Sidewalk Paint Recipe

You can easily find a Sidewalk Paint Recipe online but the basic formula is one part water + one part cornstarch + drops of food coloring. Sure, you could buy sidewalk paint instead but why spend the money when it’s so easy and inexpensive to make at home?

Sidewalk Paint
This was a fun activity using simple ingredients from our kitchen. Because my cornstarch supply was running low (and because we like to experiment) my sidewalk paint recipe also included arrowroot and baking soda in place of the cornstarch and liquid watercolors in place of water and food coloring. The result? Wonderfully vibrant paints and creative, happy kids making our driveway a much brighter place.

Girl using Sidewalk Paint

As the paint dried in the containers (we used plastic freezer jam jars), the colors made with cornstarch or arrowroot became too thick to spread. They pretty much turned into the strange and wonderful gooey concoction called oobleck. But adding a  little water and a good hard stir turned them back into usable paint.


Fuchsia Sidewalk Paint

Surprise Benefit! 

The paints made with baking soda had one more special feature when combined with a “magic” spray bottle filled with vinegar. The chemical reaction of baking soda and vinegar made a wonderful fizz! My daughter went back to all of her paintings and made them come alive with bubbles!

Bubbles from Spraying vinegar on sidewalk paint made with baking soda

Over the years we’ve found that having these simple ingredients on hand allows for endless science experiments and creative experiences.

  • Cornstarch
  • Baking Soda
  • Vinegar
  • Vegetable Oil (the cheap kind not necessarily for cooking)
  • Shaving Cream
  • Elmer’s Glue
  • Food Coloring
  • Washable Trays (to at least attempt to contain the mess)

Do you have a favorite sidewalk paint recipe or do you prefer sticking to good old regular sidewalk chalk? Please share your experiences!


Janelle S. Gay

I only made enough sidewalk paint for onetime use but if I were you, I’d double it up and store it in glass baby food jars for later.


Hi Janelle! We used those plastic freezer jam jars to store the extra paint but baby food jars would work great too. Thank you for the suggestion and for stopping by.

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