Best Paint for Wooden Toys if You’re Prioritizing Safety and Durability

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Best Paint for Wooden Toys: What are Your Options?

In the lookout for the best paint for wooden toys? Then you’re in luck as this blog post will give you several options for child-safe paint that’s suitable for wooden toys. Paint makes wooden toys pretty and engaging to children.

Choose one that’s gentle and effective on wood and has the safest ingredients for young kids, though. In that case, look for non-toxic acrylic, latex, and milk paints. Many recommend these types of paint because they are safe and durable. You also know that you are getting the best one if it has a nice glossy finish and is easy to clean up.

Best Paint for Wooden Toys

Planning to paint wooden toys with your kids? Then prioritize their safety by going for non-toxic paint. Here are your options:

Milk Paint

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    Derived from casein, a milk protein, this paint is powdery. Mix the powder and water first before applying it to your wooden toys. However, you need to thoroughly check the milk paint you intend to buy before spending money on it. Check for legitimate reviews and if it meets safety standards.

    Acrylic Paint

    Another option for child safe paint is acrylic paint. This water-based and reliably non-toxic paint is appropriate to use on wooden toys. However, be extra careful and avoid those acrylic paint varieties with toxic chemicals in them. With that said, you should spend time reading the labels of the products. Ensure that the ingredients list do not contain anything harmful.

    Check the certification of the acrylic paint, too. The goal here is to find out whether it indeed adheres to safety standards. Checking the labels is extremely important as it is the key for you to figure out whether harmful chemicals are present. You can also use the information in the label to find out which among the acrylic paints in the market are safe. Another safety tip is to wait for around two weeks after you have painted the toy before you give it to your child.

    Latex Paint

    Regular latex paints have harmful chemicals that are not safe for babies and humans in general when inhaled and injected. There are, however, non-toxic latex paints that are certified toy-safe. It is hard to find, though, because most latex paints contain harmful titanium oxide. When it comes to non-toxic latex and acrylic paints, further research is needed before you purchase one.

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    Natural Oils

    You can also choose to invest in natural oils if you opt the wooden toys to be painted with something that looks natural. This option can retain the wooden material’s natural finish.

    Tung Oil

    Otherwise called wood oil, tung oil is derived from the ring tree’s seeds. One advantage of tung oil is that it is 100 percent natural. It is free of harmful volatile organic compounds, too. In addition, it is approved by FDA, a proof of its safety even when accidentally ingested.

    When used, this hard-drying oil can give the wooden toy a pale-yellow matte finish. It also enhances the color aesthetics of the wood. Furthermore, it resists marring and protects the wood well, thereby making it last long.

    Hemp Oil

    Hemp oil is a popular non-toxic, 100% natural oil used in so many things including wooden toys. It is even safe for food products, so it will not also endanger kids. It works well on bare wood. The oil can also leave behind a low-sheen matte finish that preserves handcrafted wooden toys without the need of adding gloss. Moreover, it has a naturally thin viscosity, making it penetrate porous wood very well. You don’t need any thinning solvents.

    Walnut Oil

    Walnut oil is a non-toxic, allergen-free, food-safe wood oil. It maintains the natural beauty and integrity of the wooden material used in toys. Walnut oil penetrates deep into the wood grains and slowly hardens. It gives a long-lasting finish that will not evaporate or fade, thereby keeping the wooden toys looking beautiful with a natural look and feel.

    What Paint is Safe for Babies?

    Tempera Paint

    When searching for the safest paint that can be used for the art projects of babies and children, tempera paint is highly recommended. This water-based paint is proven to be non-toxic. It is quick-drying and available in various colors, like those in matte and glossy finish.

    This paint is versatile, too, allowing it to work on paper, cardboard, canvas, and wood surfaces. Popular in daycare centers, tempera paint is easily washable and ideal for small-scale projects. Its wide availability and child-friendly nature make it a go-to option for parents and educators.

    Specialized Activity Paint

    Specialized activity paint, such as the one produced by Crayola, is designed with child safety in mind. Water-based and non-toxic, it offers a gel-like consistency that children enjoy playing with. This paint is commonly used for activities like creating baby’s imprints. It is also easy to wash away from the skin and clothing.

    One more thing you’ll like about this paint is that it is stain-free and poses no harm if accidentally ingested by a child. With its safe formulation and versatility, specialized activity paint is perfect for engaging children in various painting-related activities.

