Can Tempera Paint Be Used As Finger Paint?

Tempera and finger paint are the most popular choices for children’s art projects. Tempera painting has many variations as it comes in different forms. However, tempera paint is less diverse than finger paint. Finger paint and Tempera paint are most commonly used to teach children painting. But, Can Tempera paint be used as finger paint? 

Yes, tempera paint can be used as finger paint. When using Tempera paint as finger paint, it is important to mix the paint with a little water to achieve the desired consistency. Tempera paint is non-toxic and dries quickly, making it an ideal medium for painting with young children. Tempera paint is also water-soluble, so it’s easy to clean up after a messy project.

Can Tempera Paint Be Used As Finger Paint

Using Tempera paint As Finger Paint

To understand if you can use Tempera paint as finger paint, you need to understand the basic differences between these two paints. What are the ingredients these two paints use, and what are the applications of these paints?  

Tempera paint is made from water, cellulose, or starch as binders, calcium carbonate, and non-toxic pigments. It is a non-toxic, water-soluble paint and easy to clean. That’s why this paint is used for school art and crafts projects to bring out budding artists from young children. 

On the other hand, finger paint is a paint that you can make at home, or you can buy it from the craft shops such as Crayola finger paint. Using cornstarch, water, and liquid dish soap, you can make finger paint at home. You can also use instant pudding as finger paint because if you add dish soap to the finger paint, you need to ensure the children keep their hands away from their mouths.  

Finger paint is predominantly used to teach children at home to explore their creativity by painting and playing with different colors and patterns. Children also strengthen their muscles and learn to create different patterns through mixing and applying the paint on the surfaces. 

So, you can use Tempera paint as finger paint since both are non-toxic and used for children’s art projects. But to do that, you need to thin the tempera paint. 

How To Make Tempera Paint Into Finger Paint

You can turn your Tempera paint into finger paint in two ways. 

First, all you need to do is add a little bit of water to the Tempera paint to thin it out so that it’s easier to spread on paper or another surface. You can also add a drop or two of dish soap to the mix if you want, which will help the paint come off your fingers more easily once you’re done painting.

Second, take one cup of cornstarch and three tablespoons of tempera paint. Give the paint and cornstarch a nice stir. What do you see? Is the mixture too thick or too thin? If the mixture is too thick, add a little water. Add cornstarch if you find it too thin. Turn the paint into a perfect consistency so that it runs well on the surface or paper you are painting on. 

What Can I Use As Finger Paint?

One of the great things about finger painting is that you can use a variety of different materials as your paint. Here are just a few ideas to get you started: –

Tempera paint: This is a water-based paint that is very inexpensive and easy to find. Tempera paint can be used on various surfaces such as wood, paper, paper board, canvas, and even on hair. It dries quickly, so it’s perfect for kids who want to see their masterpieces right away! When tempera dries it gives a matt finish but there are ways to turn it shiny if you are looking to add shine to the paint.

Acrylic paint: This is another water-based paint that dries quickly. It’s more expensive than Tempera paint, but it has many more color options and is easier to clean up.

Food coloring: If you want to finger paint but don’t have any actual paints on hand, food coloring can be a great substitute! Just mix it with some water, and you’re good to go. Keep in mind that the colors will be much lighter than they would be with actual paints.

Markers: Believe it or not, markers can actually make pretty decent fingerprints! Just color directly onto your fingers or a piece of paper, then add some water and mix it up. The colors won’t be as bold as they would be with real paints, but they’ll still look pretty cool.

Acrylic finger paint

Can Any Paint Be Finger Paint?

Yes, any paint can technically be used for finger painting. However, depending on the paint type, it may not be ideal. For example, watercolors are difficult to use for finger painting because they require a light touch and dry quickly.

When using other paints as finger paint, you need to make the paint consistent with the level of finger paint. Perfect consistency will help the paint to stick on the surface well. Otherwise, the paint will either be runny or too thick so that it will not spread on the surface.

Tempera or acrylic paints are a better option because they’re thicker and easier to control.

Can Any Paint Be Finger Paint


Yes, tempera paint can be used as finger paint. All you need to do is add a little bit of water to the paint to thin it out and make it easier to spread. You can also add a drop or two of dish soap to the paint to help keep it from drying out too quickly.