Making salt paint



Maia and I made a batch of salt paint yesterday, following the directions in MaryAnn Kohl's Scribble Art. It was a fun afternoon mixing and painting project.


First I made up a batch of liquid laundry starch. We have tons left over from the batch, so I'll be looking for other projects that use this stuff over the next few days.


Then we lined up some small canning jars and started adding our
ingredients to each one: 2 Tbsp liquid laundry starch, 2 Tbsp water, 1
Tbsp tempera paint, and 1/2 cup table salt.


Maia and I both made several paintings. We used our mat board remnants (free from a frame shop!) which worked well, although you could use sturdy paper or poster board. The paint mixture is pretty wet and gloppy so lighter weight paper would buckle.


The salt crystallizes as it dries, for a very pretty effect!


Maia says this painting is of a woman planting seeds in her garden. There are two flowers next to her that she planted and a twister in the air above her, but it's not a scary twister.

So there you go. Salt painting. I know that making the paint looks like a lot of work, but it's actually a fun project in itself. Maia had a blast with it and I thought that the painting was going to be anticlimactic afterward, but no, she painted away for at least an hour.

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  • Reply
    Zoe @ Playing by the book
    March 31, 2010 at 8:56 am

    Looks like a lot of fun and I can imagine how the salt crystals make it very special. When we tried watercolour painting with salt / glue (I think I got the idea from you in fact) that was also very lovely, and the girls really enjoyed doing something “different”.

  • Reply
    March 31, 2010 at 11:30 am

    You could use the starch for Marbelized Paper. It’s such a blast!!!!

  • Reply
    March 31, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    Very cool! We may have to try this one out. Thanks for the idea!!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    March 31, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    Love it. The salt crystals must really add a special shimmery look.

  • Reply
    The Artful Parent
    March 31, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    Great idea! Thanks.

  • Reply
    March 31, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    We LOVE salt paint! This is what we did with it recently:

  • Reply
    April 1, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    This is so pretty. We will be trying it over spring break!

  • Reply
    April 1, 2010 at 11:17 pm

    At school we make a lot of “silly putty” with liquid starch – more of a sensory activity than art, per se, but lots of fun. Mix liquid starch, white glue (like Elmer’s) and some liquid watercolor paint for color until the texture is stretchy and gooey but not too sticky. But wear smocks and ponytails because it’s no fun to get out of clothes or hair…
    And most importantly, happy birthday, Jean!!

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