How to avoid "coffee water" and other brush and sponge tips

This also applies to the perception of cleanliness standards. When you face paint does your work area look messy and your water cup look like a bad cup of coffee? The odds are it does. Ask any mother if she perceives your water cup is full of germs and if those germs are about to jump up and eat her child alive. The answer is probably yes. This article will help you in keeping your water fresh looking and also care for your brushes.

"How do I keep my water clean?" or "How often do you change your water?" are often asked questions on the discussion list for face painters. The answer is "never". I mean literally I never change my water out as I paint. REALLY. Yes, I can paint for 5 hours and still drink from my water cup as it will be clear and clean. The secret is buying more brushes and following a few tips. Use a brush (or sponge) for each range of colors. You can get through a boat load of painting with about a dozen brushes.

What people do not know is not only can you save all the fuss but you are achieving many additional advantages by following the "no coffee" or "the Gary system" as it has been called. First of all you do not realize how much face paints you are wasting. I mean it takes a lot of paint to turn that clear water into looking like coffee. You literally are wasting 40 percent of your face paints by going to the water and washing out all of that paint. Second... you are pounding your poor brushes to death. Banging those expensive paint brushes at best, reduces their life span. Add to that it depreciates the quality of your brush stroke as you run the brush head. Thirdly... you are using up twenty to thirty seconds for every time you rinse out your brush. If you paint fifteen faces per hour it means twenty percent of your face painting time is used up with the rinsing out of your brush between colors. Forth, look at all the extra water you have to carry and dispose of during your event. You mike like lifting weights but there has to be a better way than lifting that gallon of water. Lastly when the mom looks down at your work area and sees that dark brown cup of water she is going to think her child is going to catch diphtheria by getting their faces washed. If you are using Ruby Red Paints that water is actually pretty safe but you will have a hard time convincing the mom of this.

Note, what I am trying to present here applies when you are using Ruby Red Paints, made in America. We say this for several reasons. We have the safest face paints on earth. Not only is our full like compliant with all FDA cosmetic laws in the United States but they also comply with cosmetic laws in the EU, Mexico, Australia and Canada. If we can not pass all four we simply do not offer it. Add to that we are the only brand that holds a "child toy safety rating" which is a stricter law. If you turned our products over to your child and they abused the product it is highly unlikely any harm can be done. If they ate it, got it in their eyes, dripped it in their ear or nose no harm would be done. No brand has had more safety testing done. Our focus has always been to offer you the safest brand.

The next obvious question is "well what about those germs as you paint using the same brush from one child to the next? Aren't you transferring the germs from one child to the next?" The preservative system is robust and fights this concern. The preservatives in the formulation are the perfect levels to offer you protection. Remember the Petri dish test you did back in high school biology? This was when you added a germ to the Petri dish and then put it in the warm oven. You came back in a few days and nasty mold was growing. You could try this with Ruby Red Paints and the germ would be gone and that is the preservative system. Now we are not trying to say that the preservative system of Ruby Red Paint is going to cure cancer or AIDS. Look at We are still saying you should avoid face painting children or adults that are ill or have visible skin issues from ring worm to poison ivy. What we are saying is if you use Ruby Red Paints as intended it is HIGHLY UNLIKELY that you will transfer germs from one child to another even when you go with the same brush from one child to the next. In the United Kingdom a study was done by doctors directly related to this issue. In the study that was published in the newspaper it said that when you are using a safe brand of face paints that the child is more likely to catch a cold while waiting in the queue than when they get face painted.

Here is the secret... Only go to the water cup to get more water for painting. You should not be washing the paint out of your brush or sponge between colors. Just barely dab your brush or sponge into the water and go right to your makeup cake. I'm serious in the fact that you can paint all day and your water will still remain clean enough to drink out of. REALLY! Its possible. The assumption is you are using Ruby Red face paint. Even if you paint a child using a brush and then set it in your brush holder, it is not a problem, even if the paint dries on the brush. Once you dab the brush slightly in the water, all you have to do is work the wetted brush into the paint cake and it is refreshed like new. One of the newest tricks is to use the Ruby Red colored "petal sponges". When you use the red sponge with your red paint and the blue sponge with the blue paint it is impossible to mess up. You can paint all day long with this system. On the brushes I might have a dedicated white and black brush but I would use the same brush for my reds and pinks or perhaps my greens and blues. No doubt this means you will need to buy a few more brushes but remember you are no longer wasting forty percent of your face paints.

Try these sponge and brush tips.

1) Buy good quality brushes (Ruby Red makes over twenty different brushes and sponges buy synthetic as they are cheaper and more durable
2) Buy enough (when you can afford it) for one of your favorite brush for each color range (reds, blues, black, white etc.)
3) Buy a plastic or sponge brush holder to allow them to be stores bristle up like the gecko brush holder between uses. don't rinse during the work day (it is not needed)

4) If you use only Ruby Red paint, you can wash your brushes in hot water only
5) When cleaning your brushes swish them around in the water don't pound them
6) Don't let your brushes sit in water bristle down for long periods of time
7) Store bristle up
8) Buy bristles that are high quality groomed synthetic or sable
9) When the handles start showing paint build up use a SOS pad to clean them up
10) If you get "wild hairs" it is usually caused by storing them improperly
11) Cut out "wild hairs" because it is practically impossible to fix. You might also try putting regular spray starch on them, form the brush tip and let them dry. Often the next day, once you wet them, they are back to normal.
12) Buy stiffer bristles (pony hair and goat bristle don't work too well) sable is to expensive and hard to clean
13) Only put your brush (or sponge) in the water to obtain water to mix to moisten the paint. There isn't a need to dab your brush at the bottom or side of the water container
14) If your sponge gets too wet swap out sponges don't squeeze it out in your water container
15) Carry extra sponges and brushes
16) After cleaning allow your brushes and sponges dry fully before packing them away
17) Don't store wet brushes or sponges in a poly bag. It encourages germs to grow.

A quality brush when cared for even with high use should last for many years.

When working a high volume event I would normally carry two fine round brushes (for green and black), 5 fine flat brushes (for ranges of reds/pinks, blues/lilacs, yellow/oranges, black, white, browns) and 5 large flat brushes (ranges again like on the fine flat). A flat brush is very versatile because you can use it on the fat side for broad strokes and twist sideways to make a long fine line. Personally I also like to carry a couple of large round sable brushes as they work well to make tear drop designs.

When cleaning out your brushes and sponges use only hot water. When using Ruby Red, they will rinse easily. Keep in mind it is ok to use soap if you wish but if you accidentally leave a little paint in the sponge or brush and get it in the child's eyes it will not harm them. However if you leave a little soap in the sponge or brush and that gets in the child's eye it could sting. If you use soap we suggest you clean the brushes or sponges using baby shampoo. The preservative system in Ruby Red paints prevents bacterial growth. Please see for much more information on this subject.

Remember, keep your work area neat. The mom will be impressed and have a much less concern over cleanliness and contamination issues.

Gary Cole @ Ruby Red Paints

Ruby Red Paints provides a great line of professional quality brushes. All are designed specifically for use with face painting. The bristles are the best quality synthetic bristle. They pick up the product well, have the perfect amount of stiffness for application, they are durable and wash easily. You will wonder how you ever face painted without them. Call your local Ruby Red supplier or order them on-line by clicking on "ORDER" below.

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