A lot of popular paint products are very toxic. Whether it’s the chemicals they contain — or their eye-watering fumes — those paints are far from safe to have around your guinea pigs.
But, is there a durable guinea pig safe paint you can use?
Well, in this post, we dive into what Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) actually are — and why it matters. You’ll also discover which types of paint are completely VOC free.
And keep reading to find out if it’s worth risking using Acrylic or Enamel paints on your pets home.
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Are Paint Fumes Harmful To Guinea Pigs?
Very much so. You see, the fumes in paint, (and other solvents), are often referred to as VOC’s. And they are what causes that cough-inducing smell that comes off paint as it dries.
But, if you’ve ever painted a room, you probably know that even dry paint can continue to release fumes. In fact, paint can release VOC’s for up to six months after it has been applied.
And if those VOC’s are enough to cause you to cough, you can only imagine what sort of harm they’re doing to your guinea pigs.
Is Acrylic Paint Safe For Guinea Pigs? No, it is not. Acrylic paints are filled with chemical pigments and microplastics. If your pet were to chew on an Acrylic painted surface, they could ingest those harmful ingredients.
Related Post: Is Acrylic Paint Food Safe Enough For A Cutting Board?
So What Kind Of Paint Is Non-Toxic To Guinea Pigs?
Well, first off, any paint you use on your guinea pigs home needs to be VOC-free. What this means is that it does not release fumes during (or after) application.
Typically, 100% VOC free paints are made from natural ingredients. These ingredients usually include things like essential oils and tree resins.
But, these particular types of natural-ingredient paints can also encourage the growth of mold. Which makes them unsuitable for outdoor wooden structures.
This is why — if you want a durable VOC-free paint — you need to use one that still contains man-made chemicals in it. Nevertheless, those chemical ingredients should not produce harmful fumes or side effects.
So, one of the best VOC-free paints on the market comes from Little Knights.
Their odorless 100% VOC-free paint does not contain dangerous solvents. And this makes this paint safe to have around your pets, and yourself.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Painted Wood? If that paint is a solvent-based paint, then no, they cannot. Solvent-based paints contain toxic chemicals in them that are much too dangerous for your guinea pig to ingest. Even some natural-ingredient paints may contain certain things that are not a suitable addition to your guinea pigs diet.
Related Post: Is Plywood Safe To Use For Your Guinea Pigs Hideout?
What About Spray Paint? Is It At All Guinea Pig Safe?
Not even close. Spray paints contain chemicals, such as zinc and lead.
And their airborne application means that they’re an even worse VOC-emitting culprit than other solvent paints.
OK. So Is There A Natural Ingredient Paint That’s Safe Around Guinea Pigs?
If you don’t mind using a less-than-durable paint product, you could consider using Milk Paint.
Milk paint contains milk proteins, natural pigments, and calcium carbonate (lime) in it. So, there are no toxic chemicals thrown into the mix.
What’s more, none of the ingredients in this particular paint will release fumes, so it is 100% VOC free.
It is surprisingly easy to apply too, since it does not need a primer coat before application. You can simply apply it directly onto raw wood.
What’s more, it takes fewer than 30 minutes to dry to the touch. Plus, it doesn’t wash off easily either.
But, best of all, this paint is both biodegradable and eco-friendly.
Related Post: Is There A Food Safe Paint For Wood?
OK. But What Are The Disadvantages Of Using Milk Paint On Wood?
There are three main problems with using this paint;
1). It Is Not Durable (Especially Outside)
While it may not wash off all that easily, it is not waterproof. So, if it gets drenched by rainwater, a coat of milk paint can become water-damaged.
2). It Is A Thin Paint
It’s all-natural ingredients means that milk paint does not contain the chemical bonding agents that solvent paints have.
So, this means that this fairly watery paint product will need more coats than usual. And it will take 4+ coats of milk paint to get an even coverage.
3). It Is Always A Matte Finish
High gloss paints have the gloss added to them using special chemical additives. Milk paint, on the other hand, does not contain any of those additives.
So, milk paint always leaves behind a matte finish. This can leave the surface of wood looking a touch waxy, rather than shiny.
Is Enamel Paint Safe To Use Around My Guinea Pig? Nope, it is not. Oil-based enamel paints contain poisonous amounts of methyl alcohol, (which is also highly flammable). While even water-based enamel paints have toxic ingredients, such as white lead, in them.
To Wrap Up, Here Are The 3 Key Takeaways From This Post…
- 1). Solvent based paints, such as Acrylic Paints and Enamel Paints, can release fumes for months after application.
- 2). Those paint fumes, (known as Volatile Organic Compounds), are dangerous if they waft around your guinea pig.
- 3). Only use 100% VOC-free paint to coat your pets home.
Enamel (Paint) – an overview | ScienceDirect
White Lead | Wikipedia.org