Easy Paper Mache: Paint it!

Paper mache step 3By this point, the paper mache sculpture should have taken shape! If there are some rough edges where the paper wasn’t firmly pressed down, you can smooth them out with a piece of sandpaper. Even better, show your child how to do it. Just have him rub it over the sculpture until he’s satisfied with the texture.


Now it’s time to paint! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • White Acrylic Craft Paint
  • Acrylic Craft Paints  – Other colors
  • Paint Brushes
  • Container with Water
  • Styrofoam Plates
  • Paper Towels
  • Googley Eyes (optional)
  • Hot Glue Gun (optional)

You can find the acrylic paints at arts and craft stores and even at Wal-Mart. They’re usually just about $1.00-$2.00 per bottle, and they come in lots of different colors.

Start With White

To start, squeeze some white paint out on a Styrofoam plate.  Dip the brush in the paint and start painting the whole sculpture. This will block out the newspaper when you put on the final color. Otherwise, if your sculpture is a light color such as yellow or pink, the paper might show through.

Use the water in the cup to rinse out your brush between colors; you don’t need to use it with the paint. It will be too watery if you do.

Add Color and Patterns

Acrylic paints dry quickly, but if you need to speed the process along, you can use a hairdryer on a warm or low setting. After the white paint is dry, paint the sculpture with the other colors. Remember, elephants don’t have to be grey and bears don’t have to be brown. They can be pink, purple, blue – any color! They can even have polka dots or stripes.

Glue on the Extras

When you’re child has finished painting, set the sculpture aside to dry for a few minutes. If your child has made an animal, he might want to add googley eyes instead of painting them. Use a hot glue gun to attach the eyes (and any other ornaments) to the sculpture.

That’s it! He now has a great sculpture to enjoy or to give as a gift.

What did your child make with paper mache?

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