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February 11, 2013

Sidewalk Chalk Paint Recipe

Homemade Sidewalk Chalk Paint - Recipe for Play

Two minute recipe for homemade sidewalk chalk paint in vibrant colors - so simple and fun!

My twins (18 months)* have really gotten into painting lately, and I prefer making homemade paints for them since they aren't past the oral stage yet.  One of the most simple recipes for homemade paint is sidewalk chalk paint.  There are only two ingredients, and prep time is literally two minutes.  There is no heavy mixing or cooking involved.  It really does not get any easier than this.

*Tank and Peanut were 18 months when I first wrote this post.  I recently updated it with new images.  They are now 35 months.

How to Make Sidewalk Chalk Paint

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sidewalk chalk paint recipe

Directions:  To make your own sidewalk chalk paint fill your container of choice halfway with cornstarch.  I like using muffin tins from Dollar Tree for homemade paint.  Add you choice of colors.  I prefer the vibrant shades of liquid watercolors, although I stick to food coloring with younger children.  Add water to the colored cornstarch and give a quick stir.  I always add the coloring before the water, because it distributes the color more evenly.  I don't measure anymore, but the first time I made sidewalk chalk paint I found that I prefer a ratio of 1 part water to 1.5 parts cornstarch.  It is a matter of preference.  Some people prefer equal parts.  In my opinion, you can't go wrong.  The chalk paint recipe is very forgiving.  If it's too think add water.  If it's too runny add cornstarch.  It really is that simple.

homemade sidewalk chalk paint

We've had the best luck using foam brushes with sidewalk chalk paint.

two ingredient sidewalk chalk paint recipe

Sidewalk chalk paint dries lighter than it appears when wet.  This rainbow provides the perfect example.

sidewalk chalk paint recipe

Peanut cracked me up when he grabbed a towel to mop up some spilled paint. Sidewalk chalk paint can be messy, but is rinses away easily. You might want to test a small area of your driveway to be sure, although we've never had an issue with staining on our driveway or clothing. Here are tips for messy play as well as laundry tips to avoid stains and keep clothes bright.

sidewalk chalk paint

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How to make sidewalk chalk paint in just two minutes!

More sidewalk chalk paint recipes:

How to make gorgeous sidewalk chalk paint in rainbow colors  


  1. That rainbow looks so cool! I want to try sidewalk chalk paint just because of that picture. :)

  2. Can't wait to try this during warmer weather. Pinning it!

  3. Lovely! I'm absolutely doing this!

  4. Pinning this also for warmer weather...looks great!

  5. Can this be store for future use, or made a day ahead of time? Will it dry out?

    1. Hi Sarah, I think this is best made right before use. It could possibly store overnight but no longer. It might dry a bit overnight, but adding a little water would help. It really only takes a couple minutes to mix, so I think the best way to plan would be to set everything out the night before then mix just before playing.

  6. Does the food coloring stain their clothes?

    1. I haven't had any issues with staining, however I am very careful when doing laundry to not dry clothes before inspecting them to make sure all the spots came clean. I use spray and wash (or a similar product) to pretreat our clothes after painting before washing.

      Liquid watercolors are a bit pricier, but they wash clean easily.

      Here are my laundry tips for messy play: http://www.learnplayimagine.com/2013/02/laundry-tips-from-busy-mom-of-four.html

    2. Unfortunately, the food coloring version stained for me. I used plain old store brand food colors and a few neon ones and the red especially, stained. We have stained clothes, stained sidewalk and it took two days for the red to wear off their skin. Bummer. Maybe the liquid water colors work better? I won't try this one again.

  7. We used liquid neon food coloring and got great results. It washed away with little effort after two weeks (big rainstorm) http://choices4children.blogspot.com/2014/05/sidewalk-chalk-paint.html

  8. Hi,
    I made this paint the other day for my 23month old boy. He loved it the experience!!!! but I have to say it was very hard getting his hands and feet clean! and there were some stains left on the concrete floor where he was playing. Any ideas to get his skin cleaned easier without having to scrub it to death !?

    1. Hm, we never scrub. I rinse them off during after playing, and then the color comes off during bath time at night without much effort, just soap on a washcloth.


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