Acrylic paints and varnishes belong on the list of every hobby artist and hobbyist. Acrylic paints have been offered as artist paints for almost 100 years and have replaced mainly oil paints. As a rule, these colors are used on surfaces such as cardboard, paper, wood, concrete, styrofoam, and many more. It seems that acrylic paint is almost limitless in terms of art.
Here’s what I discovered:
Can You Use Acrylic Paint on Fabric?
Acrylic paints work well on fabrics as they are water-soluble. You need to use an acrylic fabric medium to make it stay on the fabric permanently. Once the acrylic paints have dried, a protective oil film protects both the material and the paint from liquids such as water and external and mechanical influences.
Usually, there are textile colors for fabrics, but acrylic colors are also good due to their excellent properties.
This article will tell you all the basics, essential things, and steps to know and carry out when painting on fabric with acrylic paint. Here’s the main outline:
- Does acrylic work well on fabric?
- Benefits of acrylics on fabric
- How to make acrylic paint stay on the fabric permanently?
- Precautions for painting on fabric with acrylic
- How to paint on fabric with acrylic?
- How to use acrylic fabric medium?
- The best acrylics and mediums on fabric
- How to wash acrylic paint on fabric?
What Do Acrylic Paints Contain?
If you want to start painting textiles and fabrics, you should first look at the composition and properties of the acrylic paint used. Acrylic paint mainly consists of:
- Color pigments: These are important for color strength and opacity. These pigments are responsible for the uniformity of the color on the painted surface.
- Solvent in the form of water: The binder is dissolved with the solvent. This makes the colors smooth and even. Binders are important for the even connection of the pigments with one another and also for the connection of the substrate used with the color itself.
Advantages of Acrylic Paints on Fabrics
- Dry faster: Acrylic paints dry faster than other paints.
- Distributed evenly: Acrylic paints are more homogeneous and evenly distributed on a wide variety of surfaces.
- Good gloss: Due to their gloss and brilliance, acrylic paints have the advantage that they appear less quickly washed out and can form a high contrast to the background.
- Quick dilution with water: Acrylic paint doesn’t need to be applied thickly. Just a little acrylic paint is used. The paint can be diluted quickly. No chemicals are required to dilute; just water is needed.
- Non-toxic: There are far fewer harmful chemical additives in acrylic paints than in oil paints. With most acrylic paints, there are also no dangerous oil-based vapors.
What Type of Acrylic Paint Is Suitable for Painting on Fabric?
Finding the right acrylic paint for permanent painting on fabric surfaces is a problem for most people. Artists generally recommend Liquitex Professional Soft Body Acrylic for painting on fabrics.
Professional Soft Fabric Acrylic ensures a more durable bond between the paint and fabric fibers than regular acrylic paints. And no heat setting or chemical fixation is required.
Painting on Fabric With Acrylic Paint
Acrylic paint should only be applied very thinly on textiles to not affect the fabric’s suppleness too much. Dilute the acrylic paint so that it is just a kind of glaze. This means that the color must penetrate the fabric particularly well and must absorb the color optimally. If necessary, you can apply another layer at a later point in time.
Preparing Acrylic Paint to Use on Fabric
Fabric mediums are thick liquid products whose content is added to acrylic paints to turn the paint into fabric paint. Fabric paints don’t alter the paint color in any way.
Before starting, you need to dilute the paint with a fabric medium. So, the first step is adding some fabric medium for acrylic paint.
You can buy a fabric medium or make a DIY fabric medium yourself using household ingredients like vinegar and glycerin. This can make the formula of your acrylic paint smoother even after it dries.
Some of the best and most used textile mediums for acrylic paint products are the GAC 900 fabric medium and the Liquitex Fabric Medium.
How to Paint on Fabric With Acrylic Paint?
Step-by-step instructions to applying acrylic paint on clothes:
- Find a suitable fabric surface.
- The subsurface should be as level as possible. You can fix the fabric with clothespins so that it is very stretched and therefore ideal for painting. A heavy object can also simply be placed on the ends of the fabric.
- Apply a little acrylic paint so that it can be distributed as evenly as possible.
- In the beginning, the paint can appear quite milky and the brilliance and gloss may be missing. However, this changes after the paints dry and they appear much more saturated. If this saturation is not enough for you, you should apply another layer of paint. The same applies here: less is more. Too much color takes away the suppleness of the fabric
- Acrylic paint dries very quickly.
- Give the paint time to dry if the work of art is finished.
- If your painting is going to take a long time, the acrylic paints must be thinned very strongly and repeatedly. This will extend the drying time and you will have more time for the artwork.
Seal Acrylic Paint on Fabric
Can You Use Acrylic Sealer on Fabric?
You can use a fabric medium or fabric sealer to seal the paint on your fabric. This is the only way to make acrylic paint on fabric permanent. This ensures it doesn’t peel off, crumble, fade, or get washed off.
