lime, and various minerals. While natural paints are made from natural materials, some of them still discharge VOCs, so it they’re not all safe. You should do your research on a particular natural paint brand.
The best kind of natural paint to go for are milk-based paints, which are completely free of VOCs and are non-toxic. In fact, this type of natural paint has been in use for thousands of years and was the default option until acrylic paints were first invented. Milk-based paint is made from casein, and does not emit VOCs unless mixed with petrochemicals.
Which Is Better?
It all depends. You should weigh the pros and cons within your specific context. While manufactured non-VOC paints are safer than regular ones, some of them may still contain toxic substances (mildewcide, a chemical added to prevent the formation of mildew, is an example). That said, while natural paints may not have these toxins, some of the may still have some VOCs.
The safest option is milk-based paint, but some of them can be a little difficult to mix if they aren’t well formulated. It’s best to check your options, read reviews, and ask the company for their VOC levels and MSDS sheet for the specific paint your are considering purchasing. The paints listed in this review were all thoroughly vetted, so you can purchase any of them without worrying about either VOCs or other toxic substances.
Something else you should consider when buying pain is whether your child may have allergies. This might be difficult to determine for a newborn, but a good place to start is your family history. If you have a history of digestive issues or allergies, then it might actually be in your best interest to avoid painting the nursery altogether. After all, you’re not sure which allergies your baby might have so painting the crib and the rest of the nursery is a bit of a wild card.
I would particularly advise against using natural paints in a room where a baby with potential allergies will be spending the vast majority of their day sleeping. Some companies that make milk-based paints try to mitigate against this by mixing the milk with lime to form calcium caseinate, which does not trigger milk allergies, but like I said, it’s a wild card. Better to be safe than sorry.
Either way, it’s a good idea to delay painting the nursery until you’re sure what your baby’s health condition is.
Whatever paint you choose at the end of the day, it should be completely free of VOCs for both your sake and that of your baby. It should also be free of other potentially toxic ingredients and not have any ingredients that could potentially trigger your baby’s allergies, known or unknown. My personal choice is the Rust-Oleum 285140 Ultra Matte Interior Chalk Paint. Not only is it completely free of VOCs and other toxic or allergy-inducing ingredients, but it also looks good on wood, has great coverage, and comes at a great price. All the other options are also excellent and should prove to be safe for various surfaces you or your baby will spend lots of time around.