When Immy recently asked if she could paint the whitewashed walls of our cubby house I wasn’t quite ready to hand over the tins of leftover house paint just yet. I did however see it as a great opportunity to try out an art project that has been on our to-do list for a while – making and painting with our own chalk paint.
How to Make Chalk Paint
Recommended Ages: Toddlers to adults
You will need:
- Kid friendly Sidewalk Chalk – we used Micador Jumbo Chalk
- A kitchen grater
- Trays for your paint
- Brushes – we started out re-purposing some larger house paint brushes and then switched to Micador Colourfun Round Brushes as they offered the girls more control
- A surface to paint – see the list of suggestions below
I have seen quote a few different techniques for crushing the chalk to make chalk paint, including placing it in a plastic bag and letting children crush it with a hammer or rolling pin, but as we were making a large quantity of paint I decided it would be easiest to grate the chalk using the smallest serrations on our kitchen grater.
We made four paint colours and for each combined two similar chalk colours – pink and red, two shades of blue, two shades of green, and yellow with orange. We used six sticks of chunky chalk for each paint and it made a lot of paint. We mixed the paint with water, adding a little at a time until our paint reached the desired consistency. I wanted the paint to be quite thick so the colours would remain vibrant.
Then it was simply a matter of adding paint brushes to each tray and letting the girls loose on the cubby house.
I have to say this project was messy, so if you give it a try make sure your children are wearing old clothes and have whatever you need for clean up ready before you begin. The paint was quite drippy, which was part of the reason we switched to chunky kids paint brushes, so that the result was more satisfying, especially for Immy.
Our interior cubby house walls are now adorned with patterns, pictures and large sections of bright colour.
Of course you don’t need a cubby house to have fun with chalk paint. Being that it is made of just chalk and water, it is perfect for temporary outdoor painting projects as it will generally wash away the next time it rains. You could easily use it to decorate fences, pathways or the trampoline mat, or alternatively, take a large stretched canvas outside. If you are unsure whether your paint will clean up easily, just be sure to test it first in an inconspicuous area – I personally have never found sidewalk chalk to need much more than a good hose down and rub with an outdoor broom.
Whatever you choose to paint, relax and let the kids have a marvellous time with this wonderful, brightly coloured, messy, sensory chalky paint!
Have you ever tried making paint with sidewalk chalk?