Homemade paint recipe with spices

This homemade paint recipe with spices is as much a delight for the nose as the eyes! It’s super easy to make and great for both sunny days when you’re painting outdoors, or dark days when your senses need a boost. Here’s how to make it.

homemade paint recipe

Homemade paint recipe with spices

We started out by choosing our paint colours. Knowing we were going to be adding spices, we picked some earthy colours to match.

homemade paint

Next we paid a visit to our larder to investigate which spices we had. The children enjoyed sniffing all the pots and trying to guess which spice was which – and what food we usually eat them in.

paint recipe with spices

B declared that each spice should match the paint colours, so we paired up…

white with vanilla

yellow with garam masala

{we were out of turmeric!}

orange with ginger

red with mild chilli powder

{I’d suggest using something different if you have young children joining in}


brown with cinnamon

homemade paint recipe

For this homemade paint recipe all you need to do is mix in a dash of spice into your tempera / poster paint – as easy as that. How much use depends on how strong you would like the fragance to be. We used around a teaspoon per pot, and a little goes a long way. {If you store the paint in jars with lids you’ll be able to use it over a few different art sessions – depending of course on how many paintings you do.}

homemade paint

And then all you need to do is stir the spice into your paint, until it combines well.

kids painting ideas

We have had some lovely sunny days this week, so I set up the easel in our back garden. The warm weather made the spice scents even better, but the paint is also great on dark, indoor days as it really gives you a sensory boost and adds some zing to your art session.

homemade paint recipe

The children loved it – and I enjoyed sitting in the sunshine, watching them paint, and smelling all the lovely scents!

sensory play with paint

Have you ever tried sensory play with spice paint?

More homemade recipes for play

For some more homemade recipes, you might like our easy play dough recipe. And to add in some more sensory play, try our A-Z of playdough flavour recipes.

One of our favourite ways to use scent in play is our lavender sensory tub, which is lovely for chilling out.

Complete art lesson plans, exploring great artists


  1. Chris says

    This is a brilliant idea!! How long does the smell of spice last? I want to try this with my kids, they would love it!!

    • says

      I’ve just been to do a smell test for you Chris! The paint on the pictures no longer has a scent but the paint that we still have left in the pots (with lids on) still has a great scent. Maybe two weeks later.

  2. The Blasphemous Homemaker says

    Please warn your readers that turmeric is a strong plant dye that requires no additives to be a permanent color on fabric and carpeting. I’ve seen this going around Pinterest, and it scares me to think of an unsuspecting parent letting their child use this spice anywhere but outside or a well-protected space. Thank you.

  3. Nicola says

    Hi guys I have younger children that have sensory delay so every thing is very oral … Any ideas other than paint but with the spices cheers

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