Can You Use Acrylic Paint On Fabric

If you are wondering whether you can use acrylic paint on fabric then the quick answer is yes. However, using acrylic paint not formulated for fabric painting will make the fabric stiff and uncomfortable to use. You need a textile medium; a special paint thinner that helps acrylic paint adhere to fabric if you choose to use acrylic paint not formulated for fabric. Does this seem complicated? We will break everything down for you in this guide so that in the end you have a thorough understanding when it comes to using acrylic paint on fabric.

Can you use acrylic paint on fabric without a medium?

It is possible to use acrylic paint on fabric without using a medium. But, it is not recommended if you are going to wear fabric such as a T-shirt. Not using medium stiffens the fabric and makes it quite uncomfortable if you are going to wear it. That is not however the case for other fabrics such as the ones you intend to hang.

Is acrylic paint permanent on fabric and can I use it on clothes?

Acrylic paint stays on clothing permanently. However, this can only be the case if you don’t use washable acrylic paint. In addition, you need to be careful to separate acrylic painted clothing from your regular clothes when washing to avoid ruining your clothes.

What’s the difference between fabric paint and acrylic paint? 

Fabric paint has been specially formulated to be used on fabrics. Generally, acrylic paints are way too thick to be used on fabrics without having to use a medium to thin the paint. However, you can turn acrylic paint into fabric paint if you use a medium that will give the acrylic paint the properties it requires to adhere to the fabric.

Are there any other paints you can use on fabric? 

While acrylic paints are popular and some of the best when it comes to painting on fabric, you can still use fabric dyes and alcohol-based paints to get the job done as well.

Is acrylic paint washable?

You can only wash off acrylic paint once it has not dried. It takes between 20 to 30 minutes for acrylic paint to dry. Once it has dried it will be quite difficult to wash it off.

Painting With Acrylic Paint on Fabric

The following tips will be helpful when you are painting fabric with acrylic paint:

  • Wash your fabric thoroughly before you can begin painting
  • Remove any protective coating from your fabric if there are any.
  • Wear gloves and protective clothing to avoid ruining your good clothes.
  • Lay tarp on the floor or old newspapers to prevent accidental spills on the floor.
  • Use a medium to soften your fabric and help the paint adhere to it properly.
  • Mix your paint thoroughly before you use it.

How to seal acrylic paint on fabric

There are many options you can use to seal acrylic paint on fabric. The easiest and most convenient is using a medium. The other is by heat setting the fabric by ironing the painted area for up to 5 minutes. If you use the heat set, have something between the paint and the iron to avoid ruining your iron.

Why use Fabric Medium?

We have seen how important fabric medium is when it comes to painting with acrylic paint. Apart from helping the paint adhere to the fabric, there are many other benefits as well which include;

  • It gives a water-color effect on the fabric.
  • It softens the paint and thus dries faster.
  • It helps the paint blend into the fabric more easily.
  • It gives you more color options when painting on fabric.

Do You Need to Heat Set Acrylic Paint on Fabric?

Heat setting kind of seals the paint to your fabric. It is therefore important to heat your fabric after painting if you want the painting to last longer or even permanently on the fabric. To heat-set your fabric, follow the following steps:

Step 1: Wait for the fabric to dry

It will take about 24 hours for your fabric to dry and another 4 days before the fabric is ready for washing. You, therefore, need to plan your project accordingly and exercise patience if you want everything to go ready. You can only heat set the fabric after it has dried completely.

Step 2: Set the fabric

After plugging in your iron and setting it at the appropriate temperature depending on the material of the fabric, you are now ready to start heat setting. Flip your fabric or have another piece of cloth over the painted area so that the iron is not in direct contact with the paint.

Then begin running the iron over the painted area. Be careful not to burn through the fabric. Do this for about 5 minutes lifting the iron from the surface from time to time. You will be able to tell when to stop once the paint has fully dried.

How to Use Acrylic Paint on T-Shirts

You can use acrylic paint to create exciting designs on your t-shirt. It is pretty easy and fun if you follow our instructions. Moreover, if plain t-shirts are boring to you or you want to pass a message without having to say it loud, you can use acrylic painted t-shirts to pass the message or show your style. Here is how to do so:

Materials you need

  • Acrylic paint
  • Acrylic paint markers
  • Fabric medium
  • Painting brushes
  • Plain t-shirt
  1. Prepare your paint

Mix one part of acrylic paint to two parts of the textile medium until they are well blended. It will make your paint flexible and easier to adhere to the t-shirt.  

  • Sketch your design

Using a crayon, sketch the design you want to print on your t-shirt. Make it simple so that it is easier to paint over especially if you are doing it for the first time.

  • Paint

Paint over the sketched designs with your desired color using a paintbrush. Once you have covered all the areas you wanted to paint, let your t-shirt air dry.

  • Heat set

Most mediums and paints come with instruction labels on how to heat set. It is important to check them before using your iron to heat set. If it doesn’t, follow the instructions we provided above on using an iron to heat set and you will be set to go.

There you have it1 Your T-shirt will be ready for washing in about 4 days before you can wear it. It is important to wash your desired before wearing to avoid any skin irritations.

We hope that this article has simplified the art of using acrylic paint on fabric. We are now confident that you can work on various projects that involve acrylic paint and fabric with excellent results. You can keep checking our site for more tips and suggestions on using acrylic paint on fabric.

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