Homemade Sidewalk Paint – 3 Simple Ingredients

Here’s an easy homemade paint that will provide your kids with hours of outdoor fun this summer.  3 basic kitchen ingredients is all you need to make it!

It’s that time of year!  The kids are itching to get outside, and you’re looking for creative ways to keep ’em busy out there.  This is one of my go-to recipes for a sunny Spring day!  A batch of homemade sidewalk paint always keeps the hooligans entertained for a good hour or so in the driveway, sidewalk and patio.

sidewalk paint cover photo

 I love this paint recipe because it’s so easy to make.  I always have the ingredients on hand, and I whip up an assortment of colours on short notice, in just a few minutes before we head outside.   It’s so cool to use too!  I can never resist grabbing a brush, and getting in on the fun.

homemade yellow and blue sidewalk paint with paintbrush

For your convenience, I’ve included affiliate links to some of the products in this post.

To make homemade sidewalk paint, you’ll need:

mix sidewalk paint in a sectioned container to make using it easy and accesible to all.

I love how deep the wells are in this container.  It was  pre-packaged fruit tray from the grocery store.  Each compartment is perfect for holding a lot of paint, and I fill the middle section with water for rinsing the brushes.

Measurements for making your sidewalk paint:

Add 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp cornstarch to each section of the container.

Add a little less than 1/4 cup of cold water to each section.  Add just a little at a time so you don’t over-do it. Whisk until the cornstarch has completely dissolved. If you’ve played with cornstarch and water before, you’ll know that it has an interesting quality, and can turn from liquid to solid and back again depending on how much you handle it.   You want your paint to be thick enough that it drizzles from the whisk.

Add your food colouring, and stir well.

Now you’re ready to hit the sidewalk (or in this case, the driveway).


The hooligans love this stuff.


You can paint with it just like you do with regular paint, but I love to drizzle and dab the paint to create thick puddles of colour.

cornstarch sidewalk paint (happy hooligans)

When they were finished painting in the driveway, we moved up to the smoother surface of our front walk, and they continued painting there.


Add some chalk to the fun!

Someone got the bright idea to grab some sticks of sidewalk chalk and dip them into the paint.  This made for a neat effect when drawing, but even more interesting was how the paint immediately hardened in layers when they dipped their chalk into each of the colours in the tray, so they ended up with these beautiful, multi-coloured sticks of chalk.  They would then crumble the layers off and mash them into the pavement.

chalk dipped in sidewalk paint

They were happily entertained for about an hour with this small batch of paint.

When the kids were finished making their outdoor art, this homemade sidewalk paint washed right off the driveway and patio with a spray from the garden hose.

These legs are going to require a soapy bath though!

Baby painting her legs with sidewalk chalk

Happy Painting!

3 ingredient homemade sidewalk paint - happy hooligans

If you liked this post, you might also like our:

Painting with Shaving Cream

Awesome Homemade Watercolour Paints (solid)

Vibrant Homemade Liquid Watercolour Paints

3-Ingredient Puffy Paint


Follow the Hooligans on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter!


    • happyhooligans says

      Oh yeah! That’s half the fun! It’s neat. Every year, I have a couple of children who don’t like the whole wet/messy sensory experience, and there are always a couple of others who get into it with their whole bodies.

  1. says

    OMG I need to do this with my nephew. He’s addicted to painting, but so far he’s only had the pleasure of the digital kinda using Windows’ 8 Fresh Paint App (with use of real paint brushes though.) Thanks for the awesome tip! I can’t wait to get him painting in our driveway or sidewalk. 😀

  2. says

    Love the idea of using a sectioned container, Jackie! We always use a muffin tin, and it works just fine, but inevitably, the different colours slosh together. We’ll be doing it this way next time! :)

  3. says

    My kids love this stuff!! The only one tiny hang up is, when they paint on the white paint on the wood railings of the house it kind of stains. Ooops, hope that will fade with time :-) So I have to make sure to tell them ONLY PAINT ON THE GROUND!! Great fun post!!

