We have several recipes for taste-safe paints for babies, toddlers, and children who are still liable to sneak a taste. But I often am asked whether the paints will last - whether the art can be kept. I'd designed the other paints with exploration in mind, so I hadn't really gone into those recipes with the intention of keeping the art. But your questions made me wonder if I could figure out a way to create a paint that dried without cracks, without stickiness, and would last without molding. I love a good challenge, and am happy to report that I think I've developed a winning recipe for a taste-safe paint that meets all the above requirements!
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This paint works well as either a fingerpaint or as a paintbrush paint. It's very similar in texture and feel to tempera paint.
Here's a video to get a feel for how quickly you can make the paint, and for what it looks like:
The recipe is nice and simple. You'll need:
Add 1 Tablespoon of nonfat dry milk powder to each container (choose a number of containers that reflect the number of colors of paint you want to make). If your nonfat dry milk powder has a lot of large lumps, use a kitchen mallet or something similar to break up the lumps before you start. Add 2 drops of food coloring to 2 teaspoons of water and mix. Add the colored water to the nonfat dry milk powder and mix well. That's it!!!
As you use the paint, if you find that it is drying out, add and stir in 1/2 teaspoon of water at a time. You do want to keep it from completely drying out. If you have leftover paint, you can refrigerate it for a day or two if you keep it tightly covered with plastic wrap. I also recommend adding an additional 1/2 teaspoon of water to protect it from drying out in the fridge.
If you don't have or don't want to use food coloring, check out this post that I shared from our first book that details how to make a natural dye paint.