A non messy way to let your littlies enjoy paint, especially the texture without mess is to put paint into a glad seal bag and then use masking tape to attach to table. You may need to supervise if older toddler like to open things, but hey, no mess to clean up afterwards.
Also works great to teach older toddlers and preschoolers about secondary and tertiary colours. Just put the two colours as best you can to each side of the bag and as they play with it, it mixes and wow they made a secondary colour!!!
Jo, DD 7yrs dance addict; little man 13 months