What paint to pour over my head?
February 8, 2012 11:27 PM   Subscribe

Is there a specific type of paint under, say, twenty dollars a gallon that is safe enough to pour over my head for a photo shoot? ...and that will easily come out of my hair?
posted by parapluie to Media & Arts (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Hint: It doesn't actually have to be paint, it just needs to look like paint in a photo.

Milk with food coloring in it?
posted by kindall at 11:28 PM on February 8, 2012 [2 favorites]

I think kindall nailed it. Please don't pour paint on yourself.

The key thing for something to read as paint, besides the color, is thickness and "globbiness." If milk doesn't look right, I'm sure you can thicken it somehow. There's that syrup they use for fake blood... an effects person would know.
posted by drjimmy11 at 11:33 PM on February 8, 2012

Right..google Milk Paint
posted by PaulBGoode at 11:34 PM on February 8, 2012

Perfect. Thanks you two.
posted by parapluie at 11:35 PM on February 8, 2012

I would suggest soy or almond milk, so that any renegade splashes that you miss cleaning up don't end up smelling awful later.

A lot of fake blood uased in filming is corn syrup and food colouring, so that could be used to thicken your mock paint. You could also use corn starch in the same way you would thicken gravy.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 12:18 AM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'd suggest a runny vanilla pudding with food coloring.
posted by that girl at 1:34 AM on February 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Proper milk paint (ie, NOT milk with food coloring in it) is also known as casein paint and is a type of paint wherein the milk proteins are the carriers of VERY PERMANENT dye.

yes, milk with food color in it and probably a thickener. On Nickleodeon, they used a mixture of green Jell-O and water.
posted by plinth at 3:16 AM on February 9, 2012 [6 favorites]

I have always thought thin instant pancake batter looked like it has the consistency of paint. You can easily thicken or thin it with water.
posted by jmsta at 3:36 AM on February 9, 2012 [2 favorites]

If you use milk or soy or nut milks, you can absolutely thicken it by cooking it down or cooking it with cornstarch until it thickens to the proper consistency. There's a recipe for milk gelato which is essentially milk, sugar and cornstarch (the secret ingredient is a tablespoon of apricot jam, which makes the milk gelato taste more like milk, but wouldn't be necessary for your use).
posted by kalessin at 5:01 AM on February 9, 2012

If you get sick of paint, you can always try caramel, as seen here.
posted by oxford blue at 6:15 AM on February 9, 2012

If you wanted to use paint, any latex paint comes out pretty easily if you don't let it dry - and if you've just poured a bucket over your head, it won't be drying very fast. When we've been painting inside our house, there hasn't been really any problem getting hte paint off, except for splashes at the beginning of the project that I didn't try to scrape out of my fingernail beds till 2 hours later. Even getting some on clothes that I hadn't intended as work clothes, I just ran through the washer (immediately, not at the end of the day) and it came right out. As I understand it, the photo shoot is essentially done once the bucket has been poured over your head, or at worst, you pour a couple of batches within 15 minutes or so. You should be fine to just strip all you clothes off and head to the shower, just spend a long time there and be sure it's all rinsed. Even when latex paint dries, it peels off pretty well, but your best bet is to not let it dry.

Note: don't breathe too deeply, this stuff is full of chemicals. And when you're putting your face in it, Low-VOC options probably don't make enough difference to be worth the money. So yes, pudding/batter poured form a paint can is probably a much safer option.

Whether you use food-based or a real paint, don't do this with a bright color, especially red. Even if the paint or pudding base washes off, the dye transfers to skin, and you'll come out pale magenta.
posted by aimedwander at 7:23 AM on February 9, 2012

Basically, to look like paint, you need a base liquid thats opaque and viscous,and then give it a color. There's milk, of course. There's also the option of adding titanium dioxide to water, which is a common food-safe opacifier, used for that purpose in sunscreens, toothpastes, and paints. I imagine it would be cheaper and easier to work with than milk - its non-perishable.
posted by Hither at 7:54 AM on February 9, 2012

Mix yogurt and milk to the consistency of paint and add food coloring?
posted by zombiedance at 9:53 AM on February 9, 2012

You can make a decent edible paint out of cornstarch, water, and food coloring. It's not awful to wash off my toddler. There are a lot of recipes out there; some add baking soda or sugar or other things, just makes for slightly different textures. You'll probably need rather a lot of food coloring to get a rich deep color, but that's not a problem.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 12:45 PM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

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