How Much Does Face Painting Cost?

Face painting has become such a great entertainment option for children’s parties. It’s also not just kid’s parties – face painters are a big hit at adult birthday bashes, wedding showers, and baby showers (belly painting, anyone?!)  You can hire a professional painter for birthday parties, Sweet 16s, bat and bar mitzvahs, festivals, school events, holiday parties, corporate parties, and more. Many face painting pros can provide other types of entertainment including costumed guests (like Elsa or Olaf), clowns balloon creatures, caricature artists, and magicians. Sometimes you may even be able to secure a discount on party entertainment services if you book multiple entertainers from the same company.

Professional face painting is interactive and fun way to not only keeps people entertained, but also doubles as a party favor

The majority of face painters have an hourly rate or set price for their services. The artist’s hourly rate can vary depending on a number of factors including the age and number of guests, what they are painting (just cheeks, half or full-face designs) and location. Full face designs may come with a higher price than cheek or half face designs, as they require more face paint. The location of your event can also impact the price, as artists may travel depending on distance traveled. When you are booking a face painting professional, you will need to let them know how many guests to expect and what the age range will be. Young children under the age of 5 tend to take longer to paint, they are usually much more squirmy than older kids! Once you have provided the details of the event, the artist will estimate how many faces they can paint per hour and how long it will take for them to paint everyone in attendance.

Let your artist know if you have a particular theme or color scheme for your party. This allows them to prepare design, colors and embellishments to compliment your event. Your princess party will likely not require the same supplies as a dinosaur superhero party. If you have any preference on what the artist should wear, make sure to discuss that with them in advance. 

There are several cost factors that going into hiring a face painter, including:


Most face painting artists charge hourly rates. Their hourly rate takes into account business overhead (like insurance and taxes), the cost of materials (face paint, brushes, etc.), prep time for parties (including research and practice designs), special outfits or costumes they wear, the cost of travel and transportation, and actual time they spend painting faces at your party. Like most services, the longer you want to book your face painter for your event, the higher the total cost will be. Some face painting professionals offer discounts for longer events, so it’s best to ask how their rates vary depending on party length. 

Typically face painters require a minimum number of hours for their services. This ensures that their operating costs are covered when they accept a job, put on their costume or work clothes, pack up their paints, and get to your location.  

Variable Rates

Some face painting professionals may charge a variable rate for their services. For example, an artist might charge an average $85-$125 per hour depending on the number of people, travel distance to the event and the type of service provided. In order to avoid surprises the day of your event, be sure you clearly understand how your face painter charges. 

Set Rates

Professional face painters may offer a set hours rate that is not dependant on the number of guests or types of designs. Additional fees may still apply for travel, so be sure to clarify all charges. Some examples of set rate pricing would like like:

Artist A: $75 per hour, within service area

Artist B: $125 per hour, with a two-hour minimum

Artist C: Starts at $115 per hour


Often reflected in the cost for services will be time and expense required for travel to an even. Some artists may charge a higher price per hour or a separate travel fee or require a minimum number of hours for attending an event. For example, an artist may stipulate  a minimum of 2 hours for any event over 50 miles away.

Full-Face Vs. Cheek Painting 

Often times cheek art will require less time and less paint per guest than half-face or full-face art. When offering a price estimate, your artist will determine which service you prefer for your event and quote a higher or lower hourly rate that is appropriate for what you’re looking to have at your party. Face painting pros use professional products that blend well and have gorgeous color. The materials cost more than the cheap face paints you may have bought at the craft or Halloween stores,  and they also look much better. If you are looking to have very large or intricate designs, this will affect the cost. These types of designs will use more materials and the more elaborate the design, the fewer faces painted per hour.

Community Events and Festivals

Having a face painter at your festival, fundraiser or charity event is great entertainment option. When you are organizing a large event where you will not be covering expenses for attendees, you can pay the set-up fee for an artist, and then your guests can pay an individual fee for face painting. 

For example, an artist may charge a small setup cost to organizers of large fairs, then charge each customer $5-$20 depending on the type design they request. As usually, cheek painting costs less than full-face or half-face painting. As the event organizer, you can avoid the burden of the face painter’s full hourly rate while still providing entertainment for your guests. On average, artists can paint approximately 15 faces per hour, depending on the age of the guests and the designs requested. 


Face paint and novelty makeup is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration to ensure its ingredients are safe for direct application on your skin, including children’s skin. If you want more information about the safety of specific ingredients, it is recommended you do additional research. 

If your child has allergies, sensitive skin, or has never had face paint before, use extra caution to avoid rashes and adverse reactions. 

Removing face paint

If you are a party host providing face painting for all the kids — big or little — be sure to tell your guests how to safely remove the paint once the festivities are done. According to the FDA, leaving face paint on overnight can lead to possible skin or eye irritation. Ask your face painter to let each guest (or their parent) know the appropriate way to remove that brand of paint once the party’s over. The FDA explains that it’s important to follow directions to the letter: use cold cream if the directions say so, or soap and water, or eye makeup remover. Each company uses different formulas for their novelty makeup and has researched the appropriate way to safely remove it.


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