But Why?: How Do You Make Paint?

In this episode of But Why we’re learning how to make paint from an artist who wild-crafts his own pigments, and we’re visiting the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum to learn about the value of art.

There are a lot of different ways that paint is made. If you’re painting your house you’re probably using industrial paint that was made in a very big factory. There are lots of chemicals involved in making the paints we typically use for things like houses or cars or other things that need to be resistant to rain and dirt and kids drawing on the walls!

There are also paints used in art projects. Some of these are also made in big factories. But you can make your own paint with just a few household items. A lot of the recipes include food coloring as one of the ingredients you need. Well, that’s kind of cheating if you really want to make your own paint, because food coloring is already a blended up pigment, the thing that makes paint whatever color it is.

So we thought we’d ask a guy who makes his art materials from scratch for a lesson in how you can make your own paint from start to finish!


But Why is a show led by you, kids!

You ask the questions and we find the answers. It’s a big interesting world out there. On But Why, we tackle topics large and small, about nature, words, even the end of the world.

Science Topics
Chemistry, Light & Colors
Music, Art, and Language Arts Topics
Visual Art
K-6, Middle School
4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, 7th Grade, 8th Grade

What are you looking for?


But Why?

Website URL

Type of Resource


Assigned Categories