May 28, 2011

Review: The BEST Tempera Paint

We're teachers we speak in grades. So here it is my tempera paint grade book. This is compiled from 5 intensive years of very technical "research."

I judge my tempera paint on a few things. . .
Shelf Life

Here are the brands I've tried.

Consistency= C
Color= C-
Shelf Life= B
Price=A ($11.46/gallon)

Consistency= D (totally inconsistent I have some bottles that are pure water and some that are beautifully thick)
Color= C
Shelf Life=D- (maybe the watery bottles are due to a poor shelf life?)
Price= A ($11.46/gallon)

Consistency= C
Color= D-
Shelf Life= C
Price=B ($19.89/gallon)

Consistency: F
Color: D
Shelf Life: A
Price: B ($11+/tray)


Consistency: A-
Color: A-
Shelf Life: A
Price: B ($12.49/gallon)


  • I've only had it on the shelf for a year or two but so far so good. 


Wendy said...

I love the Sax Versatemp also. I used to use Crayola ARista II because it was the least expensive paint available for bid in our district. That was also pretty good. I love the Sax for it's color concentration and opacity thoughI find that it does stain clothing pretty consistently, a price I am willing to pay.

Unknown said...

I didn't rate the stain factor but you're totally right. I just play stupid with that because I love it sooo much. I send a note home every fall saying that we wear smocks but do messy projects and get messy. . . I consider parents WARNED:)

Denise Pannell (mrspicasso) said...

I have just switched to Dick Blick student grade tempera and will not use anything else:

As for stains, I send a note home that says something like this:
Uh-Oh! We had an accident with some paint. Although your child was wearing a paint shirt, they got some paint on their clothes. I have found that it is best not to try to deal with the stain at school. Rather, here is a simple solution for you to use at home:
rub the stain with some chap hand lotion to soften it, then sprinkle on your favorite detergent, and wash as usual.

I have found great success with this recipe!

Unknown said...

I've wanted to try blick's paint. I will order a few bottles for next year to try it. Thanks

Mrs. White said...

I received samples of solucryl paint by Tri-Art that I can't wait to play with this summer. It is acrylic paint, but once it dries you can add water and use it like watercolor. (At least that is what the rep told me.) It's more pricey, but if it works well, there shouldn't be any waste.

Becca Ruth said...

I'm with MrsPicasso! Blick student brand is great!!

Unknown said...

Now do you all like Blick better than the Sax Versa? Have you tried both because I haven't gotten to order the Blick yet? If you all like it better and have tried both I'll put it on my ordering sheet and revise this post! Can you grade it so I can add it to the list?

Unknown said...

Mrs. Picasso VERY nice idea. It's nice for the parents to know that you noticed too. I have been horrible about messes this year. I see Kindergarten for only .5 hours at a time twice a week; it used to be an hour. Many times right before dismissal. I refused to take away painting and messy projects from them. So last week they went home with paint on their hands! If parents help me with baby wipes next year or if I have an hour I clean up will be possible. Parents must think I'm crazy sending their kids home like this but there is literally 0 time by the time we sit down to paint it's time to go!

Marcia Beckett said...

Wow, I always just go to the crayola paints. I will have to try the Sax paint and dick blick and see if I like that better.

Phyl said...

Huh. I thought I put my two cents in yesterday but I guess I didn't... so I'll try again.

I mostly use Sax Versatemp too, partly because I'm supposed to do the bulk of my ordering from School Specialty. I do like the consistency and most of the colors with a few exceptions: I think the turquoise and violet are awful. I don't like the colors and I've gotten multiple settled bottles of both colors that frustrate me. I also am not crazy about how they changed their green - it's more of a "pine green" now rather than the bright green it used to be, and they no longer have the "ultra blue" which when mixed with magenta made the most spectacular purples. Sigh.

Honestly, I don't care if the paint is washable as long as the colors and consistency are good. I have an art shirt rule in my room. Everyone is REQUIRED to have one; I send a letter home the first week of school. They store their shirts in their cubbies in their classrooms. For kids whose parents don't provide, the "art shirt fairy" will leave one at their classroom door for them to keep. The only glitch is when a kid takes home a shirt to wash it and it doesn't come back. Another letter goes home. Plus if parents put ridiculously expensive clothes on their kids on art day, it's their risk. When the kid gets paint all over his clothes because he wiped his brush on them, or fooled around, or didn't wear his art shirt, I say "don't have your mom call me." Maybe I'm mean.

Oh - back to the paints though - one thing the Versatemp DOESN'T have is that tempera paint odor that I love so much. Not important, but sort of nostalgic.

Anyhow, I do order some other brands for certain colors - I've used Crayola Artista for the bright turquoise and violet for example. Also, I had some free samples of Chromatemp and the colors were specatacularly bright and rich. Unbeatable colors, great coverage. But too expensive to order in bulk :(

I seem to remember a conversation about paint brands with the blogger at Painted Paper, but I just tried to find it and unfortunately she doesn't have any labels or tags to fing old posts. But I thought her colors always looked SO rich and spectacular, and I believe she said her favorite paint was Prang.

Now that I've gone on so long, I'm going to add one more thing: The Crayola Artista paints are weird about drying on the surface. You can't pour out paints too far ahead of time or they get a "skin". Creepy.

Paintedpaper said...


You are correct!!! :) Great Memory! I love Prang! I buy the more expensive tempera because it last soo much longer. I buy the large gallon of Prang white and add the cheaper colors to it the paints last a long time. Sometimes they clump up but I put a little water in and we are back in business. If you look at my flickr account you will see the paints in the cabinets.
Prang has great yellows and oranges. crayola's yellow have a gray tint. Sax's have nice blues and reds. I mix and match. :)

Anonymous said...

I LOVE Chromatemp. I have used it almost exclusively for 2 decades.
It covers well, stores well, mixes well, vibrant colors, nice consistency, ,etc, etc.!
I order from Bender Burkot

cindy in NC

Anonymous said...

I also love Sax Versatemp and Dick Blick student grade tempera for their superior quality. I am surprised at your negative review of the tempera cakes however. I just started using them this year and have found them to be pretty good--certainly not the quality of the Sax Versatemp-but great for their convenience and pretty satisfying results. I have been able to do more painting projects with my large classes than in the past because of how easy they are to use. Maybe I am just basking in the novelty of them right now--:).

Anonymous said...

If you are looking for quality paints in the classroom you should have a look at this Super Tempera paint.
3 x the strenght of Crayola!
At the same price....