I let him use coffee filters instead of paper.
- They are cheap-- I found them at walmart for about 2 dollars for a pack of 200.
- They are thicker; like a thick paper towel so they soak up the paint instead of running all over the place.
- When he's done, I just use the coffee filters to soak up any paint left on his high chair tray (or even on the floor)
- They are reusable-- I rinse them out and let them dry in a bowl or on the back of our dishrack. The color stays, but they can still be used to paint again.
- If the paint is pretty enough, a can use them to make coffee filter flowers.
Right now, the 'paint' we are using is just a small bowl of water with a few drops of food coloring. I ask him what color he wants (he always says orange), and mix it up on the spot. I give him 3-4 coffee filters and a brush and let him go to town. Even if he dumps the entire bowl of water, the filters are absorbant enough to handle the mess. (ask me how I know).
Now if only I can channel my powers into potty training I'd be all set.