Paint is an extremely important part in restoration or making new toys.

There is no point in going to all of the trouble and effort in doing a good job if you use the wrong paint.

Choose your paint carefully; in my opinion; Acrylic paint is good for painting walls and ceilings in houses where it is not getting constant bumping and scratching; but not so good for painting children’s toys.

Why is this so?

Acrylic Paint

  • Acrylic is a synthetic product.
  • Acrylic; whilst quick drying easy clean up and convenient to the painter; but it is not a hard wearing paint when used on children’s toys.
  •  It remains relatively soft when dry.
  • It is designed simply to cover the surface of the timber; but not designed to penetrate and bond into the grain of the timber.
  • It is less likely to withstand the knocks and bumps of children playing.
  • Whilst there is a great range of colours; there is little depth in those colours.

Oil Based Paint

  • Oil is a mineral; timber is a mineral.
  • Oil Based enamel is definitely a little more work for the painter in the clean up department; however; it is a much harder wearing paint when used on children’s toys.
  • This is because it is designed for the oil to impregnate into the grain of the timber.
  • Because the oil impregnates the grain; it nourishes the timber, thus protecting not only the surface but the grain; thus bonding with the timber.
  • Because of the bonding process and the compound of the paint; it dries much harder than acrylic paint; therefore it is less susceptible to chipping.
  • The added bonus of the oil penetrating is the depth of colour; the finish on a high gloss oil based paint makes you almost feel like you could reach through it with some colours.

 Which ever paint compound you select; make sure you select a quality brand; the quality control, testing and materials used will make for a much better job in the long term.


After you finish painting; I suggest giving the job a coat of Polyurethane finish; this will give a near glass like finish as well as extra protection to your finished job.

If you don’t want the glass like finish; you could do a mix 60 Gloss-40 Matt mix; this will give you less shine.