How To Start a Face Painting Business

someone with a painted face with multiple colors.

This post will go over the steps to start your face painting business.

We will also take a quick look at operations and finally go over some resources to help you start on the right track.

How To Start a Face Painting Business

Below are the steps needed to start your face painting business. But before we get into the steps, it’s important to note that you should have a vision of the type of business you’re going to set up.

For example, are you going to have a one-person, part-time business? Or are you considering a larger operation where you manage the business and have employees?

A vision is important because it will help you take the right steps to set up your business according to your vision.

Research the Business

Research is an important part of starting a business. You’ll have the information you need when you research, especially when making important decisions.

You will want to know everything you can about face painting and running a business.

There is a lot of information out there. You just need to find it and use it. The link below offers a detailed Google search for publications and information related to face painting.

Whether you’re experienced or not, it’s worth it to spend some time on your research. Click here for the latest publications related to face painting.

1. Choosing a Location for Your Business

The location you choose to operate your business is very important. For example, locating in an area without the demand for face painting. It doesn’t make any sense to operate in that area.

On the other hand, if you’re in an area where the market is saturated, it will be difficult to gain any market share.

You also want to consider if you’re locating your operation from home or if you’re planning on starting from a commercial location.

Naturally, it will affect your cost when you start off as a home-based business. So one option is to start off from home.

Then, once your business gains traction and builds a customer base, you can always relocate to a commercial location. For more, see Choosing the best location for your business.

2. Choose a Name for Your Business

a girl with a butterfly painted on her face.

A critical step in the start-up process is the name you select for your business. The name you select today is the name you will have for as long as you own the business.

You want to choose a memorable, easy-to-pronounce, and catchy name.

There are many sites online that offer ideas for name selection. You can use these to get the creativity flowing.

I suggest you create a list of 10 names that are a possibility. And then put your list away for a few days. You will see it from a different perspective when you come back to it.

First, choose the top five from your list. Next, you want to make sure that those names are available for registration along with a matching domain name.

Then, out of the top contenders, get some feedback, use them in sentences and see how they look and print.

Finally, once you have chosen your business name, register it as soon as possible along with the matching domain name.

For more on business names, see the following:

Google Search Results for face painting business names.

How to choose a business name.

How to register a business name.

How to register a domain name for your business.

3. Legalizing Your Business

This section gives you an overview of structuring and registering your business.

You can start off as a sole proprietorship for a face painting business, the easiest and least expensive.

A sole proprietorship allows you to test the waters. If your business starts to expand, you can always switch to a different structure that provides personal asset protection.

For More on Business Registration, See:

How to register your business.

How to choose a business structure.

4 Create Your Corporate ID

A corporate ID consists of many components such as:

  • Logo
  • Business cards
  • Website
  • Business sign
  • Letterheads
  • Envelopes
  • Brochures
  • Etc.

Corporate IDs can be expensive, but the good news is you don’t have to have all the components of a corporate ID.

You can start off with the logo and business cards. Then, once your business becomes successful, you can add more components as needed.

You will want to create a professional design because your design will positively or negatively impact your customers. In addition, you want a professional design to leave a positive impression.

For More See on Corporate IDs See:

How to design a business logo.

How to design business cards

Creating a business sign.

A complete introduction to corporate identity packages.

5. Tools and Supplies

multiple colors of face paint.

Regarding face painting supplies, you want to make sure your paints are safe for skin and non-toxic. You must read up on the ingredients in the paints while being aware of any allergic reactions the facepaint may cause.

Face painting design supplies should include good paint brushes.

Good paintbrushes will have the bristles securely fastened into the brush end so that the bristles don’t fall out and become part of the face painting design.

Naturally, you will want to purchase your products from reliable and reputable suppliers. In this case, it’s more about quality than it is about profit.

Some of the supplies and tools you’ll need include the following:

  • Small, angled paintbrushes of various sizes with soft bristles.
  • Face paint.
  • Vinegar to clean brushes.
  • Hair clips.
  • Sanitizing hand wipes (removing mistakes and cleaning the face before painting) and/or baby wipes.
  • Color wheel.
  • Glitter.
  • Cotton balls or pads.
  • Sponges.
  • Paper towels.
  • Chairs.
  • Tables.
  • Awning or tent.
  • Money pouch or lockbox.
  • Design Portfolio.
  • Mirror.
  • Liquid sanitizers in containers for brushes and sponges.
  • Small trash can or bin.
  • Stencils.
  • Stamps.
  • Digital camera/SmartPhone.
  • Portable fan.
  • Portable printer (can charge extra for prints).
  • Office Equipment

In addition, you want to take some time to go through the following link for the latest Google search results related to supplies for face painting. Click here for the most recent google search results related to Face Painting.

