If you were to ask me what art product my creative child uses the most, I would definitely, without a doubt answer, “DIY bathtub paint!”
My daughter requests that I make this bathtub paint every night, and she would rather play with this, than any other bathtub toy she owns. You might question my sanity, and wonder how I could make paint for her every single night, but the truth is, I am not super mom, this paint is just really simple to make. You just stir together a few simple ingredients, which you probably already have in your kitchen, and “BAM!” You have bathtub paint. I may not have anything on Emeril in the kitchen, but I am pretty great at creative art recipes.
Yes, you can buy bathtub paint, but I would rather make my own for two reasons. The first reason is, I’m a little worried about what is in the store-bought paints. After using store-bought bath paints, and seeing the amount of paint that was floating around in the tub with my daughter, I got a little worried it would irritate her skin. I would rather make my own bath paint, with soap we already use on her body during bath time. The second is the variety of colors you can make with food coloring, and liquid watercolors. The later reason is probably most important to my color loving child. Every night, my daughter gets to pick what color paint she wants to paint with. There are so many possibilities, she could have a different color for every night of the week!
- 1/4 Cup of Cornstarch
- 1/4 Cup of Liquid Soap (any kind, I use tear free kids bath soap, or baby bath soap)
- Food coloring, or liquid watercolors.
- 1-2 teaspoons of water
- A small plastic bowl to mix the paint in
For your convenience, I have provided affiliate links to the food coloring, and liquid watercolors I used. I do receive compensation if you purchase these products through the links I provide, if you would like more information, feel free to read our disclosure policy. If these are not available where you live, have no fear, there are tons of other color possibilities that are just as amazing with this recipe!
- Measure out 1/4 of cornstarch (you can do more, or less the next time depending on how much paint your child uses the first time.)
- Add 1/4 liquid soap to the cornstarch. Again, it’s your choice what kind of liquid soap you use. I would go with a clear soap though, or it will affect the colors you use. You could use shampoo, hand soap, or bath soap. You can even use organic all natural soap. I use either kid friendly tear free soap, or baby bath soap, which seems to be the perfect consistency for this recipe.
- Add a few drops of food coloring, or liquid watercolors. You want to add the colors on top of the soap, because they mix easier with the liquid soap, then they do with the cornstarch powder. I have used liquid food coloring, gel food coloring, and liquid watercolors, they all work well with this recipe. In these pictures, I used fluorescent yellow liquid watercolor, orange neon gel food coloring, and pink neon gel food coloring. Remember, the white cornstarch is going to make your colors a little lighter than you might expect. Once you stir it all together, you can judge if you want to add a little more color.
- Stir everything together, and determine if you need to add water. Your paint should be able to run off your spoon when you lift the spoon up, but it should not be watery. It should be close to the consistency of thin finger paint. I find that if I use a thin soap, like baby bath soap, no water needs to be added, but if I use a thicker soap, I usually need to add 1-2 teaspoons of water. Below, I added an example of paint that was a bit to thick. I added a little too much cornstarch to this one on purpose. To thin the paint out, I added two teaspoons of water, one at a time. You can see in the last picture, that it was able to run off the spoon easily after I added the water. Remember, the paint will be used in the bathtub, therefore water will naturally be added to it as your child paints with it. You can play around with the consistency, and see what you, and your child prefer the more you paint with this recipe. Honestly, you can’t go wrong no matter how you make it, your child will be happy to be able to slather color all over the walls no matter what.
This recipe is an absolute favorite in my household. Today I put Little C in a bathing suit, and whipped up three batches of bath paint, so you could see it in action!
It may look like a huge mess to clean, but remember, the recipe is half soap, so it just wipes right off with bathtub water, and a rag! My daughter has created masterpieces in several different bathtubs while traveling, and the paint has never stained any of the tubs, or surrounding tiled bathtub walls.
A clean tub, and a happy, clean kid! What more could you ask for? You definitely need to try this recipe, it makes bath time so much fun, and it doesn’t add yet another bath toy to your already crowded bathtub! If you try it, definitely let me know, drop me a comment, or even better, share a picture on Instagram, or Facebook. Happy painting!