How Much To Charge For Face Painting? (Pricing Guide)

By Zach Buchenau

Last Updated: September 24, 2022

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Face painting is a fun and artistic way to make money. But like any business, you need to price your services properly if you want to be successful and profitable. But how much should you charge for face painting?

And what factors should you consider when pricing your face painting services?

We’re going to cover all that and more in this simple pricing guide for face painters.

How Much To Charge For Face Painting?

You should plan to charge between $100 and $300 per hour for face painting services, with a 2-hour minimum. When setting your rate, you should consider the type of event, your experience, your expenses, the complexity of the designs you offer, and the number of faces you’re able to paint per hour.

For example, if you’re a beginner face painter, you might only feel comfortable charging $100 to $125 per hour. At this rate, you’ll be able to land more gigs and gain more experience so you can feel comfortable charging more for your services.

On the other hand, if you’re an experienced face painter looking to venture out on your own, you might be able to charge upwards of $300 per hour–depending on the event.

Corporate events and weddings, for example, tend to pay more than children’s birthday parties. That’s because they typically have larger budgets, higher expectations, and more faces for you to paint.

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Face Painting Pricing Models

Before you decide how much to charge for face painting, you need to pick a pricing model.

Like most service-based businesses, you can go a few different ways. You can charge by the hour, by the design, or by the event.

Let’s look at each pricing model in a little more detail so you can decide which option is right for your business.

Per Face

This is a common pricing model for face painters. You set a flat rate per face and a minimum number of faces per gig.

For example, you might charge $10 per face with a minimum of 10 faces. This means your client would need to book you for at least 10 people for you to do the job.

The one thing I don’t like about this pricing model is that it doesn’t account for the complexity of your designs.

That’s why I recommend packaging your per-face rates with specific design groupings.

For example, you could offer:

  1. A complex design package that costs $15 per face, with a minimum of 10 faces.
  2. A moderately complex package that costs $10 per face, with a minimum of 15 faces.
  3. A simple design package that costs $5 per face, with a minimum of 20 faces.

No matter what package they choose, they’ll pay $150. But you won’t get stuck painting 20 complex designs.

This combination pricing model will help you stay profitable and set reasonable expectations with your client.

How much to charge for face painting? A simple pricing guide for face painters | Be The Budget

Per Hour

Of all the pricing models, the simplest option is charging an hourly rate for face painting. For one, it doesn’t require you to paint a certain number of faces or your client to book enough people to meet your minimum.

You just charge your hourly rate, and no matter how many faces you paint or the complexity of the designs your clients choose, your rate stays the same.

That said, I highly recommend setting a minimum number of hours, and including your drive time to and from the event in your rate.

For example, you could charge $100 per hour with a minimum of 2 hours. Then, include the time it takes you to drive to and from the event in your bill. That way, your rate will cover your transportation costs if it takes 30 minutes to get there and 30 minutes to get home.

Per Event

As your face painting business grows and you get hired for more events, you might consider charging by the type of event. For example, you could charge a specific rate for corporate events, and a different rate for children’s birthday parties.

If you choose this route, you will need to specify what your clients will get when they hire you.

For example, you might charge one rate for a 2-hour face painting session, and another rate for a 4-hour session.

Honestly, the lines can get a little blurry between charging an hourly rate and a per-event rate, which is why it might just make sense to charge by the hour.

Face Painting Pricing Chart

To get an idea of how much you should charge for face painting services, let’s break down the rate by some of the most common events:

EventFace Painting Rates
Children's Birthday Party$100 - $200/hour
Corporate Event$150 - $350/hour
Wedding$200 - $350/hour
Halloween$100 - $250/hour
4th Of July$200 - $250/hour
Art Fair$200 - $250/hour
Farmer's Market$10 - $15/face
Holiday Party$150 - $250/hour

Pricing Your Face Painting Services: 7 Factors To Consider

When you’re trying to figure out how much to charge for face painting, you should consider a few factors.

