Is Acrylic Paint Non Toxic? How To Avoid Crafter’s Remorse!

Hello to all of you! Is acrylic paint non toxic? And what defines “non toxic” exactly? Well I’m glad you asked!

It’s a good question; after all who wants to use something only to become sick from inhaling fumes accidentally, have a skin rash outbreak or worse case yet, accidental ingestion (Ok, we’re all adults here, but those of you who have young children may have this concern.)

Did you know that back in the olden days just about all types of paint contained lead? That’s toxic stuff right there! We have definitely come pretty far since then. But it’s not just lead that’s got the potential to be hazardous; there are other materials which include mercury, cadmium, chromium, and cobalt that aren’t so good where your paint is concerned.

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are acrylics non toxic

Are All Acrylic Paints Non Toxic (And What Makes Them That Way?)

Generally, most acrylic paints are non toxic when used as directed. Acrylics in general contain polymers, pigments, and binding agents, but the main takeaway is that they are water-based, which means you can clean them off a surface or brushtip with water.

Solvents which are used to mix, thin, or dilute oil based paint, are potentially hazardous (being flammable or due to their vapors) which may put off more sensitive people, who are no doubt, drawn more to want to paint with acrylics, because they do not work with solvents.

Obviously this doesn’t mean you should try to huff paint LOL …I just mean, that non – toxic pretty much means that as long as you use it responsibly.

Now remember by “normal application” I pretty much meant brushing…If your application involves a diffusive approach (like spray paint) it would be a different matter as the paint particles could get in the air and if you have sensitivities this could cause harm, unless you’re in a ventilated area.


Reeves 24-Pack Acrylic Colour Tube Set, 10mlReeves 24-Pack Acrylic Colour Tube Set, 10mlReeves 24-Pack Acrylic Colour Tube Set, 10mlLiquitex Professional Soft Body Acrylic PaintLiquitex Professional Soft Body Acrylic PaintLiquitex Professional Soft Body Acrylic PaintHeavy Body Acrylic Paint Classic Theory ColorsHeavy Body Acrylic Paint Classic Theory ColorsHeavy Body Acrylic Paint Classic Theory ColorsFolkArt Metallic Paint Set, 32 ColorsFolkArt Metallic Paint Set, 32 ColorsFolkArt Metallic Paint Set, 32 Colors


Is Your Acrylic Paint Non Toxic? Look At the Label!

When you are shopping for paint check out the label! You should see one, or a combination, of codes and symbols.  It may just be as simple as the words “Certified non toxic” on the label, or you might see a seal near the bottom that looks like the one in the image below.

We call this the AP seal – AP stands for “Approved Product” in accordance with the ACMI (Art and Craft Materials Institute)

are acrylic paints non toxic

You may also see a string of code that looks like this:  ASTM D-4236

This code is sometimes right next to the AP seal. This is pretty much another sign of approval via the American Society For Testing and Materials.

If you’re on a website, you may be able to mouse over a product image and get an enlarged view of details. But even  if there is only one image shown, you may still see the words “Conforms to ASTM D-4236” on the front label.

 Acrylic Paints I Use That Are Definitely Non Toxic!

Having used a lot of brands over the years, I can personally vouch for the acrylic paint brands below in that they are non toxic and I’ve never had any negative reactions too.

Reeves,  Liquitex and Goldens – All 3 of these have vibrant, professional grade textures, medium and high viscosity, buttery smooth colors and good application. My favorite brands and have no bad reactions.

Did you know? Liquitex has come out with a new cadmium-free paint line! Now me , I’m not sensitive like that, but I want to bring it to your attention, if it’s a concern.

All the Plaid multipurpose acrylic paints –  These 2oz multipurpose acrylic paints that I use religiously, I am pleased to report, are all non toxic and I have no concerns when using them.

Shop Blick’s Art Materials:

Liquitex Basics Acrylic Set of 6Liquitex Basics Acrylic Set of 6Golden Artist Acrylics SetGolden Artist Acrylics SetAcrylics Set by Reeves - 10 TubesAcrylics Set by Reeves – 10 Tubes


All are brands I use and have got the AP seal. If you are seeking the best kind of non toxic acrylic paints those are great choices!

Other Safety Tips

It’s always a good idea to have adequate ventilation when painting. Also be mindful of how you dispose of paraphernalia like used paper towels, rags, etc.

If you have kids who would love to paint, even with appropriate labeling, you should supervise them as they work. I think kids are better off making use of temperas over acrylics. which will wash down the drain and off their hands easily when they are done having fun.

Well, there you have it….I hope this guide has enlightened you well! Finding non toxic acrylic paints, and which! Much luck to you, and let me know how it goes 🙂

3 thoughts on “Is Acrylic Paint Non Toxic? How To Avoid Crafter’s Remorse!”

  1. Thank you for helping me learn how to read that non-toxic label on my acrylic paints. I first saw the bad news about paints earlier this evening.
    I kept reading so much on various sites!
    I almost said no to my new paints and painting days!
    Thank you so much for your help!!!
    Andrea

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