How to Paint With Coffee - Tips and Tricks from the Pros

How to Paint with Coffee

At Art Room Events we love painting and we love coffee, so naturally, painting with coffee has been one of our favorite activities since day 1. We hope you can join us for an upcoming Artist’s Blend: Painting With Coffee class, but until then, here are a few tips for trying it on your own!

What is Painting with Coffee Like?

Painting with coffee is similar to watercolor painting. However, a watercolor paint palette has several colors to choose from, while coffee painting involves using various shades of brown. For that reason, creating different dilution levels of coffee paint allows the artist to create different shades, shadows and depth.

What Materials Do I Need to Paint with Coffee?

Coffee Paint

Our coffee classes utilize a special blend off “Coffee Paint” that has been optimized for use as paint, which we get from Art Right Meow. Why use a special blend of coffee paint? Well, after experimenting with a variety of beans and a number of grinding methods, we found that traditional coffee in its ground form can be difficult to mix, a bit gritty, not dark enough, and expensive if you’re using high end coffee. Plus, why waste delicious coffee beans when there is coffee paint sold in easy to mix small portions? The perks (pun intended) of Art Right Meow’s coffee paint are it’s easy to use, easy to clean up, and using the measuring ratios you can create a wide variety of coffee shades. Art Right Meow also sells coffee painting kits that include paint, brushes, paper, and all the supplies needed if you prefer to host your own coffee painting hour at home or with friends.

Coffee Painting Kitty  by Art Right Meow

Coffee Painting Kitty by Art Right Meow

Paint Pots/Vessels for Paint and Water

In order to have different shades of coffee, you’ll need a paint pot, bowl or cup for each saturation level. We recommend 3 coffee colors/saturations as a minimum. You’ll also need a water cup to clean your brush.

Watercolor Paper

While you can paint whatever you want with coffee, we use watercolor paper in our classes. 90lb paper is good enough but supply stores sell all kinds of sizes in different weights - the higher the weight, the thicker the paper.


Sharpened Pencil

Prior to painting, you’ll want to outline your drawing with pencil. The coffee paint will wash out the pencil lines as long as you draw the outline lightly. Any pencil will do! If you want to get fancy try a brown colored pencil, a chalk pencil, charcoal or an artist’s pencil.


Paint Brushes

We recommend having a variety of brushes available because they bring a variety of utility and effects. We use 3 different brushes in our coffee painting class. The first brush should be a larger brush for painting the background layer. A flat brush is ideal to create an even color. You’ll then fill your outline with a medium brush, and use a smaller fine brush to add darker details.


Coffee Painting Techniques

After outlining your drawing, use the largest brush possible and the lightest coffee paint you've made to brush on the background color. It's important to let each layer dry before you paint over it. Use a medium sized brush to fill in the body of your subject matter, and a small/fine brush in the thickest coffee paint to add fine details. Have fun mixing different coffee paint saturations and brushes to get the desired effects.

Thanks for reading, we hope to see you at an upcoming creative experience in Chicago!

Can't make a class? Follow us on Facebook, sometimes we stream our classes live for our friends to follow along!