Mixing Textures into Paint

Set up an investigative art experiment mixing textures into paint to see what effect each one creates! A lovely hands-on, multi-sensory art activity for everyone to enjoy.Mixing textures into paints

Welcome to the next in our on-going series of Exploring Reggio , where we look at the ideas of Reggio Emilia philosophies and experiment with our own interpretations as we apply these to all areas of our play and learning at home. We are hosting this series alongside An Everyday StoryLearn with Play at Home, Twodaloo, One Perfect Day and (new this week!) Racheous.

You can read the introduction to the series here,  our open-ended literacy role play area here and symmetrical pattern-making on a mirror box here. All caught up? Onto today’s investigation into textured paints!

Exploring Reggio button

I think mostly all of our art activities that we do together fit well with the Reggio idea of teaching and learning about art. Art plays a huge role in Reggio centres, with a full time art teacher, known as an Atelierista being employed to work with children in a designated space within the room. Small art exploration stations known as Ateliers are set up for a number of different art projects using a wide range of art materials combined with recycled and natural loose parts. Sculpture, clay models and hanging art features highly as a way to divide space, investigate form and reflect light. Art is given primary importance because it seen as one of the easiest “languages” with which the chid can speak and communicate their thought processes to adults.  As with the other areas and use of resources, art materials are freely accessible and children experiment with lots of combinations of loose materials to great effect, often continuing their projects over a series of sessions as needed.

For our painting session we decided to try combining some kitchen ingredients into paint for free exploration and to see what effect each would have on the texture created. Into some bowls we collected salt, flour, oats and white glue. We could also have used sawdust, glitter, soil, sand, crushed cereal, shredded paper, shampoo etc. and perhaps we will next time we try this!Invitation to add textures to paint

Into a large dip tray (which, incidentally, has been a great resource for introducing play materials for provocations) we poured some normal paints in bright colours.

Mixing up textured paints investigation

They then mixed in large handfuls or scoopfuls  of each material and stirred them through with paint brushes. Left to right below is white glue, flour, salt and oats.Textured paints

The paints were wonderfully tactile to touch, stir and paint with and each material was quite different in the effect it produced. They adhered to the paper in a very satisfying way and I imagine they would work well with recycled cardboard materials if making a textured paint sculpture too.

Painting and exploring with textured paints

As they dried they changed again, with the glue-paint becoming shiny and hard, the salt paint glistening, the oat-paint lumpy and crunchy and he flour paint thick and rough. The flour paint resembled puffy paints and some of the others seemed like acrylics or glitter glues.

Textured paints recipes

Running our fingers over the surface when they were dry felt lovely and gave some opportunities for some rich, descriptive language.Textured paints art activity

Visit my friends to see their wonderful art explorations!

Racheous: Painting Investigations

An Everyday Story: Mixing new paint colours

One Perfect Day: Process art

Twodaloo: Painting under a perspex rainbow

Learn with play at home: Painting BIG

Follow our Exploring Reggio board on Pinterest where we pin all of these posts and more inspiration on the same topic too.

See all our Painting Activities here


  1. says

    I really like seeing little B in there :) We’ve tried oats in playdough but no paint. Such a wonderful sensory experience. And salt does seem to glisten a little doesn’t it? :) I think you could manage a little glitter next time 😉