How to Make Sidewalk Paint

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Spark your children's interest in art by turning sidewalk chalk into sidewalk paint. With chalk paint, they can create a driveway mural, paint a temporary playground game like hopscotch or write a large-scale message. Making your own paint is versatile and colorful, as you can control the shades, and it's just as washable as regular sidewalk chalk.

(Image: Kelly Smith)

Things You'll Need

  • 12 large pieces of sidewalk chalk in a variety of colors
  • Blender or food processor 
  • Sifter 
  • Jars or other small containers 
  • Paintbrushes (a few small ones and a roller for large-scale art)
  • Paint tray and a few smaller dishes for mixing the paint 

Warning

    • Use nontoxic chalk to alleviate any food safety concerns arising from subsequent use. 
    • Thoroughly clean the blender/food processor before using with food. 
    • Use of a food processor/blender to chop chalk will cause similar wear and tear to the blades as chopping ice.
(Image: Kelly Smith)

Step 1: Break the Chalk Apart

Break apart four pieces of similar-colored chalk into large chunks and place into a blender or food processor.

(Image: Kelly Smith)

Step 2: Chop the Chalk

Pulse until the chalk has the texture of a fine dust.

(Image: Kelly Smith)

Step 3: Sift the Chopped Chalk

Sift the chalk dust to separate any larger pieces that might be left after chopping. Discard the chalk pieces that do not pass through the sifter.

(Image: Kelly Smith)

Step 4: Pour the Chalk Dust Into a Container

Pour the sifted chalk dust into a jar or plastic container for easy storage later.

(Image: Kelly Smith)

Step 5: Mix Chalk Dust With Water

When you are outside and ready to paint, mix equal parts chalk dust and water in a paint tray and stir.

(Image: Kelly Smith)

Tip

  • Use this activity as a way to experiment with mixing colors. Let the kids mix a little red chalk dust with yellow to make orange paint, blue and yellow to make green paint or red and blue to make purple paint. Add white chalk to make different shades of the same color.

(Image: Kelly Smith)

Step 6: Paint a Sidewalk

Use a paint roller to create large-scale designs such as words or lines for games and smaller brushes for pictures or experimenting with different techniques such as shading and blending colors.

(Image: Kelly Smith)

Tip

  • Using a variety of paintbrush sizes encourages creativity and problem solving.

Step 7: Wash Chalk Away

When the chalk paint is dry, it will look and feel just like sidewalk chalk, and it can be washed away just as easily when flushed with water.

(Image: Kelly Smith)

Step 8: Store Paint for Later

Discard any leftover mixed wet paint, as it tends to clump and dry out. Chalk paint is best stored in a sealed container in its dry chalk dust form. A lidded jar or plastic container works well.

(Image: Kelly Smith)
(Image: Kelly Smith)

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