Dripping Salt Painting


I saw a cool picture on Pinterest the other day of Raised Salt Painting done by One Perfect Day. I was looking for a simple art activity to do with the girls and this looked perfect. We did not have liquid watercolor paint so we just used food coloring mixed with water which most people already have at home. We had some unexpected results which I think turned out pretty cool. Judge for yourself.

Supplies you will need:
  • Paper (white or black)
  • Salt
  • Water mixed with food coloring (we made 4 colors)
  • Droppers or pipettes

Have your child squeeze some glue all around on a piece of paper. An older child can do a more elaborate design, but with younger kids just squeezing the glue on random parts of the paper is enough. Younger kids also find the glue squeezing incredibly fun.

Next have the child pour some salt over the glue. You will want to be sure to have a tray under the paper so it can catch the extra salt. I put the salt in a cup and my kids spooned it on. Pouring straight from the container works too.

After they have poured the salt on, you may need to help them shake the excess salt off of the paper. Since I used a cup for the salt I was able to just pour it back into the cup to reuse.

Next, have your child squeeze some of the food coloring and water mixture into a dropper and deposit it on the salt. 

This is where things got interesting for us. The color started to spread on the salt but the water also helped to dissolve some of the salt so that it started to run. 

I decided to just go with it and had the kids pick up their papers to make some trails and designs.

It was fun for the kids to discover which way the paint would go and how it would go in different directions depending on how you turned the paper.

The kids had a blast and I was happy that even though this didn't turn out like I planned, it was still
a fun experience that created some colorful art.

In the finished products below, you can see how the texture of the salt really comes through and leaves a trail even in the places where they had not glued. I am excited to try this again with liquid watercolors.

Thanks to One Perfect Day for the inspiration!


  1. Those turned out great. Looks like the girls had a ball! They are really adorable. Thanks for the pictures, Renee

  2. Thanks so much for linking back to our post and I'm so happy you and the girls had fun with this! The finished pieces are beautiful! I actually bought liquid water colors specifically for this project but I honestly wouldn't bother next time. Even though they are liquid, you still have to add water to them so the result wouldn't be all that different than using water with food coloring. Our salt meled away in parts too. I think it may have to do with how much you let the glue dry before painting and how thick the layer of salt is.