Non-Toxic Spray Paint is Finally a Thing, and I Tried it Out! 


If you’re wondering about the benefits of non-toxic spray paint, then we’ve got the answers for you. While non-toxic spray paint is a relatively new thing, you’ll experience plenty of safety benefits by using this type of spray paint.

Is there non-toxic spray paint? Yes, non-toxic spray paint exists. You can use it to paint a wide variety of surfaces from wood to plastic and metal. Non-toxic spray paint contains low amounts of volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, which are toxic chemicals found in most colors. 

If you’re thinking about repainting something using non-toxic spray paint, then we’ve got the information you’ll need to help you out. Since not much information exists on the Internet today about non-toxic spray paints, we put together this guide to help you understand the benefits of non-toxic spray paints.

Is There Non-Toxic Spray Paint? 

For those of you looking to repaint a few items around your house, you’ll be happy to know that non-toxic spray paint does exist. There are several options when it comes to this type of paint.

Non-toxic spray paint means a type of spray paint that has minimal amounts of volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, in the color. VOCs are toxic chemicals you’ll find in many standard paints. Typically, after the paint has dried and a few years have passed, VOCs can be released into the air.

That’s why many people seek out non-toxic paints that are low in VOCs when they want to repaint something. After all, you don’t want chemicals released back into the air around you a few years after you’ve completed your painting job because that can make you quite ill.

One of the primary reasons why most people want to avoid paints with VOCs is because VOCs often cause respiratory problems, including issues like cancer and asthma. Because of the seriousness of these diseases, you can see why you’d want to avoid paints that include high-levels of VOCs.

So, you can see why many people opt for non-toxic spray paint since the VOC count in the color will be low, bringing down the potential to experience a health risk. To help you decide on the type of non-toxic spray paint you might want to use, we’ll cover the different types you’ll come across when you are shopping below.

Natural Non-Toxic Spray Paints and Finishes

One option you’ll have when it comes to painting with non-toxic spray paint is natural paints and finishes. If you’re worried about the smell, then using natural colors and finishes might be a good idea for you. Also, if you prefer using paint that is made from more natural raw ingredients, you might opt for more natural makeup.

The types of materials used in natural paints and finishes are raw ingredients like essential oils, plant dyes, water, resins, plant oils, beeswax, and other components. If your curious to see what types of elements are in the natural paint, you’re considering, read the label.

Natural paints are also an excellent thing to use for people with allergies and sensitivities to more standard colors. Natural paints are known to be the safest types of non-toxic spray paints you can purchase. If you tend to hate the smell of paint, opting for a more natural non-toxic spray paint might help you out.

Zero VOC Non-Toxic Spray Paints

While it would only be natural to think that Zero VOC non-toxic spray paint means there isn’t a drop of a VOC in the color, that isn’t the case. The name “Zero VOC” is a bit misleading as far as non-toxic spray paint is concerned.

Non-toxic spray paints that feature 5 grams or less of VOCs in their mixture still qualify to be labeled as zero-VOC paint. So, you need to be aware that zero-VOC color doesn’t mean there are no VOCs in the paint.

Zero VOC paint manufacturers often still put fungicides, biocides, colorants, and some VOCs into their paint mixtures even if they’ve earned the right to label their paint a “Zero VOC” paint. While that’s probably not the news you want to hear about Zero-VOC colors, there’s some good news about what recent technology has done for this type of paint.

With technological and scientific advancements abounding in recent years, many paint manufacturers have improved the quality of their Zero-VOC paint formulas to make them far less toxic to people. Nowadays, you won’t need as many coats of this type of paint to achieve your goals, and you can create almost any color imaginable using Zero-VOC spray paint.

Nowadays, many options in Zero-VOC spray paint come odorless and dry quickly, removing any concerns about the toxins present in the color.

Low VOC Non-Toxic Spray Paints

Low VOC non-toxic spray paints tend to use water instead of petroleum solvents as a carrier. Water creates fewer harmful emissions when compared to colors that used solvent-borne coatings. Manufacturers that make low-VOC paint have minimal amounts of heavy metals and formaldehyde in their paints, or they use none of those ingredients.

To determine the VOC level in a low-VOC paint, you’ll want to check on the paint brand. That way you’ll get information about the VOC level of a particular paint brand. The amount of VOCs you’ll find in a low-VOC paint can vary depending on the manufacturer.

