Top 10 Best Paints for Baby Cribs

Updated: 4/7/2022

Getting ready for all things baby often includes planning and decorating a beautiful new baby’s nursery.

As part of the process, many DIY-savvy parents enjoy painting their baby’s new furniture for that perfect final touch.

However, there are some special considerations to keep in mind when you are painting furniture, such as a crib for use in a baby’s nursery.

Whether you’re painting a hand-me-down, refurbishing a crib you found at a garage sale, or changing things up with that baby crib you bought from Amazon, it’s important to select the right paint for your project.

As a new parent, you will find yourself putting all kinds of work into keeping harsh, toxic chemicals away from your little one, and paints are no exception.

To protect both you and your baby, you’ll want to look for natural paint or water-based paints labeled as no-VOC or zero VOC paint and non toxic paint.

VOCs are volatile organic compounds that are emitted into the air with the use of many traditional paint products.

VOCs have been linked to a wide variety of health issues, including skin irritation, kidney damage, and even cancer.

Luckily, many paint manufacturers are beginning to jump on the bandwagon and offer low-VOC or no-VOC products to their customers.

So without further ado, here are the best paints for baby cribs!

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10 Best Paints for Baby Cribs

Paints for use on your baby’s crib and other nursery furniture should be easy to apply, require little to no prep, dry quickly, require only a few coats to complete, and emit little to no toxic fumes.

The following paints make the cut and have the right properties needed to be safe and effective for use on baby furniture!

1) Shabby Chic Chalk Based Furniture Paint

Designed to handle any furniture painting project without the need for a primer or undercoat, this water-based chalk paint is safe for use around children (and pets) and is considered non-toxic and low-VOC.

It comes in 37 diverse colors in a variety of matte or metallic finishes. Shabby Chic Chalk Paint is ready for any additional coats after just 15 minutes, is “touch dry” after 1 hour, and is completely set and dry after 3 hours.

Some friends of mine just used it for their own nursery, and let me know that the product lives up to its claims of “no prep needed” and confirmed that their project was complete after just 2 coats.

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 2) Rust-Oleum Chalked Ultra Matte Paint

As a trusted brand, Rust-Oleum paints can be relied upon to produce a high-quality finish. This paint’s straightforward, 1-coat application makes projects easy for even the most inexperienced DIYer.

It comes in a variety of colors from “Linen White” to “Farmhouse Red,” and a protective topcoat is sold separately for those seeking a little extra durability.

As a low-odor, low-VOC, latex paint, Rust-Oleum Chalked Paint is a fantastic option for painting or refurbishing nursery furniture.

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3) Amy Howard at Home One Step Paint

This quick-drying, water-based paint is also zero-VOC and perfect for use with a variety of surfaces.

Marketed as requiring no prep work to get started, this safe paint is designed to offer full coverage in just 2-3 coats.

Due to its easy application and high quality, reviewers found it to be a perfect option for their furniture painting projects.

In addition, it does not need to be sealed, although you may want to apply a coat of clear wax for use in nursery applications or if you prefer a glossy finish.

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4) Retique It Chalk Furniture Paint by Renaissance

This popular paint has been formulated specifically for use on furniture. Reviewers found that this baby-safe paint had good coverage and only required two coats at most.

It comes in 42 colors and three different sizes (pint, gallon, or quart) to perfectly fit any project. The quick-drying formula dries within 30 minutes to a chalky matte finish and can be coated with clear wax for a more contemporary look.

Like most of the other paints on our list, it is low-odor and ultra-low VOC for maximum safety. It is even considered to be hypoallergenic!

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5) Country Chic Paint All-in-One Chalk-Style Paint

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This clay-based, low-odor, ultra-low-VOC paint meets European Toy Safety Standards as well as ASTM D6886 standards, and is ideal for painting baby furniture.

As an all-in-one product, this paint has a built-in primer and topcoat for easy application and dries with a chalky, matte finish. It dries very quickly (within 30 minutes) and can be sealed with eco-friendly wax if desired.

Country Chic paint comes in a few dozen unique colors, perfect for customizing any nursery. If you are looking for user-friendly paint that is extremely safe and simple to use, this paint would be a fantastic choice!

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6) Chalk Mountain Furniture Paint

Chalk Mountain paint is zero VOC and low odor, and like many of the other paints on our list, it doesn’t require any sanding or prep work before application.

There are 53 flat finish colors to choose from, which can be made glossy with a coat of natural furniture wax.

