Child Safe Paint Colours from Little Greene

You may be tempted to play safe when choosing the colours for your child’s room – not just with the colour scheme but also with the products you use?

Child-safe paints are available, however, in a range of finishes and colours. But is it necessary to use these paints, or will the ordinary stuff do just as well?

What is Child Safe Paint?

The term ‘child-safe’ is a little confusing when it comes to decorating because it actually refers to stuff like furniture and toys, not so much wall paint.

This is because there is always a danger kids will chew parts of wooden toys or furniture and ingest small quantities of paint. And, since paints used to contain a lot of nasty chemicals a standard was brought in to limit their use if kids were likely to come into contact. You can read more about child-safe paints here…

For walls and woodwork this isn’t really relevant and what you should be concerned about is the level of volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) contained in the paint because the fumes these give off can be harmful to young children, even after the paint hase fully dried.

In theory, a paint can be classed as child-safe but may also contain moderate levels of VOCs – something you need to watch out for. Low levels are not particularly hazardous but it makes sense to avoid the risk wherever possible.

Little Greene are one of a few companies making paint which is both *minimal VOC and *child-safe. Their ‘Intelligent Matt Emulsion’, ‘Intelligent Eggshell’ and ‘Absolute Matt Emulsion’ are all suitable for use in kid’s rooms for walls, woodwork and furniture.

You can buy Little Greene paints at John Lewis

*The maximum amount of VOCs permitted for these types of paint is 30g per litre. Each of the products mentioned contain only 2g per litre and are classed as minimal VOC. (Reducing the emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) EU directive 2004/42/EC)

*The standard for the term ‘child-safe paint’ is BS EN71-3:2013 Safety of toys. Specification for migration of certain elements.

Childrens Room Colour Ideas from Little Greene

The Little Greene page about their child-safe paints also features a few colour ideas for kid’s rooms that may give you a bit of inspiration…

A Kid’s Playroom with a Clever Combination of Colours
Bold green and orange paint colours in a children's playroom
A children’s playroom with sea-blue and lime with a hint of orange trim.

Delicate tones of different colours can work well, so long as you don’t overdo it. Use a fairly neutral shade for the ceiling and most of the walls but make a feature wall with your more daring choices. An accent colour for the trim (like the orange in this example) can tie it all together.

A Relatively Simple Scheme with Hints of Strong Colour
A pale grey and blue childrens room scheme
Pale grey and blue with subtle hints of bold colours

If the thought of using strong shades makes you nervous go with a safe scheme but add flashes of colour in moderation as well as a few choice fabrics and accessories.

A Children’s Playroom Comes to Life with a Touch of Bright Yellow
Children's subtle colour scheme
A pale blue playroom with a dark blue painted notice board, juxtaposed with a bright yellow painted chair.

Painting a single piece of furniture is one way of introducing colour to a plain room, the brighter the better.

Use Painted Furniture to Bring a Plain Colour Scheme to Life
Orange drawers
A painted chest of drawers makes a striking impact against a subtle theme of pale grey/blues. A dark-painted stool, bold picture and coloured building blocks set it all off.

Here’s another example where the colours on the wall and floor are fairly sombre but a painted drawer chest and some dashes of strong colour have brought the room to life.

Experimenting with paint colours can be a little daunting at first but, as you have seen here, you can play safe by using painted accents and painted furniture to use shades you might otherwise not go anywhere near.

images: ©Little Greene

See Also
Child painting a fence
Child-Safe Finishes for Outdoors
Tins of paint
Colours for Children’s Rooms