How To Make Acrylic Paint Stay On Fabric

Do you love to paint on your fabric to turn them into unique clothing and home decor? Then, you have come to the right place. You must be tired of the same basic color options from fabric paints for your projects. The best solution for a wide range of color options is acrylic paints.

Acrylic paints are mixed with the textile medium to offer you the best permanent solution for your fabric. However, using acrylic paint alone to paint your fabric can result in cracks, stiffness, and discomfort in wear. So, if you don’t want any bleed, bleed or run of your fabric paint, then use acrylic paint with a textile medium.

The fabric or textile medium plays a vital role in making your acrylic paint stay on the fabric. In addition, it enables you the comfort of wear, minimal abrasion, softer surface, and prevents cracking. 

In this article, we have discussed all points related to the permanent solution for your acrylic paints on fabric. In addition, you will learn about the equipment needed and the steps involved in your permanent acrylic paint solution. So, get ready to explore every detail for your best fabric painting experience.

How To Make Acrylic Paint Stay On Fabric?

If you want to make your acrylic paint stay on fabric, then use fabric medium firsthand. Moreover, you have to ensure the optimal washing of your fabric for better results. Washing your painted fabric after completing work is one of the best ways to protect it from cracking or damage.

If you want a fresh new look of your fabric for a long time, then wash it on a washing machine with a fabric softener and dry. This technique and steps to apply acrylic paints will help you to paint over any fabric material. You can paint your fabric such as t-shirts, curtains, wall art, pillowcases, duvet covers, etc.

However, any successful fabric paint project will need proper equipment and its utilization. Then, proceed with implementing a step-by-step guide to get a long-lasting effect of your acrylic paint on fabric. So, follow this article for all of these details.

Things You Need To Make Acrylic Paint Stay On Fabric

There are a few pieces of equipment that will act beneficially throughout the process of your acrylic paint on fabric. So, look out for these things on your list before proceeding with the steps to permanent fabric paint.

  1. Fabric Medium
  2. Soap
  3. Measuring Cup
  4. Stirrer
  5. Paint Brushes
  6. Cardboard
  7. Waxed Paper
  8. Iron
  9. Sponges

If you want to make acrylic paint stay on fabric, then follow these steps for efficient and satisfying results.

Step 1: Choosing The Color Of Paints

You have to choose the color of the paint that you would like to implement on the fabric. In addition, you can use cotton blend fabric that is pre-washed and dried out for best results. 

It doesn’t stop here. You have to use the fabric medium with your acrylic paint. So get a 2 oz. bottle of acrylic paint and an 8 oz. bottle of fabric medium. You have to shake the bottles well for better composition.

Step 2: Mixing Fabric Medium

The mixing of acrylic paint and fabric medium should be in the ratio of 2:1. You have to mix them thoroughly with the help of a stirrer. If you notice that the white contrast of the fabric medium vanishes, then stop stirring.

Step 3: Wash Your Stirrer And Cups

If you have used any measuring cups for pouring the fabric medium or acrylic paint, then wash it immediately. Similarly, you have to wash the stirrer after mixing the paint and medium. Then, you can wash them with regular soap and water.

Step 4: Inserting Cardboard With Wax Paper

In this step, you will need your cardboard and wax paper ready. First, you have to cover your cardboard with waxed paper. Then, insert that cardboard with waxed paper covering under the fabric in which you will paint. Now, you can start using the paint on the fabric to create designs and decorate them.

You can use your other equipment like paintbrushes, sponges, stencils, your fingers, or anything else to make an exceptional design on your fabric. However, you must ensure that the paint doesn’t get watery as it may affect the quality of your fabric paint.

Step 5: Air Drying Your Fabric

So, if you’re done with your acrylic paint on fabric, you have to air-dry them. You can use any hanger in your home to put the textile or clothing for drying in your room. In addition, you have to keep the fabric for at least a day to get the best drying results.

Step 6: Heat Setting The Fabric

Now, you have to proceed with one of the crucial steps for the long-lasting effect of your fabric paint. You have to heat set the fabric paint prior to any washing or wearing.

