Home Crochet baby clothesPaint salt dough and dye - all variants in the test

Paint salt dough and dye - all variants in the test

  • Colorize with food colors
  • Color salt dough with natural products
  • watercolors
  • Acrylics
  • Poster colors
  • finger paint
  • Paint salt dough with felt-tip pens
  • Paint with nail polish
  • Paint afterwards

Salt dough is easy to manufacture and cheap. He also offers the opportunity to make great decorations. This includes experimenting with colors. In fact, there are many options to turn traditional salt dough into a wonderfully colorful crafting material. In this guide, we introduce you to the most common and interesting variations for dyeing and varnishing salt dough with many interesting details.

After the quick and inexpensive creation of the salt dough, which you can understand here: salt dough recipe in the form of detailed instructions, you must consider whether you want to color the crafting material and if so, how to do that specifically. In the following, we present you with frequently used methods as well as more specific ideas, which until now have served as "insider tips". Read through the comprehensive information and decide for yourself which variant you like best!

Colorize with food colors

The procedure with food colors is conceivably simple:

Step 1: Divide the salt dough into several small piles. The number of these piles depends on how many colors you want to integrate into your artwork.

Step 2: Pick up the first pile and one of your food colors. Put a few drops of the paint on the pile and knead well and evenly - until the piece is completely colored.

Step 3: Repeat the second step with the remaining piles and colors.

Color salt dough with natural products

As an alternative to food colors, various natural products come into question, each producing different tones. Here is a selection of the possible tools:

a) Cocoa or coffee for dark brown
b) malt coffee for lighter brown
c) turmeric, curry or saffron for yellows
d) Paprika or Cayenne spice for a rusty shade
e) beetroot juice (pure) for a rich pink red
f) Beetroot juice (diluted) for pink

For green tones, you can use grasses and green leaves from outside, peppermint, spinach or lemon balm. Picking and / or tearing the parts of the respective ingredient and mix them with water - but not too liquid, finally, the resulting color should then adhere to the salt dough.

In general, we recommend that you experiment with various ingredients. Surely you will find in the course of other natural products with which you can color salt dough. Because, as you know, trying is about studying.


One of the frequently practiced options for obtaining colored salt dough is dyeing with watercolors.

Step 1: Prime the salt dough first with opaque white or white facade paint. Use a bristle brush.

Note: Do without this step, draw the water color in the dough, so you try for free.

Step 2: Use the water colors as thick as possible. With too watery tones, you will generally not get any nice results.

Step 3: Let the colors dry well before you process your salt dough creations.


Acrylic paints are among the most versatile staining methods - not only in terms of salt dough. They can be processed in very different ways - from watercolor to pasty (thick or viscous). When coloring salt dough, you should prefer the impasto technique. In the case of an overly watery procedure, the same thing happens with the watercolors: The paint penetrates into the dough instead of lying on top of it.

To paint the salt dough with acrylic paints, you need not only the corresponding products but also brushes with which you can make the order. How it works in detail:

Step 1: Mix the desired colors on a pallet or a discarded ceramic or porcelain plate.

Step 2: Paint your salt dough elements with the prepared colors plus brush (s).

Step 3: Let it dry well before you process the figures.


  • Do not be surprised if the colors look very bright when mixed and applied. This is normal. In the dried state, they then get the actual nuance.
  • In and of themselves, acrylics are relatively quick to touch and dry. However, they never reach the state of complete dryness. For this reason, you should not store your artworks with the paint surfaces to each other. Otherwise, they will stick together after a while. Of course, this does not only apply to creations made from salt dough, but generally to work with acrylic paints.
  • Wash the brushes thoroughly immediately after painting. If you wait too long, the acrylic paints dry up and harden so that you can no longer use the brushes and throw them away.

Poster colors

The work with poster colors is similar to painting with acrylic paints. However, the former are not dilutable compared to the latter. This is neither an afterthought nor an advantage, but merely a fact worth mentioning. In principle, poster colors are considered to be easy to use, which are particularly suitable for children. So if you want to dye your salt dough motifs with your offspring, then you make a sensible decision with poster colors.

finger paint

Like poster colors, finger paints are also suitable for creative girls and boys - for one simple reason: when dealing with finger paints, you do not need any special technical knowledge or brushes. You can just drift and enjoy the direct feel of the colors on your hands. In addition, it is usually easy to remove finger paint from clothing, etc., should something go wrong. Not to mention that the aids commonly contain no toxic substances and are therefore absolutely harmless. There is no great guide to finger painting. Our

Tip: Simply dip your fingers into the respective color and neatly "embalm" the salt dough. But: If smaller children are involved, it is nevertheless advisable to cover the furniture and other endangered areas with plastic film before the artistic act and thus protect it. We also recommend distributing the colors to be used on plates in smaller quantities. If the little ones work with the right "kegs", the risk of "accidents" is much higher.

Paint salt dough with felt-tip pens

If you are not very interested in buying new colors for painting the salt dough, you can also use simple felt-tip pens. These are often in stock at home and do not need to be extra worried. Especially with smaller salt dough objects, the pens are a good compromise, since you then do not need too much color to paint the motifs and therefore do not need an eternity to complete the artworks.

Tip: For larger salt dough elements, it pays to rely on colors that can be applied faster. In addition, you can still use felt pens, such as for painting details (faces, etc.).

Paint with nail polish

You are welcome to paint your nails and often "" Subsequent varnishing

Whether you want to dye your salt dough motifs or leave them pure: In any case, you should end up missing a layer of glossy or matt clear lacquer. This will enhance the appearance of your products and make them last longer.

Tip: In and of itself you can also use conventional hairspray for this purpose. However, the results are not quite as nice and high quality as with the right clear coat.

Let's summarize again: salt dough can be with

a) food colors,
b) natural products,
c) water colors,
d) acrylic paints,
e) poster colors,
f) finger paints,
g) felt-tip pens,
h) nail polish and
i) paint clear coat.

As you can see from our rather abundant list, you have many options for coloring your salt dough creations. For smaller children, poster and finger colors are especially recommended. In contrast, natural products, watercolors, acrylics, nail varnish and clearcoat should only be used by "more mature" girls and boys and adults.

Another note to the end: Which of the presented variants provide the best results, you will learn in the second part of our guide series for dyeing salt dough: advantages and disadvantages of the dyeing methods

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