This is not the greatest finger paint recipe in the world—this is just a tribute

If you were excited about the prospect of this entire post being a craft-related parallel to Tenacious D’s “Tribute,” then I’m sorry to disappoint you.

So, finger paint.

I’ve found a lot of finger paint recipes online, most of which instruct you to mix cornstarch and water. Some are just cornstarch mixed with water and food coloring, and that’s that. Others require you to cook the mixture. The former will give you a colored water with some chalky substance at the bottom, or a really cool non-Newtonian fluid that is fun to play with but doesn’t make a particularly good finger paint. The latter will give you a gelatinous substance that is thick and transparent and also doesn’t work well as finger paint. It makes a good slime, though.

It’s likely that some other parent has figured out that mixing both of these types of homemade finger paints will result in something that works pretty well. But, I haven’t yet seen a recipe like that online, so I’ve written it up for you. It is, however, inspired by the dozens (hundreds, maybe? What a time to be alive!) of other finger paint recipes you can find online. Times are tough when you’re stuck inside with a toddler all day, but the internet helps.

Why combine both types of finger paint recipes?

Well, the cooked mixture gives it stability and a nice, non-watery texture. Adding some of the uncooked starch and water mixture makes it more spreadable and creamy, and less goopy. I’m sure there’s some science in there, somewhere.

The Finger Paint Recipe


In a glass dish or container, mix:

  • 1 tsp cornstarch or tapioca starch
  • 1/2 cup water
  1. Microwave for 30 seconds*
  2. Stir for about a minute
  3. Microwave for another 10-15 seconds

*I have a super-powered microwave, so you might have to adjust the cook times.


In a separate glass dish or container, mix:

  • 2 tsp cornstarch or tapioca starch
  • 2 tsp cold water
  • Food coloring, as desired
  1. Stir together, then stir into the cooked mixture until well-blended.

Refrigerate! Not sure exactly how long it lasts, but I tossed ours after a few days or if my child got his grubby hands in the jar.


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