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Easy Sidewalk Chalk Paint: Recycle those old stubs!

DIY Sidewalk Chalk Paint is a great way to save money while recycling old art supplies.

I love sidewalk chalk! When Mitch was little he could spend HOURS outside covering the concrete patio in trains, trucks and snails.

I don’t know why snails are so popular, but they were.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The only problem with sidewalk chalk are the stubby bits that chalk “accidentally” turns into when it’s worn down…or thrown back into the bucket with little boy force.

preschool boy painting outside with homemade blue sidewalk chalk paint
Painting a train with sidewalk chalk paint

So what do you do with all the leftover bits and too short pieces? Recycle it into paint, of course!

Obviously I didn’t invent sidewalk paint–there’s a bunch of recipes out there you could use. But here’s how it worked for us.

How to Make Sidewalk Chalk Paint

colorful bucket of worn sidewalk chalk stubs

Supplies: old chalk, plastic sandwich bags,unbreakable bowls, water, brushes and a hammer. The boys will love this. Oh, and yes…this is an outside craft! We made our chalk on the patio and hosed off the mess afterward.

Fill a bag with ONE color of chalk stubs. Seal the bag then whack with a hammer–but gently. You want to crush the chalk but not tear holes in the bag. We learned this the hard way when Mitch took his turn with the hammer. You’ll get the best results if you can turn the chalk into fine powder, but don’t drive yourself crazy. Some lumps won’t matter for an art medium that’s only going to get washed away with the garden hose later.

hammer crushing bag of sidewalk chalk into powder
bowl of blue sidewalk chalk crushed into lumpy powder

Next, dump the chalk powder into a bowl. Add a tablespoon of water at a time and stir–you can use a brush to stir the mixture. The amount of water you need will depend on the amount of chalk you have. It won’t be like real paint–you’re shooting for something like a melted ice cream. Thinner “paint” will still work, but it may not show very dark until it dries.

bowl of sidewalk chalk paint with a brush used to stir it

After you’re done painting you can save the leftover chalk paint, especially if you mixed it in a disposable bowl you don’t need again. Just let the paint dry in the sun for a few hours and it will turn back into a chalky patty. Next time you want to paint, just add water and stir.

6 bowls of sidewalk chalk paint in blue, green, black, yellow, red and purple next to child's painting of a car
sidewalk chalk paint in blue

sidewalk chalk paint

Active Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Don't throw out those stubs of chalk! Turn them into temporary PAINT.

Materials

  • Sidewalk Chalk
  • Water

Tools

  • Bowls
  • Hammer
  • Plastic zip bag
  • Spoon or paint brush for stirring

Instructions

  1. Fill a zip bag with ONE color of chalk stubs
  2. On a safe -- outside -- surface, gently use the hammer to crush chalk into a fine powder
  3. Dump chalk powder into a bowl.
  4. Add water ONE tablespoon at a time and stir until dissolved into thin paint.
  5. Repeat with the next color.

Notes

The amount of water you need will depend on the amount of chalk you have. It won't be like real paint--you're shooting for something like a melted ice cream. Thinner "paint" will still work, but it may not show very dark until it dries.

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