These are the lowest-VOC metallic paints that can be used on walls, furniture, decor, arts and crafts.
Only paints intended for walls will offer some insight into the VOC levels. Paints for arts and crafts generally do not list VOCs. However, water-based acrylic paints are generally not toxic and most formulas now are low odor and low VOC.
Polyurethane paints are higher in fumes, and spray paints (even if water-based) are also higher in VOCs than a brush-on paint. The highest VOC product will be solvent-based spray paints.
I don’t know of any metallic paints that are food contact safe. This is due to the fact that the paints do contain metals.
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Non-Toxic Metallic Wall & Furniture Paints
1. Modern Masters
Modern Masters is a water-based and low-VOC paint that comes in tonnes of colors and has many uses around the house.
Where to use: Walls, fixtures, furniture, decor, accents, crafts, and more.
Colors: Available in 49 metallic colors, a few gold shades, a few silvers, white pearls, black metallic, and every color in between.
Sheen: Satin and matte sheens, opaque to semi-transparent consistencies.
VOC levels: Water-based, low emitting, low VOC, and “non toxic”, they say. We don’t know the precise VOC levels. “Low VOC” should mean under 50 g/l.
Where to buy: Amazon
2. Boreo Metallic Paint
Boero’s Metallic Paint is a water-based, “low VOC” coating (according to them) applied directly over a similar color in eggshell paint to create a wide array of metallic effects in a satin finish. Their Metalic Suede is a metallic gel coating that provides the look and feel of suede with a subdued matte metallic finish. Like the Metallic paint, it’s water-based, “low VOC” and is applied directly over a similar color in eggshell.
This is not an acrylic paint but a urethane paint which usually has a higher odor and more of that “fresh paint smell”.
Where to use: Civil plaster, plasterwork, plasterboard, skim-coated walls, wood, etc., suitably prepared
Colors: Aluminum, Gold, Pearl, Neutral. Can be tinted using tinting systems.
Sheen: Satin or matte.
VOC levels: They only say that the VOCs are under 250 g/l which is not actually low-VOC for a water-based paint. Under 250 is standard VOC, whereas under 50 g/l is low VOC.
Where to buy: In the US you can buy this from their website.
Other: PPG Metallic Tones is a water-based acrylic paint for interior walls. VOCs are listed as under 350 g/l. Not low-VOC.
Non-Toxic Metallic Furniture & Decor Paint
1. Shabby Chic Chalk Paint
Shabby Chic Chalk-Based Paint is a water-based furniture and craft chalk-based paint.
Where to use: Ideal for wooden furniture, metal, plastic, brick, stone, and plaster. Refurbish furniture like wood a dresser, vanity, or picture frame without a primer (wood only, on other surfaces a primer is recommended).
Colors: Metallic champagne, gold, silver, blue and red.
Sheen: The metallics have a satin sheen.
VOC Levels: Almost zero-VOC at <1 g/l VOCs
Where to buy: Amazon
2. Rust-Oleum Metallic Accents
Rust-Oleum Metallic Accents is a water-based low-odor acrylic is generally a one-step finish. It contains real mica beads to provide a metallic appearance.
Where to use: Walls, trim, doors, furniture, decor, crafts. Interior/exterior.
Colors: Metallic white, off-white, bronze, champagne, copper, pewter, gold, soft gold, silver, dark brown, blue.
Sheen: Shimmery iridescent/pearly metallic finish.
VOC Levels: VOCs not disclosed, but because this is a water-based acrylic that is low odor it is likely to be low-VOC.
Where to buy: Amazon
Non-Toxic Metallic Arts & Crafts Paint
1. Folk Art Treasure Gold
Folk Art Treasure Gold is a water-based acrylic paint for crafts and DIY projects that is “odorless” (they say).
Where to use: Wood, canvas, paper, metal, terracotta. Interior.
Colors: Gold, light gold, green gold, rose gold, silver, dark silver, blues, purples, pink, copper, dark copper, reddish copper.
Sheen: Satin metallic.
VOC levels: The company claims it’s odorless and non-toxic though we don’t have the exact VOC levels.
Where to buy: Amazon
4. DecoArt Americana Decor Metallics
DecoArt Americana Decor Metallics is a water-based acrylic craft paint that is non-toxic.
