Is Acrylic Paint Safe For Kids? [Comprehensive Guide]

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In this guide, we have answered the query “is acrylic paint safe for kids” where we have discussed everything you need to know about it.

You, as a parent, are presumably concerned about your children’s welfare. You watch over them, ensuring they’re safe and making time to document their development.

Crafts made with your child’s hands and footprints are a great way to spend quality time with your children, whether they’re young or not.

The common question when researching painting options people often ask if the acrylic paint is safe to use or not.

Children older than three years of age can use acrylic paint without fear of harming themselves or the environment. When used for specific craft endeavors, such as painting on canvas, the paint is non-toxic.

If you have a young child or a baby, you should limit their use of paints to other crafts. Choosing the right paint for foot and handprint crafts depends on your child’s age and the scope of the project.

We’ll discuss the topic is acrylic paint safe for kids and many other associated things in this post, as well as the best paint to use depending on the age of your child.

class=”gb-headline gb-headline-16785888 gb-headline-text”>What Are The Safe Paints In General?

We know that you’ll go to great lengths when it is about protecting your children. Children enjoy painting, but is the paint they use safe? With this guide, you can provide your children with the best resources for creating their own masterpieces.

  1. Tempera Paint: Easy to clean, dry quickly and won’t crack or flake are just a few of the advantages of using tempera paint. Tempera is available in matte and glossy qualities and can be used on a variety of different materials, including cardboard, paper, wood, and canvas. Children should not be exposed to powdered tempera since the dust particles pose a threat when inhaled.
  2. Activity Paint: As the name implies, this paint can be used for a number of purposes. Activity paint is water-contained gel paint that can be washed off and sticks to a wide range of surfaces.
  3. Watercolor Paint: Using watercolor is a great way to do subtle color changes. To get the most out of this medium, you’ll want to utilize thick watercolor paper.
  4. Finger Paint: Finger paint is a great choice for children because it is easy to remove from the skin and works best on thick paper items. Use a creamy mixture to avoid spills.
  5. Acrylic Paint: Acrylic paints are highly pigmented and easy to work with. They’re the most long-term solution, and they’re also waterproof. Paper, wood, and canvas are the greatest substrates for acrylic paint. Even though “non-toxic” acrylic paints are harmless, small children should stick to other creative paints. A safer option for children is to use the paints that have already been mentioned in this article rather than a new one.

Choose non-toxic paints with the certification seal no matter what type of paint you choose.
In order to be certified as safe, a product must meet the standards set by the ACMI.

For products that bear the AP seal, a medical expert has certified that they do not contain any poisonous or harmful ingredients, including those that could cause chronic health hazards for people of all ages.

Keep Reading: Extensive Guide On Using Acrylic Paint On Nails

Is Acrylic Paint Toxic?

Children can technically use non-toxic water-based acrylic paint. There are several methods for determining whether or not paint is suitable for children.

Art & Creative Materials Institute Approved Product (AP) stamps are a good indicator of quality craft paints. A certified toxicologist must examine items before the Institute may authorize suitable health warning labels on toxicity.

This ensures that the products are non-toxic. As long as an item bears the AP seal, you may be assured that it is safe for children to use.

Look for the “ASTM D-4236” code on the paint sold in the United States. The code indicates that the ASTM has approved the paint. There should be cautions on the label of every paint worth searching for.

Acrylic paint supplied in stores today is generally considered safe for usage by youngsters. When it comes to children, acrylic paints are not the best option. Because the paint doesn’t operate effectively without a paintbrush, it’s also ideal for specific crafts.

The paint is not dangerous in every day painting chores, but if you apply it incorrectly, it could become toxic.

In spite of this fact, acrylic paints are not recommended to be used for hand painting or application to the skin. It’s not recommended to put it on your skin since it doesn’t include any hazardous chemicals. It’s also not a smart idea to eat or breathe in the paint itself.

Different age groups are affected by the same things. Toxins in the environment can have a particularly negative impact on young children.

Is Acrylic Paint Safe For Kids?

The quality of acrylic paint varies greatly. Even though we as a society are aware of the dangers of utilizing lead, some types of acrylic paint still contain it.

