Is Spray Paint Food Safe? – Should You Worry?

Randy Charles
Professional Painter

Randy Charles is the owner of, a website dedicated to providing information, tips, tricks, and news about all things paint. With over 10 years...Read more

Spray paints are becoming more popular for DIYs and crafts. But is it food safe? It depends on the type of paint. Most craft paints aren’t labelled as food-safe, but there are specialized brands that are. When using paint near food, check product labels to ensure safety. If you’re using overglaze finishes or sealers, ensure they’re certified for use with food too.

Is Spray Paint Food Safe
Is Spray Paint Food Safe

What is spray paint?

Spray paint is a type of aerosol paint. It’s made of pigments in a liquid solvent, fuel, and additives. Pressure or heat will turn the mixture into droplets. It can be sprayed onto surfaces. There are many colours and special types, like metals, industrial uses, fluorescent, etc.

The solvents in spray paint differ, with some being food safe by authorities like the FDA. Generally, sprays with food-approved parts are safe to use on food if they are cured correctly. Before using spray paint on food items, consult local authorities.

Health Risks Associated with Spray Paint

People often choose spray paint for DIY projects. But, it is important to be aware of the health risks. This article will talk about the potential dangers. If not used properly, it can cause harm. So, be cautious!

Inhalation of Vapors

Inhaling spray paint vapours and fumes can be dangerous. Short-term exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, and throat. Symptoms like headache, nausea, dizziness, and fatigue may occur. Prolonged inhalation can result in more serious symptoms such as breathing difficulty, asthma, or even cancer.

The particles released during spray painting can also be hazardous when breathed in. Long-term exposure can lead to respiratory illness or lung cancer. To lower the risk, protective masks must be worn when spraying.

Individuals working in closed areas, like garages, should ensure proper ventilation and instructions on paints and thinners are followed. All necessary safety equipment should be used for spray painting projects, including:

  • Respirators or face masks filter out toxins from inhaled air.
  • A well-ventilated space.

Skin Contact

When spray paint touches the skin, it can cause irritation and allergy. It may make your skin feel itchy and burning. The risk is higher if one doesn’t wear protective gear or a respirator when using VOCs. Ingesting spray paint is toxic and should be avoided. VOCs can be poisonous and cause damage to the kidneys, liver, heart, and reproductive system.

Symptoms of VOC poisoning are:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Chest tightness
  • Throat irritation
  • Coughing or shortness of breath


Swallowing spray paint is incredibly dangerous. People may mistake aerosol cans for food or drink containers, resulting in serious harm and even death. The particles can enter the stomach and cause internal harm and poisoning. Signs of intoxication could be confusion, breathing problems, vomiting, and abdominal agony.

Suppose you think someone has swallowed spray paint, contact poison control immediately. Not getting medical assistance quickly can lead to long-term organ failure and brain damage.

Food-grade Spray Paint

Food Safe Paint For Ceramic
Food Safe Paint for Ceramic

Spray paint is not something you should use on food items. But there is food-grade spray paint available. So, if you need to paint items that may come into contact with food, you must use food-grade spray paint.

Food-grade sprays are made according to the FDA’s safety standards. They also go through testing to make sure they meet food safety guidelines.

You can use a food-grade spray to coat plastic kitchenware, paint signs near food areas, protect wood surfaces from moisture, or paint large wooden surfaces. Ensure the label says it’s suitable for contact with food before buying it.

Non-food-grade Spray Paint

Spray paint that is not labelled “food-grade” or “non-toxic” should not be used on items that may come into contact with food. Research the ingredients and substances it consists of before applying.

Non-food-grade spray paint often contains VOCs and other chemicals, which can leach into food or drinks. The levels vary but can be harmful or even deadly if ingested in large amounts. It may also contain plasticizers, which can soften plastic surfaces. Over time, these plasticizers can also leach into food or drinks, causing health risks.

It is better to avoid using non-food grade spray paint on items that come in contact with food, like plates, containers and utensils. It is better to be cautious than risk potential harm from consuming toxins.

Tips for Safe Use of Spray Paint

Want to give your food containers a one-of-a-kind look? Why not try spray paint? But before you go ahead, here are a few tips to remember. They’ll help you make sure your spray paint is safe for use in the kitchen:

  • Clean the container thoroughly before painting.
  • Use spray paint specifically designed for use on plastics.
  • Make sure the container is completely dry before painting.
  • Apply several thin coats of paint, allowing each coat to dry completely before applying the next.
  • Allow the paint to cure for at least 24 hours before using the container.

Wear Protective Clothing and Gear

Cover up! Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants, plus a dust mask. Protect your eyes with safety goggles or glasses. Fumes and particles can be inhaled, causing skin irritation. Ventilation when painting indoors is a must. Use a fan or open window for fresh air. Consider a respirator if the paint has hazardous ingredients, like lead or volatile chemicals. Finally, keep flammable materials away from the area to prevent any fire or explosion risk.

Work in a Well-Ventilated Area

Remember to work in a spot with good airflow when using spray paint. It can create a lot of toxic fumes quickly. Fumes can stack up in closed-off places and make the air bad. To dodge short-term health problems like lightheadedness, headaches, eye and throat irritation and lung damage, be sure to paint in an area with plenty of air or use protective clothing. You can also get ventilation or exhaust fans at hardware stores and home improvement centres.

Food Safe Paints For Glass
Food Safe Paints for Glass

Read and Follow the Label Directions

Using spray paint safely and effectively requires knowledge of the product, preparation, and following instructions. Read and follow the label directions since spray paint brands vary greatly in formulations.

Aerosol cans contain flammable chemicals and pressurized air, so treat them respectfully and cautiously. Wear chemical-resistant gloves and safety glasses to reduce exposure to chemicals. Review labels for details on setup, mixing, applications, warnings, disposal of unused products, and hazard communication requirements.

When using aerosol products, always get good airflow. If indoors, wear a respirator with organic vapour filters. Wear protective clothing and cover furniture near the project area with drop cloths or newspaper.

Food Safe Paints For Wood
Food Safe Paints for Wood


In conclusion, it’s essential to be aware that most spray paints are not fit for food use or surfaces used for food preparation. If you wish to paint your cookware or picnic items, consider using an enamel finish or a food-safe material like stainless steel.

It is also essential to read the product label carefully and adhere to the maker’s directions for correct application and maximum durability. By keeping to these precautions, you can enjoy fresh foods free from any dangerous chemicals that may have been employed in the painting process.

Randy CharlesProfessional Painter

Randy Charles is the owner of, a website dedicated to providing information, tips, tricks, and news about all things paint. With over 10 years of experience in the painting industry, Randy has become an expert in the field and is passionate about helping others learn more about painting. He has written numerous articles on the subject and is committed to providing accurate and up-to-date information to his readers.

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