Sandpainting is a fun and colorful way to add life to your bonsai garden.

With sandpainting, you can draw different patterns, shapes, and figures on any surface. Whether you have a small or large-area bonsai garden, sandpainting can liven up your garden area.

There are so many ways to create a colorful and dramatic garden. But sandpainting is a creative and enjoyable way to do so.

There are so many designs that you can choose from and so many ways to use sandpainting to enhance your outdoor area. This guide will show you how.

Where did sandpainting begin?

There are so many ethnic cultures that have used colorful sand to decorate outdoor areas. People from India are the most popular for their sandpainting art called rangoli.

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Indian Sand Paintings in Singapore depict the rich culture of Indians in the country. People used colored sand and used powdered colored pigments from crystals and minerals.

Rangolis can be fixed or unfixed. These are mostly used in different gatherings like the feast of light where families get together and enjoy a good meal.

Aside from Indians, sandpainting is also practiced by people from the Southwestern United States, by monks in Tibet and the aborigines from Australia.

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Till this day, a number of cultures all around the world still use sandpainting during celebrations, events, and social gatherings.

Ways to improve your garden with sandpainting

Sandpainting is one of the best ways to improve your garden. It is easy to do, can be placed on any surface and it will only take a short while to complete one depending on the simplicity or complexity of the design.

To make sandpainting a natural part of your bonsai garden, you can either sandpaint any section of your yard or sandpaint your bonsai pots. Here are steps to do so:

Sandpainting your yard

Yard sandpainting can be done on any part of your yard. If your bonsai garden has a solid, flat concrete area, you can place the sandpainting sketch here.

If your garden has a concrete walkway that takes you from your home to the area then this is another flat space where sandpainting may be placed.

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Take note: You must understand that sandpainting is not the most durable way to decorate your bonsai garden. Sand painting can easily wear off and will wash off when it rains hard.

So consider using sandpainting only for special occasions.

Putting sandpainting art on concrete outdoor surfaces

Select a smooth, level, a concrete area in your bonsai garden. Select a low-traffic area so you can preserve your design for a longer period of time. You may also paint any outdoor wall near your bonsai garden.

The key is to select a spot that won’t be disturbed, at least for the entire event or celebration.

Things you will need

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  • Very fine sand
  • Different colored pigments or use Tempera paints
  • Strong white glue
  • White cement
  • A brick


  1. Clean the area where you will sandpaint by sweeping it and then brushing it with water and soap. Wait till the area is completely dry before beginning your project.
  2. With a pencil, draw the image or pattern you want to create on the concrete floor or wall. Use a pencil with a thicker lead so you can easily see the pattern.
  3. Mix the fine sand and one color of Tempera paint. Place the colors in individual containers so it would be easier to use them.

Tip: Add a small amount of Tempera paint at a time to fine sand so you can adjust the intensity of the color you want to use.

  1. Use strong glue or white cement to stick the sand on the pattern. If you will use white cement, mix this according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  2. Apply the glue or cement on the pattern. Make sure all the surface that you need to cover is filled with glue or cement.
  3. Add one color at a time. You need to wait till one color is dry before applying another color. This will prevent mixing colors.
  4. When the colored sand on the cement has dried, remove this by gently blowing on the surface. You may also use a soft brush to gently brush the excess sand.
  5. Continue applying glue or cement on the other parts of the pattern and then placing colored paint until you have finished the pattern.

Sandpainting bonsai pots

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When it comes to sandpainting bonsai pots, you need the same materials. Apply sandpainting on the pot before planting your bonsai plants. The steps are as follows:


  1. Clean the pot that you wish to use by scrubbing it with a brush using water and soap.
  2. Dry the pot under the sun for a day so that the surface you will work on is completely dry.
  3. Draw your pattern on the pot using a pencil.
  4. Mix fine sand with Tempera paint that you wish to use. Add a small amount of paint at a time to create the ideal color.
  5. Use glue to attach the sand to the pot. Apply the glue to one section of the pattern at a time.
  6. Place the sand on the glued part of the pattern one color at a time.
  7. Allow one color to dry completely before applying the next.
  8. Dry your pattern completely before planting your bonsai.

Sandpainting tips

As much as possible, stick to simpler designs especially if this is your first time to sandpaint. You can move on to more complicated designs when you get the hand of painting with sand especially using different colors of sand.

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There are a number of products in the market featuring paint mixed with sand. You can try these products but the result won’t be the same.

You may also combine different Tempera paint colors to create all kinds of colors for your project. Use this powdered paint minimally because a little goes a long way.