Sidewalk Chalk Paint: A Huge Hit at My House

chalk paint play

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Before the week that the Bit had off from school, we had a few days off earlier in the month and I was looking for something fun and new to make for her to play with. I decided to go with sidewalk chalk paint, because I knew she’d used it at school, she loves both paint and sidewalk chalk and, well, she loves messy.

It was such a huge hit! She asked for it four times over three days — enough that we went through a whole box of corn starch! We’re now on our second box and she still asks for it at least once a week. Fun!

chalk paint play
Here’s a version made with regular food coloring. Pretty!

What You’ll Need

  • one cup corn starch
  • one cup water (or  a little less if you want thicker paint; my girl just dumps it anyway so it doesn’t matter how thin it is)
  • food coloring (we have used both regular and neon; the neon is really pretty!)
  • a squirt of liquid dish soap (optional, see below)
  • bowl, spoon and little bowls to put different colors of paint in

    chalk paint recipe
    The first round of chalk paint in neon colors.

What You’ll Do

  1. Add corn starch and water to bowl. Stir. It will be a big gloppy mess for a little while and then suddenly it will make something approaching a liquid.
  2. If you want to add some dish soap, do it now and stir it in. There are lots of recipes for this out there, and some include soap and some not. This one from Shannon’s Tot School suggests the soap makes the paint easier to wash off, which may well be true. I’ve done it both ways, and it seems like the blue leaves a little behind regardless. Could be my food coloring is particularly strong…
  3. Divide the paint into four little cups, or however many colors you want. Add food coloring (I started with six drops in the first batch and probably do more like 10 or 12 now) as desired and stir.
  4. Paint with a brush or just spill all over. Sidewalk chalk fingerpainting!


I had forgotten this, but I have photographic evidence that she did actually use a paintbrush in the beginning to play with the colors.

sidewalk chalk painting
A paintbrush is not the Bit’s preferred tool.

It didn’t last long, though, and soon she was spilling the colors like she does with liquid watercolors.

sidewalk chalk paint
Pouring the paint is a lot more fun.

Then it was time to smoosh everything around like fingerpaint.

chalk paint fingerpaint
She says the paint is gloppy. Which it kind of is.

The paint running down the patio was pretty. See, it is pretty darn liquid.

chalk paint color mixing
Oooh, pretty!

It’s fun to walk in, too. She does the every time, leaving little painty footprints all over the place!

walking on chalk paint
As you can also see, it’s pretty messy stuff.

As you can see in this picture. The paint dries pretty fast, and when you touch it it turns into powder (like chalk dust, I guess). She thought it was fun to draw on top of with regular chalk.

drawing on sidewalk chalk paint
When chalk and chalk paint combine. The colors are a lot less vivid after drying.

It’s also fun to spray with water, or to fill the mostly empty paint cups up with water and see what color it turns the water. Or to play with in any way you’d normally play with sidewalk chalk. If your kids are anything like my girl, this will be a hit. And require a shower after.

Thanks for visiting, commenting and sharing!

This post is linked to Ta-Da Tuesday at Mommy by day Crafter by night, Get Your Craft On at Today’s Creative Blog, Mommy Club and Tip Me Tuesday at Tip Junkie. Visit them for tons more great craft ideas!
Tip Junkie handmade projects

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