Colour Play - DIY Chalk Paint

One of the easiest ways to teach young children about colour is to make some with them. This DIY chalk paint recipe is perfect for teaching children how different colours are created. I love colour. I love playing with colour, making new colours and using colour for learning. I've posted about colour exploration before and you can see those here and here. This homemade paint recipe is cheap and easy to make and lots of fun for everyone - from preschoolers through to adults!


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DIY Chalk Paint Recipe - make your own cheap paint by hand. Perfect for young children to make independently and learn how new colours are made | you clever monkey

Making chalk paint is so simple but kids love it and it combines lots of useful skills such as hand-eye co-ordination, colour recognition, encourages creativity, expression and experimentation both with blending of colours and as an early science (changing a solid to a powder then to a suspended state in a liquid).

To start you need-

- a hammer (or more depending on how many kids there are)

- some different colour chalks (we used Crayola sidewalk chalk which crushed evenly)
- ziplock bags
- a hard surface to hammer on
- a container to transfer the powder to
- water 
- brushes suitable for outside use.

All you need to do is decide on which colours to crush!  You can just crush the chalks as they are or you can experiment. By adding two primary colours (blue/yellow/red) together, you can watch the secondary colour appear as you're hammering like magic! It's a great visual for younger children still working out how colours are made.

DIY Chalk Paint Recipe - make your own cheap paint by hand. Perfect for young children to make independently and learn how new colours are made | you clever monkey


DIY Chalk Paint Recipe - make your own cheap paint by hand. Perfect for young children to make independently and learn how new colours are made | you clever monkey

You want to keep crushing the chalk until it is mostly powder so your paint will be nice and smooth.


DIY Chalk Paint Recipe - make your own cheap paint by hand. Perfect for young children to make independently and learn how new colours are made | you clever monkey


Carefully tip your chalk powder into a paint palette or a muffin tin like us.


DIY Chalk Paint Recipe - make your own cheap paint by hand. Perfect for young children to make independently and learn how new colours are made | you clever monkey




To turn it into chalk paint, slowly add some water while mixing until your paint is smooth but not too runny.

DIY Chalk Paint Recipe - make your own cheap paint by hand. Perfect for young children to make independently and learn how new colours are made | you clever monkey

For more colours, just repeat with different combinations and then you're ready to paint. 

DIY Chalk Paint Recipe - make your own cheap paint by hand. Perfect for young children to make independently and learn how new colours are made | you clever monkey

The paint appears quite pale when it first goes but dries to a much brighter, more intense colour. The best bit? It's still just chalk so you can paint on pretty much anything and, over time, it will either wash off or wear away.

DIY Chalk Paint Recipe - make your own cheap paint by hand. Perfect for young children to make independently and learn how new colours are made | you clever monkey


DIY Chalk Paint Recipe - make your own cheap paint by hand. Perfect for young children to make independently and learn how new colours are made | you clever monkey

The kids also experimented with some different painting techniques. This splat one belongs to my mess-loving eldest child.


DIY Chalk Paint Recipe - make your own cheap paint by hand. Perfect for young children to make independently and learn how new colours are made | you clever monkey

Alternatively, and more quickly, you can make paint from water, corn flour and food colours. Add a heaped tablespoon of corn flour to each well, top up with water then add your colour and mix together. It's basically runny, coloured goop but with brushes added.

DIY Chalk Paint Recipe - make your own cheap paint by hand. Perfect for young children to make independently and learn how new colours are made | you clever monkey

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If you liked this post and want more simple play ideas using colour, take a look at my Colour Play board over on Pinterest. 




Easy DIY Paint Recipes - make your own cheap paint by hand. Perfect for young children to make independently and learn how new colours are made | you clever monkey
  1. I love the splat of paint your eldest child created :) We've used the corn flour and water recipe before, but I think I might try the chalk recipe next time (It looks more "paintable" than the corn flour goop was!)

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    1. As did she Clarissa!
      I found we had to keep mixing the corn flour paint as we were painting but you don't with chalk paint. Use decent quality chalk though - some of the cheap stuff just floats on the water rather than wetting. Thanks for visiting :)

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  2. Definitely going to try this with all our broken chalk, I think my son would love to hammer it up himself & he would also be a "splatter" artist
    great post

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    1. I'm sure he'll love it ;) We made some at playgroup one day and everyone who could hold a hammer was having a go. Would love to see some photos of his work when you're done - just upload them to the FB page if you want. Have fun!

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  3. Love all the bright colours! I'm sure my kids would love this.

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    1. All of these activities we have done many times and they never tire of them. I'm sure your kids will love them too Kate. Thanks for visiting :)

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  4. So many great ideas. I want to try them all! We just bought liquid water colours today and now you've got me all excited about painting with them.

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    1. Thanks Danya :) We love working with liquid watercolours. We used them to colour the cornflour paint I included in this post and the colours were so vibrant. They're great on fabrics too.

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  5. So many fun ideas here. My children love to use the hammer to create chalk paint too. Elise at Creative Play Central

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    1. Thanks for your kind comments Elise x
      I think the love of hammering is universal :)

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  6. That chalk paint would be fabulous for our backyard canvas (aka back fence). Love those splats!

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    1. I'm sure they would be perfect Jackie :)

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