Indoors or out, put a piece of chalk into a kid’s hand, and they turn into a pint-sized Picasso. Their artistic talents make them enormously proud. Yet with all that talent comes the inevitable destruction of many, many pieces of chalk. And if your children are anything like my sweet little smidgen, those chalk stubs are dead to them. They are clearly defective and unusable. No art made with those tiny quitters can possibly be up to the demanding standards of the little munchkin striving to create a masterpiece. So, what’s to become of all the scraps? Sidewalk chalk paint, of course!
Making paint out of sidewalk chalk scraps is honestly one of the easiest things you will ever do.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- plastic zip-top bags
- a blender or food processor
- storage containers
That’s it. Seriously. Super simple.
My little angelfish wanted to help me create this super fun new artistic medium, so I set her to work sorting the chalk colors for me. She loved it, and it kept her occupied while I gathered the rest of the supplies. Once your chalk is sorted, place each color into its own plastic zip-top bag, then add enough water to cover the chalk plus about an inch more. Zip the bag, set it aside, and move on to the next color.
Once you have all your colors soaking, let them sit at least overnight. Make sure your bags are all upright, with the zippers at the top. Any leaky bags could make for a big, soggy mess!
In theory, your chalk will absorb much of the water and soften up. This depends very strongly on the brand of chalk you use. If yours didn’t absorb much water, drain some off before pouring the rest into your blender or food processor with the chalk. Blend until there are no more clumps, and pour your Sidewalk Chalk Paint into an airtight storage container.
Once you’re done, it’s time for the fun part – actually painting! This Sidewalk Chalk Paint goes on looking pretty clear, but it dries in less than a minute with a MAJOR color pay off. Don’t stress about using it all in one fell swoop – just pop the lids back on your storage containers and keep them in a cool dark place until your little artiste is ready to create again.
Tips and Tricks
- Use a large bowl or storage container to keep your bags together and upright while the chalk soaks. This will help contain any spills or leaks!
- More water = thinner paint = less color payoff. Remember that if your paint is too thick, you can add more water, but you can’t take it away once you’ve blended. Be generous when you drain the excess!
- The food processor I used is old – over a decade – and it never had much oomph. I helped it out by smacking the chalk with a meat tenderizer before putting it in.
- Rinse your blender between each color!
- No blender? No problem! You can mash up your paint by hand, using a meat tenderizer or even a frying pan, but it will make this project quite a bit more difficult.
- You can grab some big paint brushes from the craft section at the Dollar Tree or Target.
- If you think adult coloring books relieve stress, try adult chalk painting! Get out there and paint with the kids, or by yourself, and find your Zen. Want to up the chill factor? Enjoy one of these Fruity Rosé Popsicles while you paint!