connecting curriculum and creativity through art

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Process of Painting Paper

Recently I have received numerous emails asking how to make painted papers. The whole process of painting papers is the students favorite thing to create in the artroom. They love to paint. 
With these helpful suggestions you will too!

Construction Paper
Step 1: Grab various paper. I used 12" x 18" drawing paper and 
12" x 18" Tru-Ray Construction paper.  
Tru-Ray is really strong and does not tear 
when loads of paint is applied.

Step 2: I use So Big brushes by Crayola. They are really tough brushes for little hands. I also use some other brushes as well but Crayola handles the wear and tear of painting year after year. I suggest to the students to “hop” around their paper. 
No blending. We want to see the paint and brush strokes.

Sometimes we use texture brushes along with cardboard tubes, plastic lids and rings. Any item you can paint with or leave a print will work! I ordered these from Lakeshore. 
(A pre-primary/primary school catalog.)


Step 3: Grab the paints. I use Prang, Dick Blick and Crayola. I have found the premium paint is brighter and opaque. 
Washable paint is not as vivid.

Don’t forget your placemats to keep your tables clean.
 I use 18" x 24" manilla tagboard as placemats. They are durable and last a whole semester!

When I paint all day I start with yellow, oranges and white. 
When you add white to the paint it creates a tint (a lighter color).

 Then I go to the next color grouping : Yellow, Green and White
 Blues, Purples and again add white for some tints.

Sometimes we just need to use up paints so we mix it up!

 Spray bottles filled with watered down paint or watercolors create beautiful effects on the previous painted paper.

When you are painting paper with 5 classes a day you need a large drying rack. This has been a life saver. I can get four 12" x 18" sheets on one shelf. Just imagine the rainbow of colors of painted paper at the end of the day!
If you are painting with a few children you can lay the sheets on a table or on the floor. Use a plastic table cloth as a drop cloth.

I store the sheets in stacks of rainbows so it is easy 
to grab for future projects.

Enjoy the processing of mixing beautiful colors on paper-



  1. What a wonderful idea. Create them and then store them for future use. Brilliant. Painted paper is surely your medium. jan

  2. Thanks for sharing your tips. In the past, I have only used painted paper for my 1st grade Eric Carle lesson, but this has me thinking that maybe each grade level should be assigned a color at the beginning of the year and make a huge supply. I can focus on that grade's standard involving color mixing or schemes, then save it all and share among every grade for any activity that would be enhanced by the pained papers. Let's see, where is my to-do list?

  3. Your site has really inspired me to paint more paper. When we finished up a painting unit, I had students use up the leftover paint to paint paper for later projects. I wanted to ask about your drying rack. Where did you get it? What size? The one I have is not great, and I will have some money to spend soon. Thanks!

  4. Quick question-
    I have the same drying rack that you do and the shelves don't stay up on their own. Is there a trick?

    1. Oh my! I had two custodians put mine together. It took a while- 3 hours to put together. They tightened the tension to make them stay up. On the side of the rack you can tighten with a wrench, once you do tighten it should pull the shelves up then you just push the shelves down when needed. Hope this helps!

  5. what brand is your drying rack?