The Best Finishes for Wooden Toys: A Guide from an Expert

As an expert in woodworking and toy making, I have encountered numerous questions about the best finishes for wooden toys. And I must say, few topics are as confusing as this one. Parents and toy makers alike want to ensure that the toys they give to children are safe and non-toxic. That's why it's important to know the different types of finishes available and which ones are suitable for children's toys. After years of experience, I can confidently say that linseed oil and tung oil are the most durable and safe finishes for wooden toys.

These oils penetrate the wood and polymerize, leaving a matte finish that not only protects the wood but also enhances its color. Tung oil produces the darkest color change, followed by flaxseed, hemp, and walnut. But before we dive into the details of these oils, let's address a common misconception. Many people believe that any type of paint or finish is harmful to children. However, this is not entirely true.

In fact, there are paints specifically designed for toys, such as Rust-Oleum's line of toy-safe paints available in the UK. There are also many carpentry clubs, churches, and charitable groups that accept donations of toys to give to children in need, especially during the holidays. So if you're a toy maker looking to give back to your community, don't hesitate to donate your creations. Now, back to the topic at hand. When it comes to wooden toys, it's important to choose a finish that is not only safe but also durable. That's why I recommend using tung or linseed oil.

These oils not only protect the wood from wear and tear but also enhance its natural beauty. Tung oil, also known as wood oil from China, comes from the seed of the tung tree and was supposedly introduced to the West by Marco Polo. It has been used for centuries to protect and beautify wood. Linseed oil, on the other hand, is derived from flax seeds and is known for its durability and water resistance. But before you start applying these oils to your wooden toys, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First, make sure that the wood you're using is safe for children.

This includes avoiding pressure-treated wood and pallet wood, which may have been exposed to toxic materials. If you're unsure about the safety of a particular type of wood, it's best to avoid it altogether. Another thing to consider is the type of finish you want for your wooden toys. There are transparent finishes that allow the natural beauty of the wood to shine through, as well as colored finishes that can add a pop of color to your toys. Keep in mind that transparent finishes are easier to clean and less likely to cause irritation in children who may be sensitive to certain types of wood or nuts. Now, let's talk about safety.

As an expert, I believe that there are different levels of safety when it comes to toys. So let's start with the safest options and work our way up from there. ECOS paints are a great choice for those looking for a completely non-toxic option. These paints are free of volatile organic compounds and are certified safe for use in toys and around people who are particularly sensitive to chemical vapors and paint odors.

Myron Burglin
Myron Burglin

Extreme bacon enthusiast. Unapologetic twitter enthusiast. Avid web scholar. General music geek. Hipster-friendly social media advocate. Freelance twitter trailblazer.

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