When I created the paint kits, one of the testing phases was figuring out what type of paint would work well on concrete and be safe for kids. Acrylic paint won by a landslide. Let me tell you why…
Why we use acrylic paint
- It’s non toxic: Obviously, the paint we use needs to be safe for kids, and it is. The paint we use is AP certified, which means it has gone through several tests and contains no materials that are toxic to humans or children. It is also conforms with ASTM D-4236
- It’s quick drying: We all know how much patience our children have and one of the things we love about acrylic paint is how quickly it dries. This means, you can play with them faster or apply a second coat sooner.
- It’s water soluble: Acrylic paint can be thinned and cleaned up with water, which makes it easy to use and reduces the need for harsh chemicals.
- It’s durable: Just like the concrete, the paint is also very durable. It resists cracking and fading so it will hold up in weather and through play
- Applies sooo nicely: I can’t stress this one enough. The way acrylic paint shows up on the concrete is like no other paint. You often only need one coat and it shows beautifully!
Best Practices for our paint kits
While using acrylic paint is similar across most mediums, there are some best practices with our paint kits because of the concrete. Here are some common and not so common tips for getting the best results:
- Prepare your space: While acrylic paint will come out of most surfaces and doesn’t stain, it requires more work to clean than a “washable” paint. Let’s go for prevention, not reaction. Kids should be wearing old clothes or an apron. The space should be covered, depending on your child’s needs (maybe just some paper towel or maybe they need an entire tablecloth 🙂)
- Don’t mix the acrylic paint with water: This is a bit counterintuitive when working with acrylic paint, because we normally like doing this. One of the reasons acrylic paint works so well on the concrete is because of its consistency. Rinse off your brushes in water as you typically would but resist the urge to add more water to the acrylic paint to thin it out. This will require more coats later on.
- Let the paint dry in between coats: Letting the paint dry in between coats will prevent the colors from blending and create more vivid images
- If you/your child makes a mistake, wipe it off as best you can with a paper towel, wait for it to dry and then paint over it. Acrylic paint is fairly forgiving, so mistakes are allowed, in fact, they’re encouraged. Take risks.
- Experiment and have fun: Acrylic paint is a versatile medium that can be used in many ways. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different techniques, textures and colors.
- You could use sponges to create a layering effect on the hippos tummy
- You could use q-tips to create perfect circles on the butterfly
- You could use a cosmetic sponge to cover larger areas quicker as a first coat
- You could use cotton balls (held with a clothespin) to blot and add texture
One of the fun things about acrylic paint is that you can mix colors to create your own unique hues. The paint palettes currently come in two options with one additional option to purchase: classic, pastel and neutral.
Here are some basic tips for color mixing:
- Start with primary colors: red, blue and yellow. These are the base colors that can be combined to create all other colors
- Mix equal parts of two primary colors to create secondary colors. For example, red + blue = purple, blue + yellow = green, red + yellow = orange
- You can then mix secondary colors with primary colors to create tertiary colors.
- Use white to lighten colors and black to darken them.
Color Mixing Chart for Acrylic Paint
Here are some simple color mixing charts that can help you get started.
Image by Jacob Olesen via color meaning
Sourced from website
Here’s another, more advanced color mixing chart
How to remove acrylic paint from clothes
Okay! What happens if after all that preparation, you still end up with paint on things other than the concrete? A wet cloth will remove the paint from most surfaces (like a kitchen table). If that doesn’t work, add some liquid dish soap.
If the paint ends up on clothing or fabric, you need to act quickly (hopefully before it dries).
- Apply liquid laundry detergent or dish soap and rub it in
- Rinse in COLD water, and repeat this multiple times
- Wash immediately in cold water and hang to dry