Skip to Content

Can You Use Acrylic Paint on Fabric? (Quick Answers)

In terms of arts and crafts, acrylic color is the most readily available and enjoyable to use. This paint can be applied to a variety of surfaces, including fabrics.

Typically, flannel, cotton-poly blends, suede, knitted, leather, cotton, corduroy, woven, most synthetics, terry cloth, velvet, felt, velveteen, silk, etc. are among the fabric kinds that are ideal for fabric painting.

Using acrylic paint on fabric

Acrylic paint can be applied to the fabric. Acrylic, however, won’t adhere to the fabric itself by nature. By combining the paint with fabric medium or textile medium, it can be used on cloth. To make the color permanent, the fabric must be sent for a heat press after drying.

The question of whether we can use acrylic colors in all materials is currently up for debate. Common concepts of variations in acrylic color application on various materials are covered in the discussion that follows.

Cotton fabric:

The weave of cotton clothing is the tightest. On cotton fabric, acrylic paint will produce the best results in terms of color. Additionally, they are easier to utilize against heat. Consequently, if you are considering the fabric, cotton will be your greatest option.

Nylon fabric:

One of the simplest textiles to paint is nylon. It is a petrochemical-based synthetic fabric. Nylon and paint usually dry quickly and bind well. The color will look fantastic as well. The best paints for nylon are fabric-specific paints or acrylic mixed with fabric medium.

Canvas fabric:

There are various options available when it comes to painting on canvas. It’s very typical to use acrylic, gauche, or oil paintings.

But when paired with canvas, acrylic’s flexibility will become apparent. After being put on canvas, the paint dries swiftly. A new layer can be applied in a reasonable amount of time.

Jean fabric:

The most effective fabric to use with acrylic is not jean cloth. Because of the cloth, the paint may be easily torn and feel off once it has dried.

But it is best to give the procedure your whole attention if you are serious about working on a project that uses jean fabric. You might need to use the best fabric medium with the paint and seal each coat of paint.

Satin fabric:

It could be challenging to paint on satin fabric. Since satin is a porous fabric, the paint will soak up and bleed onto it.

On satin, light strokes like dabs might be effective. While it will take a lot of effort and cause frustration, damp material placed over satin will run along the delicate, long threads that make up the fabric, resulting in a poor color outcome.

Polyester fabric:

You can experiment with various painting methods on polyester cloth. Acrylic color and polyester fabric are both made of plastic, which makes them easily adhere to one another. To easily adhere to the fabric, you simply need to combine the paint with a medium.

Polyester resembles silk or cotton knits, and acrylic paint is the most dependable and well-liked option for surfaces made of polyester.

Can you use acrylic paint on fabric furniture?

Acrylic paints work well on fabric furniture and upholstery. To make your design washable, simply combine textile medium or fabric medium.

For upholstery fabric, oil paint has always been the preferred choice of paint. It is advised to use acrylic paint because it dries considerably more quickly and gives you an infinite number of color options.

You can either spray or brush the paint on cloth furniture. The best option is said to be to spray with an airbrush. Bring together a mask, gloves, airbrush equipment, and paint if you wish to use an airbrush.

The result will be superior to using a paintbrush, but you will need patience to understand the procedure in that instance. You can also just use fabric medium, appropriate brushes, and acrylic colors.

There won’t be a need for a mask, gloves, or training. To achieve a final effect, you might need to apply many coats of paint.

What happens if you paint acrylic on fabric?

On fabric, acrylic paints are simple to employ. To make the color permanent, you must first combine the paint with fabric medium or textile media. Fabric will naturally stiffen when acrylic paint has been applied to it.

Your work will be fine if you are not planning to use acrylic colors to design clothing. There is no issue with the color drying out, tearing, or being washed away. Simply apply a sealer to a canvas drawing to make it more durable and dust-free.

You must thin the paint with a medium before designing or customizing t-shirts, hoodies, totes, or a tablecloth. Paint is adhered to fabric by medium. Your design will be preserved via a medium. The design should be heat-pressed to extend its lifespan.

How to use acrylic paint on fabric?

It is very enjoyable to use acrylic colors on fabric. You just need to follow some simple steps,

Choose Your Fabric:

You must first choose your fabric. Various fabrics work well with the hues of acrylic. You can choose from a wide range of materials, including flannel, suede, knitted, leather, cotton, corduroy, woven, most synthetics, and more.

The tight weaves of cotton and silk make them ideal for this application. Think about the fabric’s color and texture as well.

Choose the Work Area:

Now choose where to work. You’ll need a solid position with sufficient airflow and easy movement. The location must be free, dry, and not often moved.

Cover the Work Area:

Your chosen space could be a wooden table or floor. Your work station shouldn’t be a mess. Cover the place with plastic or newspaper. Better use plastic. Wet newspapers stick to fabric.

Cut the Fabric:

Now cut the fabric according to your plan. Cutting your fabric completely depends on what you want to make. If you chose clothes to paint, simply move on to the next step.

Wash and Iron the Fabric:

Fabric washing comes first, and it is crucial. Cotton is one type of cloth that shrinks frequently after washing. When your design is permanent, you don’t want the fabric to shrink. Stretch the fabric after washing it with an iron.

Figure Out the Design:

You have your workplace ready. Now it is time to get hand on your design. Draw a sketch of the design on a paper. You can also search on the internet and print it as you like.

Stencil is an Option:

If you’re a beginner and want to avoid mistakes, use a stencil. Make a stencil. Craft stores also sell them. Stencil is a quick approach to perfect your design.

Mixing Up the Paint:

Before painting, mix in fabric medium. Follow store-bought instructions. Usually it’s 2 parts paint to 1-part medium. Some favor a 1:1 ratio. Acrylic paint can be overly thick; add water if necessary. Vinegar and glycerin can be used as an alternative.

Doing a Patch Test:

Before beginning with the actual piece of cloth, perform a patch test on a side or a different piece of fabric.

Applying the Paint:

Now, draw a clear outline of the pattern on the fabric. Paint-use area should be dampened. and paint the area that has been assigned.

Let the Work Dry:

Drying the paint on the fabric is the final stage. Give it a secure, well-ventilated place to sit. Acrylic paint dries quickly. You can leave the fabric in indirect sunlight for hours after it has dried before fully sealing.

How do you seal acrylic paint on fabric?

After the project is finished, you must heat press the fabric to permanently set the paint. There are different ways to protect the paint, including:

Using your Iron:

Setting the iron and heat to medium is the simplest method. The painted area is then gently pressed onto the fabric by placing another piece of cloth over it. The paint will be able to permanently seal there because to his.

Using the Dryer:

Place the cloth inside the dryer and heat it for 40–50 minutes on the medium-high setting. This method of sealing the paint is the simplest. It is a lot simpler, although it will take longer than ironing. But it’s not a good idea to use a dryer for sensitive clothes.

Use caution when sealing the fabric. We frequently use an oven to dry out our other crafting materials, namely clay. But fabric cannot be sealed with this procedure.

Final Thoughts

Using acrylic paints, beautiful patterns can be painted on fabric. The best textiles for acrylic are cotton and silk. Acrylic paint must be combined with fabric mediums in order to be used. Homemade mediums include vinegar and glycerin. You must heat press the item to seal it when it has dried.