How to Be Body Painted

Three Methods:Getting a Full-Body PaintingGetting a Small Body PaintingWearing Your Body Paint

Whether you are getting painted at a fair, a carnival, or in a studio by a professional, being body painted is always exciting. Body painting refers to painting either part of the body or the entire body, and sometimes face, with a design. Before getting painted, think about what kind of design you would like, and talk it over with your painter. After it’s done, snap photos and show your friends your transformation!

Method 1
Getting a Full-Body Painting

  1. 1
    Find a qualified body painter. If you are getting your whole body painted, you will want to find a professional who knows the ins and outs of the craft. Search on the Internet in your area for body painters, and be sure to look at the portfolios of their work.
    • Call painters you are interested in and ask for a price quote before committing.
    • Consider meeting with the body painter beforehand. Since you have to be naked or in your underwear to be fully painted, you may find that you’d like to get comfortable with the painter beforehand. Consider hiring a painter of the same sex if you feel that would help you to feel more at ease.
    • You can also ask the painter if it’s okay to bring a friend with you if it makes you feel more comfortable.[1]
  2. 2
    Discuss the design you want with the painter. Consider what kind of design you want for your body paint. Talk with the body painter beforehand and discuss your ideas. You want to be sure that you are both on the same page so that your design won’t be an unexpected surprise!
    • You can set up a time to meet with the body painter before the appointment, or you can just talk with them before you get painted.
    • Consider making a rough sketch of the overall design you want, along with the colors you’d like for your design.
    • Some people choose abstract designs for their body paint, while others draw inspiration from famous paintings, or get painted to look like specific characters from movies or comic books.
  3. 3
    Eat and drink plenty of water beforehand. A full body-painting can take hours. Before you go in, make sure to have a full meal and to drink plenty of water. If you snack during the body painting you may interrupt the painting process, and you could ingest some of the paint that hasn’t dried on or near the mouth.[2]
  4. 4
    Prepare your skin. Take a shower the morning of your appointment to clean your skin. Don’t use lotions, oils, moisturizers or tanning products the day of your painting; these products create a barrier on your skin which makes it more difficult for the paint to adhere and cover your skin. Also avoid using deodorant the day of the painting.[3]
  5. 5
    Shave or wax your body hair. Some varieties of body paint affix to body hair, making the application uneven and the removal of the paint more difficult. Ask your body painter if they would advise shaving or waxing your body hair before going in.[4]
    • If you already generally shave or wax your body hair, shave as usual. However, if you would rather avoid having to shave, ask your body painter what they would recommend before going in.
    • Airbrushing and latex paint in particular are difficult to apply with body hair.
  6. 6
    Set up the space. You want to be as comfortable as possible in the hours it will take to apply your body paint. First, make sure that the room feels private enough for you to be in the nude. Ask the body painter to change the temperature if it feels too hot or cold. Also consider playing music or listening to a book on tape to occupy your mind during the painting.[5]
  7. 7
    Test the materials you’ll be painted in. Do a spot test of the materials that your body painter will be using. This is especially important to do if they are using latex paint, which can cause allergic reactions.[6]
    • Place a small patch of paint on an area of skin like your arm and wait 15-20 minutes. If the skin under and around the paint is inflamed, test another variety of paint until you find one that works for you.
  8. Image titled Be Body Painted Step 3
    Remove your clothes. Remove your clothes before beginning the painting process. If you feel more comfortable, you can wear nude underwear that can be painted over. Otherwise, take off all of your clothing.[7]
    • If you have long hair, tie your hair in a bun with a hair tie so that it doesn’t get in the way.
  9. 9
    Follow your painter’s instructions. Listen and communicate with your painter throughout the process. You will likely be standing upright and still for most of the painting, but they may ask you to extend your arms or to rotate as they are painting. Check in a mirror every so often so you can be sure that you are getting exactly what you want!
    • Don’t hesitate to ask for a short break if you start to get tired or if your arms or legs start to fall asleep.

Method 2
Getting a Small Body Painting

  1. Image titled Be Body Painted Step 1
    Choose your design. If you are getting a body painting at a fair or carnival, decide on a design. Many face and body painting booths have pictures of designs hanging up that you can choose from. See if you like any of these designs, or ask if they can do other designs.
    • When it’s your turn to get painted, tell the body painter about what design you want. If the design is not one of the ones displayed, describe what you want.
    • You can say something like, “I want a blue octopus,” or “I want a tree with an orange sun behind it.”
    • Make sure to specify what colors you want for your design. Consider drawing it if the artist seems unsure of what you want.
  2. 2
    Pick a place for the design. Choose a good place for your body painting. Pick a spot that is large enough to fit your design and that is exposed rather than under clothing. Also try to pick a spot that is relatively hairless, as it’s harder to paint intricate details over hair.
    • Good spots for small body paintings include your upper arms, calves, or the top of your chest if you are wearing a tank top.
  3. 3
    Spot test if you have sensitive skin. Even body or face paint used at fairs can cause allergic reactions in some. If you have allergies or sensitive skin, do a spot test on your arm and wait fifteen minutes. If your skin becomes inflamed, do not proceed getting painted and ask if they have any other kinds of paint.[8]
  4. 4
    Sit still as the paint is being applied. Small body paintings can be very detailed, so it’s important to sit still as the artist works. If you fidget, their brush could slip, which could mess up your design.[9]
  5. 5
    Check the design in a mirror. After the artist is finished, look at your design in a mirror. If you want them to add anything or change a section of the design, ask if that is possible. Otherwise, enjoy your new body art!

Method 3
Wearing Your Body Paint

  1. 1
    Remove excess paint. If you have undergone a full body painting where the artist used airbrushing, you may find that body paint has caught on to areas of your face like your eyebrows or your eyelashes. Use baby shampoo or makeup remover to remove some of this paint and to brush up your look.[10]
  2. 2
    Wear soft, loose clothing. If possible, try not to wear clothing that will rub against your body painting. If you have a full body painting and have to go out in public, wear loose-fitting clothing that will be less likely to rub off your paint. If you have a small design, don’t wear clothing that will cover and smudge it.[11]
  3. 3
    Consider doing face makeup. If you have done a full body design, consider putting on face makeup. Because you will probably be taking a lot of pictures, you want to be sure that you facial features also stand out. Apply eye makeup like eyeliner and eye shadow to make your eyes stand out, and wear lipstick that matches or compliments your body paint.[12]


  • Be as specific as you can with what you want. You don’t want to end up paying for a design that you don’t like.
  • Don’t forget to take plenty of pictures of your body paint!


  • If you want to go out in public with your full body paint, consider getting painted with nude underwear on, as it’s against the law in most places to walk around completely naked.
  • Make sure that your body painter is qualified and that the paint that they are using is meant to be used on the body.

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Categories: Performing Arts