Paint Recipes

Paint Tips

Mix tempera paint with:
Water & soap flakes to make it easier to wash out. Detergent to prevent cracking. Condensed milk for a glossy look. Alum as a preservation. Sawdust, salt, crushed eggshells, or coffee grounds to give texture.

Finger Paint

½ cup cornstarch
3 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups cold water
food coloring

Mix ingredients in pan. Cook over low heat for 10-15 minutes until mixture is thick and smooth. Stir while cooking; let cool after thickening. Add food coloring as desired. Cover tightly to store.

Finger Paint 2

2 quarts water
1 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup soap flakes
Few drops of glycerin
Food coloring

Gradually add water to cornstarch (instead of liquid starch). Cook until clear and add soap flakes. Add glycerin to keep paint fresh. Add food coloring to color.

Finger Paint 3

unflavored gelatin

In a sauce pan, mix 1/2 c. cornstarch and 3/4 c. water until it becomes a smooth paste. Soak 1 pkg. unflavored gelatin with 1/4 c. water.  Set aside.  Pour 2 c. boiling water slowly over cornstarch mixture and stir.  Cook mixture over medium heat stirring constantly until mixture boils and becomes clear.  Remove from heat.  Stir in gelatin mixture.  Let cool and store in small screw top jars.  Add color as desired. Store in refrigerator.

Fluffy Paint

2/3 cup soap flakes
1/3 cup water
powdered paint or food color

Whip until fluffy and paint! (Be careful that children do not get in eyes, it will hurt!)

Bath Paint

2 Tbsp. Liquid soap
Food coloring

Portion the soap into several containers & add food coloring to make paint shades. Let kids paint the tub & themselves as they bathe. These paints rinse easily off the children, the tub, the walls & you!

Cornstarch Art

3 Tbsp. Cornstarch
1/4 Cup Cold water
2 drops Dishwashing liquid
1 Cup Boiling water
Food coloring

Combine cornstarch and cold water. Stir until smooth. Add dishwashing liquid. Pour boiling water into the bowl and stir until the mixture thickens. Add food coloring and let cool. Use, as you would finger paint.

Cornstarch Paint

1 Tbsp. Cold water
2 Tbsp. Cornstarch
1 Cup Boiling water
Food coloring

Combine cold water and corn starch. Stir until smooth. Add boiling water and stir again, until smooth. Add food coloring until paint is desired color. Let cool. Store this paint in a covered container. If the mixtures dry between uses, add water to thin it.

Hint: To reduce messes have children work on old baking sheet or tape paper to the work surface. Try different textures of materials to paint on (freezer bags, paper bags, or aluminum foil).

Egg Yolk Paint

1 Egg yolk
1/4 tsp. Water
Food coloring

Mix egg yolk with water and lots of food coloring. Use a paintbrush to paint on baked sugar cookies. Return cookies to oven until egg has solidified.

Finger-paint I

3 Cups liquid Starch
Powdered Tempera

Add tempera to starch till desired color.

Finger-paint II

3 Cups liquid Starch
1 Cups Ivory Snow Soap Flakes
Powdered Tempera

Mix starch and soap under medium heat till it boils. Add tempera.

Finger-paint III

1 Cup liquid Starch
1 Cup Ivory Snow Flakes
1 Cup cold water
3 Cup Boiling Water

Mix starch and cold water till smooth paste. Add boiling water and cook until thick & glossy, stirring constantly. Add soap flakes & beat with eggbeater until smooth.

Finger-paint IV

2 Cups Flour
2 tsp. Salt
2 1/2 Cups Cold water
2 Cups Boiling water
Food coloring

Mix flour with salt. Add cold water. Stir until smooth. Gradually add this mixture to boiling water. Boil until smooth and thick. Add food coloring, then stir until smooth.

Finger-paint V

1 Cup Flour
1 Cup Cold water + 3 Cups Cold water
Food coloring

In large saucepan combine flour and cold water. Stir till smooth. Add 3 cups additional cold water. Cook and stir over medium heat till mixture thickens and bubbles. Reduce heat. Cook and stir 1 minute more. Remove from heat and pour into three heatproof bowls. Use food coloring to tint desired colors. Cover with plastic wrap, and let stand at room temperature till cool. Spoon paint on paper; paint!

Finger-paint VI (Soapy Finger paint)

1 Cup Soap Flakes
1/2 Cup Water
Food coloring or dry tempera

Whip soap flakes with water. Tint with food coloring or dry tempera. Paint on white shelf paper or waxed paper. Make sure all of above are covered in airtight containers.

