August 18, 2010

Homemade Sidewalk Paint

Here's another cheap and easy project that's perfect for these last few weeks of summer when camps have ended and the regular summer activities have lost their appeal. With just a few items that are probably tucked in the back of your pantry, you can make homemade sidewalk paint and let the kids paint masterpieces on your sidewalks or driveway.

Here's what you need:

  • cornstarch 
  • water 
  • food coloring 
  • small containers (I used cupcake tins from the dollar store) 
  • paint brushes (the cheap foam ones work well)

Here's what to do:

1. In your small containers, add equal parts cornstarch and water. I used a little less than 1/4 cup of each for our paint. Mix the cornstarch and water well (it'll be gloppy at the bottom). Add several drops of food coloring to each container to make the colors your children want and mix well.

Cornstarch and water mixed well.

Adding the food coloring.

2. Paint away! The paint will go on rather watery and dull, but will dry to a nice bright pastel. If your driveway (or other painting surface) is particularly smooth or bumpy, you might want to experiment with adding a little more or less cornstarch to get the coverage you want, but the equal parts ratio is a good starting point.

3. My kids like using the paints for free form painting and also like drawing an outline with sidewalk chalk and coloring it in with the paint.


  1. I am so trying this. My girls will love it.

  2. Hi Laura! Love the vibrant colors :) I assume that these wash right up - no staining the sidewalk or anything...

    Thanks, Jen

  3. "Hi Laura! Love the vibrant colors :) I assume that these wash right up - no staining the sidewalk or anything...

    Thanks, Jen "

    Hi Jen, they've always washed off our sidewalks just fine.

  4. Sorry for the belated reply! Thanks so much for the info :)

  5. I tried this today with my 3-year-old and we LOVED it! Thanks for sharing! I also love that you put them in the muffin tin, going to do that next time. :)

  6. Can you make this and store it for future use or does it get yucky or to thick?

  7. Can you make this in advance and store in a container or does it only work right when you make it?

  8. Hi Cowgill Family,

    We've always ended up using all the paint we make in one day, but I don't see why you couldn't store it for future use. Because of the cornstarch, it will settle and separate, so you'll have to shake it well or stir it before the next use, but I think it should still work.

    1. I made this and then was trying to see how it would be for a birthday party thank you gift and the corn starch got solid at the bottom. I decided to try making it thicker by putting it in the pan and heating it up. Has worked great. I can have it thicker and it has been all this week and I can still stir it around. :) Hope this helps anyone interested. B

    2. Thanks I am doing this as a thank you gitt too

  9. What a great idea! Can't wait to try this as my kids threw all the chalk out into the bushes!:)

  10. My only question is... Do your kids appreciate how creative you are?? :D

  11. If you want the paint 'thicker to use in the sidewalk paint things from crayola just heat up the water add the food coloring then add a little bit of cornstarch to cold water and add until it gets the thickness you want. I had to do this so it would 'bind' and be thicker for their toys :-) Just thought I would share that :-)

  12. This looks fun, does it stain clothes?

  13. Thanks for the recipe! I used alot of food coloring, but it worked great! And it washed off the sidewalk easily! Found you on Pinterest.

  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. I made this today for my son and a friend! They loved it and thought it was amazing that I could make homemade watercolors. When I explained that it was very simple, they couldn't wait to invent some new colors. Thanks for this fun and inexpensive craft that brought a ton of joy to some sweet boys.

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