Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Tips and Tricks for Painting With Kids

Today was a painting day.  We bought paint and primer for our chicken coop yesterday, and I decided that since we were going to be painting outside, we should do some painting for art first.

Painting with children can be a bit messy.  Especially when one of them tries to eat everything.  And you know it'll end up everywhere. 

He started off so well!

I found a few solutions for making painting easier on everyone.  Here they are:

1.  Newspaper is your friend!

Lay a thick layer out.  It'll get painted on.  But it protects the table. At least until your child with Pica rips and tries to eat the part protecting the table in front of him... But that's another story. 

2. Have a variety of brushes. 

I found a pack of twenty some paintbrushes at Wal-Mart for five bucks.  It was  good buy.  The kids can use a different one for each color. There isn't as much fighting over brushes.  Everyone can find one they like. 
Sydney painting.  But you can see our jar full of awesome brushes!

3. Paper muffin cups are useful.

I pour the paint colors into these.  The kids can each have one of each color.  I also gave them a few empty cups. They were able to experiment with mixing colors that way.  And no one could complain that someone else got blue into the yellow they needed.  They have to be responsible with their own colors.

4. Use a variety of paints based on skill level.

Jayme, Jeffrey, Sydney and Ellie used acrylic paint and had a blast.  They know how to paint without making a huge mess, and are pretty independent in their artwork.  I had to talk to Sydney about keeping it on the paper, but she really did well for only two. 

Owen, on the other hand, eats paint.  I mixed cornstarch and water to a thick, goopy consistency.  Then I added just a couple drops of acrylic paint to get the color.  I didn't give him a brush.  He just used his fingers. 

5.  Know that messes happen.

He didn't end up quite as neat as he did when we started....

We don't paint everyday.  When we do paint, I just expect a mess.  That way I'm mentally prepared to clean a mess.  I don't do it on a day when we're rushing around.

6.  Cornstarch paint cleans up really easily!

Seriously.  I was a bit worried about the mess Owen was making.  He dumped it on his head.  He trickled it through his fingers, enjoying the texture.  And dripped it onto the floor. 

Me (well my hand) becoming less worried about the mess when I realize that I can pick up the cornstarch paint!

But...it hardens almost instantly.  I was able to SWEEP the paint mess up! Then just a quick spot mop to get the cornstarch powder off took care of everything.  A damp rag cleaned up Owen's head. 

So I really recommend this mixture if you are painting with really young kids, or any with special needs. 

And our chicken coop?  Yeah---I realized once we got all ready that I didn't have a paint tray.  So I picked one up this afternoon after taking Owen to the doctor to get his eye laceration from 10 days ago checked.  It healed nicely.

So tomorrow?  It'll be another painting day!

Any other painting tricks?


  1. Little useless tidbit: My mom homeschooled me from 3rd - 12th and the other siblings totally all the way through.

    Anyway, I think I might have heard about most of those tips before, but they are still really good to know!! I'd heard of using food coloring in the corn starch, but I'm not sure how well that would come up?

    Good luck on painting the chicken coop!! :-)

  2. Hadn't thought of food coloring...will have to try that sometime. I think with only a drop or two in the paint, it would add good color but not be too difficult to clean.

    Thanks! We just finished the first coat of primer on the coop.


Thank you so much for joining in! Please note that all comments are reviewed before they are shared.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.