6. Estimating Your Start-up Cost

Estimating your start-up cost will give you an idea of how much money you will need to get started. For example, if you’re operating from home as a one-person operation, your start-up cost will be minimal.

On the other hand, if you’re considering a large-scale operation in a commercial spot, then naturally, year start-up costs will be a lot higher. No one can tell you how much it’ll cost to start your business unless you have a clear vision of your setup.

Remodeling a room and installing a large business sign while launching an expensive marketing campaign will differ from passing around business cards and spreading the word using neighborhood flyers.

So, in summary, your start-up costs will depend on how you plan to operate your business. For more, see Estimating start-up costs: are you missing anything?

7. Writing a Business Plan

A business plan is an essential document for many businesses. When you create a business plan, it forces you to think about how you’ll start your business, how you will run and market it, etc.

Once you finish it, you will have an overall plan and see the big picture.

A business plan is a document that can keep you on track. You can refer to it from time to time to ensure that you’re on track and make adjustments as needed.

A business plan is also necessary to attract investors or get a business loan. A lender will not process your loan application without a professional business plan.

Of course, with a one-person operation running from home, you don’t need to have one, but it is recommended to help keep you on track and see the big picture. For more, see how to write a business plan.

8. Banking Setup

a girl with a face painting of a lion.

It is essential to separate your personal and business transactions. You will need to have a separate bank account to track transactions and provide accurate records for tax purposes.

Once your business is registered, you can open your bank account for your business. Many small business owners will open a separate account with their current bank.

On the other hand, you may open an account with a different bank if you’re planning on a large-scale operation. Naturally, if you’re applying for financing, you’ll be doing business with that bank.

You may also want to look into ways to accept payments other than cash using a service like Square or PayPal and apply for a merchant account if your sales volume increases.

For More on Banking for Your Business, See the Following Articles:

Here are the resources needed to choose a business bank

Opening a small business bank account: here’s what to know

What is a merchant account: here is what you need to know

9. Get the Funding for Your Business

You probably won’t be applying for a business loan for a small operation. But, on the other hand, if you’re thinking of a large endeavor, then you may need to make copies of your business plan and make appointments with lenders for a business loan.

It’s worth mentioning that banks view start-up business loans as high risk, and that’s because many businesses fail in the first few years of operation.

Therefore they would rather lend money to a business with a proven track record than finance a startup.

That being said, it doesn’t mean that you can’t get a business loan, but you have to keep in mind it’s difficult for a new start-up. Also, take a look at our post on, Getting a small business loan.

10. Get Your Face Insurance

Most places that you perform will require proof of liability insurance in case something happens. If you are painting a child, explain to them the necessity of remaining still.

A child who is constantly moving, or makes rapid movements, can muddle the design. Worse, the paint may get into their eyes, or your painting tools may cause bruising or cuts.

You will need to position yourself comfortably before you start. If you are uncomfortable, you can injure the person while moving.

Insurance is one thing you must have before any activity takes place. A qualified insurance broker can guide you through the process to get the insurance you need to attend and host events.

Without insurance, you are vulnerable to a financial crisis with any significant incident that may occur while you’re operating your business. For more, see our page about business insurance.

11. Office Setup

Whether you are planning on a small or large operation. You will need an area to work or manage your business schedule, parties, etc. This can be at your kitchen table, a spare room, or an area at your commercial location.

You need to set up your space to be functional and allow you to focus on your work.

In addition, you want to set up your office in a comfortable way for you and be equipped with all the tools you’ll need.

Finally, keep in mind the more popular your business becomes, the more time you’ll spend in your office; therefore, you want to set it up in a way that works well for you. For more see, Here are considerations for the setup of your office.

12. Hiring Employees

In the early stages of running your face painting business, you may be considering doing everything yourself. Suppose it doesn’t affect your productivity and business growth.

In that case, that’s a good idea because you want to keep the cost down as much as possible. On the other hand, if your business becomes very popular, you may need to hire employees to keep up with demand.

Success in hiring occurs in the selection process. When you take your time and hire the right person for each position, you save a lot of headaches.

Conversely, hiring the wrong person costs you a lot of lost time, effort, productivity, and money. 

It’s also worth mentioning that it’s easier to hire than fire.

Firing employees isn’t an unpleasant experience for you and the employee so take your time to make sure you are the right person the first time around.  See how and when to hire a new employee for more on hiring.

