Present your works of art.

Ageless Techniques on How to Use Acrylic Paint on Fabric

How to Use Acrylic Paint on Fabric
Acrylic paint on fabric is one of the upcoming artistries and a craze among children and artists alike. With the use of some techniques, you can come up with some fabulous designs.
Narayani Karthik
Last Updated: Dec 10, 2017
Plastic cup of water
Acrylic paintings isone of the most creative painting mediums that came to life in 1995. Usually, this type of paint contains a fast-drying pigment fused with a polymer emulsion. When used for painting, they can be diluted with water. They became famous with wall decorations and canvas paintings, as they are water resistant once dry.
Material Required:
  • Acrylic paint
  • Foam brushes/Soft bristle paint brushes (Loew Cornell American Painter Brushes, best recommended for painting on fabrics)/Handmade sponges
  • Paint medium (fabric)
  • Artist palette
  • A cup of water
  • A plastic sheet to protect the painting
  • Paper towels
  • Soap
  • Hand gloves
  1. Prepare the fabric:
    Artists prefer fabrics like silk, rayon, polyester, or velvet. But for starters, tightly woven materials like cotton would be preferred. Choose cotton fabric that has a high thread count. Now, wash the fabric in hot water and dry it completely to shrink it a little.
  2. Prepare the color palette:
    Before starting with acrylic painting on fabric, one should commence with the basic paint colors as listed below:
    • Titanium white
    • Cadmium yellow medium hue
    • Cadmium orange
    • Cadmium red medium
    • Alizarin crimson
    • Phthalo green
    • Dioxazine purple
    • Burnt sienna
    • Ivory black
    Now, take different hues of the acrylic paint on your palette. Add a little water to bring a proper consistency to the colors so that they are not very thick on the brush. Blend the colors of your choice to produce exotic shades.
  3. Prepare the workplace:
    As mentioned in the art accessories above, wear disposable hand gloves before you start painting. Cover the work area with a plastic sheet. Now, bring the pre-washed cotton fabric and cut it in the desired shapes. Wet the fabric and spread it on the plastic sheet.
  4. Start off to paint:
    Now, the artist can exercise his/her creative ideas to use acrylic paint on fabric. Given below are a few acrylic painting techniques that could be adopted.
    • You can start by dropping different hues on the fabric randomly. Mix them gently using foam brushes which give shaded designs. Allow the fabric to dry. You may use a hair dryer to dry the fabric fast.
    • You can also apply paint using brushes in the designs that you know. Hold your brushes straight up and down, and pound gently on the fabric to make blended images. Damp sponges can also be used to make paint patches on the fabric which indeed look beautiful.
    • If you want distinct patterns on your fabric, use stencils to imprint the desired shapes on it. But before you use your brushes to paint, do a test painting on some old cloth to check if the brush is properly covered with paint. Floral patterns are very popular in acrylic painting.
    • An interesting way of painting on fabric with acrylic colors is to add a lot of paint on the fabric and cover it with a plastic sheet. Press the sheet hard so that it gets wrinkles. Now, keep the fabric in a similar state until it dries completely. Remove the plastic sheet and you will find lovely wrinkle patterns in your painting.
    • Another nice method is to dip the fabric in a bucket full of water mixed with nominal amount of light acrylic colors. Keep it submerged for 2 to 3 hrs. Remove the fabric and rinse it well. Squeeze it until the diluted paint gets off the fabric. You will find lovely lines made from pale shades of the color. Once dried, you can use your brushes to make designs on this pattern by applying acrylic paint in layers. Damp sponges may also be used for patch work.
  5. Clean the work space:
    As we have covered the work place with plastic sheet, not much effort is spent in the cleaning process. Dry the plastic sheet, as it can be used later. All you need is soap and water. Brushes and sponges should be washed with warm water and some mild detergent. Rinse them until the paint has gotten off them. Sponges should be rinsed well until the water squeezed from it comes clear.
Using acrylic paint on fabric is definitely fun for amateur artists. This is an interesting hobby for children too, and I am sure you will enjoy it too.