Looking for a non-toxic paint for painting nursery or furniture? Here are the 6 best baby safe paints for a crib and nursery to create a safe environment for your baby.
Whether you are planning to paint a crib to go with nursery décor or painting geometric wall in the nursery, considering the quality of paint is important to create a non-toxic environment for your baby.
Let’s face it, your baby is going to spend a significant amount of time in the nursery so maintaining the air quality is crucial.
Unfortunately, the household paints are not always ‘baby safe’. Often, they are the major contributors to poor indoor air quality. A research study (1) published back in 1999 has shown the link between exposure to formaldehyde and volatile organic compounds, emitted from the freshly painted indoor surfaces to asthma and/ inflammatory reactions in the airways.
If you want to avoid your baby’s chemical exposure to toxic chemicals, you need to consider the type of paint you use for painting a crib, nursery, or other furniture.
Before we go and talk about the 6 best babies safe, no-Voc paints for a crib and nursery, let’s look at the type of paints that are considered safe for babies.
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Is Paint on Cribs Toxic? Why choose NO-VOC Paint for Nursery?
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are chemical compounds that emit in the air from freshly painted indoor surfaces. They are associated with severe short term or long term health issues ranging from skin irritations, headaches, nausea and damage to the liver, kidney, and central nervous system.
The research studies have also linked VOCs to multiple diseases, such as asthma(1-2), sick building syndrome (3), and chemical sensitivity (4). Some of the VOCs like benzene and formaldehyde are toxic and carcinogenic in high concentrations.
All of these adverse effects of exposure to VOCs have been seen in adults. When it comes to babies, exposure to VOCs should be avoided, considering how sensitive their developing system can be to the exposure to these toxic chemicals.
However, it is impossible to completely avoid exposure to VOCs, as they are present in varieties of household products as well as in regular air indoor and outdoor. The best we can do to avoid exposure to VOCs is to carefully select the products that we use for babies and around the baby.
This holds specifically true when we are handling anything that releases a chemical in the air, for example, when we are painting, the amount of VOCs can rise to 1000 times higher than the outdoor levels.
For that reason, it is important to choose non-toxic, zero VOC, no odor, baby safe paint for painting a crib or nursery.
Which type of Paint is Considered Safe for a Baby?
There are two types of paints that are considered safe for a baby: Zero-VOC paint and Natural Paint.
Zero-VOC paints are increasing in popularity as a safer option than the commercial paint available in the market. Although don’t be fooled by the name, they still contain VOCs.
This is because paints still need to be made with solvent or some VOCs for them to adhere to the wall. Zero-VOC paint contains 5 g/l VOCs which is significantly less compared to Low-VOC paint which contains 50g/l VOCs and conventional paint that can contain up to 150g/l VOCs.
So, Zero-VOC is still a great option you have for painting a crib or nursery. Brands that make Zero-VOC paint include AFM Safecoat, Behr, ECOS paint, Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams, Earthsafe Finishes Baby, and Yolo Colorhouse.
Natural Paint is another great option if you are hesitant to use Zero-VOC paint. Natural paints are formulated from natural materials such as casein, soy oils, citrus, linseed, clay, plant pigments, and chalk.
There are many eco-friendly paints are now available in the market including recycled paint, milk paint, and plant-based paint. Milk paints are made from milk casein. Since they are made from natural ingredients, they are completely non-toxic and do not emit VOCs. However, Milk paints can be a little tricky to apply, but if used correctly, they will turn out just as good.
Brands that make Natural paint includes BioShield, Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint, and Homestead House.
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The 6 Best Baby Safe Paints for A Crib and Nursery
Here are the 6 best baby safe paints for a crib and nursery that you can purchase from Amazon.
1. Retique It Chalk by Renaissance
Retique It Chalk by Renaissance is environmentally friendly paint specifically designed to paint furniture and cabinet. It is non-toxic, zero VOC, and hypoallergenic.
It is available in 41 different colors, so you won’t have a difficulty in finding what you need to go with your nursery décor. The great thing about this paint is that it does not need any sanding or priming before application and usually takes one or two cotes to give you chalky smooth coverage.