Where to use: Canvas, wood, MDF, paper/posterboard, rocks, furniture, most plastic, styrofoam, terracotta, concrete, sea shells, leather, artificial flowers, metal, fabric, unglazed ceramic, walls, paper mache.
Colors: White pearl, gold, rose gold, champagne, silver, dark grey, pewter, blue, red, green.
Sheen: Satin metallic sheen
VOCs: Not listed
Where to buy: Amazon
Non-Toxic Metallic Artist Quality Paint
1. Jacquard Lumiere Metallic Paints
Jacquard Lumiere is a water-based acrylic paint that is high quality and can be used for fine arts, crafts, home decor or textile applications. Lumiere paints can be painted, stamped, stencilled, or printed.
Where to use: Fabric, leather, paper, wood, natural and synthetic fibers, canvas, vinyl, styrofoam, plastic, rubber, clay and more. Painted fabric becomes washable and dry cleanable when set with a hot iron or dryer and remains flexible and soft.
Colors: Metallic Gold, Olive Green, Silver, Copper, Bronze, and Pearlescent White.
VOCs: Acrylic paints don’t tend to be toxic or high in odor. Though they don’t release the VOC levels (generally art supplies don’t list VOCs).
Non-Toxic Metallic Spray Paint
1. Pinty Plus HOME
Pinty Plus HOME is a water-based spray paint that is very low in odor. It’s designed for indoor-only, larger-sized home decor projects and has a matte finish.
It can be used for medium-sized sections of walls, doors, windows and as well as common pieces of furniture like cabinets, sideboards, cupboards, headboards, tables or chairs; decorative objects of all types like clay figures, frames, vases or even textiles such as small carpets or decorative pillows.
Where to use: Wood in general, MDF, chipboard panels, wood veneers; glass, clay, ceramics, and tiles (with Pintyplus Universal Primer); paper, rope, cardboard, or paper-faced foam board, rubber, cork, and foams in general, Styrofoam, etc.; fibers like bamboo, hemp, etc.; felt; methacrylate and polycarbonate; metals (except aluminum); hard plastics, rigid-transparent-flexible PVC (with Pintyplus Plastic Primer); soft plastic, nets, and bags made of polyethylene, cellular polypropylene. Textiles such as wool, linen, or cotton, though it is not intended to be used on clothing that will be washed or flexed frequently. Indoor use only.
Colors: Metallic Brass
VOC Levels: No spray paint will be ultra-low VOC, however, water-based spray paints are certainly the lowest VOC spray paint. Most spray paints carry a Prop 65 warning. This one has a Prop 65 warning for four chemicals, titanium dioxide, ethylbenzene, and two undisclosed ingredients.
Where to buy (US): Home Depot
2. Montana Colors Water-Based Spray Paint
This is a professional quality polyurethane paint for murals and crafts. It’s water-soluble (it’s a water and alcohol-based paint), and odorless (they say).
It’s intended for fine arts, graffiti art, DIY projects, crafts, stencil art, industrial, and home decor projects.
Where to use: Metals including iron and steel, many plastics, glass, wood, terracotta, directly on expanded polystyrene. On plastic, a primer may be necessary. Indoors and outdoors.
Colors: Gold and silver
VOCs: You will have a polyurethane paint smell and alcohol odor (the alcohol offgasses quickly). The propellant is dimethyl ether DME, it also contains 10-25% ethanol. The VOCs are listed as 525-460 g/l depending on the color. However, if you want to go with a spray paint, water-based and water-alcohol-based are your least toxic options.
Liquitex is a high-quality water/alcohol-based formula for fine artists with a matte finish. It’s low-odor and less toxic than most solvent-based spray paints.
It’s intended for murals, stencilling, underpainting, painting sculpture, collage & mixed media.
Where to use: Stretched canvas, cardboard, glass, wood, masonry, brick, ceramics, and styrofoam. Can be used indoors for art studio use and outdoors. Once dry it is permanent and water-resistant.
Colors: Gold and silver are their metallics.
VOC levels: The solvents listed on the SDS include ethyl alcohol (aka ethanol) 18-27%, dimethyl ether is the propellant (10-30%), acetone is also present in smaller amounts (0.1-3.5), with a few other solvents at less than 1%. The exact VOC levels are not listed but this is less toxic than most solvent-based spray paints.
Corinne Segura is a Building Biologist Practitioner with 8 years of experience helping others create healthy homes.