Jell-O Finger Paint

boiling Water

Use enough boiling water to make it goo consistencies for finger-paint. Use you normal finger-painting material or glossy paper. Kids love the smell and the feel of it.

Kool-Aid Finger Paint

2 Cups Flour
2 pkgs. Unsweetened Kool-Aid
1/2 Cup Salt
3 Cups Boiling water
3 Tbsp. Oil

Mix wet into dry. The kids love the color change. Then finger-paint away.

Oil Paint

1 Tbsp powdered paint
3 Tbsp vegetable oil

Mix powdered paint with vegetable oil.  To use, place water in a pie tin or other container.  Using a spoon, children drop oil paint onto water, which will float. Place a piece of paper (any kind will do, I prefer finger paint paper) on top of water and paint, then lift!  That’s it!  Continue to place new paint on top of old, change water as needed.

Powdered Milk Paint Medium

1/2 Cup powdered nonfat milk
1/2 Cup Water
Powdered Paint Pigments

Mix milk and water. Stir until milk is dissolved. Combine only as much solution with powdered pigments as you intend to use in one sitting. Makes about 3/4 cup. For a large group, combine any amount of powdered milk with an equal amount of water. This paint dries quickly to a glossy, opaque finish. It does not dust, chip, or come off on your hands the way poster paint does. Mix a small amount of the solution with powdered pigment in a palette pan. Work smooth with a brush. Use water to thin paint and to clean your brushes. Store this medium in a tightly capped jar in the refrigerator.

Pudding Finger Paint I (Edible)

Any type of instant pudding
Old paper bags or anything you use to finger-paint on…tray or wax paper, etc.

Mix pudding and water together until you have a good consistency for finger paint.

Pudding Finger Paint II (Edible)

Instant Vanilla Pudding
Food Coloring

Mix pudding according to directions. Add food coloring for desired color. Finger paint on paper plate.

Puffy Paint

Tempera paint

Mix equal parts of flour, salt and water in a bowl. Add a small amount of tempera paint to the mixture and pour into a small plastic squeeze bottle. Repeat the procedure making as many colors as you wish. Squeeze onto heavy paper or cardboard to make designs. Mixture will harden into puffy shapes.

Salt Paint

1/8 Cup liquid Starch
1/8 Cup Water
1 Tbsp. Tempera Paint

Mix together and apply to paper with a brush. Keep stirring mixture. Paint will crystallize as it dries.

Sand Paint

Tempera paint (powder)

Mix dry tempera paint with sand. Let kids spread glue on picture and sprinkle on sand.

Shiny Paint

White glue
Tempera paint (liquid)
Dish detergent

Pour glue into small cups. Mix your choice of liquid tempera paint in each. Use to paint on wood, paper, or cardboard as you would with any paint. Paint will dry shiny as if glazed.

Variations: Paint pine cones, driftwood, rocks or glass. Try painting with sponge brushes for a very smooth finish. To help paint adhere to shiny, smooth surfaces, add a few drops of dish detergent.

Snow Paint

Food Coloring

Place water and food coloring in empty spray bottle. Let children spray colors on the snow to make designs.

Soap Paint I

1 Cup Laundry Soap Flakes
1/2 Cup Cold Water
Food Coloring

Mix together. Beat with an eggbeater until fluffy. Finger paint.

Soap Paint II

1 Cup Laundry Soap Flakes
1/4 Cup Water
1/3 Cup Liquid Starch

Mix together. Beat with a whisk for 3 minutes.

Starch Finger Paint

Liquid starch (in plastic squeeze bottles)
Liquid Dish Soap
Dry Tempera Paint in salt shakers

Use the detergent sparingly and the liquid starch generously. Colors are shaken into the liquid mixture and spread around to suit the child’s taste. Some caution must be given to children about not using too much tempera or the finer paint mixture will be too dry.


1 Tbsp. White vinegar
1 1/2 Tbsp. Baking soda
1 Tbsp. Cornstarch
1/2 tsp. Glycerin
Food coloring

Mix vinegar and baking soda in small bowl & allow foaming. After foaming stops, add cornstarch and glycerin. Stir well (up to a couple of minutes). Portion the mixture into a paint palette, muffin tin or similar container and add food coloring. Make the colors dark since drying & use will lighten them. Allow watercolors to dry in a warm place for several hours or overnight. Makes 1 set of Watercolors.

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