How to Choose Baby-Safe Paint for the Nursery

Baby Safe Paint for the Nursery: What Is It?

There are many different types of baby safe paint. Some of them are non-toxic, some contain toxic chemicals and others have harmful ingredients. There are several reasons why one might want to choose a particular type of baby safe paint over another. One reason could be because the other may not meet your needs or safety requirements. Another reason could be due to price differences between various brands and colors.

The most common type of baby safe paint is Sherwin Williams brand. This is the only one that has been approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) as being safe for use with babies. The other popular brands include Lowe’s, Johnson & Johnson, Elmer’s and Rustoleum.

These are all made from a variety of materials including wood pulp, plastic, PVC and even paper fibers. They differ in color but they all look similar when painted white.

Sherwin Williams Baby Safe Paint Safety Information

Sherwin Williams baby safe paint is made from a combination of natural and synthetic resins. The main ingredient used in the manufacture of Sherwin Williams baby safe paint is polyvinyl chloride (PVC). The chemical formula for PVC is C24H36O2.

It has been chemically modified so it does not react with organic compounds found in human skin, hair and mucous membranes. This is the reason why it is considered to be non-toxic and non-allergenic. Above the paint line, the baby safe paint contains no more than 3.5% PVC.

Due to this special chemical composition, Sherwin Williams baby safe paint is cheap to manufacture in bulk. Another reason why it is cheap is because it does not require high levels of quality control testing. Due to the chemical composition and manufacturing process, it can be easily molded into any shape.

However, the safety of this particular brand has been called into question on numerous occasions.

One of the main concerns for using this brand is respiratory issues. There are some reports of babies having issues with wheezing and asthma after prolonged exposure to paint fumes. If your baby suffers from asthma or has respiratory issues in general, you may want to reconsider using this brand.

Another common concern is that some of the resins, additives and colorants used do not meet government regulations for toys. In theory, these chemicals may cause severe skin irritation and lead to long-term health problems.

With all this in mind, you should be aware that the paint lowes baby safe paint contains toluene and xylene. Toluene and xylene are used as a solvent and as a thinner respectively. These two ingredients can cause damage to the nervous system, reproductive issues and even cancer.

Although these are usually kept to a minimum, they may still be present in some lowes baby safe paint products.

Lowes also has their own brand of baby safe paint, however it does not specifically state that it has been approved as safe for babies. The only thing mentioned is “child safe” on the label. In theory, this may or may not be true.

Elmers is slightly better than the other two popular brands since it uses non-toxic ingredients such as vegetable oils and natural resins. However, it still contains xylene and toluene as previously mentioned.

Other Brands

Some of the other popular baby safe paint include Apple Barrel, Delta Crafts and Plaid. A few things you should know about these is that they all use xylene and toluene as a solvent and thinner.

As long as you stay away from these two chemicals, your baby’s safety should not be compromised. One of the major benefits of using these paints is that they are very easy to use and clean up is a breeze. In addition, they dry very quickly and you will not be spending most of your day waiting for them to dry.

The only major drawback is that they do not come in a wide variety of colors. Most of their color choices are pastels and neutrals. The other drawback is that they are not always the cheapest brand on the market.

Making Your Own Paint

If you are looking to save some money, it may be worth looking into making your own baby safe paint. A lot of parents do not mind going down this route since it can be fun and creative. There are plenty of forum discussions about the best way to make your own paint.

One of the main issues with making your own is that it can be a bit time-consuming and messy, especially if you have never done it before. You will need to make sure you have all of the right equipment such as eye protection, protective gloves and even a respirator. There is a lot of stirring and mixing involved, so do not expect to be able to do this with your baby running around.

It would also be a good idea to have everything that you need all set up before you begin. This may mean covering your kitchen table with newspaper and having all of your utensils ready to go. It would probably be a good idea to have some old clothes on as well since you never know where the paint is going to splatter.

If you are using regular house paint for your project, it would be best to use acrylic paint since this dries the quickest. There are also some paints made specifically for children, however these tend to be a lot more expensive. Either way, both options are non-toxic and safe for your child to use.

If you do happen to create a big mess (or if your child does), simply use warm water to wash it away.

Why Make Your Own?

Most parents prefer to make their own baby safe paint since they can usually get the materials much cheaper than they would if they purchased it from a store. For instance, a small jar of baby safe paint purchased from a store can be anywhere from $4 to $8. On the other hand, the equivalent amount of acrylic paint from a craft store would only cost you about $1.50.

If you are planning to use a lot of paint, it would probably be cheaper to simply buy it rather than spending the time and effort making it. However, if you just need a small amount for your project, it might be more cost-effective to make it yourself.

Homemade paint is perfect if you need a certain color that you cannot find anywhere else. A lot of the baby safe paints on the market come in a limited selection of colors. This is not usually a problem if you are planning to give the paint to your child for their art projects.

However, if you are a parent that likes to capture the moment with photos, you may want your subject to be painted in a certain color that is not available for sale. In this case, you will need to mix your own color and it can be a lot of fun heading down to the local art store or browsing the internet for the exact colors that you will need.

Sources & references used in this article:

Environmental Stimulation: Developing a Creative Nursery by L Hoch – 2007 –

The Safe Baby, Expanded and Revised: A Do-It-Yourself Guide to Home Safety and Healthy Living by DS Holtzman – 2009 –

Problems with Teethers by S Brinker –

What Even Is Melamine? by E Chung –

What is Melamine? by K Wang –