One drawback of low-VOC paints is that they do create an odor until they are dry, which isn’t always pleasant for all people. Also, you’ll want to read the labels on your low-VOC paint options to check out its content. The higher the percentage of concentration in the paint, the less volatile and safer it will be.

Using Non-Toxic Spray Paint on Different Surfaces

Now that we’ve covered the different types of non-toxic spray paints you can purchase, we’ll discuss the different surfaces you can use non-toxic spray paint on to decorate. We’ll cover both plastic and metal so that you’ll be prepared to use your choice of non-toxic spray paint for your next DIY project.

Non-Toxic Spray Paint for Plastic.

If you’re looking to fix-up your plastic patio chairs or repaint a few plastic toys for your children, then using non-toxic spray paint for plastic is the perfect option. Non-toxic spray paint for plastic can spruce up anything you want to fix around the house and revive objects you might have otherwise thrown away.

What Can You Paint with Non-Toxic Spray Paint for Plastic?

If you’re wondering about what you can paint with non-toxic spray paint for plastic, the list is endless. Honestly, you can paint just about any plastic object, including:

  • Easter eggs
  • Toys
  • Patio furniture
  • Closet organizers
  • Light switch covers
  • Trash cans
  • Storage containers
  • Bottles and jars
  • Plastic flowers
  • Furniture
  • Plastic decorations
  • Plastic plant pots

And that’s to name a few things on our list. The amount of plastic items you can paint with non-toxic spray paint is really endless and only limited by your imagination.

Why Should I Spray Paint Plastic?

If you’re wondering why you might want to paint your plastic items, it could be for any one of many reasons. Most people repaint their plastic objects to revive them and freshen up their appearance. Repainting plastic items helps make them look fresh and new again.

Many people wind up using non-toxic spray paint to repaint plastic patio furniture. This issue isn’t uncommon because patio furniture sits outside in the sun for long periods and begins to discolor after exposure to the sun. So, if you’re noticing your patio furniture is looking dingy and faded, and you don’t have the money to buy new furniture, you can repaint it.

Which is the Best Spray Paint to use for Spraying Plastic?

If you’re wondering what the best spray paint is to use for spraying plastic, the answer is relatively subjective. The best non-toxic spray paint to use for painting plastic is up to a person’s feelings and needs.

The answer to your question depends a lot upon the color you want to paint something as well. While we wouldn’t recommend one specific brand of non-toxic spray paint, we can tell you that using darker colors is much easier than lighter colors.

Darker colors of non-toxic spray paint provide more coverage in fewer coats, making the result of your painting job look stellar. Also, darker colors will cover fade marks and make the new coat of paint appear even.

Lighter colors, on the other hand, are more challenging to with which to deal. Depending on the plastic object you are painting, using a more luminous paint will require more coats to cover up any imperfections. It may be more difficult to even out the faded colors on a chair with a lighter shade of spray paint.

If you’re not sure what kind of spray paint you want to purchase to repaint your plastic objects, one way to make a decision is to write down a list of requirements for your expectations. That way, you can figure out what paint will be right for you, and you won’t rush into making a poor decision.

How Do I Spray Paint Plastic?

If you’re not sure how to use non-toxic spray paint on your plastic items, not to worry, we’ve got some pointers to help you out.

  • First, take the object you will be painting outside into the open. Also, make sure you have given yourself plenty of space around the purpose of painting to fly and make sure you won’t wind up painting a fence of the cement on the ground by accident. Put a tarp underneath the object and keep the item away from walls, your home, etc.
  • After you’ve double-checked to make sure you won’t get paint anywhere you shouldn’t, you can open the paint. Again, make sure you are outside when you open the color. Just because non-toxic spray paint is more comfortable to apply than most types of paints doesn’t mean it might not have an odor or chemicals inside of it.
  • Third, make sure you’ve equipped yourself with the proper safety equipment before you start painting. That means covering your eyes with goggles and your mouth with a mask. You don’t want the fumes to irritate your respiratory system.
  • Make sure you are wearing clothes you don’t mind getting some paint on. You don’t want to avoid getting spray on your clothes, or you might wind up spraying something else outside that you didn’t want to paint in the first place.
  • Now you’re ready to paint your object. When you start spraying, take your time. Remember, some objects will need several layers of spray paint to cover the imperfections and finish the task. Don’t overspray the color or it will dry with runs and drips. Instead of overpainting, spray lightly, let the paint dry, and check and see if you could use another coat.
  • After you’ve sprayed, you’ll need to leave the object outside and allow it to dry for some time. It can take 30 to 60-minutes for the paint to dry depending on the plastic you’ve sprayed and the type of spray paint you are using. Remember, you don’t want to touch the newly painted areas, either unless you’ve given the object plenty of time to dry.

