Rainbow Paper Experiment

Rainbow Paper Experiment

Did you know that you can create a rainbow with clear nail polish? Try this quick experiment using clear nail polish and black paper to make a swirling mix of colors.

Since it involves nail polish, younger kids shouldn't attempt this on their own. Although with supervision, it's simple enough for elementary age kids to enjoy as well. I tried this out with my 5-year-old, and he loved watching the rainbow colors appears. Just make sure to supervise and protect your table or work surface from spills.

9 - 16
Est. Time:
<30 mins

How we did it:

Materials List

  1. black paper
  2. clear nail polish
  3. water
  4. bowl
  5. paper towel
  6. gloves (optional)
  1. Gather your materials!

  2. Prepare your black paper for marbling by cutting it to fit in your bowl. 

    Fill a bowl with about 1 inch of water.

  3. Place your black paper into the bowl of water. Push the paper under water, and then let it float near the surface of the water.

  4. This step must be done quickly!

    Pour 3-4 drops of clear nail polish above the black piece of paper, and then remove the black piece of paper within seconds.

    Tip: Pinch the edge of the paper to help you pull it out.

  5. Place the wet piece of paper onto a paper towel to dry. To speed up dry time, place it in the sun.

    Look at all the rainbow colors that appear!

  6. We mounted our marble paper onto a notebook, but you can display the paper however you’d like. Or get creative and use it as an art material for other projects and see what you can make with your rainbow paper!