Is Acrylic Paint Toxic?

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When I was having fun with acrylic paints to paint my plastic cup as a gift for a friend some of the paint splashed into my mouth and eyes and I immediately became worried about whether it was toxic or not.

I instantly turned to Google and various health sites to figure out if I was in trouble or not.

Due to that, I decided to share some of my discoveries in this post.

So Is Acrylic Paint Toxic?

If it’s a water based acrylic paint then you should not expect it to be toxic HOWEVER always consult the manufacturers packaging to see which ingredients are used so you can be 100% sure as you never know what’s been added.

Also be aware of the following…

When airbrushing with acrylic paint (learn how to seal it on wood) , some of the acrylic paint’s particles are unconfined to the air space, making it toxic.

So be sure to use either the correct safety equipment and ventilate the room well or avoid spraying it at all if possible.

How Toxic is Acrylic Paint?

The plants toxicity comes in when young children are using it even though they love painting, it’s best to be extremely cautious when letting kids play with it,

However, the acrylic paints (Check out: What Kind Of Paint Is Used In Hydro Dipping?). that are non-toxic are based on water are generally safe for anyone . The best thing about water-based acrylic paint is that you can clean it using water and soap.

When airbrushing, some of the acrylic paint’s particles are unconfined to the air space, making it toxic.

The best way you can paint it is by spraying and making sure that the spraying area is well-ventilated.

Cobalt, manganese, cadmium, lead, and chromium are some of the additives that make acrylic paint toxic.

Because of that reason, you need to check on the label in the manufacture’s instruction whether the paint that you have purchased has these additives or pigments.

The paint can be toxic and harmful if you paint with fingers or airbrush.

Tips to Consider When Using Acrylic Paints

Your safety comes first when using acrylic paints (see if you can paint over enamel). The environment needs to be your concern also when doing your painting. Some of the tips to consider are;

• Ingredients of Acrylic paint
The oil paints become harmful and toxic to the environment and your health because they are made of solvents and vegetable oils with extra mediums.

Water, propylene glycol, and ammonia are unconstrained in the air when the acrylic polymer dries, making it safe.

Acrylic polymers are the binders of the acrylic emulsions in the paint pigments.

It would help if you were careful when buying acrylic paints because dangerous materials such as heavy metals may be in the paints.

• Acrylic paint toxins
You will find a warning from the American Society for Testing Materials on the tag showing that the paint is free from acrylic paints and are safe.

The safe methods of using acrylic paint are indicated on the tag. What precautions you need to take if you swallow or inhale the paint are well indicated.

The propylene glycol can be destructive to the atmosphere when the non-toxic paint dries even though they are safe.

• Disposal of acrylic paint
Pigments that suspend on water, paper, and rags are some waste that is generated when you are painting.

You need to dispose of the items in the manner indicated on the labels to help keep a safe environment.

The paint pigment sludge can cause difficulties when they drain into the water system.

The best way is to dispose of them and the paint slush in a chemical disposal site.

• Keep your workplace safe
When using acrylic paints, our workplace is also essential even though we are always busy trying to follow the safety instructions.

Ventilation is the first thing you need to check before working because acrylic paints produce hazardous particles or chemicals to the atmosphere.

Is Acrylic Safe for Kids?

It would be best to supervise the kids using acrylic paints even though they are non-toxic safe and consult the manufacturers packing before you use it.

Easy to mix, clean, and are in vibrant colors are some of the factors that make kids love this paint type.

But, you may wish to avoid it just in case they are sensitive to it. Use your own judgement.

Is Acrylic Paint Safe for Using On the Face?

If it’s a water based acrylic paint then you should not expect it to be toxic HOWEVER there may be other ingredients added so check the label first.

Personally I wouldn’t recommend putting it on the face just in case you are overly sensitive to it, the face is a delicate area.

Can Acrylic Paint Cause Harm to Your Pets?

As a water-based paint, acrylic paint should be harmless to pets such as cats and dogs. However, the paint can cause some irritation to their skin.

If the pet ingests the paint accidentally, it can lead to them becoming sick.

Typically pets will only become sick if they ingest a large amount of the paint but it’s probably not worth the risk of letting them loose in an area where there’s any type of paint being used.

I recommend keeping an eye on the pet if you suspect it may have ingested a significant amount of acrylic paint.

Be on the lookout for diarrhea, tremors, breathing difficulties, and vomiting.


It is important to note that there are two types of acrylic paints which are non-toxic and toxic. Non-toxic acrylic paints are safe to use, but using an airbrush to paint it becomes unsafe.

You need to drink a lot of water and wash your mouth if you swallow the particles of acrylic paint.

When disposing of the acrylic paints, you are not supposed to burn them as the thermo-plastics emit harmful gases when heated at particular temperatures.