How Do I Seal Spray Paint on Plastic?

After you spray paint your plastic object, you’re probably wondering what you need to do to seal the non-toxic plastic spray paint on your plastic. Using a seal coat over your plastic paint is a beautiful idea because it will not only make your paint last longer on your object, but it will also give the color a higher-quality appearance with a look of sheen over the top.

Using a seal coat will bolster the spray paint you just painting onto your object. If you want to seal spray paint on your plastic, you’ll need a few items to seal the spray paint on your item correctly. So, make sure you have:

  • One pair of gloves
  • Plenty of rubbing alcohol
  • Dish soap
  • A primer

If you’re wondering what type of primer you should use when sealing your plastic object, don’t worry. You honestly don’t need to put too much thought and effort into a primer. Most primers are made to do a great job, so finding a good primer is quite simple.

To get started with sealing the paint on your plastic object, you need to follow a few simple steps:

  • First, wash your painted object after it’s been sprayed and dried using mild dish soap and lukewarm water. Wash your item thoroughly since you are getting it ready for the primer.
  • Second, lightly buff the surface of your plastic object with sandpaper. You want to make sure the plastic and paint looks smooth and even when you touch it.
  • Third, get a rag wet with plenty of rubbing alcohol. Wipe down the surface of the object after you’ve sanded it with rubbing alcohol. Using rubbing alcohol will help isolate the paint, get rid of the sanded off leftovers, and make it simple for you to apply the primer.
  • Last, apply a coat of paint primer to seal the plastic and complete your task.

You should consider adding a coat of paint primer to your plastic object if you don’t want to have to repaint the object anytime soon. You’ll be able to get rid of rough edges on the plastic object by sanding down the item and adding a smooth coat of primer.

Also, primer helps if you’ve sprayed multiple coats of paint on your plastic object. The process of smoothing down the item and adding a layer of primer to seal it will help make the thing safer, and the quality of the paint job will wind up being more durable.

Non-Toxic Spray Paint for Metal

If you’re looking to use non-toxic spray paint on metal objects, then there is good news for you. Just like painting plastic objects, you can use different non-toxic spray paints to paint your metal objects, too. However, to figure out the non-toxic spray paint for metal that’s right for you, you’ll need to consider a few things about your project, which we’ll cover in detail below.

Indoor vs. Outdoor Use

Non-toxic spray paint for metal is typically manufactured for indoor use only or indoor and outdoor use. Before purchasing your color, you’ll need to figure out where the object will spend most of its time, and if you should use an indoor paint or an indoor and outdoor type of paint.

So, what’s the difference? Typically, your indoor spray paint will be less durable than your outdoor spray paint. Thus, any indoor spray paint won’t hold up as well against the weather, which includes the rain and the sun.

So, using indoor spray paint on your metal object and then placing that metal object outside can defeat the purpose of fixing up that metal object. That’s because if you use indoor paint on a metal object that’s going outside, the metal underneath the paint could rust. Or, you might wind up with the sun fading out the colors quickly, which means you’ll have to repaint the object.

So, if you are painting a metal object and you plan on leaving it outside, it’s better to use outdoor spray paint. That’s because outdoor spray paint for metal objects can hold up against a wide variety of weather issues. That includes the rain and sun, and the item will still look vibrant and fresh with its color even if it spends hours of its time in the sun.

We recommend getting non-toxic spray paint for your metal objects that are marketed as “rust-resistant.” That’s because spray-paint advertised as rust-resistant typically offers a high level of weather protection features. That means the items will hold up against the rain and the sun while still retaining their color.

Preparing Metal for Spray Paint

Before you start painting your metal object, you’ll need to make your metal object for its spray paint. So, you’ll need to know how to clean the metal and prep it for its coat of spray paint. By following the appropriate steps and cleaning the metal correctly, your spray paint will stick better and not chip off as easily.

