Making homemade bath tub paint is easier than you might think and gives you the flexibility to control the color and ingredients. This Kids Bathtub Paint Recipe is the greatest thing since… your kids first discovered how much they love amazing, messy, regular paint! Toddlers and preschoolers will love painting their own masterpieces at bath time and you will love how easily it cleans up.

bath tub paint recipe from the book 101 Kids activities - bathtub wall of tiles shown with painted rainbow with bathtub paint - Kids Activities Blog
Let’s paint the bathtub at tub time!

Painting in the Tub

My preschool kids love to paint and I don’t love to clean up the mess. What if you could combine painting with cleaning the bathtub?

Wouldn’t that be awesome?  

Yes! And we loved this activity so much that we included it in our best-selling first book, 101 Kids Activities that are the Bestest, Funnest Ever! This DIY bathtub paint is washable, does not stain, and will help you clean your tub. So sit near the bathroom with a good book and let your kids have a blast!

Related: Non-Toxic Homemade Finger Paint Recipe for Toddlers & The Art of Block Printing for Kids

Note: Test the paint on a patch of your tub to ensure that your food coloring does not stain – and have fun! <–We have never had a problem, but don’t want you to be sad!

This article contains affiliate links.

Related: Make your own DIY bath crayons with this simple bathtub coloring idea and 22 Easy & Awesome Balloon Painting Ideas for Kids

Bath tub paint- supplies needed for this bathtub paint recipe - food dye, cornstarch, and dish soap to make homemade bathtub paint
Ingredients to make homemade bathtub paint for kids.

Ingredients Needed To Make Bathtub Paint

*I use antibacterial scented hand soap when making this recipe with liquid soap. Whatever you use, know your kids will coat themselves with it – so be sure to pick something you know they don’t have a reaction to.

Directions to make bathtub paint

Bath tub paint- Step 1 - cornstarch, water, and dish soap in measuring cups to make bathtub paint
You will need cornstarch, hot water, and clear dish soap or hand soap to make bathtub paint.

Step 1

In a saucepan, mix the cornstarch into the hot water until it is dissolved and the consistency is pasty.

Bath tub paint- Step 2 - A saucepan with dish soap, cornstarch, and water to make bathtub paint
Combine cornstarch, hot water, and dish soap in a saucepan.

Step 2

Add the soap and mix until there are no chunks.

Step 3

Heat on medium until just boiling. The soap should have a gel-like consistency as it cools.

Bath tub paint- Step 4 - put food dye into homemade bath paint mix to make bright colors to paint with
Add food dye in fun colors to your tubs of bathtub mix.

Step 4

Pour your mixture into individual containers. Add food coloring. Put the lid on to store your bathtub paint.

Bath tub paint- storing homemade bathtub paint bright and colorful homemade bathtub paint for kids
You can make as many colors of DIY bathtub paint as you want.

Related: Things to make with soap

Storing Homemade Bathtub Finger Paint

The paint may separate slightly when stored, so be sure to stir before use.

Fun Bathtime Idea: Play with Bathtub Paint on a white tile wall with purple, red, yellow, green, blue streaks
Make rainbows, draw with your fingers, leave handprints, the bathtub is your canvas!

Finished Homemade Bath Paint

Now that you have homemade bath paint let your little one create as much washable art as they’d like! Make rainbows, draw portraits, leave handprints, the bathtub is your canvas!

Kids Easy Bathtub Paint Recipe

Can you paint a bathtub? Yes, you can with this bathtub paint! You can make it thick and use it as bathtub finger paint, or you can dilute it and use it with paintbrushes.

What other items can you use to paint your bathtub? You can use items like:

Related: We have a really fun shaving cream-based bathtub paint idea – homemade bath paint shaving cream! <–Yay!

Yield: 4-6 colors

Homemade Bathtub Paint for Kids

homemade bathtub paint for kids

Kids are going to love this homemade bathtub paint.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Active Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Difficulty easy
Estimated Cost $10


  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1 cup dishwashing soap or hand soap
  • Food colors


  • Saucepan
  • Spatula
  • Airtight containers


  1. Pour the water into a saucepan on medium heat.
  2. Once the water is hot, add the cornstarch and stir completely.
  3. Add the dishwashing liquid and continue stirring.
  4. Once it's just boiling, remove it from the heat.
  5. Pour the mixture into individual containers.
  6. Add food color to each container and stir completely.

101 Kids Activities That Are the Bestest, Funnest Ever!

Bath Tub Paint in the book of 101 Kids activities with other crafts and activities
Grab our fun Book filled with 101 Kids Activities!

Get our book!  <—We have 100 other similar activities featured in the book.

What Our Book is About: One-of-a-kind activities range from making edible play dough and homemade sidewalk chalk to playing shoebox pinball and creating a balance beam obstacle course. And with outdoor and indoor activities and tips for adjusting according to your child’s age, this book will provide hours and hours of never-ending fun with your family.
This parenting life raft is also the perfect way to make sure caregivers are spending quality time with your little ones.

More Bathtub Fun from Kids Activities Blog

How did your bathtub paint turn out? Did your kids love painting in the tub at bath time?

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  1. Magnificent site. Plenty of useful information here. I’m
    sending it to some buddies ans also sharing in delicious.
    And naturally, thank you on your sweat!

  2. Found this through pinterest! I am interested in making this for my nephews for Christmas, but I have a question. Will the food coloring stain their skin? Is there another alternative if the food coloring stains or did you find it washed right off of their skin?

  3. We’ve been making bathtub paint for years and use a similar recipe but a much lazier way. 🙂 All I do is mix up little cups of mild shampoo, a few drops of food coloring and a spoon full of corn starch. I don’t cook it or add water or anything. They paint on the walls and then wash it all off. It’s easy frugal fun!

  4. We are definitely going to try this one- we have bathtub markers but they are running out! She loves painting in there though- so this will save the day!

  5. found you through another site, but I have a question:

    you said you used hand soap to make it, did you use that INSTEAD of the detergent?

    dish detergent sounds like the powder…and the instructions say that as well. So I guess I’m confused because of your handsoap comment. :/

    Thanks for clarifying. (email addy is with my comment)

    1. Bree, I used the hand soap in place of the detergent – it smells better. Dish detergent works just as well. My kids tend to break out easily so I wanted something more gentle for them.