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How to Start a Face Painting Business

Updated on June 20, 2017
Kelsey, The Face Painting Lady: Vancouver, Washington
Kelsey, The Face Painting Lady: Vancouver, Washington | Source

Face Painters Add Fun to Birthday Parties, Fairs, and Corporate Events!

Wondering if face painting is a good job for you? Maybe! Check out how to get started in your own small business making kids and adults happy. Do you enjoy working with kids and making them smile? Are you at least a little artistic? Would you like your own company?

My daughter enjoys being a high quality face painter. Why?

  • She got started in this creative field for low start-up costs.
  • She sets her own schedule with flexible hours.
  • She likes using her creativity.
  • She enjoys interacting with children!
  • It makes good money!

Now I am considering getting into the act. She keeps pretty busy and there are only so many Saturdays (the most popular party day for kids) over the summer. Maybe I can build up my own small business. On this page, I share with you everything I have learned about getting started!

This page has information on starting an awesome business, design ideas and more! There are awesome videos to watch for free and lots of ideas to get you started as a professional face painter!

Why do you want to do Face Painting?

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Photo copyright Janienne Jennrich
Photo copyright Janienne Jennrich | Source

How to Get Started

One artist got her start by "shadowing" another lady already in business. By volunteering to help, watching interactions, and just hanging around, you can learn a lot. Then she learned one design (in this case, a butterfly) and then began trying that out on friends and family. Soon she graduated to actual children!

There are lots of ideas online. Here are some from two sources I know and trust:

Tips from Snazaroo (makers of awesome paints):

  • Talk to other pros for suggestions and help.
  • Get or borrow at least 3 tutorial books (Some are listed on this page; Scroll down the whole page).
  • Find lots of design ideas online. There are many pictures to view.
  • Practice! (On paper, on friends, for a charity event, etc.) A good goal is to be able to paint any design you offer in 5 minutes or less.
  • "Know 15 full face and 10 cheek art designs by heart."
  • Check out the competition.

Snazaroo also offers this good advice for starting this creative business:

"Invest in yourself - Once you start charging for painting, invest the money in yourself. Buy a more professional sized kit. Buy a good selection of brushes and develop a simple face painting set up from table to colorful outfit (even if it is just a snazzy hat or shirt)."


"Start acting like a professional - When cash flow allows, consider running an ad, get business cards, get a dedicated phone line, think of getting a business license or insurance."

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

K.J., a professional face artist, offers the following to other beginners:

"Practicing is the main key. Practice as much as you can, watch professionals do it (on videos or in person), read related books and find your style. Have fun with the kids, the designs, and the colors, and your business will be a success!"

Could you do this to make money?

Face painters should be:

Cheerful & smiling

Talented (practice helps!)

Very good with kids

Neat and clean



Get GOOD Supplies

Snazaroo Face Paint Mini Starter Kit
Snazaroo Face Paint Mini Starter Kit

Snazaroo offers this awesome mini kit to get you started for under $50! It includes 6 of their large size paints, a guide book, face painting brushes & sponges, glitter gel, a nice box to hold everything! Highly recommended!

Kelsey The Face Painting Lady paints kids in the Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, WA areas.
Kelsey The Face Painting Lady paints kids in the Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, WA areas. | Source

Supplies List

Snazaroo Suggests these Supplies:

  • 12 colors of quality paint
  • 15 good artist quality brushes
  • a face painting 3 ring binder or menu board

Also consider getting:

  • A pop-up canopy
  • A portable table
  • A chair for you
  • A chair for your clients
  • A hand mirror
  • Wipes
  • Sponges

You will need to set a price per person - or by the hour.

How much would you pay for AMAZING face painting?

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Places to Paint!

Promote your services to families, organizations, and businesses charging "by the hour" for events like:

  • Birthday parties
  • Picnics
  • Fundraisers
  • Grand openings
  • Holidays
  • Church gatherings
  • Corporate events for families
  • Restaurant "Kids Nights"

In these cases, the host pays you and you paint the guests "for free." Some places will allow you to put a tip jar on your table as well as paying the hourly fee. Just ask!

For pay-by-the-face booths, be sure to bring plenty of change for customers and have that tip jar out for extra income!

Set up a booth and charge "per face" at venues such as:

  • Farmer's markets
  • Swap meets
  • Kids' events
  • Fairs

In some locations you may also be able to set up in a park or public corner. Be sure to find out about local business laws in those cases.

Beginner Video Tutorials

Beginner Tutorial Video on How to Create a Butterfly - A Great Lesson Showing Technique

If you had your face painted, what would want?

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Tutorial for a Sugar Skull Face

A Bit of Humor...

Parents often ask. "Will it just wash off with soap and water?"

My daughter smiles and answers, "Nope, it's permanent!"

** Pause -- straight face -- everyone laughs **

Parent: "But seriously, it'll just wash off, right?"


I'd love to hear from you!

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    • greggbirkner profile image

      greggbirkner 4 years ago

      Thanks for putting so much time, effort, and information into this page. My wife is a professional face painter and I'll be sure to pass on this lens to her. I'm sure she will enjoy it.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      This looks like such a fun and creative job,

    • spunkyduckling profile image

      spunkyduckling 7 years ago

      @Laddoo LM: how humorous :)

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 7 years ago from Central Florida

      What gorgeous examples you show!

      I'm lensrolling this to my two lenses about James Kuhn - face paint artist

    • profile image

      GrowWear 8 years ago

      Congratulations on your purple star for this lens!! Face painting is such a great idea for a business. :)

    • profile image

      bdkz 8 years ago

      Fun lens!

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 8 years ago from USA

      What fun! Nice work!