Watercolour Painting With Salt and Glue


There’s a very cool image making the rounds on Pinterest, from a blog called Chalk In My Pocket. It’s made using watercolour paint, glue and salt, and involves squirting, painting and sprinkling with the kind of freedom that kids love. It also makes you want to try it out yourself. While I’ve explored salt paintings before, adding glue, which acts as a resist, creates wonderful texture. And isolating small areas by cutting out shapes, opens up all sorts of possibilities.


  • watercolour paper
  • watercolour paints
  • paint brushes
  • Elmers Clear or Blue School Glue Gel
  • salt
  • circle punch



I was unable to track down Elmer’s Blue School Gel locally, so I settled for the clear one. I’m not sure if the blue one reacts differently with the paint, or simply acts as a barrier like this clear one, but either way, wonderful textures are created. Whether you use pan, tube, or liquid watercolour paints, remember to vary the intensity of the colour for more interesting results.

1. Drizzle and squirt some glue onto a sheet of watercolour paper. Allow to dry overnight.


2. Paint over the dried glue with watercolour paints. Sprinkle salt on sections of the painting while it is still wet. Once it dries, you’ll notice how the salt absorbs the surrounding water and pushes the pigment away, leaving behind a white, speckled effect.


3. Once the paint has dried, use a cloth or dry sponge to gently remove the salt. Notice all the great textures that have been created.


4. Using a circle punch, cut out as many circles as you can. We used a one inch punch, but any size will work. Hang on to them for next week’s project!




Filed under painting

75 responses to “Watercolour Painting With Salt and Glue

  1. Beautiful paper! I’ve always loved working with marbled and textured paper and this project looks like a lot of fun!

  2. That’s such an amazing effect, and the colours are beautiful!

  3. Man, I’ve got to wait until next week to find out what to do with the circles? That is going to make it a loooong week! Awesome painting! I have seen this type of craft before, just never tried it, but your post makes me want to run out and get all the supplies! Thanks for sharing! 🙂 Pop on over to my blog to see what I made with melted pony beads when you get the chance! http://www.nikitaland.wordpress.com

  4. Ana

    Gorgeous! I love the textured effect. Can’t wait to see what your plans are for the circles!

  5. Beautiful effect! Thanks for sharing how you did it!

  6. Cool- pinned it and waiting to see what you do with it.

  7. Insanity by Crafting


  8. emily

    ooo that is fun! My son would love this project. Thanks for sharing at Tasteful Tuesdays this week! Do you sew or know someone who does? I have a fabulous pattern sale (18 patterns for under $25) and giveaway going on right now.http://www.nap-timecreations.com/2013/02/sew-fab-e-pattern-sale-and-giveaway.html

  9. Thanks for the email — your project came out great! We did some heart cutouts a few years ago and I’m interested to see where you go with your circle punchouts!

  10. These papers are just fabulous! They remind me of stained glass windows. Thanks so very much for sharing how you got this look. I saw your post over at “Southern Lovely”.

  11. Diana Rambles

    So pretty! I pinned it!

  12. What a cool technique and project. Thanks for sharing!!

  13. This is a really interesting project. I can’t wait to see what you do with the circles, so I’m going to make a guess. Will you glue them onto heavy paper to create an interesting decoration on the front of a greeting card?

    It would be great if you linked up with Hobbies and Handicrafts.

  14. I love this! But, I love all watercolor projects. I can’t wait to see what next week’s project is! And, thanks for linking up at the oldies party last week. I am pinning this!

  15. The results are just eye popping. I am loving it. We use water colors a lot, but never in this way. Just pinned!

  16. I love these! I’m interested to see what you create with the circles.
    I clicked over from the Two Girls and a Party link up.

  17. I’m pinning this also. Nice work. Linda

  18. Love this, but I have a question…dumb question maybe. In the after one it looks like the glue is gone on the paper. Do you peel it off or does it spread out during the night when it dries. It just doesn’t look raised in the after photo. Am I missing a step??

    • I didn’t remove the glue, but you’re right, it doesn’t stay as raised once dry. Maybe other glues will, but if you’re cutting the artwork afterwards (eg.circle punch), it becomes more difficult with thick glue. If you’re keeping it intact, then you could experiment with other glues to see if they remain more raised, like the blue gel, which I wasn’t able to find. Good luck!

  19. I used to do this when I was little with my aunt; I’d forgotten about this technique and how fun it can be!

  20. So happy to feature this oldie but a goodie today! Stop by and grab a button!

  21. I found you from Diana Rambles Party! I host Fluster Creative Muster Party on Wednesdays and I would love it if you would come by and party with us. Hope to see you there!

    Hugs, Smiles, and Blessings,

    Fluster Buster

  22. funatchelleshouse

    That’s a beautiful painting! I’m thinking I need a giant one to hang on my living room wall. Every time I visit this page I end up adding another project to my to do list 🙂 lol

    Thanks for sharing at Sharing Saturday.

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  24. Love this idea! It has inspired me to create garland using this technique…I will be sharing this over at my Pinterest and featuring you tonight at Creative Juice…

    Thanks for sharing last week,

  25. Thank you for submitting yet another fun project to the Crafty Showcase! Congrats on being in the Feature Friday post, too! xoxo susie @bowdabra

    Ps- here is the newest linky! We have a new Button! http://bowdabrablog.com/2013/02/16/crafty-showcase-link-up-anything-fun-in-the-craft-project-linky/

  26. Sofia

    Very nice and beautiful!

  27. this look so nice, I like this very much:)

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  29. lizmaynz

    thank you for this so nice to learn something new 😀 {{HUGS}}

  30. januaryb

    Would using regular white glue work? Would it affect the end result?

    • Once dry, white glue would act as a resist and add interesting textures, just like this one. But as I mentioned in the post, this was originally made by someone using Elmer’s Blue School Glue, and may react with the paint, as well as acting as a resist. Maybe you’ll be able to track it down! I’d recommend experimenting with different glues to see how it turns out.

  31. Pingback: Pentru Copii » Cum sa faci o pictura cu acuarele si sare

  32. I love the colors you used in the above watercolor. Salt glue and watercolor. I might try this. I will have to read this later. I am half asleep. ttyl mary

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  36. createanartjournal

    Nice blog

  37. Pingback: Watercolour Painting With Salt and Glue - AllDIYIdeas.comDIY Ideas

  38. Pingback: watercolor and glue - WaterColor Web

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