Art Cannon
Notes for Hirers

The Art Cannon system consists of three paint cannons that fire into a self-contained enclosure designed to catch spray and splash back from the artwork under creation.

We take the safety of participants, staff and spectators very seriously and therefore have a number of controls in place which are described in this set of notes.

The enclosure has a footprint of approx. 1.5m x 1m, but the activity needs an area of approx. 4m wide by 5m deep to operate in. The floor under the enclosure and the surrounding area are covered with plastic sheeting to catch excess paint. The area needs to be flat, level and firm. The surface should not be of a type where paint is likely to cause an issue if dripped (e.g. not carpeted).

A table and two crowd barriers (or 3-4 tables) need to be provided by the venue to surround the area. We will provide a suitable table covering.

The activity will allow one visitor in to the area at the time along with relevant staff so that supervision can be easily maintained. Staff will load paper into the enclosure. The visitor (if big enough) will load the cannons with paint themselves using a syringe, aim the cannons and retire behind the control buttons (at a distance of approx. 1m behind).

Firing cannot take place until a staff member has operated a ‘dead man’s switch’, allowing the visitor to then activate the cannons.

Once fired, the visitor signs their painting and it is placed somewhere to dry- an additional area needs to be provided for this to occur.

Cannons are operated on air pressure and normally run at a regulated pressure of below 2 Bar. All components in the air system are rated to 10 Bar and are supplied by a compressor located behind or remote from the enclosure. A distribution manifold with isolating valve is located next to the enclosure to enable local control and shutoff.

The paint used is normally a diluted CE marked children’s poster paint (unless alternatives such as fabric paint are specifically required). Our usual material is: Paint Supplies 

Power is required at the location for the compressor, control equipment and any lighting- a single 13A or 16A socket with a minimum rated supply of 1kW is sufficient for the system. We distribute power from this point.

All mains powered equipment is inspected and PAT tested.

All air equipment is regularly visually inspected.

We aim to get through approx. 25 visitors per hour (for the standard set up).

Whilst the system breaks down to smaller parts, good access is needed for load in and clear out. The system takes approx. 1 hour to set up and 1.5 hours to dismantle and clean once on site. Easy access is needed to water and drain for cleaning.


The normal method of operation involves purely shooting onto plain paper, which is the quickest process. Other options are possible, including painting T-shirts or other clothing, night time or dark sessions using fluorescent paint under UV lighting, or the use of stencils to introduce further variation.

Painting People

This system is not currently set up for firing paint at visitors, but we have alternative equipment to do this should you be interested.

(c) M.Pantrey 2014