How to Paint With Epsom Salts

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Skilled artists can create interesting color and texture patterns using epsom salt paints.
Skilled artists can create interesting color and texture patterns using epsom salt paints. (Image: Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

Magnesium sulfate, commonly called Epsom salt, is used for a number of common applications. It is most commonly used medically, as a saline laxative, or as a bath salt. However, Epsom salts have a number of other uses. One such use is as an art medium. This is often done as a craft for schoolchildren, as the paint is simple to make and use.

Things You'll Need

  • Epsom salt
  • Saucepan
  • Paintbrushes
  • Construction paper
  • Food coloring

Measure two cups of water and pour it into a saucepan. Place the pan over heat and bring the water to a boil. Lower the heat to medium, to keep the water simmering.

Measure out two cups of Epsom salt and pour them into the boiling water. Stir the salt and water mixture until the Epsom salt is completely dissolved. If you wish to make colored salt paint, add six to 10 drops of food coloring.

Remove the mixture from heat, pour it into a separate container and allow it to cool.

Dip your paintbrushes and paint as if you were using watercolors. Epsom salt paint is best used on paper, especially construction paper, as it is most adhesive and visible on this surface. After painting, allow the paint to dry and the crystals to form.

Tips & Warnings

  • This recipe uses a 1:1 ratio, but if you add a larger amount of salt you can make a supersaturated solution that will create thick crystallization when it dries on paper.
  • Since painting with brushes is difficult, due to the inability to see what you've already painted, you may wish to cut out stencils and use them to create interesting shapes or patterns with the salt paint.

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