Is Acrylic Paint Safe for Babies’ Footprints and HandPrints?

By Mandy Moss

An exciting part of having a baby is all the fun memorabilia activities you get to participate in! Most popularly, getting to make imprints of your baby’s hands and feet.

With this being such a lasting relic, of course, everyone wants to use the best possible paint option available to help preserve the prints in perfect condition.

A favored painting choice for doing for most artists are acrylics, but is acrylic paint safe for baby foot and Handprints?

Taking the sensitivity of a baby’s skin into consideration and the added chemicals within some of the paint options, it’s important to know whether or not acrylic paint is a suitable one to use. 

Is Acrylic Paint Safe for Baby Footprints and Hand Prints?

Is Acrylic Paint Safe for Babies’s Skin?

Although acrylic paint isn’t harmful, it may be unfavorable. Most experts will advise you to use another baby friendly paint if possible. While you can find water-based and non-toxic acrylic paint, non-toxic doesn’t always mean it’s safe for skin.

The chemicals that go into acrylic paint such as ammonia are not ideal to put on anyone’s skin, and in retrospect, a baby’s skin is so much more sensitive to chemicals so it’s even more important to take the extra precautions.

Essentially, if acrylic paint is what you insist on using, an important part of the process is to make sure that the baby’s skin won’t negatively react to it, and to take the proper precautions when doing so.

To test the sensitivity of a baby’s skin in regard to using acrylic paint, you can put a small amount on the bottom of the foot or the palm of the hand and leave it on for a few minutes; but make sure to immediately wipe it off and observe any adverse reactions.

How Do You Get Acrylic Paint Off Baby’s Skin?

If choosing acrylic paint for a baby’s skin, a water-based option would be the one to choose. It is important to get it off immediately after use due to the fact that it dries quickly making it harder to remove after setting it in place.

Initially, your first choice for acrylic paint removal would be soap and water. The water-based acrylic uses water during emulsification, therefore warm soapy water and a gentle cleansing soap can help soften up or loosen acrylic that is seemingly starting to dry.

Aside from that, there is a variety of ways to remove acrylic paint off of a baby’s skin – the most popular way of doing so is by using baby oil due to its gentle and soothing ingredients.

All you have to do is apply a generous amount and massage it into the skin until the acrylic starts to come off.

TIP: If baby oil doesn’t seem to do the trick, additional options that prove to be similarly gentle would be “oil-based” products such as petroleum jelly, butter, vegetable oil, or canola oil. You should follow the same method as used with baby oil and gently massage the area with your fingers until the acrylic paint comes off. 

Another way to remove acrylic paint that might be slightly more irritating is using rubbing alcohol or acetone; this should be used sparingly due to the fact that the baby’s skin might not take as kindly to it. Use a cotton swab with a small amount of rubbing alcohol, gently swab the area, and then proceed to wash the area off with warm water and gentle soap.

Baby safe paint for Footprints and Handprints?

The most ideal paint for babies when doing footprints and handprints is water-based, non-toxic paint. Water-based paint, in layman’s terms, is just paint that uses primarily water rather than oil and proves to be safer to both the person using it and the environment as a whole.

Non-toxic is a pretty self-explanatory aspect that should be the primary ingredient when looking for paint to go on your baby’s skin.

So acrylic paint safe for babies

Below you can find a list of paint types that are baby safe and great for foot and handprints.

Washable Activity Paint

Crayola has the most popular and notably safest washable finger paint for activities such as doing baby imprints. This paint is water-based, non-toxic, and very easy to wash off of both skin and clothing.

Another important aspect is that this paint is stain-free, so you won’t have to worry about it staining the baby’s skin. Washable activity paint is kid/baby-friendly and can be used for various activities.

Washable Tempera paints

A water-based, non-toxic, non-settling tempera paint is easily washable and safe for the baby’s skin. It is fast-drying and ideal for multiple types of material that you may want to put your baby’s feet or handprints on.

This is one type of paint that is often used in daycares or similar environments, but there is a slight warning that some tempera paint can become irritating on the skin so it’s important to pay close attention to ingredients. A good option for safe and baby-friendly would be “Arteza tempera paint”

Homemade Finger Paint

For parents who may be concerned about the baby putting their fingers in their mouths and eating bit of paint, there is the option to make homemade paint for kids.

Using cornstarch, cold water, boiling water, and food coloring, you can create a paint that is both non-toxic, suitable for hand and foot imprints, and easily washable.

This option may be more difficult due to the consistency of the dried paint and the possibility that the food coloring may leave a slight stain.

NOTE: Whichever option you choose, it’s always good to take the precaution of making sure that the paint is water-based, non-toxic, certified by ACMI, and passes EN71 and ASTM D-4236 regulations.

baby safe paint for handprints and footprints

How Do You Make Baby Footprints & Handprints With Paint?

Go ahead and prep the area with all the materials you need, that way you don’t have to create unnecessary stress or mess.

  1. You might find it easier to do this project while your baby is sleeping, thereby keeping them calm while you try to get a steady print, or you could distract your child with a toy, but it is entirely up to you.
  2. Squeeze out a good amount of paint onto a tray, that way it is already easily accessible.
  3. Press the baby’s hand or foot into the paint while making sure to cover the entire area evenly so there aren’t gaps in the print, but also scrape off excess paint so the print doesn’t become sloppy.
  4. It is recommended that you do a “trial run,” on a piece of paper prior to doing it on the desired canvas, just so you know whether or not you’ll be pleased with the way it turns out.
  5. Have a wipe or a towel easily accessible so you can immediately wipe the baby’s feet or hands off after doing the imprints, and proceed with washing with soap and water thereafter.
  6. Let the painting dry for a few hours and you now have a timeless project that you can cherish forever.

Some questions you may consider are:

Is tempera paint safe for babies?

Tempera paint is generally safe for babies and young children. It’s a water-based paint that’s non-toxic and easy to clean, making it a popular choice for art activities with little ones. Always check the product label to ensure it’s labeled as non-toxic and safe for kids.

What paint is safe for babies skin

Here are some i found:
Crayola Washable Kids’ Paint, Melissa & Doug Finger Paint Set, Snazaroo Face Paint, Baby-safe Finger Paints, Colorations Washable Finger Paint,Arteza Kids’ Tempera Paint…
When choosing paints for babies, look for those specifically labeled as “non-toxic,” “washable,” “safe for children” or “skin-safe” Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and do a patch test on a small area of the baby’s skin before using the paint more extensively.

Is acrylic paint toxic for babies

Avoid using acrylic paint on babies’ skin, as it’s not designed for this purpose and may have chemicals that could irritate their delicate skin. Acrylic paints are water-resistant and not easily washable from the skin, which could lead to potential skin irritation or discomfort for babies.