How To Make Water Paints

Water paints are a great way to indulge your child’s creative side. Because children tend to use water paints in large doses, it is sometimes best for you to make your own and skip the expensive coloring sets. Making your own water paints is an easy and inexpensive activity whose main ingredients are usually found right at home. Here’s how.

  1. Base. To create the base for the water paints, you will need to combine vinegar with baking soda. Place these in a small pot or bowl and use a spoon to mix the ingredients together. Naturally, the baking soda and the vinegar will react with each other. You will need to allow the frothing and bubbling to subside before you add in the next ingredients. Once the bubbling has stopped and the acid – base mixture has stabilized, add in a teaspoon of cornstarch and glycerin. Use the spoon to stir the ingredients together until no lumps are found.
  2. Add the color. Scoop one or two spoonfuls of the mixture and place it in a separate dish or container. Next, add in the coloring. You can use food coloring for the mixture. Add in a few drops until you get the shades that you need for the set. Generally, you should have at least the primary colors which are red, blue and yellow, as well as the secondary colors such as green, violet, and orange. Also add in white and black colors. Make sure that these colors do not combine. After adding the food coloring for each specific color, be sure to use a new and clean plate to keep the colors from the previous batches from combining and turning muddy.
  3. Storage. Once you have all of the base colors, the next step is to place the colors into small and re-sealable bottles. Keep the bottles stored in a cool and dry place. You may notice that the water paints may crack more than the usual store purchased water colors, especially when the mixture has already dried out. This is normal, and will not affect the quality of the colors which the water paints will make whne combined with moisture or several drops of water.  These water paints will last for several months, and can be made in large batches. Just remember to add a few drops of water if the paints will not be used for a long time.
  4. For brighter colors. If you find yourself with a limited stock of food coloring, you can combine the food coloring to create het colors that you want. If the food coloring does not produce strong enough colors for your children’s artwork, you can also use Kool Aid powder, which will provide very strong and bright colors. These will also smell very sweet, but must be capped tightly to prevent ants from feasting on the water paints.

Enjoying art and fostering your child’s creativity all while remaining in a budget does not have to be impossible. Through homemade water paints, you can allow your child to paint as much as he wants.


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