How to Seal Acrylic Paint on Fabric?
Instructions on how to make acrylic paint stay on the fabric:
- Ensure the paint is dry. Don’t seal acrylic paint even if it’s just a little bit wet.
- Gently dust the surface of the dry paint.
- Find the right water/varnish ratio by reading the label
- Mix the varnish with water in a mug or pot. You can also apply it straight from the bottle without mixing.
- Take a brush, stir the varnish in the pot, and apply slowly with a brush. As the medium dries, it should form a permanent bond on the paint which will last many washes.
How Long Does Acrylic Paint Take to Dry on Fabric?
Applying acrylic paint to fabric takes about 24 hours to dry. If the coating is thick it may take 2-4 days to fully cure, it is not advisable to paint on the fabric with a thick coating.
Placing the finished acrylic painting in an airy, dry environment can speed up the drying of the acrylic paint. You can also heat the fabric with air to shorten the drying time.
Finishing heat settings on the fabric can extend its lifespan.
Precautions for Painting on Fabrics with Acrylics
- Put on old clothes before painting: As stated in the syllabus, acrylic paints can be used on textiles, pay special attention to your clothes, and be sure to put on old clothes that are no longer used before painting fabrics with acrylic paint.
- Wash acrylic brushes immediately after painting: You should also remove the acrylic paint from your brushes immediately as if otherwise, it dries up. It is tough to remove from the brush.
- Choose a high-quality fabric acrylic paint: Only use high-quality colors, as low-quality colors can hurt the result (brilliance, suppleness, gloss … and much more).
Acrylic Paint vs Fabric Paint
- Most fabric paints are acrylic-based paints for better adhesion to clothing fibers.
- Fabric paints mostly have more chemicals added for faster drying. It’s like adding a fabric medium to acrylic.
- Fabric paint is cheaper than acrylic paint.
- Artist-grade acrylic paints are often formulated with mineral pigments, which are more lightfast and more vibrant than regular fabric paints.
- Acrylic paints are slightly stretchy when dry, while fabric paints have no such problem.
So, you can use acrylic paint on clothes instead of fabric paint.
The Best Acrylic Paint for Fabric
The best acrylic paint for fabric offered online is the Crafts 4 All 24-set Acrylic Paint Set. This is the best seller in art painting kits online and is suitable for beginners and professional artists.
The best acrylic paints for fabrics have a wide range of colors with high-quality pigments. These have a high luminosity, sufficient coverage, and are lightfast. Variants with accessories such as brushes, palettes, and spatulas are excellent.
With a set with many colors, artists have a large selection to implement different motifs. The products have different consistencies, meaning they can be applied in a paste-like or transparent manner.
Users from the tube use thick colors. These are very opaque. Artists create transparent glazes with thinner variants. As an option, some products can be diluted with water or other mediums. If necessary, users mix colors on the palette to create further nuances.
The Best Fabric Mediums
Two of the best and most used textile mediums for acrylic paint products are the GAC 900 fabric medium and the Liquitex fabric medium. The GAC 900 fabric medium is the best product sold by Golden Artists Colors. It’s the best option for those who are looking to seal paints on fabrics with heat-setting. The Liquitex Fabric Medium doesn’t require fabric setting, however.
How Do You Remove Acrylic Paint from Fabric?
Are you thinking of removing acrylic paint from the fabric? It happens to every hobbyist and professional. Follow the steps below.
- First, remove the excess color that has not yet soaked into your textile. This prevents further color from penetrating the fabric. Use a paper towel or a damp cloth for this.
- Scrape out the already dried paint with a fine brush.
- Use some dish soap and water and work on the stain.
- Use pure alcohol and dab it on the stain. After a while, the color will loosen from the fabric and can be washed out.
- Use your washing machine after treating the stain with alcohol (the stain should still be damp from the alcohol).
FAQs of Acrylic Paint on Fabric
Did I Cover All You Wanted to Know About: Can You Use Acrylic Paint on Fabric?
By now, you should know that you can apply acrylic paints on fabrics. Remember always to pull the fabric taut and paint on a flat surface. Use brushes with bristles made of nylon, polyester, or natural material. Use little paint right from the start and try to paint again.
Layout damp cloth to mend any mistakes before drying. Also, wash the brush immediately after work and do not let the paint dry on the brush. If possible, do not use any textiles with synthetic fibers, as the paint should not adhere as well there as it does on natural fibers.
Finally, to get the best results, you need fabric mediums and a sealant. However, the best painting tools must be used. Fortunately, the best materials in art and craft are not usually the most expensive. For acrylic paint, we recommend the Crafts 4 All 24-set Acrylic Paint Set. Meanwhile, the most sold for fabric medium and sealant are the Liquitex Fabric Medium and the GAC 900 fabric medium.