Choosing the Right Face Paint Sponges

Best Face Painting Sponges
Olga Murasev — 06 September 2019 —

Sponges are the tools you will need to cover large areas of skin with paint quickly.

There are a multitude of sponges with various textures and densities to use in your work. You’ll need a few basics, to begin with. But first, let’s clarify what types of face painting sponges exist?

  • Medium-density large pore sponges cover large areas and hold a lot of paint.
  • Softer small pore sponges are excellent for applying split cakes for masks, tigers and more.
  • Petal sponges are made from the same material as the small pore sponge, but their unique shape enables quicker sponging for shapes like butterflies and fairy wings.

Getting confused already? No worries!

In this article, you will find out what sponges for face painting you REALLY NEED for great results with your face art!

NOTE: This article is built in partnership with — one of the biggest and reliable face painting stores in the USA. All our suggestions are linked to Worldwide shipping is available.

Why You Need a Specialized Face Paint Sponge

Now you may ask if a craft sponge will work? And the answer is NO.

Craft sponges can be too soft and leave your fingers dirty of paint while you paint and make your entire work very messy, leaving you frustrated with the result.

Or their shape and size may be not adjusted to the facial features. Moreover, the material it’s made of maybe not safe for the skin!

Therefore, invest in high-quality specialized face painting sponges!

Don’t worry, they are quite cheap and will last you for years!

Tip: The sponged background of the butterfly in this picture was made with a special petal sponge, that we’ll speak about below.

For safe face painting make sure to use one sponge per one child.

For this reason, you will need plenty of them, even at the very beginning of your career.


Tip: Click here to download this super useful “Top 10 products a face painter needs” handout! It’s FREE!

Top 5 Best Face Painting Sponges

The porous yellow sponges are the ones that will hold a lot of paint when you load them and will help cover large areas of skin quickly. We recommend this one:

1. Jest Paint – Hydra Face Painting Sponge

yellow fluffy sponge

Tip: Just cut the sponge into two and use tips of the half-circles to load the sponge with paint and apply it on the skin.
Tip: Porous sponges allow to create textures, apply highlights and shadows like in these two designs that are part of the training at the International Face Painting School.

Another great type of sponge is the black, non-staining series of sponges by Kryvaline. We recommend you to purchase both the small and the big size.

The big size works best on adults and the small one is perfect for small kids’ faces. Use it with large split-cakes to apply colorful backgrounds.

2. Kryvaline – Large “Never Stain”* SOFT Black Face Painting Sponge – 1 Half

an image of a black face painting sponge

3. Kryvaline – Small “Never Stain”* SOFT Black Face Painting Sponge – 1 Half

Tip: Invest in a minimum of 6 pieces of each type!
a young girl with a colorful tiger face paint design
Tip: Use the black sponges to create a colorful background like in this Tiger design by our School instructor Elodie Ternois. By the way, here is the tutorial for this tiger design.

There is also one more great type of sponges that will make paint application on the face extremely easier! This is the petal sponge!

Its specific shape allows to apply paint clean and easy on the eyelids and get easy access to the inner corners of the eyes.

We recommend this set:

4. Splash Face Painting Sponge by Jest Paint – Tear Drop (6 pieces)

Splash Face Painting Sponges by Jest Paint – Wing (6 pieces)
Kryvaline – High Density SOFT Black Sponge – Small Petal

four images representing the process of drawing a gradient blue and green bear. first two images show the drawing of the shape and the next two are about the contures and details.
Tip: Petals sponges can be used to create various designs, like this one by International Face Painting School instructor Kristin Olsson.

Last but not least, there are finger daubers — small sponges that will help you with perfect and easy stenciling!

Their smaller size allows you to do more detailed work and get more thick paint on the sponge with less water so that nothing leaks under the stencils and ruins the design.

5. Finger Dauber Face Painting Sponge – 6 units

Tip: These are fragile, do not soak in water, clean carefully with gentle soap and do not clean with alcohol, or the sponge might separate from the plastic dauber.
boy looking ah the camera from a side. he has a cartoon burning skull with stars painted on his face
Tip: Finger daubers work great when it’s about stenciling tiny details like in this design by the School instructor Kristin Olsson.

Now, when you know exactly what you need to start face painting with sponges, you may want to learn how to use the sponges correctly!

Check out our Ultimate Face Painting Beginner’s Guide and learn how to achieve amazing results in no time! 😍

 — Olga Murasev

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