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How To Make Sidewalk Chalk Paint With Cornstarch

Updated on June 20, 2013

Have a future Picasso on your hands?

Do your kids love to paint, but you hate having to clean up the mess afterwards?

Then why not make some sidewalk chalk paint. Making sidewalk paint is a cheap and easy project for kids of all ages. All it takes is some common household ingredients. Of course, you could buy sidewalk chalk paint at the store. It would cost about 10 times as much, and your kids wouldn’t get the chance to not only help make the paint, but also enjoy using it.

Looking for other fun crafts for your kids? Try one of these:

Tile Coasters


Borax Crystals

Supplies Needed

  • Corn Starch
  • Water
  • Food coloring
  • Large mixing bowl
  • 2 cup or smaller containers
  • Large paint brushes

To make sidewalk paint mix equal parts of corn starch and water in large mixing bowl. Since corn starch can clump and thicken easily, I find it best to mix it with a whisk. Unsure about how much water and corn starch to use? We use 2 cups of each, and end up with enough paint for my two budding artists to paint for about 45 minutes to an hour.

Once the water and corn starch is mixed you have your paint. Although, you could leave it white, its more fun to color it with food coloring. First, pour the paint into separate containers. I’ve found that disposable food containers with lids work best. Having a lid makes it easier to carry outside. Also, by using a container with a lid you can store any leftover paint for use on another day.

Once the paint is in the containers, add 2 - 3 drops of food coloring to each. Stir the paint. If you don’t like the saturation of the colors add more until it suits your liking. We have both the neon and the regular food coloring at home so that gives a bit more of a selection of color choices.

Now you are ready to paint. Throw the lids on your containers, grab some old paint brushes and head outside. This kind of paint is not good for detail work, so you will need to use 1 or 2 inch paint brushes.

When you are done painting, clean up is a snap. Just clean the brushes and bowls in the sink, and let mother nature wash the paint away next time it rains. Even if you don’t clean up right away and the brushes dry out, they will still clean up easily.


  • Encourage your kids to continue to stir the paint while they are using it. This keeps all the cornstarch from sinking to the bottom, and the cornstarch is what gives the paint its chalk-like affect.
  • When first applied to the sidewalk the paint will look very watered down. Don’t be disheartened, once it dries the color will be much more vibrant.
  • Let the kids go wild and splatter the paint. It makes a great affect, and kids love being able to just throw paint around.
  • Make red, white and blue paint and decorate your sidewalk for the Fourth of July
  • Don’t panic if your toddler decides to put the brushes in their mouth or drink the paint. It is completely non-toxic. In essence they are eating the ingredients used to make gravy.


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