What Is The Best Non Toxic Paint For Painting Plywood Sub-Floors?

Safe paint for floors


Thank you for getting back with me.  At this time we do not have chemical sensitivities, but we do have recovered health issues that I do not want to come back again due to being exposed to toxins. 

What we are doing is sanding and staining our plywood sub-floors.  Its what fits our budget.  With a boat load of children and another soon, we want the safest sleeping areas possible.  I’m thinking a darker stain, like a gray.  Does coloring affect the odor at all or are they all the same?

We look forward to ordering and starting our projects!  And when it comes time to paint….we will be back!


No problem. Painting subfloors is often a good way to go. Especially with lots of kids!
As far as toxic exposure goes, my primary concern would be chemicals released from the subfloor when wet.
Personally, I was poisoned by paint and my sinus and lungs will react to the plywood and particle board chemicals.
Most subfloors have formaldehyde and other chemicals in them that can offgas more in high humidity or when wet.
The best thing to stop or slow down any off gassing is NanoTech. This is a stronger coating than the Aqualine Satin but it has the same safety profile and no free isocyanates (which is important for pregnant women). It is used on cribs and floors where people are chemically sensitive but need something very strong. So, I think it might be a good fit for your project.
I think it’s fine to use Aqualine Satin and stain it with Pebble, which is a darker grey stain or Pebble Deep which is even darker grey. It will probably look really cool. My brother did a subfloor with Pebble and NanoTech and it looks great. After the stain is done, if possible, I would suggest using the NanoTech Clear 00 x 2 or 3 coats on top of the stain. This will provide a waterproof barrier, provide some fill into the cracks and voids and give a smooth surface to walk on barefoot. It will also be the best thing to help keep the subfloor from releasing odors.
The best way to start is to try it out with sample pints and make sure you love it.
Congratulation btw!
Hope this helps.
Sample pints are recommended for creating a finished sample in advance. 
Earthpaint is in no way liable for unintended uses of this information. Sample Pints are recommended. Please, create a completed sample board for approval in advance. Test as deemed appropriate to make sure no allergic sensitivities exist. Be sure to Read TDS (Technical Data Sheets), MSDS (Manufacturer Safety Data Sheets) Labels, How To’s and Product Web Page before using recommended products.

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