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Tuesday, April 14, 2020

How to make DIY Chalk Paint

Are you always finding broken bits of chalk laying around? Chalk and crayons are notorious for breaking apart as kids use them, and just like broken crayons, chalk can be repurposed. Don't throw out all the little bits and pieces, collect them up and make some DIY 2 ingredient chalk paint.

Like a lot of other families lately, we've been spending a lot of time stuck at home. However, it's good for the soul to get outside and escape the four walls of the house, so we decided to chalk paint our front pathway. Making the chalk paint itself is just as much fun as painting with it, so it's like two activities in one. It not only brightened my kids day, it also brought some joy to our neighbours as well.


We already had quite a few bits of broken chalk accumulated so we had more than enough to make some paint. In fact we had everything we needed to make chalk paint at home already so it was a 100% free activity. I used a muffin tin as a paint palette for the chalk paint because it's big enough for 6 different colours and each hole is deep enough to make quite a bit of chalk paint, however if you don't have a muffin tray you could use bowls or even old recycling containers like empty yoghurt tubs.


The first thing you will need to do is separate the chalk pieces into individual ziplock bags by colour. Try to squeeze out as much air as you can and seal them.

Next take each bag one at a time and hammer the broken chalk down until it's a crumbly powder. The kids did most of ours using a little wooden mallet, but you could also use a mortar and pestle, hammer or a plastic dish brush {yes I really used one}. 

Just remember not to hit it too forcefully as that may break the plastic bag and then you'll lose the powder. Slow and steady wins the race. We did this part out in the kids mud kitchen so we could clean it up easily if they accidentally made a mess.

Once all of the chalk has been ground or hammered down into powder, put each colour into a different hole in a muffin tray. You can see from our picture that some colours ended up being a finer powder than others {the kids couldn't ground them up as fine, but didn't want any help}. You really want to aim for the consistency of the pink or white chalk as it will make a better paint mixture, as the bigger chunks won't dissolve properly. 

To turn the chalk powder into chalk paint, simply add water slowly and mix the powder into the water with a brush. This should make vibrant paint colours which I can best describe as similar to a creamy watercolour paint. Next all you need to do is add some paint brushes and get creative!


I set our chalk paint up with a different paint brush for each colour and told the girls not to mix them. Evidently I forgot 2yr olds have no self control so that lasted all of about 30 seconds before the toddler started mixing the brushes into all different colours. 

I'm happy to report though that unlike most other paint, chalk paint colours don't seem to get completely ruined by stray brushes and accidental colour mixing. I was honestly expecting them all to turn brown after she got to them.

Painting with chalk paint was a great activity for my toddler as she was working her fine motor skills by alternating between a fisted grasp {shown in the photo above} and a palmer grasp as she used the paint brushes. I deliberately used chunky paintbrushes to encourage this, and so that the chalk paint would go onto the concrete in thicker brushstrokes so it was easier for them to create pictures. 

My 2yr old mainly drew lines, squiggles and circles {which are all great pre-writing practice} while my 6yr old was drawing love hearts and messages for our neighbours. Of course I got in on the action and made some chalk paintings and messages too {can't let the kids have all the fun}. Chalk painting is a great painting activity for kids of all ages, even us adults!

Our chalk creations dried nice and pastel and have been on the footpath for over a week  now. It lightly rained once which washed them out a bit, but hasn't completely washed them away. If you do chalk painting and want to change the images or just get bored of it, it can be completely washed away with water. The girls loved it so much that when our current paintings have washed away I think we'll do some more {we're even thinking about chalk painting the bricks of the house into a rainbow}.


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Would you like to comment?

  1. Love this. So much fun for children and a great way to play outdoors.