An Overview of the Business

A Few Points to Consider

  • Face paint is temporary and lasts for a few hours.
  • Actors and clowns worldwide have painted their faces and bodies for centuries.
  • Face and body paintings are typically worn at football matches, parties, and certain festivals. This has become very popular among children at theme parks, parties, and festivals throughout the Western world in recent years.
  • Small designs are easy to paint and require little more than basic supplies. So if you want to venture into the world of face paints, small designs are the easiest place to start.
  • Without formal training, it is still possible to create simple designs that are also eye-catching and beautiful. Cheek art is the best way to accomplish appealing designs.
  • One of the biggest benefits of developing simple (or cheek art) saves time. In a fraction of the time, you can paint a small design or character on a child’s cheek or arm. Generating the same kind of “wow” that you would if you spent longer painting an elaborate full-face design.
  • Versatility is a big advantage with simple small designs. These can be adapted and painted on the face/cheek, neck, shoulder, legs, and arms. For example, a simple snake looks fantastic, slithering up the arm. A rose or other flower looks beautiful on the shoulder.
  • The skill needed for this kind of business does not require complicated designs. Since the paint will last until the patron chooses to wash it off, the designs should be simple yet fun and attractive. It can be as simple as stars, butterflies, flowers, or colorful patterns.

Skill Set:

  • Setup and takedown of tents/awnings
  • Artistic skill
  • Patience
  • Great with children
  • Marketing and promotion

General Hours of Operation:

Variable hours during the week, weekends, and holidays. It all depends on the events that take place.

Tips & Considerations:

  • When you have mastered some of the more popular designs and have booked your first job, you need to make a great impression. Show up on time. Be prepared. Dress casually, yet not inappropriately.
  • The first thing to do when using face paint is to visualize the finished face before actually painting. Children are not very patient and will not appreciate it if they still hold their face while you stop to think. It is also difficult to correct yourself if you change your mind while painting.
  • Find something nice to say to every single child. Do not skip a single child. Mention her outfit, his hair, cool shoes, or whatever else you can find. Parents love it when people notice their children. You need to make every single child smile and feel good. Do not just sit silently and paint like a robot; you can put an end to your business quickly by not making a connection with each child. Many people would never hire someone like that, but they would hire someone who made their child feel good. It is amazing how many face painters don’t seem to enjoy children.
  • It is an excellent idea to use a white base coat under any bright colors to avoid staining the skin. If you want full color, begin with a thin layer and apply a second coat when dry. Use a thin layer of paint, as a thick layer can crack and spoil the design.
  • Avoid symmetrical designs such as butterflies until you are more experienced. Animal designs make good ideas for beginners. It is unnecessary to have both sides of the animal’s face match perfectly.
  • Supplement your basic skills by using temporary tattoos and stamps. They are available in a wide range of designs.
  • Clean your hands to avoid infections and germs transferring from one child to another. You can use soap, water, or hand sanitizers in between sessions.
  • Remember all face paints should state on the labels that they are face paints and safe to use on the skin.
  • Start out with two or three paintbrushes and a small range of colors. Most basic palettes have white, black, green, red, yellow, purple, and orange.

Pros and Cons:

The Pros:

  • Easy to get into.
  • Low start-up cost.
  • You have the advantage of being your own boss and setting your own hours.
  • If you like children, You get to work with kids of all ages.
  • Fun and lucrative job.
  • Expandable.

The Cons:

  • Children might be unreasonable to deal with or not sit still.
  • You could be working outdoors in all types of weather.
  • Having a steady income will take time.
  • You may not have a steady stream of income.

Type of Customers:

If you are a mom or a dad, you are in a good position to start building your customer base.

All you have to do is hand out your card and tell everyone you come in contact with that you will start offering services for children’s parties and other gatherings.

Parents you know will already have a sense of familiarity with you that will help you get work.

This is your advantage over other face painters that they don’t know. And remember, if you do a great job, mommy marketing can spread the word about you faster than anything else!

Also, your customers can be found at fairs, church events, carnivals, festivals, sporting, and Fourth of July events.

Face Painting Design Ideas:

Face painting continues to be a popular request for children’s birthday parties and other events and holidays such as Halloween.

