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Paint a Fresco

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    American Chemical Society

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Paint a Fresco

In this activity on page 7 of the PDF, learners experiment with the interesting designs that can be made by painting on plaster. Learners discover the chemistry behind fresco, an art technique made famous by Michelangelo.
Note: Don't pour wet plaster down the sink as it could harden in the pipes.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$10 - $20 per student

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 14

Resource Type:


Materials List (per student)

  • Small disposable plastic dessert plate
  • Small disposable plastic cup
  • Craft stick
  • Plaster of Paris
  • Water
  • Acrylic paints or poster paints
  • Tablespoon
  • Paintbrush
  • Cup of rinse water


  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
      • Chemical Bonding
      • Chemical Reactions
      • Solutions
    • Light and Optics
      • Sunlight and Color
    • States of Matter
      • Solids
      • Liquids
      • Gases
      • Changes of Phase
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Atomic Structure
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations

Informal Categories

  • Arts and Crafts


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Links STEM to other topics of interest such as arts and humanities
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Office of Community Activities, American Chemical Society


  • All Rights Reserved, American Chemical Society, ©2001


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