How to Have a Paint-Fight Party

Happy kids with painted faces are sitting around a table together.
Image Credit: olesiabilkei/iStock/Getty Images

Paint fighting has its origins in a Hindu spring festival known as Holi, the "festival of colors." Each year at the height of the festival, Hindus playfully bombard their friends with colored powder and water. In the U.S., people rent venues or organize private parties in which friends gather to throw paint at one another. Some expectant parents even use paint fights as the medium through which they announce to the world the sex of their babies.

Clothing and Ammunition

Prior to the party, tell all participants to wear clothes they don't mind staining. In addition to old clothes, guests may be given ponchos made out of trash bags. Have goggles or sunglasses on hand for participants to use to protect their eyes. Take several paint buckets, each filled with a different color of tempura paint, and mix them with water to dilute the concentration. At their simplest, "weapons" may take the form of cups filled with this paint-and-water solution that participants splash on one another. Other possible weapons include paint-soaked sponges, paint-filled water balloons and plastic squirt guns.

Paint-Fight Party at Home

Organizing a home party presents the host with several choices such as whether the party happens inside the venue or outside and whether guests use liquid paint or powdered paint. Canned paint such as tempura paint may be purchased at a hardware store. However, the buyer should take care to ensure each can is nontoxic. Powdered paint may be purchased from vendors that sell supplies for the Holi festival. Outside paint fights generally are preferable so valuable items aren't tarnished or destroyed. Establish clear rules from the outset, letting participants know where they're allowed to go and restricting them from deliberately splashing others in the face.

Paint-Fight Photography Sessions

Arrange for a family paint fight to be recorded by a professional photographer. Encourage everyone to dress in lightly colored attire with jeans and flip-flops or sandals. Bring them to an open field with jars of paint at the ready. For additional fun, wait until just before the paint fight begins to explain to your kids what's going on. You may want to reveal the photography session by dousing them in paint and allowing the photographer to film their startled reactions. Come prepared with towels to sit on during the ride home.

Revealing a Baby's Sex

In recent years, some parents have chosen to discover the gender of their babies through paint fights and document that discovery in pictures. The mother- or father-to-be purchases two cans of paint at a hardware store: one blue and one pink. The parents hand the paint over to a third person, along with an unseen, sealed note from their doctor revealing the sex of the baby. Wearing clothes they don't mind staining, they go outside and close their eyes, where the third person douses them with pink or blue, depending on the baby's sex. When the future parents open their eyes, their friend or an additional photographer captures their reactions for social media.

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