Cool Science With Kids: “Oil Painting”


This is a great outdoor tempera paint & science project!!  Captain loved it.  We made awesome stationary and now she knows that oil and water don’t mix because water is denser than oil.  Cool!  She told me in the end  that she was proud of herself…


What we explored:

In looking at physical science, we can learn that liquids are a form of matter and experimenting with various liquids to learn about their unique qualities is important.  Do they behave the same once they are mixed together?  Is it possible to tell that two different liquids have been combined?

We used:  vegetable oil, powdered tempera paint in various colors, paper, shallow cake pans, water, spoons, cups, newspaper

*Mix several spoonfuls of the powdered paint into 1/2 cup oil, stir until mixture looks creamy. (*From the original instructions.  I found that for just the two of us, we could have cut this in 1/2 and had plenty to work with)

Fill cake pan about 1/2 full of water.  Spoon a few drops of the oil/paint mixture into the water.  **Notice that the oily paint floats on top of the water, this happens because water is more dense than oil.  Oil will not dissolve in water so oil stays oil and water stays water.  These two liquids won’t mix (no matter how hard you try!) because they are insoluble.

Lay a piece of paper on top of the water and oil paint.  Let it float for a minute and then carefully lift the paper and lay it on newspaper to dry.  Marbled paper- yay!  We did this project outside at a picnic table so that we had enough space to spread out.  The end-product will be a bit oily, but that only added a tactile-edge that we don’t have in our other paper!  I got this project idea from Latrenda Knighten on  If you decide to try this, please post a picture here, we would all love to see how it turned out!






Categories: Art Rocks For Kids!, Homeschooling Projects, Science Rocks For Kids! | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Post navigation

One thought on “Cool Science With Kids: “Oil Painting”

  1. kwinds

    awesome kid project,

I'd love to hear from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: