How do you make food safe projects?

I'm stenciling on a variety of surfaces with chalk paste that will or could come into contact with food and I'm wondering if there is a way to seal the item for safe contact with food. Items include ceramic bowls, plates, cups, bowls, and wood surfaces such as cutting boards, pizza boards, food trays, etc. Home Depot sold me a cutting board oil and said it would seal the design. However 1) it only works on wood and 2) the paste is water soluble, so I'm concerned the liquid oil is going to cause the design to smear.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks all!


  6 answers
  • Mona Blake Mona Blake on Feb 27, 2019

    I would use urethane over it.

  • Kelli L. Milligan Kelli L. Milligan on Feb 27, 2019

    So wouldn't use chalk paste. For things to be hand washed always use oil based products. That is what commercial made products use.

    • See 2 previous
    • Lynn Sorrell Lynn Sorrell on Feb 27, 2019

      General Finishes Wood Bowl Finish, PintCreate a beautiful and safe finish on wooden bowls, cups, spoons, and countertops. Easy to apply - just wipe on with a soft clean rag. Achieves the sheen and resistance of a varnish. Additional coats can be reapplied at any time if maintenance of item becomes necessary. found additional ones After scores of conversations with chemists, regulatory agencies, finish manufacturers, finishing experts, and woodworkers, I found that there are a few finishes that everyone agrees are food safe. In the welter of contrary opinions about which finishes are food safe and which are not, a few naturally derived, unblended, no-hidden-ingredients, certainly nontoxic finishes stand out.Shellac. A secretion from the lac bug. Harvested in India. Super blond shellac in flake form is the most water resistant variety. A film-forming finish. Sold in woodworking catalogs and hardware and art supply stores. MORE INFO. Q:

      I’m planning on finishing a set of wooden plates with polyurethane. Is this finish safe for food?A:

      According to finishing expert Bob Flexner, all finishes are food-safe once they have cured. Polyurethane varnish does not present any known hazard.However, no finish is food safe until it has fully cured.The rule of thumb for full curing is 30 days at room temperature (65- to 75- degrees F).

      The question of food safety in finishes revolves around the metallic driers added to oils and varnishes to speed the curing process. Lead was used as a drier many years ago,but now lead is banned.

      There is no evidence that today’s driers are unsafe.No case of poisoning from finishes containing these driers has ever been reported. The Food and Drug Administration approves the use of these driers in coatings, and no warnings are required on cans or Material Data Safety Sheets.

      Several oil and varnish products are marketed as “food or salad-bowl safe.”This implies that other finishes may not be safe, but that’s simply not true. Some of these specially labeled products have no driers added to them (and they take quite a long time to dry!), but the rest actually contain the same kinds of driers as other oils and varnishes.

      This story originally appeared in American Woodworker

  • William William on Feb 27, 2019

    I agree with Kelli. No way to seal to make it food safe. Do use it.

  • Lynn Sorrell Lynn Sorrell on Feb 27, 2019

    Chalk Paint® Wax is food safe when completely cured.Absolutely! Both Chalk Paint® and Chalk Paint® Wax are safe to use on furniture destined for baby and child use. However, before putting the item to use, please allow the wax finish to cure for a minimum of 14 days.

    Samples of Chalk Paint® and Chalk Paint® Wax have been independently tested and certified as Toy Safe according to strict European regulations (BS EN 71-3:2013).

    Annie Sloan cares about your health. While there are no inherently harmful ingredients in Chalk Paint® Wax, we do advise that expectant mothers get someone else to apply it for them.After you have applied Chalk Paint® Wax, you’ll find that it will become dry to the touch very quickly. At this stage, it is still what you might call “soft.” It will start to harden as the solvents in the wax evaporate. This hardening process is known as “curing.” Curing can take between 5 and 21 days. Finishes prefer warm, dry conditions during the curing process; high humidity, cold temperatures, and application thickness can extend drying and curing time substantially.

    Of course, you can use your newly finished piece straight away, but you should treat it with extra care until the wax has cured completely.

    Chalk Paint® Wax is food safe when completely cured.Once Chalk Paint® Wax is used, no other protective finish can be applied to your project. Attempting to add another coating ⎯ such as Annie Sloan Lacquer or another varnish or even polyurethane ⎯ over a wax finish is futile.

  • Leslie Leslie on Dec 05, 2021

    Also, Modge Podge makes a sealer that is Dishwasher Safe, which may be useful for some projects.

  • Jonni Jonni on Jan 27, 2022

    Friend, I understand. I really love baking and often we get together with the family and cook together. We have a tradition like this. Fortunately, I recently came across a website . This is a pretty useful blog where there are very good recipes. I tried to cook some dishes and it turned out very tasty. Good luck!