How to Use Toothpaste for Painting

Toothpaste can be an alternative to messy paints.
Toothpaste can be an alternative to messy paints. (Image: Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images)

For a parent, cleaning painted handprints off of a living room wall is just one of the joys of having children. Instead of messy paints that can be difficult to clean up, children can use toothpaste to show their creativity. Children can use simple white toothpaste as finger paint or with a brush on many different surfaces, such as construction paper. If it does happen to spread to the wall or furniture it can easily be cleaned up, unlike many paints.

Things You'll Need

  • White toothpaste
  • Paintbrush
  • Construction paper

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Mix about 2 tbsp. of toothpaste with a small amount of water, around 1/4 of a cup. More or less water may be needed to get a consistency similar to paint. Alternatively, you can mix about 1/2 cup of any color tempera paint with the toothpaste. Tempera paint can be cleaned up with warm water and hand soap, and it can provide children with different colors to paint with.

Spread the construction paper out for the children to paint on. Craft paper can also be used, and can be purchased in large rolls. This can cover any furniture that may get paint on it, helping with the cleanup effort later.

Paint a picture using a paintbrush, your fingers, cotton swabs or even a toothbrush.


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