It is easy to use, even for beginners, and goes on smoothly for a high-quality look!

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7) Old Fashioned Premium Milk Paint

Though it can be a bit more challenging to use than modern paints, milk paint is a true baby-safe paint and all-natural option that is environmentally friendly and 100% free of VOCs.

Perfect for use around children or those with paint allergies, Old Fashioned Milk Paint is packaged as a powder and comes in 20 colors in 3 different sizes (gallon, pint, and quart).

To use, simply add water and Extra Bond as needed. Milk paint is preferred by those looking for the authentic colors, texture, look, and quality of years past.

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8) Chalky Chicks Furniture Paint

With more than 50 colors to choose from and no major prep work needed, Chalky Chicks Paint is formulated specifically for use on furniture.

Two coats should be enough to complete most furniture painting projects with full coverage. In addition, it is an ultra-low VOC paint that is safe for use around children.

Reviewers found it to be an easy to use, smooth, durable, and high-quality safe paint for painting all types of furniture.

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9) Amitha Verma Chalk Finish Paint

Amitha Verma is another trusted chalk paint brand with 12 paint color options and three sizes to choose from -including a 4oz size.

This paint claims to provide full coverage in just one coat with a 20 minute drying time, making it one of the fastest paints to use on this list.

Product reviews back up these claims, and users enjoyed the smooth, easy-to-use application.

This paint dries as an ultra-matte finish with minimal surface prep required and emits very little odor, making it perfect for use during pregnancy.

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10) Long Legacy Paint Chalk Paint Finish

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This high-quality chalk paint is also zero to low VOC and is formulated to dry in 30 minutes or less. Long Legacy comes in 3 dozen gorgeous colors in 3 different sizes (gallon, pint, quart).

With no harsh harmful chemicals in the ingredients, it is safe to use indoors and does not require any sanding or priming.

The matte-chalky finish can then be sealed with a safe, natural wax or distressed for an antique look!

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I apply paints while I am pregnant?

With the right paint product and the proper precautions, you can safely paint during pregnancy. Just as with any conventional paint project, you will want to make sure that you paint in a well-ventilated area with good air circulation and take frequent breaks.

You may even want to consider completing your painting project outside. If you are considered high-risk or have any concerns about painting while pregnant, speak with your doctor for a more specific recommendation. 

How do I safely paint a crib?

In order to ensure that your painted crib is 100% baby safe, there are a few extra steps to take in addition to selecting a safe crib paint.

After the application of your paint product, you will most likely need to seal your crib with a baby safe wax or a natural product like hemp oil.

Most manufacturers also recommend letting the product fully set and dry for at least a week before letting any children use it.

You can help ventilate the area by leaving windows open or running a fan in order to help dissipate any lingering paint fume.

What about lead-based paint?

Don’t use it. If you are sanding an older piece of furniture, you will also need to make sure the old paint was not lead-based. If you are unsure, it is a good idea to still take the proper precautions as if it were.

Experts recommend sanding lead-based paint by hand with a wet sanding method and while wearing a high-quality, properly-fitted respirator.

In addition, you’ll want to make sure any lead dust is contained in the project area with the use of tarps and vacuums with HEPA filters.

Lead can be toxic to humans, especially to children and pregnant women. Exposure to lead during pregnancy can cause everything from miscarriage to kidney issues.

How much paint do I need to paint a crib?

For many of the products on our list, just a few coats are required, and some even have primers or topcoats included.

Most reviewers found that one can (1 pint) of paint was enough to adequately cover a standard crib, even if multiple applications were needed.

Many of the options on our list also come in larger sizes if you’re looking to use them for multiple furniture projects.

When in doubt, purchase the smallest size first and see how much paint your specific project requires before spending money on the paint you don’t need.

What is the best finish for a baby crib?

Most of the paint products on our list have a matte chalk finish, but is that the best finish for a baby crib? It is generally recommended that painted baby cribs be sealed or covered with a topcoat in order to protect against teething, chips, and other wear and tear.

For the best natural product, many parents use hemp oil or finishing wax. You will want to make sure that whatever product you use is also safe for your baby and is low-VOC or no-VOC, just like your paint.

Final Thoughts

Painting baby furniture can be a fun project for parents who are decorating and setting up their little one’s nursery.

With the proper precautions in place, even expecting mothers can paint safely with any of the low-VOC / no-VOC safest paint on our list.

Have you ever tried a crib painting project? Let us know which baby safe paint you prefer in the comments below!

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