So, turn your fabric inside out and place your iron on the cotton setting. Then, you can use any old t-shirt in your house to place it over the painted area on your fabric. Now, you can use your iron firmly on the fabric. Move your iron for about 20 seconds in that area, and then move to the next area to avoid any scorching. 

Moreover, you must not slide your iron around and ensure to iron the complete painted area of the fabric.

Step 7: Washing The Fabric 

Now, you can use your painted fabric for washing and drip dry. For the long-lasting life of your acrylic paint on fabric, use machine wash with a gentle wash cycle. In addition, you have to keep the tumbler dryer on a low heat setting.

Finally, your acrylic paint will be ready on the fabric with lifelong durability. 

Step 8: Making Your Acrylic Paint Last Longer On Fabric

If you want to make your acrylic paint last longer on the fabric, then follow these few easy steps.

Using Washing Machine: It is best to use your washing machine with gentle press wash and tumble dryer with a low heat setting.

Wash By Hand: Try to wash your fabric by hand and allow it to drip dry.

Use Cold Water To Soak Fabric: It is best to use cold water to soak your fabric.

For Painted Fabric: If you want to wash your painted fabric, then wait for at least four days to ensure it’s scorched.

Using A Dry-cleaning Machine: If you’re going to use a dry cleaning machine instead of air-dry, ensure to spin-dry the fabric at room temperature.

Iron on Low Setting: If you’re ironing your painted fabric, then use it on a low setting and iron from the reverse side.

Don’t Bleach Before: You must not bleach your fabric prior to or after washing.

Iron Both Sides: You can iron both sides of the painted fabric to make it more durable and permanent. 

Ways To Use Acrylic Paint On Fabric Properly

There are a few tips you must follow to use the acrylic paint properly onto the fabric. Some of the methods are: 

Step 1: If you want a flexible yet soft result from your acrylic paint on fabric, you can use Liquitex fabric medium. This medium will adjust the consistency of your acrylic paint and ensure long-lasting effects.

Step 2: You can use some temporary piece of fabric to test the mixture of acrylic and medium. This will help you to know the absorbency of the fabric for later efficient use.

Step 3: Lay down your fabric on a piece of cardboard or any even hard surface to avoid unraveling.

Step 4: If you want to use acrylic paint on fabric, then choose the best fabric for permanent effects. Fabrics like cotton-poly blend, flannel, leather, cotton, silk are good choices for painting fabric.

Step 5: Prior to painting your fabric, you have to wash it to remove any form of starch or co-polymers from it. Of course, you have to dry it out for painting.

What Can You Spray On Acrylic Paint To Make It Waterproof?

If you want to make waterproof acrylic paint, then use a sealer. You have to apply a sealer on your acrylic paint to make it water-resistant. You can use or apply sealer such as varnish.

However, there are spray sealers available in the art stores, commonly used by artists. You can use those spray sealers to enable a protective coating on your acrylic paint. So, you can either use an acrylic sealer spray or a varnish to seal and waterproof your paint.

Can You Use Acrylic Paints On Denim Jeans?

Yes, you can very much use acrylic paints on your denim jeans for a beautiful outlook. But, as you know, acrylic paints dry out to turn into a plastic-like material. Therefore, the acrylic paint on your denim jeans will dry out and become slightly malleable.

Your paint doesn’t like to get pulled apart after drying out on any fabric. For example, if your acrylic paint on the denim jeans dries out, it gets attached to all the fibers and cannot get pulled out so easily.

So, you can use this comprehensive guide to use acrylic paints efficiently and effectively for an enhanced fabric painting experience.



I'm Jessica Flores, a professional fashion designer and an expert seamstress. Crafting has always been a deep-seated passion of mine, one that has flourished and evolved over the years. I've dedicated considerable time to both studying and practicing in the realm of fashion and sewing, amassing a wealth of experience and skills. It brings me great joy to share these insights and experiences with you all, hoping to inspire and foster a similar passion for the art of sewing.

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