Parents these days are more concerned than ever with the safety of their children. This can be seen in how many parents are switching to natural detergents, using non-toxic cleaners, and even choosing safer options for food. But when it comes to the paint for your baby’s nursery, there is much confusion about what you should buy. What do you need to know when shopping around?
Many paints on the market today contain harmful chemicals or substances that could be dangerous if ingested or inhaled by a child. The good news is that there are plenty of safe alternatives available that are baby safe so long as you know where to look and what to look for.
Here’s what to look for in safe paint and eight non-toxic paints to consider when choosing for your baby’s crib.
What to Look for in Safe Paint
A great way to be able to choose the safest paint for your baby is to be familiar with the common factors that make paint safe or unsafe.
One of the main factors parents look for in safe paint is the lack of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These VOCs are substances that are in the paint that can be released into the air. These substances are the primary reasons why paint has such a distinct smell.
Unfortunately, studies have found many of these VOCs to have both short- and long-term consequences to individuals that inhale them. Common health problems associated with VOCs include eye, nose, and throat irritation, headaches, loss of coordination, kidney damage, liver damage, and more.
This is especially problematic indoors when the concentration of VOCs in the air can be significantly higher.
Baby safe paint for baby cribs should be either low or zero VOCs because infants spend most of their time in these cribs, exposing them to the paint for long periods of time. A great way to find zero VOC paint is to look at water-based paints or milk paints.
Aside from VOCs, you might also want to steer clear of alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEs) as well. APEs include nonylphenol ethoxylates and octylphenol ethoxylates. Aside from paint, these substances are common in other surfactants. Unfortunately, these substances are highly suspected to be endocrine disruptors – substances that can interfere with the body’s natural hormone cycles.
Endocrine disruptors are highly concerning as they are associated with developmental, reproductive, brain, immune, and other health problems. Thus, it would be best to avoid using products with endocrine disruptors near infants. This is also the reason why you must be seeing more and more products be labeled “BPA-free.”
Retique It by Renaissance Furniture and Cabinet Paint
The chalk finish paint by Renaissance Furniture Paint is one that many first consider when choosing paint for furniture around the nursery – including cribs. It is designed with the safety of the family and the environment in mind. There are numerous reasons why parents choose this paint.
- No surface preparation (e.g., sanding, stripping down, etc.) is needed. No prep work needed not only means that it is easier to use, but it also means that anyone can use it regardless of skill level.
- Super smooth and chalky finish that will not get scratched by a fingernail.
- Non-toxic and zero VOCs.
- It is practically odorless.
- This paint is hypoallergenic.
You can choose from pints, quarts, and gallons. You could even get a deluxe kit that includes a quart of paint, clear furniture wax, dark wax, a professional paintbrush, a round wax brush, a chip brush, buffing cloth, and some gloves. Lastly, parents can choose from more than 40 different colors, giving them a wide range of colors to make sure the crib will surely match the nursery.
Rust-Oleum Chalked Ultra Matte Paint
People who are familiar with paints should be familiar with a classic brand: Rust-Oleum. The brand produces a wide variety of paint products including a chalked ultra matte paint that can be used for your baby’s crib. With superior adhesion and coverage, this paint should be able to elevate home décor. Here are some reasons why you should consider this brand:
- A single coat can cover many surfaces (approx. 150 sq. ft.).
- Easy application with light prep work needed (e.g., lightly scuffing the surface with sandpaper for better adhesion).
- It has a velvety smooth finish that can be distressed for those who want a more vintage look.
- This water-based paint is low-odor that can be easily cleaned up with soap and water.
Although you only have around 10 colors to choose from, you cannot go wrong with a classic. The product is only available in 30 oz. cans but should be more than fine for a crib.
Rust-Oleum Milk Paint Finish
Another great product from Rust-Oleum to consider for your baby crib is the Rust-Oleum Milk Paint Finish. Formulated for décor and home furniture, the Milk Paint Finish will do great for giving color to a nursery.
- The Milk Paint Finish leaves a subtle matte effect with a light texture.
- Unlike other milk paints, Milk Paint Finish is built with other ingredients that increase its durability to prevent chipping off.
