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Best Safe Paints for Baby’s Crib 2024

Looking for the best baby-safe paint to decorate a little one’s cot?

If you’re looking to add a splash of colour to baby’s nursery then painting their crib is a great way to inject a little fun into their room. 

Baby crib painted in nursery

It could be you’re upcycling a secondhand crib or just want to add some personalisation to baby’s cot. 

But babies are vulnerable to harsh chemicals, which some paints contain in high volumes that means they are emitted from the surface you painted even after it is dry. 

For that reason you may be searching for what paint is safe to use on a baby’s crib. You need paint that is low or preferably zero VOC (volatile organic compounds) and non-toxic. 

The best baby safe paints for cribs are milk paints and chalk paints. 

For extra reassurance you can look for paints that that at EN71-3 certified – which means they conform to EU safety standards for kids toys, and so can be used on furniture too. 

In the US you can look for products that are CPSC compliant – which refers to children’s products that have undergone lab testing to ensure they meet certain standards.  

Luckily there are brands out there that make paints that are specifically geared up for baby’s nursery or that are non-toxic and made with natural ingredients. 

We’re going to go through exactly what paint brands to look for when choosing a colour to use on baby’s furniture. 

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Nursery must-haves

13 best paints for baby’s cot 2023 

These are the best paints to use when painting your little one’s furniture. 

  • Little Knights (UK)
  • Little Greene (UK)
  • Graphenstone (UK)
  • Earthborn (UK)
  • Frenchic Paint (UK)
  • Old Fashioned Milk Paint (US and US)
  • Lullaby by ECOS nursery paints (US and UK)
  • Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (UK and US)
  • Bioshield Healthy Living Aqua Resin Stain Finish Paint (US)
  • Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint (UK and US)
  • Tried & True (US)
  • Green Planet Paints (US)
  • The Real Milk Paint Co (US)

What to look for when choosing paint for cots 

When picking a paint for baby’s furniture you need to use something that is: 

  • Non-toxic 
  • Zero VOC (volatile organic compounds)
  • No odour 

When buying paint in the UK you can look for paints that are EN71-3 certified. This means they are certified safe for use on baby toys and other items. 

The reason to avoid VOCs in the paint you use is that exposure to VOCs in childhood has been associated with an increased likelihood of asthma and allergies according to studies.

Even after the paint is dry, VOCs that emit from paint persist indoors for weeks after painting. 

Is it OK to paint a crib?

Yes it is safe to paint your baby’s crib provided you opt for paint that is made specifically for the job and is sold as VOC zero – meaning it is non-toxic for your baby. 

Look for paints that are made from natural ingredients, and even brands that market themselves for baby furniture and toys. 

Chalk paint is a great option, as is milk paint although milk paint can be a little harder to work with as you usually have to mix it yourself. 

Milk paint usually comes as a powder that you then mix with water to get the right consistency. 

Milk paint is perfect because it does not contain VOCs and is a more eco-friendly choice for those who are green conscious. 

Best chalk paint for baby’s crib 

Chalk paint is widely available at DIY stores and online. Here are the best paint brands to look for when looking to start a DIY project on baby’s crib. 

Little Knights

This family-friendly paint brand promises its paints are 100% VOC-free. 

There’s no paint fumes and a stunning range of colours available in their range!

Little Knights has a range specifically for cot and furniture painting, featuring lovely colours and it has Toy Safe accreditation, meaning little ones that suck and chew on furniture after painting won’t come to any harm. 

Little Greene

Little Greene also promises its child-safe paints are certified under toy paint regulations. 

Like with Little Knights there is a beautiful selection of colours, including very modern choices that will complement any nursery. 

Graphenstone

Graphenstone paints contain only trace amounts of VOCs – less than 1g/litre which is incredibly low. 

Their paints are non-toxic and do not contain a strong odour. 

Their interior woodwork paint comes in a gorgeous array of colours. 

Earthborn 

Earthborn paints are eco-friendly and they have several paints that carry the safety toys standard. 

These include furniture paints and furniture wax, which the company says are ideal for cots!

Check out more information about Earthborn’s cot safe paints here.  

Frenchic Paint

This chic paint brand contains minimal VOCs, is eco-friendly, water-based and has earned itself EU and UK safety certification for kids toys – meaning its safe for their furniture too. 

With Frenchic’s paints you’ll need to look specifically at their Artisan Range and Lazy Range for painting a cot. The Lazy Range particularly is ideal for furniture.  

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

Chalk Paint for Annie Sloan works on furniture, including wood, metal and laminate, is odour-free and non-toxic. 

Want to see what the finish looks like on a crib with this particular paint? The Turquoise Home has shared her crib makeover using Annie Sloan paint here. 

Best milk paint brands for cribs

The concept of milk paint may be a new one to you, but it is an ideal option if you want non-toxic paint that’s safe for your baby. 

This paint comes in a sachet in powder form!.You need to mix it with water in order to get your paint. 

That extra stage may be off putting to some people, but it is extremely environmentally-friendly and made using a centuries old formula. If you’re looking for something that is non-toxic then it’s a perfect choice. 

Milk paint is also self-priming on porous surfaces making it hard-wearing. You can use it to get a chippy look too, which may appeal if you want a shabby chic finish to your furniture. 

