Naturally Creative: Using Beets for Painting and Dying Art

Reader Contribution by Kristy Severin
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Painting with beets can be a fun eco-friendly craft for artists of all ages. Using natural dyes from plants has been something artists have been cultivating for hundreds of years. Only within the last 60+ years we’re synthetic acrylic paints introduced, where previously artists have been using natural colors exclusively. Beets are not only delicious to eat, but their colors can be retained in a way that will keep for quite a while in the refrigerator to use over and over again. The next time you’re hoping to eat beets for dinner, consider using this recipe for a beautiful dye for your next painting/ craft session.

DIY Beet Paint Recipe


• 1 cup peeled and diced beets
• 2 cups water (for boiling)
• 2 tablespoons distilled vinegar
• Paintbrush
• Paper (preferably watercolor paper)


To make your beet paint you will first need to peel and cut your beets until you have one cup diced beets. You can cut them into small squares or however you plan to eat them. Place your cut beets in a deep soup pan and cover with water. Bring beets and water to a boil and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until tender with a fork. Next, you will save the water the beets were boiled in, therefore, when straining beets, empty liquid into another container such as a mason jar.

Once beet liquid is in the mason jar, add vinegar and stir gently.

From here, you may let your beet paint cool. Once cool, paint with beet paint as you would with ink.  Dipping your brush in the paint and then painting onto the paper. You can play around with layering to make the paint darker or diluting with water to lighten the color. When you first paint with the beet paint, the color is very vivid and bright. After the paint dries, the color dulls slightly and becomes more like a stain in the paper. A lighter shade of red.


Have fun painting with beets and eating what you cooked with your beets!! This can be such a beautiful way to use nature in more than one way. Please share your creations!