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How to Do Watercolor Painting with Salt

by Jean Van't Hul
April 3, 2023
watercolor with salt

Get a starry night sky effect by painting with watercolors and salt. This easy watercolor technique produces a beautiful star-studded sky.

Updated April 2023

We love painting with watercolors, and of all the different watercolor techniques, painting with watercolors and salt is the one we return to the most.


It’s simple. Sprinkling salt over your painting is a fun extra step for kids. And the results can be dramatic.

Plus, it’s just perfect for creating a starry night sky!

Here’s a quick video showing how to paint a night sky with the watercolors and salt. And keep scrolling for step-by-step instructions!

Watercolor Painting with Salt


*We like to use liquid watercolor paint when painting with watercolors and salt, as the technique requires extra water. However, you can use a palette of dried watercolors if you are mindful of using extra water.


  1. Draw your crayon picture

    Use your crayons to draw and color in a picture that would work well with your starry night sky.

    drawing an owl for painting

    We love this owl, but some other ideas could include any animal or bird, a house, a city scene, a tree, a person, a garden, etc.

  2. Paint the sky

    Now, paint your sky a medium to deep blue, using lots of your watercolor paint.

    Painting the Starry-Night Sky with watercolors and Salt

  3. Add salt

    Sprinkle salt over the wet watercolor paint.

    Note: You can paint the sky and add the salt in sections if you’re painting slowly and the watercolor paint is absorbing into the paper too quickly.

    Sprinkling Salt Over the Starry Night Sky Painting

  4. Let dry

    Let your artwork dry completely. And once your starry night sky artwork is dry, rub off the extra salt.


Now you can admire and display or gift!

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How to Do Watercolor Painting with Salt

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