How to Paint with Spray Bottles: 3 Simple Ways


I love a good process art activity for preschoolers that also helps kids strengthen their hands.  Spray bottle painting is an exciting and motivating activity for your kids.  Today, I want to show you how to paint with spray bottles with three different methods.

How to paint with spray bottles.

Method 1 – Simple Spray Bottle Painting

Supplies That You Will Need

You don’t need many supplies to paint with spray bottles.  You also don’t need to spend a lot of money.  Pick up spray bottles at the Dollar Store.

  • spray bottles
  • tempera paint
  • paper


Add a few squirts of tempera paint to a spray bottle. Dilute the paint by adding water to the spray bottle. Shake it all up and mix the solution.

You can prepare several spray bottles with different colors of paint.

Spray bottles work better when they are held upright.  So, to reduce frustration, hang your paper on a vertical service like an easel or fence.  I happened to have a huge piece of cardboard, so we taped our paper to it.

Simple spray bottle painting.

When your paper is all set, kids can start spraying the paint onto the paper.

Paint with a spray bottle.

Experiments & Extensions

Kids can experiment with their creations in several ways.

  • Adjust the nozzle on the spray bottle.  Do you notice any changes?
  • What happens when the sprayed colors mix?
  • Does it make a difference when you stand closer to or farther from the paper?

Method 2 – Resist Painting with Spray Bottles

For a fun twist, you can use the spray bottle method to create resist paintings.


In addition to the supplies above, you will need painter’s tape.


This time, add strips of painter’s tape to the paper before adding paint.  You can make letters or names or shapes with the masking tape, or you can just let your kids freely design with it.

Resist painting with spray bottles.

Now you kids can spray paint onto the prepared paper.

When your kids finish painting, help them carefully remove the tape. The removal reveals the clean lines of paper underneath the tape and can create an opportunity for great discussions about why the paper looks like it does.

After the paint dries carefully peel off the tape for your painting with squirt bottles.

Additional Techniques for Resist Painting

You can also make lines or letters or words with a white crayon instead of tape.  Kids can spray the paper to reveal the secret design, letter, or word.

Place shape in the middle of the paper.  Kids can spray their paper.  When they finish, you can remove the shape to reveal the clean paper below.

Method 3 – Spray Bottle Painting with Bleeding Tissue Paper

If you don’t want to deal with the messiness of paint in spray bottles, this method just uses water.

Spray bottle painting with bleeding tissue paper.


  • Bleeding tissue paper
  • paper
  • stapler
  • spray bottle with water

Prepare the Paper

Cut the tissue paper into squares.

A note about my supplies:  I thought that I purchased a package of bleeding tissue sheets paper during my last visit to the Lakeshore Learning Store, but I lost it on my way to the checkout.  So, instead, I purchased some tissue squares from Amazon for this project.

The little squares worked, but they were a little smaller than I wanted.  Next time, I will cut my squares from sheets of tissue paper so that my squares are larger.

To prepare the project, you need to staple squares of tissue paper onto the edge of a white construction paper  Kids love to use staplers, plus they provide a great way to build hand strength.  Let them help you to prepare the paper.

Staple bleeding tissue paper to white paper for this squirt bottle painting.

Directions for Painting

Hang the prepared paper on an easel with the tissue paper on the top.  Kids can spray water on the paper and watch the color bleed down the construction paper.

Paint with a spray bottle

Experiments & Extensions

  • Kids can create a race to see which color hits the bottom of the paper first.
  • Adjust the nozzle on the sprayer.  How does this affect the bleeding of the colors?
  • Staple two or three different color squares together on the paper.  What happens when you spray the stacked squares of tissue?
Experiments or extensions for your painting with a spray bottle.

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