Here are some of the most important questions you should ask when setting your rate:

1. What face painting expenses do you need to cover?

The first and most important thing you should consider when pricing your face painting services is your overhead.

In other words, how much money does it cost to run your face painting business?

And given those expenses, how many gigs, hours, or faces will you have to paint to be profitable?

If your overhead is low and you can paint a lot of faces quickly, then you’ll have a lot of room for profit and price adjustments.

If, on the other hand, your overhead is high, then you’ll have to charge more.

When going through your expenses, incorporate the cost of your gear, supplies, transportation, taxes, marketing, and anything else. Once you add up all your expenses, divide the total by the average number of gigs you work in a given month.

The resulting number is your break-even point.

From there, all you have to do is tack on your desired amount of profit, and you’ll have a great starting point.

2. How long is the gig?

Another important thing to consider when pricing your services is the length of the gig.

Obviously, the longer the event, the more faces you’ll be able to paint and the more money you should make.

This is particularly important if you price your face painting by the event. You just don’t want to get stuck painting for 4 hours when you originally planned to paint for 2 hours.

3. How many faces can you paint per hour?

As a face painter, one of the most important skills you can develop is the ability to paint quickly.

And, as you might expect, the more people you can paint per hour, the more money you’ll be able to make.

Of course, this will also depend on how long each design takes. But generally, the faster you can work, the more profitable you’ll be.

4. What type of event is it? (e.g., corporate, birthday party, etc.)

The type of events you work should be a prominent consideration when you’re figuring out how much to charge for face painting.

In other words, you shouldn’t charge the same amount for a corporate event as you would for a child’s birthday party.

The reason is simple: Different types of events require different levels of skill, time, and materials. Beyond that, the expectations of your clients will vary based on the event.

For example, a corporate event might require more sophisticated designs that take longer to complete. In contrast, a backyard birthday party will likely require simpler designs.

Not to mention, the clientele will be different. A corporate event might attract more high-end clients who are willing and able to pay a premium for your services.

On the other hand, birthday parties are usually geared towards parents with young children, who are probably a little less particular–then again, maybe not.

5. How complex are the designs you offer?

The complexity of your designs is another factor you should consider when pricing your face painting services.

Some face painters only offer simple designs, like cheek art or butterfly tattoos. Others offer more complex masterpieces with full-face paintings and special effects make-up.

As you might expect, the latter will take more time and command a higher price.

But that’s not to say that simple designs can’t be profitable. Many face painters work quickly enough to make a solid profit by painting simple designs.

Once again, it all comes down to your individual skills and abilities.

6. Where is the event located?

The location of each event should be a key consideration when setting your face painting rates. For one, you should factor in the cost of transportation.

If an event is close by, you won’t have to spend as much on gas (or other forms of transportation). But if it’s further away, you’ll need to account for that in your pricing.

Another thing to consider is the type of location. Is it indoors or outdoors?

Since indoor and outdoor events will likely require you to bring different gear and supplies for your face painting station, you might want to work these factors into your rate.

7. How much are your competitors charging?

If you’re really stuck on how much to charge for face painting, one of the best things you can do is research your local competition.

While this shouldn’t be your main pricing factor, it can provide you with a great starting point. Once you know what others in your area are charging, you can adjust your rates accordingly.

Of course, you’ll want to ensure you’re not underpricing yourself. On the other hand, if you set your prices significantly higher than your competitors, you’ll probably have a hard time attracting customers.

Bottom Line

There isn’t a one size fits all solution regarding how much you should charge for face painting.

When determining your rate, you should consider various factors, like your skills, the type of event, the complexity of your designs, and the location.

Hopefully, by considering all of these things, you’ll be able to come up with a pricing structure that works well for you and your business.

Now get out there and start painting some faces!

Zach Buchenau

About The Author:

Zach Buchenau is a self-proclaimed personal finance nerd. When he isn't writing about budgeting, getting out of debt, making extra money, and living a frugal life, you can find him building furniture, fly fishing, or developing websites. He is the co-founder of BeTheBudget, and Chipotle's most loyal customer.

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