  4. says

    If at least one kid doesn’t go home an unusual colour, they haven’t played hard enough :)
    I love this idea, Jackie! Thanks for linking up to the Outdoor Play Party – hope to see you again next time!

  5. says

    Did this today with my grandsons (ages 3 1/2 and 22 months) and it was a huge hit. I need to invest in a large quantity of cornstarch so this can be a frequent activity this summer. Thank you!

  6. says

    This turned out great! We are featuring your post tomorrow on Share It Saturday. Our features theme this week is Learning Through Play The MESSY Way. And your post definitely fits in :) We LOVE your ideas! See you again on Share It Saturday!
    Colleen at Sugar Aunts

    • happyhooligans says

      Thank you so much for featuring my post, Colleen! Just had a little peek around your blog. You’ve got some great stuff going on there. I’d love for you to pop over to my facebook page tomorrow, and link up a post of your own on my wall tomorrow! Lots of bloggers come out to share on my wall on Saturdays. It’s a great way for me to catch up on what I’ve missed during the week, and a super way to discover some great new blogs. Following you on Pinterest and fb now.

    • happyhooligans says

      Janice, I get mine at the bulk/natural food store. I know Michael’s crafts sells them as well. Anywhere that you can buy cake-decorating items is where you’ll find them. If all else fails, I’ve just added an Amazon.com to my post.

  7. Bev says

    Thank you for the wonderful idea! My daycare munchkins had a blast painting our basketball court this afternoon. I let each child have a cup with one color, that they could trade if both parties were so inclined. We wound up with several Jackson Pollack splatter paintings. What fun!

    • happyhooligans says

      The food colouring is quite diluted, but to be safe, you’d want to make sure your child wasn’t wearing good clothing when using this, Beth.

  8. says

    Could you also provide amounts in ml and grams? It’s hard to follow without having cups here in Europe :) would be awesome if you could apply that to every future recipe. Thanks!

  9. says

    Hi Jackie,
    what a great blog you have!
    I’ve got just one question. When you made the chalk paint is it possible to keep it in a container of closed bottle for some time?? Or is it for immediate use?

    I want to make some as an treat for the kindergardenclass of my youngest daughter 😉

    • happyhooligans says

      I would think you’d be able to store the chalk paint. There’s nothing in there that would ferment or mould. I can’t guarantee it, but I would imagine you’d be fine making it ahead of time. It would need a good stir before using though, and you might need to add a few drops of water.

  10. says

    Hi Jackie,
    Thank you for your answer!
    I did an little experiment myself, but the paint went very hard, like chalk. But perhaps i use a bit to much cornstarch 😉

    • Bek says

      It does go hard, but then I just add more water the next day. When we do this, we do it in muffin tins. I leave the tin outside, it dries up, and tomorrow we just add more water back in. It’s always worked for us…

  11. Felicity says

    Jackie a while ago I saw a pic of the most amazing coloured play dough on one of your posts. It looked like a hardened version of multi coloured slime. Now that I have the time to make it I. A not for the life of me find the recipe or post. I think it had rainbow in the title. Can you help.

  12. Meggin D says

    I’m wondering what would happen if I mixed the cornstarch and water with my hand mixer? Mixing it all by hand got my carpal tunnel something fierce! Worth it though!! The kids had so much fun!
    Thanks for a great one!

    • happyhooligans says

      The garden hose rinses this right away, Jodee. We’ve done it several times, and never had any staining on our driveway or our bricks.

  13. Lyn delcamp says

    for many of your recipes….can you use regular liquid food coloring ?? or must it be the gel kind ? Love all the ideas….I have 2 active boys….keep the ideas coming :)

    • happyhooligans says

      Yes, you can absolutely use liquid colouring for any of my recipes, Lyn. I just prefer the gels because the colours are so much more intense, and you only need a little bit, so they last forever. I blow through those little bottles of liquid colouring in no time because I find I need to use much more to get intense colouring.

    • happyhooligans says

      You could try, Carol. They’re quite different in texture and composition though so I’m not sure how it will turn out, but if the kids are just up for some messy, colourful fun, I say go for it. Flour might also be something to consider.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>