ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Coffee Painting Made Simple

Updated on September 29, 2016

A coffee painting



The drink that so many people depend on to get their day started is not only a tasty morning booster, it's also a great medium to make some really interesting art!


  • Instant coffee
  • A Muffin tin (or just anything that can hold liquid and keep your shades separate, an ice cube tray would work just as well)
  • Water
  • Paintbrushes
  • Paper
  • An idea [:


The first thing to do is to make sure you have a good area to work in. You will need space and good lighting, but that kind of stuff is important for any art you do.

The next step is to create your shades. Start by putting different amounts of the coffee into each of the cups on the muffin tin or ice tray or whatever you are using. I would suggest putting a lot in the first one and decreasing the amount as you go down so your shades are in order like a gradient. In the one that has a lot of coffee add just enough water to dissolve all of the coffee. You will not need too much, but if you do put too much water in and it isn't as dark as you want just add more coffee. Add water to the rest of the cups using a lot in the one with the least amount of coffee to get your lightest color. You can test your shades and if some aren't quite as dark or light as you'd like just experiment by adding more coffee to make it darker or more water to make it lighter.

Once you have your shades, grab your paper and your brushes and have your idea ready to go and go for it! Even if you don't really have an idea, just messing around and painting something abstract is fun too. Painting something random and abstract can also be a good way to experiment and get used to your coffee paints.

Clean up is easy, the paint will just rinse right out of whatever container you used. Worst case scenario is that you'll have to get some soap and a sponge, the horror! Don't worry about your paint drying out either. If it does just rinse it out and make some more. You can buy inexpensive instant coffee at the dollar store so don't worry about going crazy and having to remake all your colors. Make sure to rinse out your brushes so they don't get hard, though. Even if they do get stiff from the coffee it will just rinse right out.

Conclusion and Other Tips

The picture with this hub is a painting I did with coffee. I recently went to Haiti and used one of the pictures I had as inspiration for the painting.

Having pictures to use as references is probably the best way to get your paintings to look the way you want them to. Even if you can't find a picture of exactly what you're thinking of finding something close can at least help. I always start out with a light pencil sketch of my photo or idea before I start so I have a guideline. By the time you're done your pencil sketches won't show through if they're light enough.

The key to a lot of good paintings is starting with a clear idea and a good picture. But there are a lot of amazing paintings that are born from fuzzy ideas and no pictures!

One tip for making a really good painting is paying attention to the contrast. Make sure to use a variety of dark and light next to each other to really make things pop! Shading is important too, pay attention to where the darks and the lights are. Think about where the light is hitting the subject (if there is one) and shade accordingly. If the light is shining from the right the right side of the figures should be lighter and the left sides should be darker. Don't worry if you have one spot too dark. Just get a cup of clear water and apply it the spot, carefully, and it will help thin the spot out a bit. Be careful to not use too much water though because it can and most likely will spread farther than you want it to. The best thing to do to avoid the situation is to just make everything a little lighter and have it get darker as you layer.

Once you're finished actually painting with your coffee you can make copies of your painting and play with it with other mediums. You can try outlining or highlighting parts of it with a white colored pencil or black ink pen. Maybe you want to see what it would look like with some colorful tissue paper modge-podged over the top. Maybe you have a few coffee painting and want to try to collage them together. Some people get creative and keep the coffee theme by incorporating coffee beans in their pictures, too! Whatever you decide to try making copies is a great way to experiment without ruining the original!

This site has some GREAT examples of coffee paintings:

The most important thing to remember, ABOVE ANY OTHER THING is to just have fun and express yourself! Now, go! Create! Inspire! Have fun!

Coffee painting can have dark and light tones.
Coffee painting can have dark and light tones. | Source
Coffee Bean Art
Coffee Bean Art | Source


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Hazelle Mae profile imageAUTHOR

      Hannah Beam 

      3 years ago

      Cherry, it should not take that long to dry, usually. If it does, you can blast it with a hairdryer and that should help it to dry very fast. If you made your paint dark and thick, it will look shiny and may stay sticky. If your paint is still runny and dripping when your try to move it, you may have used too much. The best practice in that case would be to use thin layers with dry time in between, next time.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Hello. May you please tell me how to dry the painting.. Mine doesn't seem to dry and it's been a few days since I've finished..

    • Hazelle Mae profile imageAUTHOR

      Hannah Beam 

      5 years ago

      Tat, This would work on fabrics. I've never actually painted with it on the fabric, but I've used coffee to dye it before. The only problem I foresee is having the fabric soak up the coffee and it speeding out too far. To avoid this you could try to make a batik, using something, glue, wax, etc., to resist the liquid and then painting in the lines once try are dry. For more information about batik technique I'd suggest Pinterest, but Google is always helpful too!

    • profile image

      Tat Dulenko 

      5 years ago

      Great technique. I wish i can do it on fabrics. Anyone tried? Any tips.

    • ytsenoh profile image


      7 years ago from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri

      Hazelle, first, welcome to the Hubs. I thoroughly enjoyed this hub because I've never heard of painting with coffee before and probably will give it a try now. I think this is a great subject you've chosen to write about and I really liked your own painting. Very interesting subject and different. Different is almost always good. Thumbs up.

    • DommaLeigh profile image


      7 years ago

      What a kewl idea. Like Dbro, I never thought of coffee as a paint medium, but sounds like something up my alley.

    • Dbro profile image


      7 years ago from Texas, USA

      This is a very interesting hub, Hazelle Mae. I have been a watercolorist for many, many years and I have never heard or thought of painting with coffee. I have certainly drunk my share of coffee over the years and inadvertently spilled some on my paintings in progress, but never used it as a painting medium. The examples you show here are beautiful. I am going to have to try this! Thanks for this informative and inspiring article.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)