As a general rule, it’s reserved for grownups who want to leave a lasting impression on the world through art. Lead is well-known to be harmful to children. It is not safe to presume that any particular acrylic paint company is lead-free.

Commercial paint for homes’ interiors and exteriors no longer contain lead. However, it isn’t always forbidden if you buy paint from nations where the paint still contains lead.

But there’s more to it than just lead. In addition to these four potentially harmful substances, keep an eye out for any of the following.


Nickel refining yields cobalt, and cobalt can be harmful if swallowed. The reason we don’t produce nickel-plated plates or china anymore is because of this.

Since its discovery in 1730, the magnetic metal cobalt has been employed in a wide variety of artistic endeavors, including glass, pottery, porcelain, tiles, and more.

Adding cobalt to acrylic paints makes it even more poisonous than it is when used in its pure form.


Stainless steel contains manganese, as do leafy greens and nuts. Isn’t that the definition of adaptability?

Manganese is beneficial to health when taken orally in its unaltered natural state, but it can be hazardous when breathed. Over 11mg of the mineral in your diet might be harmful, even if you’re an adult.

It will immediately harm your nervous system; thus, it’s commonly used in paintings to ensure that the paint sticks to the surface.


Another thing you’ll find in extremely precise paints, although it’s becoming more challenging to come by nowadays. There’s no doubt that cadmium promotes cancer, as well as affects your cardiovascular, neurological, and respiratory systems.

It’s terrible news, and you won’t find it in paint because of this. Make sure you use gloves, a mask, and a glass frame if you plan to apply this paint on a canvas.


Most of the useful form of chromium is man-made. Toxic acrylic paints are known to induce severe allergic responses, ulcers, and dermatitis based on the individual’s skin sensitivity.

In the same way as the other elements on this list aren’t required for acrylic paint, neither is chromium. The use of hazardous chemicals in acrylic paint tells a history.

However, these are merely cautionary tales to keep an eye out for. The modern acrylic paints that do not contain any of the above components are safe for children to use.

Keep Reading: Process Of Leather Painting With Acrylic

What Happens If Your Kids Swallow Paints

A substance’s toxicity can be determined by its interaction with the human body. It is possible to ingest even non-toxic paint. Poison Control should be listed on the paint bottle if the paint is intended for young children.

According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, formaldehyde and ammonia can be found in some water-based acrylic paints.

These substances can irritate the respiratory system if consumed. In addition to turpentine, xylene, methyl ethyl ketone, toluene, and solvent-based acrylics contain other hazardous chemicals, such as methyl ethyl ketone.

When consumed in high quantities, acrylic paint can be dangerous to one’s health. If you don’t want your child ingesting any of the chemicals in acrylic paint, you should observe them as they work with it. You should also teach kids not to paint with their fingers in their mouths.

Children under three years of age are more likely to put their hands in their mouths than anything else. You should avoid using acrylic paint on young children’s hands for creative projects because of this.

Otherwise, they can succumb to their own insatiable curiosity. In the event that your child accidentally ingests paint, wash their mouths well and have them drink a lot of water.

Poison control should be contacted if your child has consumed a significant amount of paint. On the other hand, acrylic paint is safe for children under the supervision of an adult.

Use it for crafts with children more than five years to understand the dangers of ingesting paint. It depends on your child’s maturity level when it’s the right moment.

Is It Safe To Use Acrylic Paint for Foot And Handprints?

When you dip your children’s hands or feet into paint and imprint the picture on another surface, they make wonderful souvenirs.

Gifts for parents or other sentimental reasons are an excellent option. Acrylic paint can be used for these crafts, but only in moderation.

If you’re painting baby hands or footprints using acrylic paint, you should avoid applying paint on your skin because it can cause irritation. We have also prepared a special guide on using acrylic paint on skin that you can read to solve your queries.

Acrylics are incompatible with the delicate skin of a newborn baby because of the harsh chemicals they contain.

It is safer for toddlers and children over the age of three because they absorb fewer chemicals via the skin. Chemicals and substances in even non-toxic paints can induce an allergic reaction in certain people.