The most popular designs are simple:

  • Hearts: Whether the symbol of love is worn on Valentine’s Day or just because a classic painted red heart is a simple design that requires little skill.
  • Balloons: Balloons are a very popular small face paint design. Balloons can be painted alone in a group and painted in varied colors. A simple white string painted beneath each balloon or bunched together makes this design perfect for a clown, circus, or festival dress-up theme or celebration.
  • Race cars: Race cars are a popular choice for boys of all ages. While a specific car may require extra detail and ornament, a basic car can be represented by drawing the body, wheels, and bumper. Adding flames to this simple design takes the whole design up a notch!
  • Smiley: Although often overlooked, a timeless smiley face is one of the easiest and most cheerful small designs. A round yellow circle gets paired with black eyes and a curved black smile and represents not only happiness. A smiley face is a great choice for 70’s inspired costumes and parties, especially when paired with the beloved peace symbol.
  • Stars: Yellow stars can look very feminine or magical, depending on the placement and the number you paint. When painted solo on the cheek, a single star makes a bold statement, while a flurry of stars sends an enchanting message. No matter the recipient, stars are always a winner.
  • Sports: For active kids, a sports-themed design is an obvious choice! A soccer ball, basketball, football, or baseball can be painted on the cheek to show the recipient’s love of a sport. Each of these athletic balls is easy to paint and requires little more than a few select paint colors.

    a girl painting at spider man on a boys face.

    Spiders: A simple black spider is a fast face painting design that can make a big impact come Halloween. Witches, goblins, and zombies can all wear a painted spider to add to their costume design.

  • If you’re at a loss as to what designs to start painting, look for the popular kids’ shows & movies. What is the hottest kids’ movie playing right now? What about the funniest animated show? Classic children’s television programming is also a great place to start. Particularly for preschoolers, the characters are very simple and, therefore, fairly easy to replicate.
  • A clown face is a simple design. Since clowns can be happy, sad, silly, or goofy, this one simple design with a few adjustments around the mouth is a great design to have in your arsenal. A bright red nose. A larger-than-life red mouth, big eyebrows, and some eye lines that extend from the outside of the eye toward the temples make a simple clown design that will get rave reviews.
  • Turning a little girl into a fairy princess is as simple as a few feathery lines around the eyes, with starbursts at the end of each line and a bit of glitter.
  • Painting a pretend bracelet or necklace is a simple design yet very unique. Start by painting pearl-sized dots around the wrist or neck and “dangle” a painted heart, peace sign, or other “charm” from the painted “jewelry.”
  • Try a simple rainbow… a classic, but always popular. Paint red, yellow, green, and blue ‘horseshoe’ shapes and add two little white puffs for clouds at the end of each side of the rainbow.


This section offers resources to help you get your business started and make you more knowledgeable as a face painting business owner.


Joining a face painting association has its benefits. Many associations host events you can attend and network with other people in the industry. They also offer industry news and educational information.

In addition to a face painting association, you may want to consider joining your local Chamber of Commerce to network with other business people in your area. 

Click here to view associations related to the face painting industry. You may also want to check out our page for tips and insights about Joining a trade association.

Marketing Tips

Marketing your business is an essential part of success. Without customers, you don’t have a business. And without marketing, it will be difficult to gain customers. 

There are many things you can do to bring awareness to your business.

The first thing is finding out what to do, and the second is acting upon it. Take a look at the link below for marketing tips that can help you bring awareness to your face painting business.

Have a look at the latest articles for marketing a face painting business.

Also, take some time to browse through our marketing articles.

Face Painting Tips

Whether you are an experienced face painting artist or not. It doesn’t hurt to look at the tips and insights out there from other artists that can help you broaden your awareness.

The key to mastering any skill is continually improving with experience and knowledge. Have a look at the search results for tips related to Face Painting.


Books are an excellent source of information. I like nonfiction books because you don’t have to read the book from cover to cover to get the information you want.

Instead, you can flip through the table of contents and go directly to the chapter that interests you. So why not take a few minutes to see what books are available about face painting? 

View the most recent Google search results for face painting business books.


You can take courses to help you learn the skills you need. If you’re already familiar with face painting, some courses may help you improve and become a better face painting artist.

So why not take a few minutes to browse the courses out there? Google’s search results related to face painting courses.


The news is another great source of information. You can keep up to date with what’s going on in the face painting world.

Using a site like Google News allows you to access the most recent and archived news stories related to face painting. See Google’s news search results related to face painting.


a woman painting a design on a girls face.

YouTube is an excellent source for video tutorials. You can learn many new techniques and brush up on your skills by watching tutorials.

Another thing I like about YouTube is when you type in your search query, you’ll get a list of all the relevant videos. 

In addition, you’ll get a list of related videos. Sometimes those videos will broaden your knowledge because they may cover topics you haven’t considered. 

Links to the Most Popular and Recent YouTube Videos Are Below:

YouTube videos related to a face painting business.

YouTube videos related to face painting.