To prepare your metal object for spray paint, do the following:

  • First, sand off any old, leftover paint on the item. Make sure you also sand and clean off any rust you see.
  • Second, use a metal brush and sandpaper to scour the metal to make the metal rough. You want to make the metal more uneven because it will hold the paint better.
  • Last, clean off the metal with a clean cloth. Make sure you’ve removed any dirt and dust that might stick in the color.

Priming Your Metal Object

Next, you’ll want to work on priming your metal object after you’ve cleaned it. You’ll need to prime your metal object before putting the spray paint on the metal. Using a primer before the color on a metal object allows the paint to have something to bond to when you paint the object. It also ensures that the paint will prove to be more durable.

However, if you are looking to save yourself a step, you could always purchase a non-toxic spray paint that has a paint primer as part of the spray paint’s formula. There are several manufacturers of non-toxic spray paints that feature a paint primer with the color. If the spray paint already has primer in it, you don’t need to take the additional step of painting with a primer.

However, if you are planning on priming your object, you want to put one coat of metal primer spray paint on your metal object before you put the color paint on the top of the primer. After you’ve prepped the metal surface you plan to paint using the steps we gave you above; you’ll need to get your workspace ready.

Remember, you’ll want to find adequate space outdoors to complete your painting project. Since the fumes in the paint can be toxic, you’ll want to be able to ventilate the area you’re painting in well to keep yourself safe.

Also, you’ll want to work on protecting the area around your painting spot. That means making sure there is plenty of distance between you and your house, fence, walls, or anything the paint might hit. You’ll also want to use a drop cloth or newspapers to make sure you don’t get color on your cement or grass yard.

When you start spraying your metal object, you want to shake your non-toxic spray paint for a good 45 to 60-seconds before you begin painting your object. Shaking the spray can mix the elements inside it, helping to give you better coverage without getting any clumps or drips.

How Long Does Spray Paint Take to Dry When Painting Metal?

When you are trying to figure out how long it will take spray paint to dry on your metal object, you’ll need to factor in a few things. First, depending on the type of spray paint you’ve purchased, the length of time can vary. Some spray paints take a long time to dry when painting metal objects.

On the other hand, some spray paints dry to the touch after about twenty minutes. However, even if an object is dry to the touch and you can move it, that doesn’t mean the item is completely dry. Remember, the temperature outside as well as the humidity you are experiencing that day can make the amount of time it takes your metal object to dry can vary widely.

We recommend leaving your spray-painted metal object outside and sitting for a full day before you attempt to use the item. Giving your metal object one full day to dry should be more than enough, putting you in the safe range if you want to move it or use it.

Non-Toxic Paints: What to Look for When Shopping

Non-toxic paints are so desirable because they are more beneficial for your health. All colors and finishes release low-level toxic emissions into the air a few years after being used. These toxins derive from the volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, inside the paints.

VOCs for many years were necessary to include in paints because, without VOCs, the colors wouldn’t be as durable or perform as well. However, with the advent of scientific and technological advancements, many paint manufacturers have since discovered ways to cut back on the VOCs present in their spray paint products without removing the higher levels of performance.

Also, nowadays, many environmental regulations and customer requests have created the demand for low-VOC and zero-VOC spray paints and finishes. Most spray paint manufacturers you’ll find on the market today create at least one non-VOC kind of spray paint. Non-VOC colors are becoming more popular because they are affordable, long-lasting, and deliver excellent performance.

Read Your Non-Toxic Spray Paint Label

Before you purchase your non-toxic spray paint for whatever object you are painting, our best piece of advice is to make sure you read the label. When you check the label, you’ll want to assess some general information about the paint. However, you’ll also want to check for the following.

  • Look for the VOC content of the paint, which should be listed in grams per liter. For most spray paints, the VOC content will run anywhere from 5 grams to 200 grams. Remember that purchasing the spray paint with the lowest VOC content gives you the most health benefits.
  • Check the solids content in the spray paint. Solids are also known as pigments, and their concentration can vary from 25% to 45% by volume. What you need to remember is that the higher the percentage of solids in the spray paint, the less volatile the color will be when you apply it.
  • Look for EPA, OSHA, and DOT Registrations on the product. You’ll see an EPA, OSHA, or DOT registration number when you look for this. If you find that, the product has toxic ingredients in it that are being monitored. Our recommendation is to find products that aren’t registered with these agencies because that means the spray paint is safer for both you and the environment

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