What Paint Is Safe For A Crib? Choose Wisely

Non-toxic, odor-safe, and zero-VOC paints are the best paints to use for a baby crib. There are also natural plant or milk-based paints available to substitute for synthetic ones, albeit more expensive. Zero-VOC paints are the most common and the cheapest you can find in the market. And while these products still emit volatile compounds, it is considerably lower than regular household paints. It is also the best paint for a nursery since it will not mess up the indoor air quality so much.

In this post, we will share our top picks of safe paints for a baby crib. We hope that it will help you sort out the best and harmless paint choice for your little one.   

What types of paints are safe for a baby’s crib?

The excitement of finally putting together a cohesive look for your baby’s nursery sometimes translates to a little tweaking. The crib is the focal point that will define your baby’s room. If its present color looks off, or you are getting a pre-owned one, a little paint job may help.

But you know you cannot just pick anything from the paint store because of some paint’s toxicity. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are chemical compounds emitted as gases from household products.

VOCs are linked to many diseases and may cause both short-term and long-term adverse effects. These chemicals are unavoidable, especially in paints. But you can still have a safe pick for your baby’s crib.

Here are two types of paints you can ask the sales clerk for:

Zero-VOC paints

Despite its name, Zero-VOC paints are not entirely free from toxic gases as it still contains solvents. But, the trace amount of VOC in these paints is only about 5g/L as per emission standards. The figure is lower than paints labeled “Low -VOC,” which can contain up to about 150g/L.

Sherwin-Williams Harmony Interior Latex. This zero-VOC formula of Sherwin-Williams also has an odor-eliminating technology for a no-smell and harmless finish. In addition, it will give the crib a durable sheen while inhibiting the growth of molds in your baby’s bed.

ECOS Lullaby Paints. Specially designed for the baby’s room and furniture, these lines of products are non-toxic and zero-VOC. It also comes in many colors from the ECOS collection that will suit your baby’s room theme and design.

Earth Safe Finishes. The non-toxic and VOC products of Earth Safe are the best for your nursery or crib. If you are pregnant or nursing, you may also use their line of products without worry. It comes in many pastel colors you can choose for bringing that soft touch to your baby’s sleeping nook.

Natural paints

The natural paints are quite a throwback from the ancient and centuries-old method of coloring.

They come from natural dyes like linseed, clay, tempera, plant pigments, or even milk (casein) products. They can be water-based or oil-based and are considered eco-friendly paints.

Natural paints are more expensive than synthetic ones. And they are also tricky to work with because of their drying rate and inconsistent color when applied. But if you are good with that, it is by far the ideal choice for your baby’s furniture.

Old-Fashioned Milk Paint. It uses earth pigments in a dry powder form that will allow you to control the right hue that you want for the crib. It has twenty different color choices that dry up to a velvety finish. This product is perfectly safe for the baby’s furniture and toys.

Old Fashioned Milk Paint Non-VOC Powder Paint (Quart, Snow White)

Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint. Miss Mustard products are made of casein, clay, limestone, and pigments. It will not chip or peel off, and you can even use it in raw wood for your DIY crib project.

Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint Lucketts Green 1qt

Anna Sova. Cribs do come in contact with your child’s mouth as he finds his way around his toddler years. The best decision you could ever make is a crib paint that is 99% food-grade from Anna Sova. It is made of milk casein and food-grade emulsifiers with a range of color choices to suit your taste.


How soon can I use the freshly painted crib?

Even if you are using zero-VOC paint, it is best to wait for at least two weeks before using it. It will give the paint some time to settle and defuse its volatile and toxic compounds.

What are the disadvantages of natural paints?

Natural paints like milk paints are the safest option for baby furniture. However, their performance is not at par with synthetic paints. They may lack the luster, sheen, texture, and color consistency found in synthetic paints.

Will milk paints go bad?

Casein or milk paints are made from protein that is often found in dairy. When appropriately used, this paint can be durable and long-lasting. However, improper handling and drying can sour milk paint or make it grow mold. Thus, it pays to follow instructions properly to let it serve its best purpose.


Exposure to VOC is extremely harmful to babies because it may cause long-term side effects. Thus, parents need to be wary about the baby’s exposure to it.

Aside from VOC, it would be best if you also avoided paints that contain lead. Always check the label and go for paints with zero-VOC or choose natural paints. It will minimize the leaching of harmful chemicals as you work to beautify your child’s home environment.

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Ann Marie is a licensed nurse in the Philippines. She experienced handling and assisting deliveries of newborns into the world. She also trained in labor rooms and pediatric wards while in nursing school - helping soon-to-be mothers and little kids in the process. Though not a mother by nature but a mother by heart, Ann Marie loves to take care of her younger cousins as well as nephews and nieces during her free time.

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