It’s possible to get better paints for children and the skin without the use of acrylics. For this kind of craft, use tempera paint. The first acrylic paint substitute for baby print projects is tempera paint.

Some parents like to paint their baby’s handprints and footprints after imprinting them in non-toxic clay. Paint ink pads can also be used instead of acrylics for hand and footprint projects, which are more kid-friendly.

Considerable Factors While Selecting The Best Acrylic Paints

There are a few things to think about before purchasing acrylic paints if you intend to use them. If you use the correct acrylic paint, you can protect yourself and the environment.


Before you buy acrylic paint, make sure it is safe. Non-toxic acrylic paints with an ASTM warning should always be chosen. This notice informs you that the paint is non-toxic and provides instructions on how to use it safely.

It is possible to learn more about the paint’s safety by visiting its official website. Propylene glycol, which is dangerous to the environment, is found in acrylic paints. Consequently, you must be careful in disposing of the paint.

Ingredients In The Compound

Some paints may include toxic elements that can have a negative impact on your well-being. Oil-based paint is an example of a product containing various substances, including vegetable oils, solvents, and more.

These are harmful to both you and the environment because of their toxicity. Acrylic paints are usually safe to use. Toxic fine particles can be released at the time of airbrushing or inhaling the paint.

The paint contains lead, cobalt, manganese, cadmium, and chromium. Before purchasing paint, it is always a good idea to examine the label.


As acrylic paints can release dangerous compounds into the air, proper ventilation is essential while painting. Work in an open space at all times to avoid inhaling any potentially hazardous chemicals.

When painting, be sure to wash your hands frequently to prevent eating any paint that may have gotten on them. Avoid sanding the surface if you’re working in a confined space.

Instead of doing this indoors, do it outside. It’s also a good idea to wear a breathing mask to avoid inhaling paint fumes. Avoid using acrylic paints that contain harmful pigments; instead, look for more environmentally friendly ones.


Before you buy acrylic paint, be sure it’s of high quality. They’re available in student and artist quality. In addition to its great performance, the artist’s grade is available in a wide range of colors. However, the student’s grade is less expensive despite the decreased performance.


Acrylic paints come in a variety of thicknesses and viscosities. In terms of consistency, there are a few different types of acrylics.

It is easier to blend and combine colors with the thicker acrylic paints than the thinner ones; therefore, use the thicker ones for painting fine details. Decide on the finest one for your project.

Curing Time

Typically, acrylics dry quickly, which is why they’re so popular with artists. Please make sure the acrylics you use don’t dry too rapidly because this can make it difficult to mix colors in a vast area.

Keep Reading: All About Food Safe Expoxy Guide

Why Should You Use Acrylic Paint Then?

Yes, acrylic paints have their uses, and when your kids become older, they’ll have a great time with them. Have fun with it, and keep an eye out for warnings about toxicity.

The following are some of the finest benefits of using acrylic paint:

Lengthy Blending Time

To be honest, blending oil paints is easier, but the end result is a strange color that takes on the traits of both the oil paint and the other paints.

It’s a good thing that acrylics take more time to mix because it means they’re more challenging to work with. The color turns darker and richer with more mixing because you may go at your own pace while creating different color blends.

Fast Drying

It takes acrylic paint less time to dry than oil paint. You don’t have to wait for an entire day prior to applying another layer. Acrylic paint may take four hours to dry on a large canvas with good ventilation instead of the thirty-six hours it takes for many oil paints to dry.

Long-Lasting Coats

In order to get the best results, layer the acrylic on top of the other. Because it might flow into previously applied oil, oil is more difficult to put on top of.

When acrylic paint adheres to a surface on canvas or wood, it will remain there until it dries. For a durable painting with many layers and dimensions that need a lot of clean-up, this makes it more difficult to remove from the floor, but it is significantly more durable.

Very Little Fumes

Acrylics are the opposite of oils in that people tend to stick with one or the other. It takes a long time for oil paint fumes and smells to evaporate from a room, which is a drawback.

However well-ventilated it is, there may still be an aftertaste. You’ll also have to use extra oil paint, which means the smell will linger for days.

