Before jetting off around the country with our face paint kits we need to make sure we know what is considered safe to take on board. These kits are often quite expensive and time consuming to put together, not to mention difficult to replace at short notice. If a bag gets lost or left behind by the airline, it can ruin any trip.
Considering that, you will feel compelled to pack all your valuable items, paint kit included, in carry-on. The trouble is that the TSA has tough restrictions on what kinds of liquids can be taken on board and in what amounts and you wouldn’t want your paints seized and destroyed because it was improperly packed.
The whole process can be a nightmare. You can follow all the rules and sometimes still get unreasonably hassled because the TSA Officers don’t like the look of you or are just having a bad day. TSA frequently changes and updates its rules too, so always check their website www.tsa.gov before flying to ensure you get the most up to date information.
With regard to taking liquids, gels and aerosols on board, www.tsa.gov states that every passenger is allowed 1 quart-sized clear plastic zip-top bag filled only with 3.4 ounce (maximum volume) bottles. That includes paints, glitter gels, spray adhesives etc. They do not allow flammable liquids of any sort in carry-on or checked baggage for obvious safety reasons.
Keep in mind that anything dry yet liquid based can be questioned, namely any type of cake paints. As explained once by a particularly difficult TSA officer, if they can press their finger into the cake and leave a finger print, it is considered a liquid. With that in mind, you would also need to fit it into your clear quart-sized bag.
Don’t forget that this single clear quart-sized bag is also supposed to cover your basic toiletries. If you’re planning on travelling with no checked luggage and have already filled your clear quart-sized bag with paints, consider buying travel toiletries when you arrive at your destination and then don’t forget to dump the unused portion (if there is any) before you depart again.
Brushes can be packed safely within both carry-on and checked baggage, just ensure that they are within a roll-up bag or case of some sort. If your checked baggage was to be left upside-down in cargo for 10 hours straight and your brushes aren’t secure, the weight and pressure can potentially damage them.
Overall, my best suggestion for when travelling with a paint kit is to ensure that you have the time to deal with any unfortunate mishaps. Try not to arrive in a city mere hours before you need your equipment if you’re planning on packing your kit with checked luggage. If you do decide to take it all on board with you, ensure all liquids, gels and aerosols are in separate 3.4 ounce bottles within a clear quart-sized bag and all brushes are secured. Follow all the rules, and with any luck, you will have a safe and pleasant flight!
For a full list of prohibited items go to http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/prohibited-items