How can I Make Finger Paint?

Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth
Cornstarch can be used to make an inexpensive finger paint for kids.
Cornstarch can be used to make an inexpensive finger paint for kids.

Making safe, colorful finger paint for children is easy. Recipes center around flour, liquid laundry starch, or cornstarch, and while some require cooking, others can be mixed up quickly without the stove. Some have a form of soap added to aid with clean-up. Whichever type of finger paint you make, it should be stored in tightly covered containers in a safe place. You can use food coloring or tempera paint to color as desired.

No-cook Flour Finger Paint
2 c. white flour
2 c. cold water
coloring

In a large bowl, slowly add the flour to the water while stirring with a wire whisk until thoroughly mixed. Divide into containers and add coloring.

No-cook Laundry Starch Finger Paint
¼ c. (.06 L) liquid laundry starch
coloring

Place liquid starch in a container and add coloring as desired.

Cooked Cornstarch Finger Paint 1
½ c. (.12 L) cornstarch
3 Tbsp. (44 mL) sugar
1/2 tsp. (2.5 mL) salt
2 c. (.47 L) cold water
coloring

Combine all ingredients except coloring in a medium saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Divide into containers and add coloring.

Cooked Cornstarch Finger Paint 2
1 c. (.24 L) cornstarch
3 c. (.71 L) water
coloring

A whisk may be helpful in making finger paint.
A whisk may be helpful in making finger paint.

Boil the 3 c. of water in a medium saucepan while dissolving cornstarch in a little water in a bowl. Remove saucepan from heat, and stir in cornstarch mixture. Return saucepan to heat and boil until thick and clear. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Divide into containers and add coloring.

Cooked Cornstarch Finger Paint 3
1/3 c. (.08 L) cornstarch
2 Tbsp. (29.5 mL) sugar
2 c. (.47 L) cold water
¼ c. (.06 L) liquid dishwashing soap or laundry soap flakes
coloring

Mix dry ingredients in saucepan, then slowly stir in water. Cook over low heat until the mixture becomes thick and translucent, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Add soap, mixing well, divide into containers, and add coloring.

Cooked Flour Finger Paint
1 c. (.24 L) flour
2 Tbsp. (29.5 mL) salt
1 ¼ c. (.3 L) hot water
1 ½ c. (.36 L) cold water
coloring

Finger paint can be bought or made from cornstarch, water and food coloring.
Finger paint can be bought or made from cornstarch, water and food coloring.

Mix dry ingredients in saucepan, then slowly stir in water with a wire whisk, beating until smooth. Add hot water and bring to a boil until mixture becomes thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Divide into containers and add coloring.

Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth

Mary Elizabeth is passionate about reading, writing, and research, and has a penchant for correcting misinformation on the Internet. In addition to contributing articles to about art, literature, and music, Mary Elizabeth is a teacher, composer, and author. She has a B.A. from the University of Chicago’s writing program and an M.A. from the University of Vermont, and she has written books, study guides, and teacher materials on language and literature, as well as music composition content for Sibelius Software.

Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth

Mary Elizabeth is passionate about reading, writing, and research, and has a penchant for correcting misinformation on the Internet. In addition to contributing articles to about art, literature, and music, Mary Elizabeth is a teacher, composer, and author. She has a B.A. from the University of Chicago’s writing program and an M.A. from the University of Vermont, and she has written books, study guides, and teacher materials on language and literature, as well as music composition content for Sibelius Software.

Discussion Comments

Amphibious54

@babalaas- My two kids love finger painting as well. My brother and I built a small castle playhouse out of plywood and thick paper rolls. The castle is very simple with four towers, three windows, and a door, but the kids absolutely love it. We let them break out the finger paint sets and decorate their castle any way that they like.

It has about an inch of dried on paint, but it gives them something to do. They have spent hours flinging, splashing, and smearing paint on this thing for the last year or so. I would recommend this to any parent who has a little time and space. Your kids will keep occupied for hours.

Babalaas

If you add about a teaspoon of grape seed oil to each batch of finger paints, it will last much longer.

My two-year-old daughter has an artistic streak so she loves to finger paint. I make a lot of finger paints and have a garage floor that is the color of a rainbow.

submariner

What a great article on non-toxic finger paints. I tried the cooked cornstarch finger paints and it worked great. The only thing I did not realize is that the finger paints are perishable. I went to use it a few days later, and it was lumpy and runny at the same time. Next time I will make sure I make smaller batches so I do not waste so much.

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    • Cornstarch can be used to make an inexpensive finger paint for kids.
      By: Yuriy Afonkin
      Cornstarch can be used to make an inexpensive finger paint for kids.
    • A whisk may be helpful in making finger paint.
      By: Seite23
      A whisk may be helpful in making finger paint.
    • Finger paint can be bought or made from cornstarch, water and food coloring.
      By: Andriy Petrenko
      Finger paint can be bought or made from cornstarch, water and food coloring.