Acrylic paints aren’t odorless, but they’re much easier to work with. The use of face masks is not required.

Easy To Stick

The use of a cotton canvas is not the only option. Metal, wood, alternative fabrics, and porcelain can all be adhered to with acrylics.

This opens up a world of possibilities for the creative mind. Because you don’t have to buy canvases, you can utilize your imagination and save money.

Consider searching online for free wood pallets and lumber. Make a maximum out of it; there’s no limit to what you can do.

Keep Reading: Complete Comparison On Acrylic Vs Latex Paint

Preventive Measures That You Shouldn’t Skip

When you are allowing your kids to use acrylic paint for their artwork, you must follow some precautionary steps so that you can keep them away from unnecessary hazards. Here are some of those:

  1. Make your workplace a safe place to work to reduce your risk of injury.
  2. Protect yourself from fumes by using a particle mask. When working with paint, be sure you’re wearing gloves and other safety gear. Wash your hands right away if paint gets on them.
  3. Open the windows and doors to your art studio to let in more fresh air, or choose a location with more natural ventilation. Mechanical ventilators are also an option to take into consideration.
  4. Paint should not be left unattended by youngsters, and it should be stored in a secure location. If you’re concerned, consult a doctor right away.
  5. Become familiar with the contents of your acrylic paint and other items so that you can properly store and get rid of them.
  6. When shopping for paint, look for non-toxic options. Use caution when reading labels and safety data sheets!

Alternative Options For Artwork

Children benefit significantly from engaging in creative pursuits, which are also a lot of fun. There are several substances involved in the creation of art. It is essential to use them correctly.

Young kids tend to eat or drink vivid art materials that are too appealing to them to put down. Even older youngsters can get them in their eyes or on their skin by sprinkling them on their hands.

There are many calls to Poison Control regarding art goods. In most of these circumstances, the impacts will be minimal at best.

Only a small percentage of youngsters who ingest, breathe, or get art materials on their skin will require medical attention.

Toxicology experts are frequently called upon to answer questions about art items, such as the following:

  1. Chalk: Calcium can be found in chalk. You won’t get poisoned if you eat a piece. If the chalk is stuck in the throat, swallowing can be painful, or drooling can be excessive. Coughing, wheezing, or other breathing issues might result if the windpipe becomes blocked.
  2. Erasers: In spite of the fact that they are not poisonous, erasers can become lodged in the throat, resulting in breathing difficulties.
  3. Ballpoint Pens: The minuscule amount of ink contained within these pens poses no health risk.
  4. Glues: There aren’t any toxins in most school glues. When ingested, super glue is not poisonous. They can cause the mouth and skin to adhere to each other in a matter of seconds. It will cause eyelids to cling together and cause damage if any is ingested.
  5. Pencils: The “lead” of a pencil is a plastic compound that is not actually made of lead. Ingesting it will not harm a youngster. You can also read our guide on using acrylic on plastic.
  6. Markers: Generally speaking, “water-soluble” markers do not pose a health risk. Even if little amounts of ink are eaten, most markers won’t poison the user.

Keep Reading: Process Of Baking Acrylic Paint

Final Verdict

We hope this guide will solve your doubt on “is acrylic paint safe for kids”. It’s no wonder that kids are drawn to the colors right at the moment you pull it out of the cabinet.

Even if scissors aren’t involved in painting, you should still keep an eye on your children to ensure that they don’t get paint in any places they shouldn’t, like their mouths.

Acrylic paint is not poisonous when only a tiny amount of it is consumed, but it is possible when a large quantity is involved.

Despite the fact that acrylic paint is no longer in your child’s mouth, you should still be on the lookout for it on your skin. In spite of their best efforts, it’s best if your children just stick to painting on paper instead of getting their paint as vibrant as their paper creations.

According to Poison Control, this type of water-based paint can cause very slight skin irritation. Putting an end to body painting may make your child unhappy, but in the long run, their skin will be grateful.

The only place paint should go on is a white canvas. It should not be ingested or applied to the skin of a child. You’ll be able to relax a little more when you know that your children are aware of the proper use of acrylic paints. Till then, a little precaution wouldn’t hurt.

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