Pinterest Challenge: Homemade Paint

I recently saw this on Facebook, and later found it on Pinterest. Perhaps you’ve seen it too.

I love the idea of being able to inexpensively supply my kids with art supplies, and my son loves to mix, cook and experiment so this was an activity that HAD to happen.

We mixed up a full batch, waiting to mix in the food colors until we had divided it into four different containers.


We found that the paint was super gritty, and additional stirring didn’t seem to help.


I took the kids outside to paint on some cardboard…


And a tree…


and my sensory-seeking son couldn’t resist the urge to go all out with the body paint.


And while it was good, messy, non-toxic fun, the paint really didn’t adhere very well to much of anything, remaining grainy and pasty.


After giving the kids a good bath I began to wonder if perhaps cooking the paint might make it smoother. After all, play dough has a quite a bit of salt in it but isn’t gritty.

So back to the kitchen for a quick half-batch to test out my theory…


I found that when cooking it the ratio of water to the other ingredients goes way up. Sorry, I didn’t measure; I just kept adding water as the mixture kept clumping and coming together like play dough.

It felt like the salt was dissolving but I had a lumpy mess, so I put it in the Magic Bullet with some additional water.


The result? A nice smooth white paint base.


Mix in the colors…


and give it a try on Eli’s easel paper.


Two thumbs up!

Next time I will use more food colors for darker paints. I learned long ago when working in a preschool to mix dish soap in with kids paint. It helps any accidents to wash out of clothing better.

So while I really like the idea of using old ketchup bottles to store this paint, the original post won’t give you a paint worth storing. With added water, cooking and blending though you can get a paint that will save you money on your kids’ art supplies.




  1. Linne said,

    April 29, 2014 at 7:20 pm

    Love this. I wonder if boiling the water with the salt, cooling, then whisking in the flour would work . . . Looks like fun, either way. Nice to see your ‘baby’ growing so well. Thanks for this. ~ Linne

    • April 29, 2014 at 8:00 pm

      That’s a good idea Linne… that would avoid the clumpy play dough-forming stage altogether!

  2. April 30, 2014 at 2:27 am

    Reblogged this on catherinehasablog and commented:
    Homemade paint

  3. April 30, 2014 at 2:29 am

    Reblogged this on GinaG123 and commented:
    This is so fascinating. I shall have to make some for my two children.

  4. Maysem said,

    April 30, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    Thanks for sharing your experimentation. I did see that on pinterest and wondered about it. Loved that you came up with a solution. Pinning this one. 🙂

  5. eljay1980 said,

    May 4, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    Reblogged this on ..:: El-Jay ::.. and commented:
    What a fab idea… great fun and money saving too 🙂

  6. Inder said,

    May 6, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    Cool idea! But most of all, I love seeing your adorable kids! Eli is so grown up now! But still into body paint: I approve.

    • May 6, 2014 at 7:06 pm

      Yea, I was looking back at some of my first posts and it is amazing how much Eli has changed! You would never know at this point that we ever were dealing with the issue of a speech delay. I think you told me that it would happen back when I was in the thick of it, and you were right. 🙂

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