Friday, July 6, 2012

DIY Sidewalk Chalk Paint Review

I love Pinterest. We find so many fun things to do that I would never be able to come up with on my own. But sometimes, the things I try are an epic fail. I don't tend to post those, but this time I am sharing because it wasn't really a fail. Let me explain: I followed the common recipe found via many different sites on Pinterest. Equal parts cornstarch and water, with a mix of food coloring. I wanted it really bright so I used about a teaspoon of each color.
Hailey Bug had literally NO interest in painting on the ground with our newly made paints. She was more interested in carrying around the containers, dunking things into them, and painting all over not only herself, but me as well. Including my clothes. She even stuck the paintbrush in her mouth! Good thing it was all food products anyway! Don't worry, a bath cleaned her right up when we were done.
 :( I have never been the kind of mom who minds her kids drawing on themselves with washable markers, but I didn't like the idea of having my clothes painted on. I was sad and very surprised, that my baby didn't want to paint pictures on the ground with me!
Thankfully my son Alex and his buddy Corey, were more than happy to help me decorate the driveway!
Now, on to why this was a bit of a fail for us:
No one tells you this when they are raving about how much fun this stuff is, but it is REALLY runny. Despite the fact that half of it was cornstarch, it was like pure water. I literally dripped from our brushes on the way from the container to the picture. See the big pink and red splotches in the picture above? Easily overcome by dipping the brush and then waiting for it to be done dripping, but that isn't any fun at all. Especially for little kids.
It was also very hard to use. This was a stick figure painted by me. It took about two minutes to do and looks pretty bad. I get that it's sidewalk chalk and not fine art, but still. I had to TRY very hard to get this little dude painted at all. It won't deter the artistically inclined kiddos who really enjoy painting and drawing anyway, or the very patient ones, but it will quickly lose interest for those who get frustrated easily, like my 9 yr old son. He attempted to draw a few things but when it was way too hard to control, he lost interest and moved on. The picture below is what his area looked like when he decided he was done. A whole lot of nothing, but honestly, not for lack of effort. Maybe I made mine wrong?
Another really annoying thing about this liquid sidewalk chalk, is that you have to keep stirring it. Because if you don't, the cornstarch quickly settles on the bottom and creates a goo layer that is separate from the water and color. And it was pretty hard for the kids to stir without splashing so I had to constantly do it.
In the end, my son and I gave up trying to paint anything pretty and started splashing the ground with it instead. Which was actually a lot of fun, and yielded very colorful results. We just did a lot of this. It doesn't look like much but we had a good time with it. :D 
 In hindsight, I wonder if maybe using those little watercolor paintbrushes was the wrong choice. Maybe we needed to use something a lot bigger. Like those poster paint brushes that are almost triple the size. It was hard for those little brushes to hold much paint, and I am wondering if the bigger ones would make it easier. I think I will try that next time.
Yes, as many issues as we had, I saved all of the leftover paint ,and we will happily do it again sometime in the near future. It wasn't what I expected, but it was still a lot of fun. I think I will add more cornstarch and see if that helps as well. It can't hurt! Anyone else out there have completely different results? If so, any ideas on what I did wrong?
<3 Sarah

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