Easy Homemade Paint: A Tutorial

crafts, family, Svara

Here is my first tutorial!!

Svara LOVES to paint, but I never bother to buy paint.  It’s expensive, doesn’t always clean up easily, and gets wasted.

I’ve used several different recipes for homemade paint that I’ve found online and in books and they all work fine.  But now I just make my paint this way.  Easy, no recipe, and always turns out great!

*NOTE* This paint is NOT for pictures and projects that are going to be saved.  It cracks when it dries.  It’s for having fun, getting messy, and throwing everything out when finished.  Great for painting on the walls in the bathtub and then washing off, too!

First gather your materials: a microwave safe bowl, cornstarch, flour, and water.  And a helper if there happens to be one around!

Add two big spoonfuls of cornstarch into your bowl:

About this much:  (measurements for this recipe don’t need to be exact)

Add about half a cup of water:


Mixture will be very runny and will be white like milk:

Microwave for 10 seconds.  Stir (there will be no change in appearance)

Microwave for another 10 seconds.  You’ll notice small clearish blobs starting to form.  Stir.

Microwave for another 10 seconds.  About half of the mixture will be starting to lump together and get clearish.  Stir.

Microwave 10 more seconds.  Mixture will be mostly lumped together now, with still some liquid.  You’ll see a lot of clearish areas.  This is enough microwaving!  Results will vary depending on how much cornstarch and water you use, so adjust microwave time accordingly.  But it should look something like this when finished:

Stir it up!  Mine was quite thick and clumpy, I probably could have used more water in the beginning.

No problem, we just added some more water and stirred it up!

Now it is clearish, yet smooth.  Thick, yet will drop from the spoon

Time to add some flour!  I add flour to make the paint more white instead of clearish.  It helps make the colors brighter and more easily seen on the paper.

Stir it up!  Mixture should be smooth, thick, and stick to the spoon:

Add a couple squirts of dishsoap (about 1-2 teaspoons worth).  This will help the paint wash our more easily if (when) it gets on your toddler’s hands!

The resulting base paint:  smooth, thick, sticks to spoon. If you want it more runny, just add a bit of water.  But I like it thicker since it thins out when you add food coloring.

Put it in your paint tray, paint cups, or whatever you are using.  Only put in the amount that you are planning on using.  I never bother to save this paint.

All filled up.  Notice I’ve only used about half of the mixture.  I put the other half in the fridge to use within the next day or two.  It’ll get a bit thinner as it sits in the fridge, but that’s fine, I just use it that way.  I suppose I could add a bit extra flour or cornstarch if it was too runny.

Then I add two drops of food coloring to each compartment for a nice bold color (one of each if I’m mixing colors or two of the same if it’s a primary color).  Stir them up with a small spoon or a toothpick.

And it’s time to paint!!!

I hope someone finds this helpful.  It really does not take long to do at all, a lot faster than other homemade paint recipes.  Putting together this tutorial took me a LOT longer than actually making the paint!


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