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How to Paint Wooden Toys

Mar 9


How to Paint Wooden Toys

Updating tired toys with a fresh coat of paint can turn a toy that has become dull and boring into something exciting and inspiring again.

Wooden toys are a staple of children's play for centuries. They offer kids a safe and tactile environment to explore their imaginations, skills and world-building.


When it comes to painting wooden toys there are a few things you need to consider. First of all it is important to choose a paint that is safe for children. Luckily there are a wide range of paints that are safe to use on wooden toys.

Acrylics are one of the best options when it comes to painting wood. They are a water-based paint that is odorless and will not stain the wood. They are also easy to work with and come in a wide variety of colors.

They can be used as they are, diluted with water to get a washed out effect or mixed together for unique color options. Lastly, they dry quickly and are relatively inexpensive.

Once you have the paint that is right for your toy it is time to prepare the item to be painted. Make sure the wood is clean and that all dents or chips are removed. You can then give the toy a light sanding so that the paint will adhere to the wood.

This process will also help the paint to last longer. You can also spray on a coat of clear finish over the paint for extra protection.

Toys are not meant to be chewed on so it is very important that the paint you use does not contain lead. This can be very dangerous for young children and is one of the main reasons why vintage wooden toys should not be given to them.

Milk paint is a great option for toy painting as it is 100% natural and safe to be chewed on. It is made from milk protein, limestone, clay and natural pigments.

It is tested against the European Toy Safe Standard EN-71 and it does not contain any toxic metals that may be leached into a child’s mouth. It is also available in a ready-mixed form making it simple to apply.

Another option is to use a stain. These can be used on both raw and painted wooden toys to add a darker tone to the toy or to add texture.


Painting wooden toys is a great way to make them more attractive and add new life to old ones. This can be especially useful if you have second-hand toys that are looking a bit tired and worn.

Wooden toys come in all shapes and sizes, from simple building blocks to chess sets and puzzles. They are sturdy, durable and long-lasting, but sometimes they need a fresh coat of paint to keep them in top condition.

The application of paint to wooden toys is easy and can be done in a variety of ways. It all depends on the type of paint and how durable you need it to be as well as whether or not you want it to be child-safe, food-safe or chemically safe.

First, the toy is lightly sanded with sandpaper that is at least 320 grit. This will create a surface that the paint can adhere to more easily and make the entire process much easier.

Next, the toy is painted with a non-toxic, child-safe paint. You can find a variety of options, from natural milk paint to clear lacquers and other sealants.

Milk paints are a good choice for wooden toys because they are made with 100% organic milk products. They also have a lovely consistency and spread well over the wood to give the finished project a nice smooth finish.

There are several other paints that can be used on wooden toys, including acrylic and polyurethane. If you are looking for a chemically safe option, check out ECOS paints. These are Certified Toy Safe (European standard) and contain no VOCs after they have cured. They are also low in toxicity and transparent in ingredients.

They are also a favorite among many people who are chemically sensitive.

You can find a wide variety of toy-safe paints in different colors and finishes, as well as wood stain and clear wood finishes. Some are even certified to be child-safe and food-safe.

The most important thing to consider when painting wooden toys is to ensure that they are safe for your children to play with. If you have older wooden toys, it is a good idea to test them for lead paint. If you do find lead paint, you will need to remove it or cover it with a clear protective coating.


Wooden toys need sanding before they can be painted, and the process is critical to creating a smooth surface. Sanding helps paint to adhere to the wooden surface and removes blemishes.

Sanding is done with sandpaper, usually in a range of grit sizes. Using the wrong grit can cause scratches in the wood, which may result in an uneven finish.

To avoid this, use coarse grit sandpaper to remove blemishes and imperfections and then proceed with finer sandpaper to smooth the wood. If you have a lot of work to do, it's best to invest in a good sanding block, which will allow you to apply more pressure and distribute sanding evenly across the surface.

You should also wear a dust mask and gloves to protect yourself from the dust created by sanding, which can be hazardous. Once the sanding is complete, clean all surfaces with a microfiber cloth to remove any residual dust.

In addition, sanding before painting helps prevent the paint from cracking and chipping. This is especially important when you're trying to get a high-quality, factory-like finish.

Once the sanding is finished, clean all surfaces with a microfiber or tack cloth to remove any remaining sanding dust and paint residue. This will ensure that your wood will be ready for painting and the final product will look great.

When sanding, always work with the grain of the wood to ensure that you're removing all cross-grain scratches. This will take longer, but it's worth the extra effort.

Unlike wet sanding, dry sanding doesn't leave any residue behind and is much more effective at smoothing a surface. The sandpaper moves in small circular motions with steady pressure, resulting in a more uniform finish.

If you're sanding curves or forming rounded edges, forgo the sanding block and use your hands to achieve the desired edge. Alternatively, you can also use a sanding pad or sponge to shape and sand the desired curve.

Before sanding, it's a good idea to test your sandpaper by rubbing a piece of paper against the wood. This will allow you to determine the correct grit size for the project and help to prevent oversanding or undersanding.


The finishing process of painting wooden toys involves sanding, coating with paint or stain and sealing. These steps help to protect the wood and make sure the finished item keeps looking good for a long time.

The word finish comes from the verb 'finish' which means to complete or render fit. It is also used to describe the process of closing or ending something or a meeting, or the completion or termination of a project.

For toy makers, this can mean a variety of things. Generally, it refers to finishes that are safe for kids to play with and do not contain harmful ingredients.

Common toy safe finishes include those made from bee's wax, carnauba wax and linseed oil. These oils are usually mixed with wax to leave a thin, waxy layer on the wood.

You can also use a mix of olive oil and bee's wax to create a finish that is both safe and beautiful. Simply slather this mixture on the wood to create a paste or brush it on as a liquid.

Some people prefer to add a clear coat of paint to their finished wood toys for additional protection. This can be done with a variety of paints, including acrylic or water-based paint.

Another option for finishing your wooden toys is to dye them with vegetable or natural colorants. Dyeing can be a great way to make wooden toys more colorful or hide imperfections in the wood, like knots or splits.

While this is a more time-consuming option, it can result in an incredibly beautiful finished product that will last for years. This is especially helpful if you plan to sell your toys.

The first step in the process of coloring your wooden toys is to pick the right color pigments. There are several types of colors to choose from, but most commonly, they come in reds, greens, yellows and blues.

A number of dyes can be purchased at craft stores or online. Some are organic, and many will not require a mordant. You can even use a combination of natural and vegetable dyes to get an opaque and shiny finish.