Organize & Clean

How To: Make Sidewalk Chalk Paint

published May 15, 2009
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click thumbnails for larger pics We’re self confessed lovers of cornstarch. For
cooking alike, it’s right up there with white vinegar in our hearts and it’s many household uses! One of our favorite ways to put cornstarch to use is in the making of sidewalk chalk. It couldn’t be any simpler and will entertain the minds of adults and children alike for as long as you have paint to play with! It washes off driveways, hands and clothes, so

Making this wonderful substance is as easy as 1, 2, 3. Follow along with the pictures above and the descriptions below to experience all the fun we had testing out this project to show you!

Top Row, Left To Right

  • Allie Gets Down and Dirty: It’s almost impossible to be a kid and not fall in love with this project right away. The colors are brilliant and it’s easy to do!
  • Recipe For Success: This is a great starting point, although in all honesty, more often than not we just dump some cornstarch in a bowl, add a few drops of color, stir in a few tablespoons of water and go from there.
  • Ingredients Needed: Mixing bowls (shallow plastic bowls work great for this, or even ice cube trays), cornstarch, water, food coloring and something to stir with.
  • Not Enough Water: You shouldn’t feel any drag from the cornstarch, but it shouldn’t be too liquidy either. There’s a fine line that once you start mixing will become quickly obvious. We used a different color here than we did outside, but you get the idea right?
  • Perfect Consistency: It should pour off a spoon and not leave a layer of cornstarch sludge at the bottom of the bowl or cup. Once you mix up a few batches you’ll soon know exactly what we’re talking about!

    Bottom Row, Left To Right

  • Painting Tools: We used silicone basting brushes this time around, although in the past we’ve used foam brushes with far greater success. The silicone cleaned up in a snap and was ok for some things, but didn’t provide quite enough drag (although that didn’t stop us, fingers work just fine as well!).
  • Clean Up: The best part about the whole process is the easy clean up. It simply washes free of dishware and utensils, concrete will wash clean if left for up to a week (we’ve never tested it for longer than that), and most clothing shouldn’t have a problem. Upon returning in, we usually rinse anything that obtained “paint” on it in the warmest water the fabric can handle or pre-treat with a stain fighter (we like Shout). We usually wear play clothes so it’s never much of a worry to begin with!
  • Have Fun!: This is a great time for 1 or for 100. It can be used for everything from birthday get togethers, sleep overs, or signs painted on the driveway or street (Happy Birthday, Welcome Home, exc). It does also work on concrete and masonry walls, although it will need to be washed off with a hose and not left up to the rain to remove.

    We hope you had as much fun flipping through these photos as we did testing things out, it’s really a great time and the only real cost is the cornstarch and dye. Look for cornstarch in bulk for extra savings and you can always adjust the amount of dye used to make pastels or brighter hues!

    (Images: Sarahrae)