- Minimal preparations are needed before the application of this paint.
- Water based, low odor, and low VOC for safety concerns.
- Easy to clean up with soap and water.
Unfortunately, parents might not get to explore their creativity since the Milk Paint Finish only comes in six different colors.
General Finishes Water Based Milk Paint
If safety and environmental awareness are your top concerns, then perhaps the Water Based Milk Paint from General Finishes is the one for you. It is a self-sealing, exterior mineral-based paint known for its low-luster sheen.
- It is a premium, low VOC type of paint – perfect for a baby’s safety.
- General Finishes uses more than 50% renewable resources formulated from sustainable materials for a lower carbon footprint.
- This is a very durable type of paint since it is designed for exteriors. It is resistant to UV, water, and scratches.
Although it says ‘milk paint’ in the name, this product is not a true kind of milk paint because it does not contain milk proteins. However, it should work fine for furniture around the nursery room. This paint comes in pints, quarts, and gallons. With over 30 colors to choose from, parents will surely have no problem finding one that they will enjoy.
Old Fashioned Milk Paint
When you are looking for a zero VOC type of paint, milk paints are among the best options to choose from. Consider the Old Fashioned Milk Paint from Milk Paint. Milk Paint claims that the Old Fashioned Milk Paint was the first commercially available milk paint and it still uses the same formula as it did back in 1974.
- The Old Fashioned Milk Paint is a true milk paint because it contains casein proteins.
- It comes in powdered form, which means you can control how thick or think you want to mix the paint.
- As a true milk paint, it is environmentally safe, non-toxic, food safe, baby safe, completely zero VOC, and is made with natural earth materials
- A slightly milky odor can be smelled when it is applied, but it becomes completely odorless as soon as the paint dries.
They already have a ton of colors to choose from. However, you can easily mix colors to get your desired shade since they come in powdered form. It should be noted that true milk paint can chip and crack over time. Some people prefer this to get that vintage look. However, some parents might be worried about babies ingesting these paint chips.
Although this milk paint is food safe, parents can still apply some sort of wax or sealant to prevent chipping from happening.
FolkArt Home Decor Chalk Paint
Home Decor Chalk paint from FolkArt is an acrylic paint and wax that dries in minutes. Many people prefer this type of paint as it can be layered and sanded down afterward. It is the go-to type of paint when parents want furniture to achieve a distressed look.
- Since Home Decor Chalk paint is usually used to get a vintage or distressed look, no preparations are needed for the surface.
- It provides surfaces with an ultra matte chalk finish.
- You can use this for a single coat, or even have multiple layers on.
- Great way to add texture to furniture.
- Importantly, Home Decor Chalk is water-based and non-toxic.
With over 50 different colors to choose from, the parents’ creativity can be fully explored in the nursery. Different sizes can be purchased and bundles of an assortment of colors are available as well.
Country Chic Paint
Another chalk paint to consider for your baby’s crib is from Country Chic. Country Chic offers an excellent chalk paint formulated specifically for furniture and home décor. Without sacrificing quality, Country Chic paints are both environmentally safe and non-toxic.
- Country Chic Paint already contains both primer and topcoat. That means using this paint will require you less time and resources to do a great job.
- No surface preparation aside from cleaning is needed. After applying, a coat can dry within 30 minutes to a smooth and chalky finish.
- Baby safe for the nursery. Country Chic Paint has very low VOC content and is virtually odorless. It is also devoid of other harsh chemicals that can be found in other paints such as phthalates, formaldehyde, heavy metals, solvents, and such.
Country Chic offers a wide selection of 55 different colors to choose from, giving parents the ability to paint their baby’s cribs in any color they want.
Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint
You can never go wrong with milk paint for a baby’s crib and Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint is one to consider. Due to its formula, Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint works well with raw wood and minimal preparations.
- This type of milk paint has great coverage. A single quart of Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint is enough to cover 70 sq. ft.
- Excellent choice for safety since Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint contains only natural ingredients. However, it does not contain a sealer so other people might add an additional coat of wax.
Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint has an adequate selection of 26 different colors to choose from. You can also get additional products from the same brand such as hemp oil, furniture wax, white wax, antiquing wax, tough coat, and more.