We know the importance of good painting techniques, but technique is only as good as the materials we’re using. That’s why learning all we can about the products we use is a must.
One of the most popular types of makeup used in special effects makeup is a product called PAX Paint.
PAX Paint was originally developed by Dick Smith when he needed a solution for makeup that doesn’t last. He needed an opaque paint that had lasting power, so he came up with the idea of mixing a 50/50 concoction of adhesive and acrylic paint.
What is PAX Paint?
The Special FX Wiki explains PAX paint in great detail, but here are the main points you need to know.
PAX Paint Points
- PAX paint is non-toxic, which makes it completely safe to use on skin.
- Once applied it sticks to itself. You have to powder the paint after application.
- Removal isn’t very easy. Getting a remover is probably best, but you can also use soap and water or rubbing alcohol.
- PAX paint is great for masks and prosthetics. It’s flexible, it doesn’t rub off, and it doesn’t destroy latex.
- It is not good for use on silicone.
- Serves as a good base for other makeup to adhere to.
- It can be diluted with water and used with an airbrush.
DIY PAX Paint
You can mix your own PAX paint colors, and this is what most makeup effects artists do. Here’s how:
- In a bowl, add your chosen color of acrylic paint. You can make any color you want. The brand of acrylic paint used in PAX Paint is Liquitex.
- Add an equal amount of pro-adhesive to the acrylic paint.
- If using an airbrush, thin out the paint with water.
- Store any paint you don’t use in an airtight container, and you can reuse it forever.
Ready Made PAX Paint
PAX Paint is often sold in sets of colors with a specific purpose, like flesh tones or characters.
These are the sites that helped me out with this post. Visit them to learn more:
*Dick Smith image courtesy of Innovative MUFX Products.