Will Tempera Paint Wash Off The Sidewalk?

While Tempera paint is a semi-permanent paint that is water-soluble in nature. Even though being and harder to remove than oil-based paints, they can be washed off very easily from most concrete and even asphalt surfaces if hosed off. Moreover, rain might simply do the work of a water hose. Therefore, tempera paint will wash off the sidewalk.

Will Tempera Paint Wash Off The Sidewalk
Tempera paint on sidewalk

Will Tempera Paint Wash Off The Sidewalk: The Answer

Yes, tempera paint will wash off the sidewalk.

Tempera paint, also known as “poster paint,” is a water-based paint that is primarily used for painting. It is fast-drying, allergen-free, and non-toxic. It’s normally mixed with a chemical binding agent, or “vehicle,” as it’s called.

Tempera paint mixing for sidewalk painting
Tempera paint mixing for sidewalk painting

Tempera paint should not be used outdoors, such as on a sidewalk, due to the fact that it is susceptible to a variety of environmental variables. They quickly tend to wash off if rainwater comes into contact with them because they are water-based by nature.

Additionally, due to their transparency and lightweight, they are susceptible to being washed off of surfaces made of concrete and asphalt. Tempera paint is also semi-permanent. As a result, whenever they come into contact with water, they get instantly reactivated. Thus, it will effortlessly wash off the sidewalk as well.

However, sidewalks can most definitely be painted using tempera paint for short-term purposes. Tempera paint is simply the ideal choice for you to decorate the sidewalks and streets for any festival or event. Even if the paint falls off the sidewalks, it won’t cause much damage because it is only utilized for a brief time to commemorate these memorable occasions. Moreover, if you want your paint to last for a bit longer, you can make the paint permanent or you can turn tempera paint into acrylic.

Thus, tempera paint is one of the best options to be employed on the sidewalks for a short period of time. If you don’t want the paint to wash off the sidewalks, you should select a more durable form of paint, as tempera paint is naturally easily washable.

Why Is Tempera Paint Used On A Sidewalk?

Mostly, it’s used to give any space or surface a festive mood, or for any special occasion.

Tempera paint gives a more vibrant, and durable look than any other paint, like chalk. Moreover, it’s harder to wash off than chalk and is cheaper to use than oil-based colors which tend to be more costly.

As established before, Tempera paint is primarily used by children for its fast-drying, and non-toxic characteristics. It is, however, used for crafts, projects, windows, and so on. Overall, this color is used to beautify and make a surface look more vibrant and colorful.

Tempera paint for sidewalk
Tempera paint for sidewalk

Thus, Tempera paint is used on sidewalks to solve their boring nature and make them look more fun for any festive occasion or simply as an exercise with the right permissions.

What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Using Tempera Paint On The Sidewalk?

The following are some of the benefits of using tempera paint on sidewalks:

  1. Tempera paint, with its glossy finish and transparency, gives sidewalks an artistic appearance.
  2. It is suitable to adorn the sidewalks on any special occasion, like national holidays or festivals.
  3. It’s fast-drying and gives a very vibrant and colorful outlook to the sidewalks.
  4. It does not change or get darker over time after being used on the sidewalks.
  5. It is an affordable option to be used on sidewalks compared to other kinds of paint.

However, there are obvious disadvantages of this paint as well, and they are:

  1. Since the tempera paint is fast-drying, the layer of paint needs to be thin and linear. Otherwise, due to the fast evaporation of water particles from the paint, the paint dries faster and can crack upon drying after being applied to the sidewalk.
  2. Tempera paint is water-soluble; thus, albeit leaving a stain, it can be washed off any surface easily, including sidewalks.
  3. Other colors or paints have a deep saturation on sidewalks that cannot be attained with Tempera paint due to its semi-transparent and fast-drying nature.

Should Tempera Paint Be Used On Sidewalks? What Are The Alternatives To Tempera Paint?

No, it is not recommended to use Tempera paint on the sidewalk. This is because, due to this paint’s fast-drying nature, semi-permeability, and semi-opaque finish, the color tends to wash off easily, have light saturation since a thick coat cannot be applied, and will most probably show the actual sidewalk through the colors.

Many colors can be used on sidewalks instead of Tempera paint, and they are:

  • Masonry Paint: Masonry paint is an acrylic-based paint that is water-based paint, and can be used on almost every surface. They easily stick on coarse surfaces and are harder to wash off with a myriad of color options to choose from. Moreover, this paint works as a protective layer and is water-resistant, which is why Masonry paint is mostly used in the exterior. Masonry paint can also be applied in several coats, which means it gives a more opaque finish.
  • Acrylic Paint: It is a water-based paint, which, like Tempera paint, dries swiftly. However, unlike Tempera paint, they don’t wash off that easily, since, upon drying, the color forms a water-resistant barrier and gives a vibrant and opaque finish.
  • Epoxy Paint: Epoxy paint is what its name suggests. It is a latex acrylic paint mixed with a small amount of epoxy. It’s primarily applied on floors. Due to the presence of epoxy, the paint provides a strong resistance to water and cannot be washed off of concrete.
  • Latex Paint: Made from acrylic resin, latex paint is water-based, similar to acrylic. However, unlike acrylic paint, it dries slower and is bought in large quantities. Due to the paint’s flexibility, it hardly cracks and is water-resistant, which makes it suitable for both indoor and outdoor paintwork. Hence, it is a great choice to paint on sidewalks and not have the paint come off.
  • Chalk Paint: Chalk paint is another water-based paint that requires next to no preparation to paint and can be applied to almost every surface. However, this paint tends to flake, and to avoid that, a topcoat is needed to be applied. It’s mostly used to mark surfaces of the road.
Chalk paint on sidewalk
Chalk paint on the sidewalk

Even though this paint is non-toxic and easy to prepare with no hassle, this paint, like Tempera paint, washes off easily.


Overall, it is discouraged to use Tempera paint on the sidewalk. It’s because, even though the paint is cheap, vibrant, and dries fast, it also cracks, is semi-opaque, and washed off rather easily—even with rainwater.

Rain or hose water can easily wash off the paint from the sidewalk. It may leave a stain, but the paint will be diluted with water since it is semi-permanent and water-based.