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Taste-Safe Finger Paint

February 17, 2016 Diane Homan

A 4-ingredient recipe for taste-safe finger paint with vibrant colors. These dry nicely so you can keep your little ones artwork for years to come!

Taste-Safe Finger Paints | Homan at Home

For Valentines, I friend and I got together and helped our little guys make some adorable artwork (check out our adventures here!). The crafts were fun, but the one thing the boys kept wanting to do was put their paint covered fingers in their mouths. We moms had to spend the whole time watching out for their paint-eating tendencies. 

I determined to figure out an taste-safe finger paint recipe before we crafted with the little dudes again. I tried several from Pinterest, but I haven’t been impressed with their consistency – many are clumpy or too thick. The yogurt paints work nicely, but they don’t dry, so you can’t keep your kiddo’s art work. 

Anyway, I played around during naptime and came up with this recipe. It’s the perfect consistency (just like real paint!) and takes color really well. It dries in about a half and hour and stays vibrant, making it perfect for kiddie projects. Watch out Saint Patrick’s Day! We’re gonna paint something green!

Finger Paints Wide 1

What are the ingredients in Taste-Safe Finger Paint?

Start with a few basic household ingredients:

  • All-purpose bleached flour
    • Other wheat flour types will work for this, but bleached white flour gives you the best, lightest base so that your colors can be more vibrant. This also means that these paints are NOT gluten-free. I have never tried doing this with any gluten-free flours, but if you give it a shot, leave us a comment and let us know how it went!
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Food coloring:
    • With my kids, I use Wilton gel colors*. They’re cheap, easily available, and they give a vibrant color that doesn’t fade when dry. The downside? Wilton gels stain — both clothing and skin. Unfortunately, so do the liquid food coloring drops. Be aware if you decide to use either of these options.
    • When I’m worried about staining, I use these Natural Liquid Food Colors*. They come in all the colors of the rainbow, are skin and taste safe, and do not stain clothes or skin. The only downside is that they cost a bit more and are harder to get ahold of.

*Disclosure: this is an affiliate link. If you purchase something from this link, I will receive a portion of the profit. However, all opinions and recommendations are my own. I will only ever recommend something I love!

How do I store Taste-Safe Finger Paint?

In an airtight container. Baby food jars are great for this, but anything with a tight-fitting lid will work. These plastic condiment cups* are just the perfect size!

You’ll want to wait for the paint to cool to room temperature before you put the lid on in order to avoid condensation that might mess with the color and consistency of the paint.

This paint can be stored for up to 1 week in an airtight container at room temperature. The ingredients may separate, but you can stir them back together just fine!

Edible Fingerpaint | Homan at Home
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Edible Finger Paint

Four ingredients gives you the perfect finger paints!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • food coloring or water colors
  • cold water for thinning


  • Combine flour, salt, and 1 cup water in sauce pan.
  • Heat flour/water while whisking. The mixture will be clumpy, then smooth, then thicken into a paste.
  • Once it has become thick and pasty, remove from heat.
  • Whisk in cold water a few tablespoons at a time until desired consistency is reached.
  • Color with food coloring or water colors.
  • Allow to cool completely, then paint!

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Taste-Safe Finger Paint | Homan at Home

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This looks like a great recipe, but didn’t see where you used the salt.

Diane Homan

Thanks for pointing that out! The salt goes in the first step with the water and flour. I think the recipe reads right now.


How about the amount of salt to use? I might be missing it but I can’t seem to figure that part out!! 🙂 Thanks!!

Diane Homan

Thanks for letting me know. It’s a 1/4 tsp salt (you don’t need very much – it just keeps the paint from getting too crusty with the flour).


Good to know for next time! I used an 1/8 cup Thinking maybe the salty flavor would keep him for liking it too much!! Did a test peice — seems to have dried okay but likely why I had to add so much (at least a cup) water to thin at the end!!

Looking fwd to a cute Father’s Day card — thanks again!!

Diane Homan

I’m glad it worked for you!

Homan at Home

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How do you store this and how long can you store it for? I want to use this for my daughter’s birthday party, but I want to make it atleast a day or 2 in advance.

Diane Homan

I store it in an airtight container at room temperature. The most I’ve stored it for us a week, and it still worked well. Let me know if you have any other questions and happy birthday to your daughter!

Homan at Home

[…] Edible Fingerpaints […]


I want to make a suggestion that for your additional offerings please list what the photo is all about as it’s hard to tell.
Your site is so lovely and the lettering & layout is calming!
Can’t wait to make the finger paints!
Love & Happiness,
~Emily Trevor

Homan at Home

[…] Edible Fingerpaint […]


What flour did you use ?? I can not seem to find out what flour you used ! Plus you might want to add what flour you used 🙂 I am hoping to make it tomorrow for my just turned one year old who eats everything on the flour .. so this should be a fun activities for her …


5 stars
Thank you so much it was quick easy and looked great even though I forgot the salt. The mothers day finger print flowers were awesome for grandkids to give to their mom.

Diane Homan

I’m so glad it came out for you!


Need to try this. Sounds easy enough. I make an edible paint using plain yogurt and food colouring.


Would this work for painting a pumpkin

Diane Homan

It’s probably not the best choice, especially if the pumpkin is going outdoors!


4 stars
Thank you so much for this recipe! It worked great. I made a batch a few days in advance, but it developed a bad smell, so I whipped up another batch the day of the project. Maybe it wasn’t sealed well? All in all, it was just the right texture and took color beautifully!

Diane Homan

I’m so glad it worked for you!


Did this not stain anyone else’s kids skin?

Diane Homan

I’ve never had issues, but if it’s a problem for you, you might look into “skin safe” food coloring. I’ve used these for beauty products:

Retno Cheah

5 stars
Hi thanks for the recipe. I tried without cooking it. I only put hot water and stirred it well. Then add some cold water ( maybe around 2-3 tablespoons). It worked fine. I will use it during our online session with our toddler group. thanks again!

Diane Homan

I’m so glad it worked for you!


Do you know if this would show up on black frosting? I am making a monster truck cake for my grandson’s birthday and want to paint the details on but don’t know if it will work on such a dark background

Diane Homan

I don’t know if it would show up, but I wouldn’t recommend using it on a cake. The flavor is pretty salty!

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What age would this be safe for? 6 months+?

Diane Homan

It’s safe for any kiddos who can eat solid foods.

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5 stars
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