The Best Non-Toxic Paint for Baby Furniture and CribsAriann Hamilton
One of the most exciting parts of preparing for a new baby is decorating the nursery with stuffed animals, cozy curtains, and pastel-painted furniture. If you have decided to go the DIY route, you may need a tin (or two!) of high-quality, non-toxic paint for the baby crib, chairs, bookcases, and decorations. Using crib-safe paint beautifies the room while protecting your baby and the planet from toxic chemicals.
Baby Furniture Paint: What To Look for and What To Avoid
Babies and toddlers spend most of their time in the crib or nursery and using non-toxic paint for children’s furniture ensures safe air quality in their immediate environment. Most traditional paints contain chemicals that pollute the air and can be harmful to human health over time. Babies have a higher metabolic rate than adults, meaning they consume more oxygen from the air, making them more susceptible to air pollution.
Switching to non-toxic paints also helps you do your part to protect the environment, and many brands offer plant-based, vegan-friendly options. Here’s what to look for and what ingredients to avoid in paint for baby furniture:
No volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
VOCs are the primary toxicity concern in conventional paint. These compounds are solvents that help the paint dry faster or apply more easily to a surface and are emitted into the air while painting. Some VOCs can last years after the paint has dried, causing breathing issues, headaches, and nausea with constant inhalation. VOCs may contribute to developing asthma, sinusitis, and other respiratory diseases, and eliminating exposure can help protect your child’s developing lungs.
Non-toxic paint does not contain high chemical concentrations that may be harmful to humans, animals, and the environment. Always choose paint brands that disclose their ingredients to avoid toxins such as silicates, lead, benzene, and formaldehyde. Many of these toxins are carcinogenic and can lead to chronic disease. Today, many brands offer safe options, including non-toxic spray paint, for baby crib decoration.
Water-soluble and odorless.
Strong-smelling paint indicates high VOC levels, and you should always look for odorless alternatives to ensure you’re getting a non-toxic product. Water-based paints also have lower VOC levels and are less harmful to the environment.
For extra peace of mind, check the paint manufacturer’s safety certifications. The EN71-3 is the European standard that ensures toys are safe for children and will not cause chemical poisoning should your toddler bite or chew on them. The ASTM F963-17 is the American equivalent.
The Best Paint for Baby Furniture
Choosing safe paint for baby furniture gives you peace of mind that your little one is not breathing in any harmful chemicals while they sleep and play. Here are some of our favorite non-toxic paints for baby furniture to help you decorate your nursery safely:
Amy Howard Home One-Step Chalk Finish Paint
Amy Howard Home is famous for its luxurious furniture finishes with muted hues, such as cartouche green or linen beige, ideal for adding vintage charm and gentleness to your baby’s nursery. This one-step paint requires no sanding or priming and touch-dries in twenty minutes for easy application. It is VOC-free, odorless, and water-based for easy cleaning, especially if the baby’s siblings want to help prepare the room for your newest little one.
Matte Furniture Paint From Real Milk Paint
Real Milk Paint is a planet-friendly, baby-safe crib paint option available in over fifty unique colors! This non-toxic paint in warm white contains zero VOCs or radioactive Kaolin clays and is odorless, water-based, and easy to use. The paint comes in a powdered form – simply mix equal parts powder and water in the tin provided, and you’re ready to start painting. You can even mix this paint in a blender to make your own non-toxic spray paint!
AFM Safecoat Flat White Paint
AFM Safecoat has been producing healthier alternatives to conventional building materials for over forty years. This gallon tin of matte white paint is perfect for painting all your nursery furniture before your baby arrives in a classic, creamy hue. It contains zero VOCs and is a non-toxic product backed by doctors – it does not contribute to indoor air pollution, allergies, or chemical sensitivity.
Milk Paint by Fusion
Fusion’s milk paint contains all-natural ingredients – lime, chalk, clay, casein (milk), and pigment, and is the perfect eco-friendly, VOC-free, non-toxic product for painting baby furniture. This bright blue milk paint also comes in other brilliant hues to help you create your dream nursery. The ultra-durable paint range is ideal for bare wooden cribs and refurbished baby furniture – simply mix equal parts paint powder and water for a brushstroke-free, low-sheen finish.
BEHR Semi-Gloss Enamel
BEHR designed their Premium Plus paint range for durability, with long-lasting color that can withstand years of messy playtime in your baby’s nursery. This crib paint is non-toxic, VOC-free, and Greenguard-certified for low chemical emissions. It contains a built-in primer for easy application and supreme coverage for previously painted furniture. Unlike many non-toxic paint options, this semi-gloss enamel is stain, scrub, and mildew-resistant and comes with a lifetime warranty.
Chalk Furniture Paint by FolkArt Home Decor
FolkArt’s chalk paint is perfect for a multi-surface application, allowing you to decorate matching furniture, fabrics, and wall art for your baby’s nursery. FolkArt paint is proudly USA-made, non-toxic, water-based, and easy to clean. The ultra-matte chalk finish comes in countless pastels and brights, perfect for layering, sanding, and distressing to create a vintage look for your furniture.
