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How to Make Raised Salt Paintings

by Jean Van't Hul
March 1, 2021

Raised salt painting is an all-time favorite kids art activity that is loved by all ages from toddlers on up. Glue, salt, and watercolors are all you need for this simple art activity, also known as salty watercolors.

Raised Salt Painting Materials_

Updated March 2021

Raised salt painting is awesome. I mean, AWESOME.

We’ve done this so many times over the years, starting when Maia and her toddler art group buddies were still in diapers.

If you haven’t tried raised salt painting yet, now’s your chance! First I’ll share a video of the raised salt painting in action, then give you the step-by-step tutorial for this fun art activity.

Are you ready to get started? Here we go…

Raised Salt Painting for Kids

Rainbows and Hearts in salt
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*Any sturdy art surface will do. We’ve done this with card stock, poster board, cardboard, watercolor paper, paper plates, and foam core.

**Liquid watercolors are great for this activity. If you don’t have any, you can make your own by watering down food coloring.

Time needed: 1 hour.


  1. Squeeze glue designs onto your card stock

    Use your glue to draw a design or picture onto your cardstock.

    Raised Salt Painting with Kids - Glue Art

  2. Sprinkle with salt

    Carefully sprinkle salt onto cardstock until the glue is thoroughly covered. Tip to let excess salt fall away. A baking dish or tray helps to contain the salt.

    Raised Salt Painting - Adding Salt to Glue Drawing

  3. Add color!

    Dip your paint brush into liquid watercolor paint then gently touch to the salt-covered glue lines. Watch the paint “magically” travel in both directions!

    If you like, you can use a dropper or pipette instead of a paint brush to add your watercolor paint. We find that this can add a bit too much paint at a time, but I know that many people like this method.

    Raised Salt Painting - Adding Watercolor Paint

  4. Let dry thoroughly

    The drying process may take a day or two.

    Raised Salt Painting - Wet

    Note: If you’re wondering about the art mats or the liquid watercolor pots in a base, I talk about them in my post about tools for children’s art.

Once dry, display your new artwork!

Raised Salt Paintings Hanging on Display Wire

Raised salt paintings are an all-time favorite art activity in our house (along with shaving cream marbling, microwave puffy paint, and splatter painting). And, like those others, it’s one that every kid I know loves, too.

Name painted on paper

You can use this glue + salt + watercolor technique to write names/words, nature scenes, squiggles and scribbles, faces, and more!

How about you? Have you tried raised salt painting with your kids yet?

By the way, these salty watercolors are one of our Top 10 All-Time Favorite Art Activities for Kids. If you like this, you might like to check out the others on the list.

Artworks on Display Wire

More Painting Ideas for Kids

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Raised Salt Painting - pinterest (1)

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