Sugar Water Painting Technique for Kids

Easily create beautiful watercolor designs with this simple and fast sugar water technique.

My kids absolutely loved painting with this sugar water technique. They each raved about how beautiful their creations were and couldn’t wait to try it again. This is a great rainy day activity for kids and adults of any age. Watch as the colors explode and bloom into new shapes as you continue to drop new colors of paint.


  • Water color paint
  • Paintbrush(es)
  • Paper
  • Masking tape
  • Sugar
  • Water

Creating the sugar water

  • Add 2 parts sugar to 1 part water and boil to mix together
  • Allow mix to cool


  • Tape down your paper on all borders
  • Paint a thin layer of the sugar-water mix onto the paper
  • Drop the paint onto the sugar-water mix in small drops and watch the color bloom
  • Be sure to get your colors onto the paper before your sugar-water mix dries
  • Get creative with your colors!

The final results…

My daughter clearly prefers pinks, purples, oranges, and blues

You can add a black piece of construction paper to the back to create a faux border.

My son was channeling some fall colors into his work

The science behind it

Why does the watercolor paint spread out on the sugar water base?

When you boiled the water, the water molecules inserted themselves between the weak sucrose molecules and completely dissolved the sugar. However, the thin layer of sugar-water mix on the paper prior to painting allows the watercolor paint to adhere to the dissolved crystals that are now dispersed randomly onto the piece of paper. Pretty cool, right?

If you have extra sugar water leftover, you can paint random sugar-water designs onto a piece of black construction paper. Ask your kid to guess what the paper will look like when the mix dries.

The picture will be revealed once the water evaporates and leaves the sugar crystals behind in the shape painted. Why did that happen?

These are fun and creative experiments that allow you to sneak in a bit of science without your child knowing it.

Keep exploring and trying new creations with your sugar water.

For more design ideas, check out this video:


Have you done sugar water painting before?

I don’t normally do crafts but these folks do

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