Furthermore, this paint has no smell and takes only 30 minutes to dry off. Although, be careful about choosing the color as it may turn out slightly different in shade after application.
2. Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint
Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint is made of all-natural ingredients without chemicals or preservatives. It is safe to use anywhere from nursery to furniture to play area.
This Milk paint is made of milk casein, limestone, clay, chalk, and pigments. It is completely breathable and once absorbed into the surface, unlike other paint, it will never chip or peel.
The Milk paint does not have a built-in sealer, so you need an all-natural topcoat to seal the paint. You can use Miss Mustard Seed’s Hempseed oil as a topcoat. If you are looking for a distressed or chipped look, you do not need to use a bonding agent.
Although milk paints are hard to work with, you can achieve great results just as conventional paint if you pay attention to certain tricks. When we painted the nightstand with milk paint, we didn’t find it too hard to work with it. Here is a secret that we used to mix the paint-old blender! Yes, we never get to make smoothy anymore in that blender, but it mixed the paint very well taking all the muscle work out of it.
Another thing that we notice while painting that you need to stir the paint while you are painting to keep it from settling at the bottom for an even look. Check out the price at AMAZON here
3. Old Fashioned Milk Paint
Another baby safe paint in this list is Old Fashioned Milk paint. This non-toxic, zero-VOC paint is available in 20 different colors so you will have no problem in finding a color that you need to paint your crib. It is safe to apply on nursery, furniture, and toys.
Old Fashioned Milk Paint is made using earth pigments so the color and texture of your finish will be very unique. And once you apply it on the surface it will ever chip or fade.
The great thing about this Milk paint is that it comes in dry powder form. This allows you to control the thickness of the paint for different use. To make paint, all you need to do is add water depending on the consistency you need for the application.
4. Rust-Oleum Interior Paint
Rust-Oleum is a trusted brand for non-toxic, zero-VOC paint if you are looking for a baby safe paint for a crib or nursery. It can be applied anywhere from the nursery to wooden furniture to kitchen cabinets.
It gives a soft, matte, smooth finish with good coverage and adhesion on various surfaces including wood, metal, ceramic, glass, and canvas. You can also easily distress it to create an aged, chippy look.
The great thing about this low-odor, latex paint is that you can easily remove it with soap and water before it dries. For some reason, if you want to remove the paint, you should hurry up as this paint dries up in just 30 mins.
5. Amy Howard One Step Paint
Amy Howard One Step Paint is water-based paint and great for any surface including wood, glass, fabric, resin, melamine, Formica, concrete, iron, stone.
This easy One-step paint does not require you to sand, strip or use paint primer before application. All you need to do is thoroughly clean the surface or a crib and you are ready for the paint application.
This non-toxic, zero-VOC paint gives good coverage and adhesion. Also, this water-based formula allows easy cleanup. It only takes 20 minutes to dry up after application.
Amy Howard One Step Paint makes an excellent baby safe paint for a crib. The only downside to this paint is that it comes in only limited colors.
6. Fusion Mineral Paint
The Lisa Marie Holmes collection offers 5 herbal inspired shades to paint a crib or furniture around the house. This Fusion Mineral paint is environmentally friendly, non-toxic, Zero-VOC, odorless, and free from ammonia or formaldehyde. It is a great option if you are looking for baby safe paint for a crib or bed or cot.
This paint offers excellent coverage of 75 sq ft per 500 ml and it adheres to the surface nice and smooth. Also, you do not need to prime your furniture before application of the paint.
The great thing about this Fusion Mineral paint is that it does not separate or harden in the container for 7 years and you can freeze for up to 3 times without altering its quality.
How to Reduce exposure to VOC from Paint?
If you have decided to paint a crib or nursery using Zero-VOC paint or Natural paint, here are tips to reduce exposure to VOC from paint.
- Keep the room well-ventilated – Keep the windows open before, during, and after painting a crib or nursery to air out the room for several days. Use an air purifier to clean the air.
- Cover your skin and wear Mask – Wear long sleeve t-shirt and pants, gloves while an application to avoid accidental splashing on your skin. Wearing masks while painting is a must to avoid breathing in toxic chemicals.
- Paint a crib or nursery way before your due date so you have enough time to air it out.
