Whoever came up with the idea for sidewalk chalk paint is brilliant, and I cannot thank them enough. We actually tried this last summer and it was a big hit then. I decided to try it again because we needed a fun, sunny day activity to do outside.
We actually tried two different ways of making sidewalk chalk paint, and both were very simple to do. The first method I took our old sticks of chalk that were getting down in size and I put them in our little blender. Within seconds the chalk was turned into powder. Much more effective than putting the pieces in a bag, and hammering them. That took too much time, and there were too many big pieces left behind. Blender is the way to go! Keep an eye on it, of you notice it struggling stop it. You may need to change settings. Chop was what worked best for my blender. A bullet blender also worked well. If worried, break the chalk into pieces first. Just be sure to do each colour separately or you will end up with just brown. Not so fun to only have one colour to paint with. That being said, if you have multiple shades of one colour, but just small pieces, put them all in together. I then put each colour in a section of a muffin pan. I added equal parts of water to each part of the pan, but just eyeballed it to the consistency I wanted. Think paint. It should be a little thick in consistency, but it’s okay if it is runny. It will just be a bit more messy to use. The second way we made sidewalk chalk paint was with cornstarch. You just mix equal parts of cornstarch to water, and add food colouring to get the colour you want. Super easy, right?
There is a difference between the two. The from scratch version made with cornstarch I found to be much more runny, and it was not as strong of a pigment right away. You do have to wait for it to fully dry to see what the colour will be once on the sidewalk. Where, with the paint we made from old pieces of chalk the colour was pretty much true right away. I think if I had to pick a favourite it would be the paint from the old pieces of chalk.
To be honest, I will probably be buying a pack of sidewalk chalk and turning it into paint from now on. No more using sticks of chalk, and being worried about hurting your fingers or knuckles when the piece gets really small. No more scribbling back, and forth and getting annoyed that there is not a lot of coverage from the chalk. The sidewalk chalk paint has much better coverage, and you can use a paint brush to avoid hurting your hand and fingers.
Our sidewalk area is going to be covered in different images all throughout the summer. Whether we wait for a rainy day to erase the previous image, or wash it away ourselves with some water. We are already thinking about what we want to paint out there next.