How Body Painting Works

By: Melanie Radzicki McManus

What's It Like to Have Your Body Painted?

You may think having your body painted is a snap. You just stand there while someone brushes paint all over your body -- how hard can that be? There's actually a little more to it than that. First, a quality body painting job takes a fair amount of time. Don't expect to breeze in and out of the studio in just an hour or two. Since it may take several hours and will likely be a tiring process, make sure you've eaten before you arrive for your session, and that you're well hydrated [source: Model Mayhem].

You'll also need to prep your skin ahead of time. Ladies, make sure you shave your legs and armpits. Men, trim your body hair (face, plus any wild chest or back hair). Don't put any lotion on your skin, either. In fact, make sure your skin is clean and without deodorant, lotion, oils or tanning products. All of these products form barriers on your skin that may make it difficult for the paint to adhere [sources: Model Mayhem, Skin City].


Once the painting starts, you'll have to hold as still as possible so the painter can do a good job. However, don't hesitate to speak up if you need to change positions or sit down. No one can stand perfectly still for hours on end. Also, it's important to remember that while you're posing, don't lock your knees. If you do, this can cause you to pass out[source: Model Mayhem]

Eventually, your body will be fully painted and you can enjoy the results. If your painter used professional-grade body paint, the painting job should last a full day or even more,and will be able to withstand touching, hugs and even having light, soft clothing over it. When it's time to clean up, regular soap and water will easily remove water-based paints, while longer-lasting, alcohol-based paints may require rubbing alcohol to be wiped away. Once you're clean and paint-free, hydrate your skin with a quality lotion [source: Inside Jobs, Skin City].