DIY | Cornstarch And Vinegar Paint

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Here’s a quick and simple do it yourself paint idea. We like it because there are only a couple of ingredients, it’s simple to make, and you end up with vibrant colors.


You’ll need:

  • Cornstarch
  • Vinegar
  • Liquid water colors or food coloring
  • Assorted containers
  • Mixing spoons


First, add two parts cornstarch and three parts vinegar to a container and stir thoroughly. For this test batch, we used 1/4 cup of cornstarch and 3/8 cup vinegar.

Once it was well mixed, we divided the big batch into individual cups for coloring.

Just add color and mix. Less coloring tends to produce more muted colors while more coloring leads to more vibrant paint.

Once your colors are mixed, it’s time to paint. I call this work Orange Kitty Cat Under A Blue Sky Hiding In The Grass Waiting To Pounce.


  • The cornstarch will want to separate and settle, so the paint requires regular stirring.
  • This paint can be stored in air-tight containers indefinitely, but if you leave it sit for a long time the cornstarch will settle and you’ll need to remix each color. It’s probably easier to mix small batches as needed.
  • You can substitute water for the vinegar if you like. We did some experimenting, and kind of feel the color was a bit richer and the dried paint looked better with the vinegar, but that’s just an opinion. One reason to opt for the vinegar is the smell–the distinct scent of the vinegar adds to the sensory experience.
  • Condiment cups with lids are ideal for storing small batches of paint.
The cornstarch will settle, but with a bit of stirring you’ll be ready to paint


You’ll find more DIY painting ideas here and an article highlighting five reasons to do DIY projects like this with kids here. We’d love to see pictures and hear about your experiences in the comments if you give this project a try.


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Jeff is an early learning speaker, toymaker, podcaster, content creator, author, and founder of Playvolution HQ who is really bad at getting his picture taken.

After nearly 30 years working in early learning programs, Tasha now devotes her time to making Explorations Early Learning and Playvolution HQ work, quilting, and taking care of her pet duck, Tape.

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