Chalk Mountain Furniture Paint
Chalk Mountain’s non-toxic paint for nursery furniture comes in 54 low-odor, water-based beachy and earthy hues with zero VOCs. Chalk Mountain is a family-owned business dedicated to producing high-quality paints with excellent coverage that lasts. The company makes each paint tin to order – ensuring your paint is always fresh, smooth, and ready to use. You may need to sand glossy surfaces lightly before applying your matte color of choice for the best results.
Country Chic Chalk Style Paint
Country Chic has been making full-coverage decorative paint for over eighty years, and their durable chalk finish range is a safe and eco-friendly option for painting baby furniture. The low-odor paint comes in many gorgeous colors, from licorice black to bright azure blue, and contains no phthalates, solvents, metals, or formaldehyde with ultra low VOC content. Country Chic paints are certified by European toy safety standards – perfect for painting wooden toys and decor to match the crib.
Graphenstone Ecosphere Paint
Graphenstone’s innovative Ecosphere mineral paint range uses a unique formulation of natural lime and graphene to produce supreme coverage and matt finish with no toxic ingredients or VOCs. The graphene fibers absorb CO2 from the air to improve indoor air quality while preventing cracks and repelling condensation and mold. This brilliant white paint makes a beautiful, safe addition to modern nurseries, is easily washable, and has a ten-year guarantee.
General Finishes Water-Based Milk Paint
This pre-mixed milk paint is low in VOCs and made with 50% renewable resources. General Finishes is committed to creating environmentally-friendly paints to decrease its carbon footprint and preserve the planet. This water-based paint has a low-luster sheen and comes in dozens of pastel colors perfect for baby furniture. It’s designed for use on wood and is a self-sealing paint that does not require a topcoat.
Retique It Chalk Furniture Paint by Renaissance
Renaissance’s Retique It range is a beautiful collection of home decor and furniture paint with a silky smooth finish in a range of chalky colors. Made in the USA, this non-toxic paint is virtually VOC-free with ultra-low emissions and odor. It’s also hypoallergenic, making it ideal for baby cribs and other nursery furniture your little one will use every day. Renaissance’s premium acrylic paint formulation only takes one to two coats for full coverage, depending on the color.
Prestige Semi-Gloss Paint
This semi-gloss paint from Prestige gives baby furniture a subtle shine that brightens the room and is ideal for humid climates with a moisture-resistant glossy finish that is easy to wipe clean. This luxurious paint range comes in a rich neutral palette of warm grays, creamy whites, and earth tones for a contemporary nursery design. Prestige paints are VOC-free, do not produce toxic fumes, and contain no known reproductive toxins. You can use this two-in-one paint and primer on wooden or metal cribs.
Fusion Mineral Paint
Fusion is one of the safest paint brands for baby furniture with a non-toxic, odorless, VOC, lead, formaldehyde, and ammonia-free formulation. Their mineral paint range comes in small jars and bright, unique colors, perfect for adding the finishing touches to a crib, rocking chair, or changing station. The brand does strict quality control to prevent their premium paints from separating in the tin so you can use them again when your toddler transitions from a crib to a bed.
Rust-Oleum Ultra Matte Paint
Rust-Oleum’s Chalked paint range is an all-around favorite for use on metal and wooden cribs, glass, ceramic, and canvas children’s decor. It comes in a range of delicate baby colors and warm, bright hues with an ultra-matte, velvety finish. This latex formulation only takes one coat for full coverage and is water-based, low-odor, and low in VOCs – making it safe for nurseries and indoor painting projects.
Can a baby sleep in a freshly painted crib? It’s best to wait at least four hours for water-based paint (twenty-four hours for oil-based paint) to dry before putting your baby in a freshly painted crib or nursery. Even non-toxic paints may emit some VOCs, so you should try to paint the furniture a few months before your baby arrives to be on the safe side.
Can you paint a crib while pregnant? There is limited research on the safety of painting while pregnant, but the consensus is to reduce your exposure to paint fumes when you’re expecting. Use non-toxic paint with low or zero VOCs if you plan to paint while pregnant, and always work in a well-ventilated room. Vintage furniture may contain lead-based paints, and you should ask a professional to help you strip and refurbish it.
Is it safe to stain a baby crib? You can stain a wooden crib with a baby-safe crib finish, and many non-toxic wood stains are safe for babies once cured. Look for VOC-free stains or use natural ingredients such as linseed oil or beeswax to bring out the grain of the wood and protect it from damage.
There are many non-toxic paints available for baby furniture that don’t contain harmful chemicals or VOCs. Choosing a baby-safe crib paint gives you peace of mind that your little one is breathing clean, unpolluted air while enjoying a beautifully decorated nursery.