Detroit Mom Brings Art Classes to You with The Paint Bus

Michigan’s first paint party bus brings a fully stocked art studio right to your door.

Nothing turns around a boring old birthday party like a giant, decked out paint party bus pulling up to the event. 

Paint’d Party Services is an art event company launched by Detroit resident LaShay Heard in 2017 with a fun twist: Michigan’s first painting party bus. More than 20 kids can pile into the 36-foot bus and find an individual easel with a stool, painting supplies and a canvas. 

“People love it,” Heard says. “We’re family friendly, warm, welcoming, and fun no matter the age, the gender or the race.” 

Photo credit: The Paint Bus

The converted school bus features strobing LED strips and pumping music on the surround sound. Parents can choose which canvas design to paint; popular choices are Spiderman, dinosaurs, sports themes and unicorns. There’s an option for add ons like a slime station or t-shirt painting, too. 

“It can all be catered to the theme,” she says.

The bus can come straight to a house or Heard can help coordinate a location in a public space like a park. Kids with disabilities, aside from those with certain mobility challenges, can also be accommodated. 

Participants arrive to find a full party inside the bus. Heard says it’s a common misconception that the bus moves while painting, but it stays firmly planted while guests are onboard.  

Michigan’s first paint party bus was launched in 2020 after Heard decided to expand her art business to do more painting events. 

“We were looking at getting a studio and it wasn’t working out because of COVID, so we decided to start looking for mobile options,” she said. 

Heard typically instructs the canvas painting herself with about six steps per image, but if a group wants to go freestyle, that’s okay too, she says.

“I’m an artist – I paint, I can draw, I hand draw all the pictures,” she says. “I’ve been drawing my whole life.”

Heard’s two sons, ages 6 and 7, love the new addition to the family business – especially her oldest son with an artistic streak. Her younger son had a blast at his recent birthday party on the bus.

“It was awesome,” she says. “We did a Black Panther theme with a taco bar and music.” 

“I just had my 26th birthday on the bus,” she adds. “We live the same life too; I’m using it for my kids as well.” 

The bus isn’t only for kids. Adult groups of 15-25 are also welcome to book the Paint Bus. It comes equipped with chilled wine storage and a 4-bottle shot dispenser for adults who plan on drinking..

“Adult parties are lit,” she says. “Adults usually paint adult themed canvases like X-rated options, couples things, girls night theme with a bag and some heels–they can choose anything unless it’s totally outrageous!” 

Paint Bus parties for ages 12 and under are $275 for 12 participants and include 2 hours of painting time and the option to add on party favor bags for $3 per child. Ages 14 and up is priced at $400 for 3 hours for 20 participants; the fee for an additional painter is $35.

The bus can also be booked for group events outside of parties. Visit The Paint Bus website to book.


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Amanda Rahn
Amanda Rahn
Amanda Rahn is a freelance journalist, copy editor and proud Detroiter. She is a graduate of Wayne State University’s journalism school and of the Columbia Publishing Course at Oxford University. Amanda is a lover of translated contemporary fiction, wines from Jura and her dog, Lottie.

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