What should I finish toys with?

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Forum topic by bigdogb25 posted 08-29-2012 10:03 AM 770 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 2275 days

08-29-2012 10:03 AM

I’m sure this has been posted before but for the benefit of a newbie what kind of finish should I use for some toys that I’m planning on making for my nephews? I’ve been reading about salad bowl finishes, walnut oil and mineral oil & all seem like they should work but I’ve never used any of them before & was hoping to get some ideas before I pulled the trigger on any one finish. Which ever finish is used, should I seal it with a coat of shellac or something or would a few coats of the finish be sufficient?

Any suggestions will be appreciated.


4 replies so far

View Monte Pittman's profile (online now)

Monte Pittman

29975 posts in 2516 days

#1 posted 08-29-2012 10:24 AM

How old are the children? If they’re small then you’ll need food safe type like shellac in case they chew on them. If they are over say 6, then you’re probably safe with anything.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View DBoltz's profile


122 posts in 2557 days

#2 posted 08-29-2012 10:31 AM

For my woodworker’s guild, we were told that the only finish we could use was mineral oil for the toys we make for Toys-for-Tots. Of course those were not going to family members. Mineral oil or bees wax would be safe bets as they are commonly used on cutting boards. I’m sure a salad bowl finish would be fine, too. Like Monte said, if they are over 6 or so, most anything should be fine.

-- Dan, Virginia Beach

View Charlie's profile


1100 posts in 2464 days

#3 posted 08-29-2012 11:18 AM

Tung oil thinned with citrus solvent works well on surfaces that will be “mouthed”. I use it on wooden flutes and it’s food safe. Shellac is safe (they use it on the insides of ice cream cones to make them last longer before getting soggy with ice cream). If you want to paint anything, use real milk paint. Very safe stuff.

View bigdogb25's profile


2 posts in 2275 days

#4 posted 08-29-2012 08:40 PM

Thanks guys. So far there is one set of twins that are 4, another that is 2 and as of 2:11 this morning a new-born Grand Niece. I thought I would make a couple of trucks for starters and see what that led to.

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