Bathtub Paint Recipe for Kids
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An Easy Homemade Bathtub Paint Recipe for Kids

Bathtub Paint Recipe for Kids

Post by Rachel Miller of Kids Activities Blog

Taking baths and painting are our favorite “go-to” kid’s activities.

Our latest “painting” experience combined the two! Whoohoo!

Try this easy bathtub paint recipe for kids. You can make it thick and use it as finger paint, or dilute it and use it with paintbrushes.

Our bathtub “paint” is washable, does not stain and will help you clean your tub.

So sit near the bathroom with a good book and let your kids have a blast! It won’t be quiet, but at least you can have some mommy down time.

Homemade Bathtub Paint Recipe


  • 1 Cup of Dish Soap
  • 1/2 Cup of Cornstarch
  • 1/2 Cup of Water
  • Dye – we used food coloring

I used the antibacterial scented hand soap, but whatever you use, know your kids will coat themselves with it—so be sure to pick something you know they don’t have a reaction to.


  1. In a sauce pan, mix the cornstarch into the cold water until it is dissolved—it should still be a bit pasty, but not clumpy. Then turn up the heat and bring the cornstarch water to a boil – stir constantly to make sure there are no chunks.
  2. Add the soap and mix, heating on medium temperature until just boiling. The soap should have a gel-like consistency as it cools.
  3. Add food coloring.
    We have found that food coloring has the best results, but have also used tempera paint, really anything water-based should work fine to color the cornstarch/soap base.
  4. Store your paint in an airtight container. The paint will separate slightly when stored, stir well before use. Test the paint on a patch of your tub to ensure that your food coloring does not stain – and have fun!

Looking for another bathtub paint? Check out this recipe using shaving cream as it’s base.

More DIY Paint Recipes

Rachel Miller headshot About the Author

Rachel Miller is a former high school economics teacher turned into a kids play enthusiast. She loves to enjoy her 6 kids and explore the world with them. Rachel blogs at

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Bathtub Paint Recipe for Kids


  • Avatar
    February 27, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    Ok, so I just made this – looks so fun! Even though I stirred constantly while making it, I still got chunks. Was I supposed to use a whisk instead of a spoon? I don’t think the kids will care about the chunkss anyway.

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    February 27, 2013 at 9:57 pm

    Can wait to try this we either use regular paint or shaving cream mixed paint/food coloring. A favorite activity isto add sponges abd tell the days story. Ex went on hike and found frogs, leaves ect.

  • Avatar
    March 1, 2013 at 6:35 am

    Bath time was so much fun tonight – thank you!

  • Avatar
    March 1, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    We did this tonight, and it was fun for the kids! The only dilemma was my youngest liked the taste of the soap…

    • Avatar
      May 18, 2021 at 12:22 pm

      I read a post where they made the paint with Youghurt instead.. Tastes very nice 😅

  • Avatar
    Body Soap
    March 4, 2013 at 11:39 pm

    I really loved this bath time fun.Will make children to have their bath with quite interesting way.

  • Avatar
    March 5, 2013 at 10:25 am

    Would this work with tear-free baby shampoo instead of dish soap?

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    Pauline Raymond
    March 11, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    Shannon, I made bathtub soap for some kiddies at Christmas, and used baby (tear-free) shampoo … worked great. I liked the thought of that better than dish soap, actually.

  • Avatar
    October 23, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    Thanks for the question, I was wondering the same thing myself – since my toddler will be bathing in this…

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    Cindy @ One Part Sunshine
    February 2, 2014 at 10:10 pm

    Thanks for the great idea! I just shared this recipe on my blog – a post I wrote about non-toxic bath play ideas.

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