The Best Liquid Tempera Paint for Quick-Drying Projects

Although tempera is one of the oldest forms of paint, dating back to ancient Greece and Rome, it is now a preferred choice primarily for classrooms and children’s craft projects due to its affordability and low toxicity. Made from water-based pigments mixed with a binder, tempera paint dries quickly to an opaque matte finish. It is best painted on porous surfaces, such as paper, cardboard and poster board, and can be applied with brushes, sponges or fingers. Very versatile medium, it can be diluted with water; mixed with salt, flour or sand to create a textured paint; or combined with white glue for more stability. Our top picks below will help you find the best ready-to-use liquid tempera for your needs.

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1. Colors Washable Tempera Paints

For colors that will stay vibrant after drying, Colorations tempera paint is an excellent choice. This set of smooth, creamy paints in 11 rich, opaque colors comes in easy-to-use 16-ounce bottles. The paint dries matte and won’t crack, and it’s kid-friendly: AP certified non-toxic, as well as free from many common allergens such as latex, dairy, egg, gluten, tree nuts and soy. Paints spread well on absorbent materials such as cardboard, paper mache, plaster and construction paper. With a super washable formula, it easily rinses off skin and clothes, making it a stress-free choice for parents and teachers.

Buy: Dyes Washable tempera paints

2. Crayola Washable Tempera

From a trusted brand in children’s art supplies, Crayola’s Tempera Paint can be purchased individually in 32-ounce bottles, letting you choose from 12 vibrant colors to get just what you need for your project. This paint is fuller-bodied than the others on our list, featuring a creamy formula that hardly drips when standing but becomes finer when agitated and shaken. It also holds up to layering very well and does not dry as quickly as more water-based paints. This AP certified non-toxic paint is washable for safe, clean use and its smooth consistency provides excellent coverage on a wide range of surfaces.

Buy: Crayola Washable Tempera

3. Prang Ready-made Tempera Paint

With a non-settling formula that won’t separate, this set from Prang includes 12 high-pigment colors in easy-pour 16-ounce bottles. This AP certified non-toxic tempera is smooth, blends easily and leaves a matte finish. The product is not listed as washable, so you will need to be careful when painting to protect clothes and surfaces from stains.

Buy: Prang Ready-Mixed Tempera Paint

4. S&S Worldwide Liquid Tempera Paint

This S&S Worldwide paint set includes an assortment of 12 colors in easy-squeeze 32-ounce bottles, making it an economical option for classrooms or those looking for larger quantities of paint. A slightly watery consistency will give a thinner application than some other tempera paints, but it’s a great choice to mix with white glue for fun and experimental painting projects. This tempera is AP certified non-toxic and is washable for a safe and clean creative experience.

Buy: S&S Worldwide Liquid Tempera Paint

5. Handy Art Tempera Paint Set

A great introductory set from Handy Art Little Masters will give you a basic selection of six rich, opaque colors in 16 ounce squeeze bottles. These include your three primary colors, plus black and white, perfect for exploring with color mixing and applying paint. This fluid paint is AP certified non-toxic and will not chip, peel or crack when dry. This product is not listed as washable, so use caution to protect clothing and surfaces from stains.

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Buy: Handy Art Tempera Paints Set

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