How To Turn Acrylic Paint Into Fabric Paint Without Medium?

Every artist has faced that moment of inspiration, brush in hand, only to realize their stash of fabric paint has run dry. But, right there, gleaming in another corner, is that vibrant set of acrylic paints. The question lingers: can it make the jump from canvas to cloth?

You might have heard that mediums are the magic ingredient to transform regular acrylics into fabric wonders. But what if you’re fresh out of medium, or simply don’t want to use it?

Fear not, creative soul! We’re about to embark on a journey of ingenious hacks to seamlessly convert acrylic paint for fabric use. Ready to unlock this artistic secret? Let’s dive in!

Turn Acrylic Paint Into Fabric Paint with Glycerine

using glycerine

Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients

IngredientQuantity (ml)
White Vinegar10
Acrylic PaintAs needed

Based on my extensive experience in fabric painting, you’ll need a blend of glycerine, water, white vinegar, and acrylic paint. This combination is key to converting standard acrylic paint into a fabric-friendly version.

Step 2: Understanding the Mixing Process
From my many trials, I’ve learned the importance of water balance. The rule of thumb I follow is to use double the amount of water compared to other ingredients. So, for a standard batch, mix about 20 ml of water with 10 ml each of glycerine and white vinegar.

Step 3: Crafting the Mixture
In a container, combine the vinegar, water, and glycerine. My technique involves a thorough stirring followed by a vigorous shake to ensure a well-blended mix.

Step 4: Preparing the Paint
Pour your acrylic paint into a separate container. Then, gradually add about a teaspoon of your homemade mixture. This step is crucial for achieving the right fabric paint consistency.

Step 5: Achieving the Perfect Consistency
Stir the blend until the acrylic paint reaches a fabric-friendly consistency. From my experience, the ideal fabric paint should not be flaky when dry and should absorb well into various fabrics. Experiment with stencils or a paintbrush for unique designs.

using glycerine

Step 6: Testing on Fabric
Always test your mixture first. Apply it using a brush or stencil onto a fabric piece or T-shirt. This practice helps in assessing the paint’s adherence and appearance on fabric.

Step 7: Drying Time
Patience is key. Let your test piece dry completely to properly assess the result.

Step 8: Evaluating the Results
Once dry, check the fabric. If your paint isn’t flaky and adheres well to the fabric, congratulations! You’ve successfully made quality fabric paint. My experience has shown that the best results come from trial and error.

Step 9: Securing the Paint
A pro tip: iron over your acrylic painting. This helps set the paint onto the fabric, ensuring longevity and durability.

Turn Acrylic Paint into Fabric Paint with Shaving Cream And Glue

using shaving cream and glue

Step 1. For this method of turning acrylic paint into fabric paint without medium, you will require three tablespoons of shaving cream, one tablespoon of white glue, one teaspoon of acrylic paint, a container to mix in, and a spoon or stick to stir or mix.

Step 2. Put your shaving cream, glue, and acrylic paint into a container. You can use different items to scoop these ingredients from their original containers to the new container.

Step 3. Now stir these three together. Stir until they are a consistent thickness. This paste is a fabric paint you can use on fabric.

Step 4. When you have your fabric paint ready, you need to paint something with it on a piece of fabric. When you have finished painting, you need to leave it to dry on the fabric for about 24 hours. You can use your finger to check that the paint is dry.

Step 5. After 24 hours, confirm that your paint on the fabric is dry. With your iron set on steam settings, iron the painting on the fabric. This helps to ensure that the painting you made on the fabric becomes permanent.

Step 6. You can now wash your fabric to check that the painting you made on it is permanent. Wash by hand under running water and you will see that the painting is permanent. Even when you use soap. You have effectively turned acrylic paint into quality fabric paint.

Use Acrylic Paint Directly On Fabric

use acrylic paint directly on fabric

Step 1. You can use acrylic paint on fabric directly without a medium. You will need your fabric and your acrylic paint.

Step 2. Prepare the fabric. You will need to smooth your fabric with sandpaper on the part that you want to paint on. Rub your fabric lightly with the sandpaper to ensure that the acrylic paint has a proper surface to rest on. It also helps to enhance the permanency of the painting you will be making on the fabric.

Step 3. Wet your fabric. You can wet the whole fabric or just the part that you need to paint on. You can use a spray bottle to spray water onto the fabric.

Step 4. Prepare your acrylic paint. There is not much to do to get your acrylic paint ready to paint on fabric. You will add some water to the paint that you need for the project. This helps to enhance the consistency and to make it less flaky when it dries on the fabric. It also ensures that your paint can be applied to a piece of fabric easily.

use acrylic paint directly on fabric

Fabrics such as cotton and silk are the best to use when you painting with acrylic paint without a medium. These fabric materials have a tight weave and as a result, will let the colors of your painting stand out.

Step 5. With your fabric and paint ready, you can now paint your fabric with acrylic paint without a medium. Keep spraying water on your fabric to ensure that the paint spreads evenly on your fabric. When you have finished painting, leave the paint to dry.

If you want to apply multiple layers of paint onto your fabric, you can do this after your paint has dried.

Step 6. When you have finished painting on your fabric, you may heat set your painting. This enhances permanency and reduces the chances of your painting damaging your fabric.

Wait for the paint to dry before you heat set it. You can start the process after 24 hours of drying or use your home iron for this process.

Also, don’t put your fabric in water immediately after this. You can leave it for at least three days before washing it.

With the above steps, you have turned acrylic paint into fabric paint without a medium.

How to Take Care of Clothes Painted with Acrylic Paint?

When you have painted your clothes or pieces of fabric with acrylic paint you need to take proper care of them. If you don’t, you are likely to damage your painting.

First, take care while washing this fabric or garment. When washing it, the best method to use is hand washing. It is gentler than using a washing machine. You can easily take care of the painting while handwashing it.

Do not wash or soak in hot water. Hot water will make your paint run and damage your fabric and painting. If you have to use a washing machine, select a gentle setting and low heat.

It is best to air dry the fabric after washing.

Second, if you need to iron the fabric or garment, make sure to do so from the backside. Also, use low heat to iron it.

Proper care of your fabric ensures that it lasts longer.

Difference between Fabric Paint and Acrylic Paint

Fabric paint and acrylic paint are two types of paints that are used when painting clothes and fabrics. As the name suggests, fabric paint is the best paint to use on fabrics. As in the above steps, you can turn your acrylic paint to fabric paint with or without a medium. An acrylic medium is much easier to use when turning acrylic paint into fabric paint than home ingredients.

The major difference between fabric and acrylic paint is that fabric paint is best used for natural fabrics. On the other hand, acrylic paint can be easily used on both natural and synthetic fibers. For this reason, you will find that acrylic paint is used more on fabrics than fabric paint.

Another major difference that impacts the use of these paints is drying. Acrylic paint is water-soluble. Therefore, it dries smoothly on the fabric especially if you wet the fabric while using it. Fabric paint needs a binding ingredient to ensure that it sticks on fabrics. Since it is made from a dye that doesn’t easily stick to fabrics.

Fabric paints easily seep through the fabric. As a result, fabric paint goes into the fabric as opposed to acrylic paints that lie on the surface of the fabric. Acrylic paintings on fabric will be stiff, hence the need to turn it into a fabric paint with a medium before using it on its own.



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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *