How to Paint a Mask

By Marguerite Lance

Whether you're an adult painting your own mask or working with a child to paint a mask, you will enjoy this project. Few inexpensive supplies are needed to paint a mask to wear on Carnivale, Halloween, in a play or simply for playtime. Your first mask painting projects will not be perfect. However, with practice and patience, each mask will be better than the last. Creativity, not perfection, should be the goal.

Step 1

Decide what paint colors you would like to paint your mask. You need one or two colors for the base of your mask, a pale color, such as white, pale yellow or pale blue, and a dark color, such as black, deep red, purple or navy blue. You might want to paint your mask one base color, such as white, or half a light color and half a dark color. Select two or three accent colors as well. If you have chosen two base colors, it's best to stick with one or two accent colors. If you have one base color, you can use more accent colors. Because masks are such a small amount of space, it's ideal to use the fewest number of colors possible.

Step 2

Sketch out several ideas of what you would like your painted mask to look like using paper, pencils, markers, crayons or colored pencils. Try a variety of different designs and themes until you discover a design for your mask that you like.

Step 3

Prepare your work area to paint your mask. Lay down newspapers on a large flat surface. Ensure this is a safe spot where no one will disturb your mask while it dries. Fill your cup or jar with water and place it on your work area. Lay out your paints and paintbrushes. Review the instructions on your paint containers. Place your mask on your work area.

Step 4

Paint your entire mask with your lightest base color. Allow this color to dry for at least one hour by letting your mask sit on your flat surface, face up, in the open air. Thoroughly rinse your thick paintbrush with the water in your jar or cup. If you desire a second base color, paint it on your mask with your thick paintbrush. Allow this coat to dry for at least one hour. Thoroughly rinse your thick paintbrush with the water in your jar or cup.

Step 5

Paint the designs on your mask using the appropriate sized brushes and paint colors you selected. If any of the colors overlap, allow the bottom paint of the design to dry for at least an hour before you paint with another color. Rinse your paintbrushes thoroughly with the water in the jar or cup between switching paint colors.

Step 6

Allow your mask to dry overnight on the newspapers and large surface. Replace the paint lids and caps so the paints don't dry out, thoroughly cleaned your paintbrushes and clean your jar or cup of water so the container doesn't stain. The next day, apply any touch ups your mask may need. Note anything you would do differently next time you paint a mask.

About the Author

Marguerite Lance has been a professional writer for seven years and has written for museums, hospitals, non-profit agencies, governmental agencies and telecommunication companies. Her specialties include nutrition, dietetics and women's and children's health issues. Lance received a Bachelor of Arts in biological anthropology from Idaho State University.