How to Paint on Seashells

How to Paint on Seashells. Seashells are one of nature's little gifts. Full of countless shapes and sizes and made up of brilliant colors they are fun to collect and keep. Another great project (especially for kids) is painting seashells using watercolor paint.

Lay out newspaper over your work space. If you do not have newspaper, you can rip paper grocery bags and lay them out on your surface or table so that it does not get ruined.

Rinse your shells clean. This will eliminate any sand from your seashells that would prevent the watercolor from sticking. Make sure to pat them dry with a paper towel.

Set up your workspace by laying out shells, watercolor paint and brushes. Make sure to have ample brushes for the number of colors you want to use. If you only have one brush, make sure you have cleaned the brush in between each color.

Paint to your heart's content. There is no right or wrong here because this is art. Utilize your myriad of colors to change the appearance of your seashells. Painting along the ridges with different colors will allow for a nice definition in the colors when finished.

Allow the seashells to dry in an open air environment for three hours.


This is a great project for a birthday party or group event. Allow kids to collect their own seashells and then paint them right on the beach. Glue your seashells to paper to form different shapes and patterns. Experiment with different kinds of paint including oil based and acrylic to vary the look of your seashells. Glue the seashells onto a terra cotta pot to give your planters a decorative feel.

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