Plan Ahead

Visiting Manet/Degas?

You must join the virtual queue. Read the additional visitor guidelines.

Perspectives MetKids Microscope

Make Tempera Paint at Home

October 20 2 MINUTES

Did you know that you can make paint in your very own home? In this experiment, make a glorious painting using only ingredients from your kitchen cabinet and refrigerator. 

Using everyday ingredients and tools from your kitchen cabinet, embark on a hands-on process that prompts you to ask questions, mix compounds, and analyze materials like a scientist at the Museum.

Sign up for #MetKids newsletters to receive more activities, videos, and content you can share with your kids.

- 1 egg
- 1 egg carton
- Several teaspoons of water
- Colorful spices like turmeric and paprika
- Chalk
- A small plastic bag
- Notebook or piece of paper
- Paintbrush

- First, search your kitchen cabinets for colorful spices like turmeric for yellow and paprika for red. Add a small amount of each spice to your egg carton palette.
- For colors that are harder to find like blue, you can ground up a piece of chalk in a plastic bag with the back of a spoon. Once it turns to a powder, add a spoonful to your egg carton.
- Next, crack an egg and separate the yolk from the white. Mix just the yolk in a bowl and add a few teaspoons of water.
- To paint, load your brush with a bit of egg and dip it into one of your substitute pigments. Apply it to the paper, and create your masterpiece!

Which pigment was easiest for you to work with? Why do you think that is?
If you’d like, you can take the activity a step further and experiment with other kitchen ingredients to make new pigments. There are endless combinations!


Chief Digital Officer: Douglas Hegley
Executive Producer: Sarah Wambold
Director/Writer/Producer: Emma Vecchione
Producer: Rachel Smith
Project Manager: Maria Kozanecka
Animation Direction: Lisa LaBracio
Stop Motion Animation: Lisa LaBracio
2D Animation: Luca Mancuso
Prop Fabrication: Lisa V. Bergmann, Anna Samo
Narrator: Roselin Lopez
Episode Consultants: Michael Gallagher, Marco Leona
Education Consultants: Darcy-Tell Morales
Original Music: Austin Fisher
Sound Mix: Dave Raymond
Production Design: Aurola Wedman Alfaro
Rights and Permissions: Julie Zeftel

Portrait of a Woman with a Man at a Casement, ca. 1440
Fra Filippo Lippi (Italian, ca. 1406–1469).
Tempera on wood, 25 1/4 x 16 1/2 in. (64.1 x 41.9 cm).
Marquand Collection, Gift of Henry G. Marquand, 1889 (89.15.19)

Madonna and Child, ca. 1326
Simone Martini (Italian, Siena, active by 1315–died 1344 Avignon).
Tempera on wood, gold ground, Overall 23 1/8 x 15 1/2 in. (58.7 x 39.4 cm); painted surface 22 1/2 x 15 1/8 in. (57.2 x 38.2 cm).
Robert Lehman Collection, 1975 (1975.1.12)

All Images © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

MetKids is supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies

© 2023 The Metropolitan Museum of Art


More from MetKids Microscope

A cracked egg floats over a table top surface featuring a bowl and whole eggs as well as a bucket of paint brushes and bottles of blue, yellow, and red pigments.

So That’s How You Make Paint?

Two circus monkeys appear on stage balancing atop balls, each adorned with a mauve-colored star.

How Can Art Trick Our Minds?

An illustrated brain character waves a magic wand over an open sketchbook page featuring an illustrated rainbow painted with many colorful dots.

How to Make An Optical Illusion

MetKids Microscope

See all
A cartoon sphinx seated on a column in ancient Greece. Inset to the right shows a photograph of the terracotta head of a woman with cartoon crystals growing from her ear.

Season One