Non-toxic Nightstand

One of our goals for 2011 is to replace all of our pressed wood furniture with real, solid wood furniture. Pressed wood (think Sauder type furniture) off gases chemicals constantly, like formaldehyde. Breathing in these chemicals are not good and when you have a house full of pressed wood (we do), I believe it could be causing health problems. According to the Minnesota Dept. of health,

"Formaldehyde is found in many products such as particle board, plywood, paneling, pressed-wood products and urea formaldehyde foam insulation. Some synthetic fabrics, especially permanent press, shampoos and cosmetics may also contain small amounts. The effects of long-term exposure are not well known. Long-term exposure to high levels of formaldehyde has been shown to cause cancer. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has listed formaldehyde as a “probable human carcinogen,” while the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified formaldehyde as “carcinogenic to humans” based on nose and throat cancers in working populations."

Thanks to, our goal of replacing this toxic wood is becoming a reality. Seth grew up building and doing woodwork with his dad and is very good at it. These plans have made it easy for him to gather materials and start my never ending list of projects! Here is our first piece of furniture, based on this plan. Originally, I wanted it for our master bedroom, but the non-toxic, homemade stains were so cute and bright that we decided to put it in Maggie and Brighton's room. We need to find some sort of non-toxic sealant, but for now, it looks pretty dang cute I think!

When it comes to paint, it is just as toxic as the pressed wood, if not more. I have pretty severe chemical sensitivities and I walked into a Sherwin Williams this summer for under 10 minutes and was nauseous with a pounding headache for the rest of the day. So, I sure as heck don't want any of our furniture painted with VOC paint. Luckily, I found a great idea for non-toxic, cheap stain online. Food coloring mixed with water! It works great and takes very little to do the job. We applied it with a sponge. Here is a pic of the other colors we tried out. I can't wait to do something with the orange. It's such a fun color! 

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