- If you are pregnant, avoid painting the nursery at any cost. Have some else or hire a professional to do it for you.
- Even if you decide to go for Zero-VOC or Natural paint, do not forget to read the label and choose the paint that has NO-VOC or VOC less than 5g/l and checks their MSDS.
What is the Best Paint for Baby Furniture?
When it comes to painting baby furniture, Zero-VOC paints are a safer option, but they are far from perfect as Zero-VOC does not necessarily mean no VOC. Natural paints are a little better than Zero-VOC paints. But again, you need to check with the manufacturer to confirm whether it contains VOCs or not. Milk paint is the safest option to paint baby furniture.
Is it OK to paint with a Newborn in the House?
No, Paints contain VOCs that emit in gas form from a freshly painted surface, which can be toxic for a newborn. It can pose a great threat to your baby’s developing system. It is advisable to keep your newborn away from the house while you are painting and 2-3 weeks thereafter, as it could take over 2 weeks for the released toxins to abate.
Can a baby get sick from Chewing on a Crib?
Usually, a baby chews on a crib or anything when they are teething. And it is common for most babies to get sick when they are teething. So, it is hard to say whether the baby can get sick from chewing on a crib railing as every parent has a different crib type.
Overall, it is best to avoid chewing on a crib because most cribs are painted or stained with conventional paint. These paints contains toxic chemicals and it can be harmful if ingested. To prevent a baby from getting sick from chewing on a crib, it is best to use crib railing or paint a crib with baby-safe paints as listed above.
Related Read : 8 Best Non-Toxic Teething Necklaces for a Mom
How long after Painting is it Safe for Baby?
Although the paint may dry within 30 min to 8 hours after painting, it could take 2-3 weeks for a released toxin to subside. So, it is best to keep the baby away from the newly painted room for 2-3 weeks.
Even when you use non-toxic, zero VOC paint for a crib or nursery, make sure to properly ventilate the room, keep the window open for a couple of days, use an air purifier in the room, and let the paint settle for 2-3 weeks before you start using that room again.
Is chalk paint safe for a Baby Crib?
Yes, Chalk paint is safe for a baby crib as long as you allow 4-6 weeks for paint and wax to cure before using the crib. If you are planning to paint a crib with chalk paint, do it in well advance before your due-date so there is enough time for the paint to cure. Also, pregnant women should refrain from applying paint and wax.
Best Baby Safe Paints for a Crib and Nursery | Conclusion
A baby’s exposure to VOC paints poses a great threat to their health and their overall well-being. So, it is best to limit the exposure to VOCs when you can.
And, when you are taking great care in minimizing your baby’s chemical exposure by investing in non-toxic baby furniture and organic baby product, wouldn’t you want to invest in good indoor air quality by using non-toxic, zero VOCs, baby safe paint for a crib, or nursery?
If your answer is yes, do let us know which paint did you decide to use? Leave your comment below. Before you go, Check out these 30 trendy geometric design to paint the wall in your nursery or in your kids room.
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- Wieslander G, Norbäck D, Björnsson E, Janson C, Boman G. Asthma and the indoor environment: the significance of emission of formaldehyde and volatile organic compounds from newly painted indoor surfaces. Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 1997;69(2):115-24. doi: 10.1007/s004200050125. PMID: 9001918.
- Cakmak S, Dales RE, Liu L, Kauri LM, Lemieux CL, Hebbern C, Zhu J. Residential exposure to volatile organic compounds and lung function: results from a population-based cross-sectional survey. Environ Pollut. 2014 Nov;194:145-151. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2014.07.020. Epub 2014 Aug 8. PMID: 25108490.
- Apter A, Bracker A, Hodgson M, Sidman J, Leung WY. Epidemiology of the sick building syndrome. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1994 Aug;94(2 Pt 2):277-88. PMID: 8077580.
- Win-Shwe TT, Fujimaki H, Arashidani K, Kunugita N. Indoor volatile organic compounds and chemical sensitivity reactions. Clin Dev Immunol. 2013;2013:623812. doi: 10.1155/2013/623812. Epub 2013 Oct 21. PMID: 24228055; PMCID: PMC3818819.
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