How to Make Washable Body Paint

By Susan Elliott ; Updated September 15, 2017
Use washable body paint to brighten a child's day.

Ignite your imagination with homemade washable body paint. Washable body paint is gentle for almost every skin type and washes off most surfaces. Use it to draw designs, temporary tattoos or to create fanciful face mask designs. For even more excitement, use it at bath time to draw one-of-a-kind wall murals on the bathtub wall.

Materials Needed

  • 1/4-cup cornstarch

  • 1/4-cup baby lotion

  • Mixing bowl

  • Rubber spatula

  • 1/4-teaspoon vegetable oil

  • Container with lid for each paint color

  • Washable finger paint, various colors

Create the washable body paint base. Mix 1/4-cup cornstarch and 1/4-cup baby lotion in a small mixing bowl until a thick mixture forms. Add 1/4 teaspoon of vegetable oil and mix thoroughly. The mixture should be slightly thicker than acrylic paint, but not as thick as oil paint. If your mixture becomes too thin, add a little more cornstarch to the mixture. Make sure to stir the mixture to check its consistency after each addition.

Mixing Color

Add color to the base. Transfer the base mixture to a container with lid, and add a 1/4 teaspoon of washable finger paint into the mixture. Stir thoroughly. If necessary, add more paint in small increments until you reach your desired color. If the mixture becomes too thin, add a little more cornstarch. Repeat the process for each additional color choice.

Color Variations

In a pinch, use a few drops of food coloring instead of washable finger paint, but note that food coloring may stain fabrics and discolor skin. Add powdered eye shadow to the washable body paint base in lieu of washable paint, or use a few drops of tempera paint in place of the washable finger paint.

Warnings

Washable body paint is safe for use by children, but make sure children keep it away from their eyes and mouth during use. Some ingredients may irritate sensitive skin, so make sure to do a patch test before applying it to a wide area of skin.

About the Author

Susan Elliott teaches studio art and creative writing to home schooled students. She is a graduate of Northwest Arkansas Community College and the Memphis School of Preaching Student Wives Program. She has written for Christian Woman Magazine and Virtuous Magazine. When she's not writing, she is painting or making costumes.