Old Fashioned Milk Paint

Made using an ancient homemade paint formula, Old Fashioned Milk Paint features a gorgeous selection of colours that look perfect in a nursery. 

Check out the Old Fashioned MilK Paint’s Sweet Pickins range for some beautiful furniture paint that is baby-safe.

Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint  

This paint is made with simple, natural ingredients including milk protein, lime, natural pigments and plant-based filler. 

The company also sells a range of waxes that can be used to finish the decorative work on baby’s crib. 

They are durable and have almost no odour. 

The Real Milk Paint Co

This milk paint company has environmentally-friendly and non-toxic paint that is safe for kids. You can use it create a smooth finish or distressed, antique look. 

They are made with milk protein, lime and earth-based pigments for colour. 

The company also sells waxes with zero VOCs. 

Real Milk Paint’s products are CPSC compliant, so you can be reassured that your DIY project will be kid friendly. 

Other ideal nursery cot paint 

These paints aren’t chalk or milk paint but have gone through tests and been formulated to be safe for use on a cot. 

They include mineral-based paints, plus some perfect options if you are also wanting a very eco-friendly paint that’s manufactured with the planet in mind. 

Lullaby by ECOS nursery paints

ECOS Paints’ beautiful Lullaby range features rich colours and a durable finish. They make it specifically with nurseries in mind, making it safe for cribs. 

Their semi-gloss paint is non-toxic and VOC free. The company can also do a custom colour match in this range. 

Green Planet Paints

Made with no harsh chemicals, just clays, minerals and plant oils, this paint is ideal for DIY projects in the nursery. 

Use their eggshell paint or ArgiStain for woods to decorate your baby’s cot. 

BioShield Healthy Living Aqua Resign Stain Finish

This solvent-free, water-based paint has zero VOC and is perfect for a wood stain project. 

It promises to be easy to apply, with low drip, and is fast drying. 

This specific BioShield paint comes in 10 different accent colours. 

Tried & True

This range sells great wood stain finish for a baby crib. Tried & True’s products are environmentally-friendly with all natural ingredients. 

Its stain and finish paints are perfect for children’s cribs, the brand says, with zero VOCs. 

How to paint a crib 

Follow this step-by-step guide when using baby-safe paint to decorate a crib:

  • Before you get started with painting a crib, be sure to have a plan for where your baby will sleep while the paint dries. 
  • It’s sensible to leave the crib for a few weeks after painting to get rid of any residual smells and allow it to fully dry. Do this in a well-ventilated place – ideally leaving a window open for a few hours a day.
  • You’ll only need to prime a crib before painting if it has never been painted before. 
  • It’s a good idea to sand down a cot that has been painted before, as it gives the paint a surface to bond to. 
  • Use a medium or fine grit sandpaper when sanding the crib. 
  • Now use your paint to decorate baby’s crib! You may need to cover with two coats – allowing to dry fully between coats. 
  • You can then seal with a child-safe wax, such as Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint Wax. Give this at least three weeks to dry before use.

Can you spray paint baby’s crib?

In my research I have not found any aerosol spray paint that is created to be used to paint baby’s crib. There are simply no zero VOC spray paints, so avoid any aerosol paints. 

Having said that if you like the idea of spray painting the crib you could purchase your own spray paint gun that you can then add paint to. 

However I wouldn’t recommend this method for painting a crib, as you’ll just make more mess and use more paint than you would if you used a brush. It’s far easier to get a neat and even coverage with a brush when DIY painting a crib. 

Is chalk paint safe for baby’s crib?

Yes chalk paint is safe to use on baby’s crib. 

That is because it is water-based and made using calcium carbonate. 

It tends to be non-toxic and is great for painting furniture. 

You may find low levels of VOCs in chalk paint, so it is important to check what the specific brand says about VOC content. Anything of 5g/litre or below is considered zero VOC. 

Is Rustoleum paint safe for baby’s crib?

There’s no definitive answer backed by any studies or formal bodies I can find to answer this question with a yes or no answer. 

However I can tell you that Rustoleum Chalk Paint contains a maximum 5g/litre of VOCs (the stuff you don’t want a lot of in paint for baby’s furniture). 

Anything with less than 250g/litre is considered low, so 5g/litre is considered to be zero VOC.  

So putting this information together, Rustoleum can be used on baby’s crib, and the manufacturer itself says this is the case. 

However I would recommend being sure to leave the crib in a well ventilated area after painting for at least a couple of weeks to allow it to fully dry. 

You could also try sealing the paint with a non toxic wax, such as from Annie Sloan. 

Final thoughts on what paint is best for a cot 

In order to be put your mind at ease that you are using the absolute safest paint for your baby shop for milk paint or chalk paint. 

A paint that is created and marketed for baby’s furniture specifically is your easiest option. It will have zero VOCs. 

Also look for something that conforms to EU safety ratings – specifically EN71-3 certified – when shopping in the UK. 

Seal the paint job with a non-toxic wax to help make the new paint job more durable. 

If you are still worried about baby chewing the rails of the crib then add some cot rail protectors to the tops of the railings.

Best paint for a cot

Vicky Smith is a mother of two daughters and a journalist. She has been writing and vlogging about parenting for over five years.