Food Safe paint for toys

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Forum topic by jerrells posted 12-06-2012 08:26 PM 3842 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View jerrells's profile


918 posts in 3058 days

12-06-2012 08:26 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question arts and crafts resource

After the first of the year I will start making toys as part of the items I offer. However the questions comes up, “what paing product are food safe”. If you make a toy you have got to know it will be in a childs mouth. I have read most of the lables and, I guess, because of libailty they don’t really answer the question. PLus, who can read an MSDS sheet anyway.

All of the paints today do not contain lead but that is only part of the answer. Also, seems most acrylic paints are the way to go – but not sure.

Finally, I would like a spray can as who has time to brush.

Thanks for any information.

-- Just learning the craft my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ practiced.

11 replies so far

View Kreegan's profile


1452 posts in 2320 days

#1 posted 12-06-2012 08:29 PM

I believe milk paint is what you’re looking for. Here’s just one maker:


View Wildwood's profile


2448 posts in 2308 days

#2 posted 12-06-2012 10:13 PM

Lot of wood workers cite FDA as a reference, but just because a chemical listed is okay food, contact does not make it food safe if you eat it.

Just read section two, toxic ingredient list on MSDS for most salad bowl finishes. Manufacturer free not to list all toxic ingredients used in a product. Not aware of any MSDS that list product as food safe.

5 ways to avoid toxic gifts that could harm your child

Americans exposed to thousands if untested chemicals.

Expensive alternatives:

Before making and selling stuff for kids need to educate yourself on VOC’s. Many parents do not buy into once dry all finishing products are food safe.

-- Bill

View AandCstyle's profile


3170 posts in 2431 days

#3 posted 12-07-2012 12:19 AM

The real issue to consider is government regulations pertaining to painted toys intended for children 12 and under. Wade through this article at your leisure. There is also some good info and a couple good links here. HTH

-- Art

View Mark Smith's profile

Mark Smith

509 posts in 2214 days

#4 posted 12-07-2012 12:26 AM

Yeah like Art said, when making and “selling” toys for children there are a bunch of hoops you have to jump through to make sure your products are in compliance with all the govt regs. What kind of paint you can use will be one of those regs. When I got insurance for my shop the company I went with told me they don’t cover toys and they would cancel my policy if they found out I was making toys. I didn’t plan too, so I didn’t research what insurance would cost if I did want to.

View Mark Smith's profile

Mark Smith

509 posts in 2214 days

#5 posted 12-07-2012 12:33 AM

Art, I just went through that PowerPoint in your first link. Do you know if there are any exemptions in any of those Federal requirements for smaller businesses that make toys? For example in the dust collection regulations if your shop is small enough, you don’t have to meet a lot of the standards the big guys do. I was just wondering if they made similar exemptions when it comes to toys? My guess is they didn’t. Just looking through that PowerPoint is enough to make any small shop give up on the idea.

View AandCstyle's profile


3170 posts in 2431 days

#6 posted 12-07-2012 01:55 AM

Mark, since I don’t make toys I have never gone through all the details. I seem to recall there was some discussion early on about including a “sales” threshold, but I don’t know if that was ever included in the final regulation. I agree that the regulations, while being well intended, do tend to stifle entrepreneurship. It is unfortunate that conscientious, upstanding Americans have to pay the price for the unconscionable acts of foreign corporations. Okay, I’m off my soap box now. I apologize, in advance, if this was politically incorrect.

-- Art

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Mark Smith

509 posts in 2214 days

#7 posted 12-07-2012 05:11 PM

I agree Art. I don’t know how many small shops are making toys and just ignoring the regulations, but if you were required to comply with them all I don’t think you could be a small shop and make any money. I can’t imagine the testing process at a certfied laboratory for everything you want to make would be very cheap.

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 2535 days

#8 posted 12-07-2012 05:32 PM

Interior latex/acrylic wall paint is all you need.

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

View Wildwood's profile


2448 posts in 2308 days

#9 posted 12-07-2012 08:40 PM

Art, already hit on irony of children toys produce overseas getting a pass. Child safe crafts and liability made here by crafters discussed at length year or so back on several message boards. No surprise EPA, green community, states, and parents looking for higher standards and requirements for toys made here.

Looking at prices of certified green seal paint and clear finishes makes me wonder about reliability of testing methods. What liability do manufacturers of green sealed certified paints and finishes have?

Do try to use zero or low VOC paints and finishes available locally for kid’s toys. If use other products. Do read danger warnings on paint & finishing product labels. Avoid products that contain known cacogenic chemicals on labels. Make sure whatever paint or finished used is fully cured before selling.

Cost of spray equipment & compressors getting more economical than spray cans every day.

-- Bill

View Henry6's profile


36 posts in 2201 days

#10 posted 12-13-2012 07:07 AM

Acrylic paint is good for toys.

View jumbojack's profile


1685 posts in 2798 days

#11 posted 12-13-2012 07:53 AM

Food coloring with shellac overcoat. As child safe as it gets.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

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