Learn how to make chalk paint from small, broken, and water-soaked sidewalk chalk! (First published May 29, 2016; this post is regularly updated and republished to improve the content.)
Making recycled homemade chalk paint is so easy–you don’t even need a DIY chalk paint recipe! This DIY project tutorial shares how to make sidewalk chalk paint quickly and easily. All you need to do is invite children to collect old pieces of sidewalk chalk and follow the simple step-by-step chalk paint instructions below. Do-it-yourself chalk paint is the perfect medium for outdoor sidewalk chalk art projects for kids and adults. You might also enjoy creating Shadow Sidewalk Chalk Art.
This recycled DIY chalk paint recipe is perfect for DIYers who enjoy outdoor art projects. And this chalk paint DIY tutorial makes creating sidewalk chalk art fun and easy for kids of all ages. Homemade chalk paint is the perfect medium for messy outdoor process art because it can easily be washed away. Learn how to make DIY chalk paint with children at home or in the classroom with the instructions below.
DIY Chalk Paint for Outdoor Art
Painting with recycled homemade chalk paint is a fun outdoor art activity for kids and adults of all ages. Toddlers, preschoolers, kindergarteners, elementary school-aged kids, and even teens enjoy creating sidewalk chalk art with chalk paint. It’s much easier to fill in chalk drawings with chalk paint than to color chalk pictures with a small piece of chalk because it has great coverage. And best of all, DIY chalk paint is the perfect medium for messy outdoor process art because it does not stain and can easily be washed away. Clean-up doesn’t get much easier than that.
Chalk paint works best on flat surfaces like sidewalks, driveways, concrete patios and courtyards, and playgrounds. Because it tends to be a bit too runny for painting on verticle surfaces such as an outdoor chalkboard. We use our homemade chalk paint to create shadow sidewalk chalk art on our driveway. It’s like painting with dusty watercolors on a huge canvas. Click on the link above to see a few of the sidewalk chalk art paintings we made with recycled chalk paint. Or scroll down to learn how to make chalk paint with the recipe ingredients list and DIY tutorial below.
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Recycled Chalk Paint Recipe Ingredients and Craft Supplies
Look for these supplies at craft stores, or use the Amazon affiliate links to the best DIY chalk paint recipe ingredients below. (If you click to purchase, Rhythms of Play will earn a small commission at no additional cost.)
- Broken and/or water-soaked pieces of chalk or new sidewalk chalk.
- 1-quart freezer bags – thin, weak bags can get destroyed when making chalk paint.
- Rubber mallet or small hammer for smashing sidewalk chalk pieces into chalk powder.
- Metal pitcher or recycled container for water.
- Old muffin tin or recycled containers. (Yogurt, cottage cheese, sour cream containers, and small bowls also work great!)
- Paint brushes that are sturdy enough to paint sidewalks and driveways. (A foam brush or paint roller also works.)
- Chopstick for mixing chalk paint.
- Cornstarch (optional)
How to Make Chalk Paint with Recycled Sidewalk Chalk
This DIY chalk paint recipe makes it easy for kids of all ages to paint and create sidewalk chalk art. Learn how to make your own chalk paint with the easy step-by-step directions below.
1. Collect sidewalk chalk.
- Round up the kids and invite them to collect small broken and water-soaked pieces of chalk to make homemade chalk paint.
- New sidewalk chalk can also be used if you don’t have enough broken pieces.
2. Sort sidewalk chalk by color.
Get the kids involved in the next step in the recycled chalk-making process with this simple color-sorting activity:
- Invite children to sort the chalk by color into a muffin tin (or other containers that will work) to hold the chalk for color sorting.
- Once kids are finished sorting the sidewalk chalk into colors, move on to the next step.
3. Put each color of sidewalk chalk into a separate freezer bag.
- Place the pieces of chalk of the same color into separate freezer bags.
- If you enlist children to help, ensure that each color of broken sidewalk chalk is in a freezer bag with only that color.
- Freezer bags are recommended because weak bags can rip and tear in the next step.
4. Crush the sidewalk chalk into a fine powder.
- Wrap each bag of sidewalk chalk in a small kitchen towel.
- Next, use a rubber mallet (or a small hammer) to gently crush the sidewalk chalk into a fine powder inside the bag.
- In other words, hit the bag of chalk wrapped in the towel until each piece is completely crushed.
- If you ask the kids to help with this, tell them to gently tap the chalk to crush it and watch their fingers. And be sure to supervise them as they work so they don’t smash the chalk too hard.
- Alternatively, you can put the chalk in a blender with water to make each color of DIY chalk paint.
5. Put the sidewalk chalk powder into separate containers.
- Add the powdered chalk to an old muffin tin, bowl, or recycled container.
- Put one color of chalk powder into each muffin compartment or container to make small batches of DIY chalk paint.
- Recycled sour cream, cottage cheese, and yogurt containers also work well.
6. Add water to sidewalk chalk powder and mix.
- Slowly pour a few ounces of water into the chalk powder, one color at a time.
- Next, mix the chalk powder with a paintbrush or chopstick while pouring water into it slowly.
- You want your DIY chalk paint mixture to be about the consistency of pancake batter.
- Start with less water than you think, and add more water if needed.
- If your homemade chalk paint is too thin, crush up more sidewalk chalk and add it to the chalk paint (or add a bit of corn starch) to thicken it.
7. Allow the recycled DIY chalk paint recipe to sit and settle.
- Give your homemade chalk paint 30-60 minutes to sit and settle.
- After your colored chalk paint has had time to blend and settle, use a chopstick to stir each paint cup.
- You can also use the chopstick to crush any remaining chalk chunks and lumps before painting with it.
How to Use Chalk Paint: Tips and Tricks
- When using homemade chalk paint, it’s best to have water available to continue to add to the chalk paint as you work. Why? Because recycled chalk paint loses its water content as you work. This makes the paint thicken, so you will likely need more water. Just keep pouring water into your recycled chalk paint as needed. We kept a little metal pitcher near where we worked to easily add water whenever our chalk paint started getting a little dry.
- Another interesting thing about painting with chalk is that the hue of each color always looks paler when wet than once they are dry. No big deal, just let the kids know that their sidewalk chalk paintings may look a bit different when they are dry–and you might prevent a meltdown.
- Recycled chalk paint will often have a few lumps of colored chalk pieces left in it. So, if you find any little chunks in your cup of paint orf chalk paintings, use a paintbrush handle to crush them. Then use a little water to mix them into the chalk paint as you work.
- I don’t recommend using this chalk paint recipe on a vertical outdoor chalkboard because it can run. Instead, this homemade chalk paint recipe is best for flat surfaces like driveways, sidewalks, and playgrounds.
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Try Shadow Art STEAM with Homemade Chalk Paint
We used our chalk paint to make shadow art on our driveway–a fun, hands-on outdoor STEAM activity for kids. My daughter and I LOVED working with chalk paint. It was like working with dusty watercolors on a giant canvas. And we had lots of fun painting with it in the summer sun. But be sure to put your chemical-free sunscreen on!
Homemade Chalk Paint for Outdoor Art
Making recycled chalk paint is a great way to recycle old, broken, and water-soaked pieces of sidewalk chalk. Chalk paint is the perfect medium for outdoor process art that can easily be washed away.
The vibrant colors with a matte finish look beautiful painted on sidewalks and driveways. For more summer fun, check out our bucket list of fun summer activities for kids and their caretakers.
You might also like our arts and crafts page for kids. It has several other fun creative ideas to help cure the summertime blues.
Learn more about Rhythms of Play HERE!
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