    Watercolor Paint

    Watercolor paint is a vibrant and safe wooden toys paint that you can use in many children’s activities. It is suitable for wooden toys because of its vibrant glow and transparency. Watercolor paints come in all sorts of bright colors. It can stimulate creativity while developing motor skills.

    Watercolor paint is also made of pigments and binders, making it safe when accidentally ingested. As much as possible, use watercolor paper along with this paint. The reason is that the paper has high absorption rate, so it will be easier to control the wetness. Kids can enjoy exploring and creating with watercolor paint, knowing that it poses minimal risk to their health.

    Nursery Paint

    You can also choose to buy one from the many non-toxic nursery paints in the market. The reason is that they generally safe for babies and nurseries. One advantage of these paints is that it has zero VOCs (volatile organic compounds). It does not have alkylphenol ethoxylates (APE), too, which is why it lacks those unwanted and harmful chemicals and odor.

    As much as possible, go for brands famous for their non-toxic formulations and their adherence to the safety standards and requirements in nursery environments. Among them are Clare paint, Benjamin Moore Eco Spec, and Sherwin Williams Harmony.

    The paints also put the safety and well-being of babies and kids on top of their priority. This is the reason why the companies manufacturing them make it a point to avoid adding unnecessary additives into their products. They also ensure that their products will not have any potential health hazards, thereby keeping the living space of your kids healthy and safe.

    What Makes Toy Paint Different from Toy-safe Paint?

    Anytime you intend to improve a toy’s look, you can always seek the help of paint. Your chosen paint will have a say on how the toy will look as a result, though. So be familiar with the different products in this category, so the selection process will be a lot easier.

    When making toy paints, a lot of manufacturers prioritize the vibrancy and brightness of the final color. The problem is that it could also lead to overlooking the use of dangerous chemicals that may potentially hurt a child’s health when ingested.

    Meanwhile, toy safe paint is created using a safe and non-toxic formula – one that will never hurt a child and his overall well-being. If volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are among your cause of worry, then you don’t have to. The reason is that toy-safe paints do not have them. All toy-safe paints also strictly adhere to safety guidelines and standards.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    Why are regular paints not recommended for wooden toys?

    One viable reason is the possibility of these products carrying harsh chemicals, endangering babies in case they ingest them accidentally. Remember that a child’s immune system is still in the developmental stage. With that said, look for a paint that will not put their health in danger.

    Why are regular paints harmful?

    The main reason could be the harsh and dangerous chemicals present in it. These chemicals are usually unsafe for kids and adults. Among these chemicals are formaldehyde, metals, and crystalline silica.

    How can I make sure that I am using non-toxic paint?

    Read the labels. The label will give you a clear idea about all the contents of the paint. These include its ingredients list and safety precautions. Research the company and their products extensively, too. If possible, communicate with the company, too, so you can inquire about its level of safety and whether or not it is really non-toxic.

    What are some examples of baby safe paint for toys?

    There are several examples of baby-safe paint for toys as mentioned above.  Some popular choices include:

    • Water-based paint – Specifically designed for use on toys that may get into a baby’s mouth, water-based paints are proven non-toxic. Their VOC (volatile organic compound level) is low. These paints also have quick-drying ability, making them completely safe for kids.
    • Natural plant-based paint – As the name suggests, you are assured that this type of paint is wholly and purely natural. Its composition involves only natural ingredients, such as natural pigments and plant extracts. There are no harmful chemicals in it, a proof of its safety.
    • Milk paint – This paint is primarily manufactured by mixing together milk protein, natural pigments, and lime. It is a smart choice as it has no toxic chemicals plus it is also good for the environment.
    • Food-grade paint – Since we are talking about food-grade paint, it is safe to say that it is derived from edible ingredients. It is also designed in a way that a baby will remain safe even if they put any toy or item treated with the paint in a baby’s mouth.

    During the process of choosing the best baby-safe paint from the list, it is crucial to check for labels. It should be clearly indicated there that your chosen paint is indeed non-toxic. It has to be free from any VOC, too, as it can further bolster your child’s safety.


    The best paint for wooden toys is one made from safe, non-toxic ingredients that are gentle on the wood. It is generally safe for young toddlers who has this instinct of putting anything they hold in their mouths. Even those kids who bite or lick their toys will not be put in harm’s way.

    In that case, choose from our main recommendations. Never neglect your child’s safety, too. Choose paints for wooden toys guaranteed to be child-friendly.