Painting fabric is a great way to improve the look of an old t-shirt, a boring-looking wrapper, or a soft fabric that needs variety. Mastering the art of fabric painting enables you to become a fashion designer or interior stylist by pouring your ideas onto fabrics. Start learning to develop a design, pour the design on the cloth, then paint it using the following simple steps.
Method 1 of 4: Preparing Your Fabric
Step 1. Choose a fabric
Washable natural fibrous fabrics as well as fabrics that use natural dyes in a 50:50 cotton/polyester ratio are great for painting.
Step 2. Wash your fabric to prevent shrinkage of the material after applying the paint
Use regular laundry detergent and do not use fabric softener when drying.
Step 3. Place a barrier between the front and back of the fabric
You can use a wide board with tongs, flat cardboard, or parchment paper between the sides to prevent the paint from seeping.
Step 4. Pin a safety pin or pin to the fabric
Place a pin/pin in each corner to prevent the fabric from shifting.
Method 2 of 4: Selecting Materials
Step 1. Choose a fabric paint that can be used straight from the bottle for precise, textured lines
Hold the bottle like you would a pencil and press gently to let the paint come out. Make sure the tip of the bottle is directly against the cloth so that the paint sticks to the surface of the cloth.
Step 2. Alternatively, buy fabric paint that can be applied with a brush
This type of fabric paint leaves you free to mix and create colors before applying them to the fabric.
Step 3. Choose a paint brush according to the effect you want to create
- The flat brush has a pointed tip which is useful for creating clean lines and filling in large areas.
- Long or short tapered brushes are ideal for creating long lines.
- The round brush is made up of spiky bristles, perfect for mixing colors and making short, rough strokes.
Method 3 of 4: Painting Your Fabric
Step 1. Draw your design on paper with a pencil
It's even better if you try different color combinations in this sketch before transferring to the fabric.
Step 2. Using a lightly inked pencil or ballpoint pen, trace your design onto the fabric
For dark fabrics, you can use chalk or a glass pencil to trace the shapes.
- Choose a stencil for if you want to create a pattern or image with precision. Tape the stencil with tape so it doesn't move.
- You can also freely draw on the fabric before painting if you feel confident enough in your aesthetic abilities.
Step 3. Switch to the painting tool you have selected and start painting according to the image/pattern you have traced
Make sure you also paint the outline of the image so it's not visible.
Step 4. To create a watercolor effect, mix fabric paint with water until the consistency resembles that of writing ink
Dip a thin brush in the paint mixture and stroke horizontally.
- Spray a small amount of water onto the surface of the fabric with a spray bottle after painting to allow the paint to soak in while blending the colors.
- If the paint starts to seep too much or too quickly, use a hairdryer and dry the area.
Step 5. To create an airbrush effect on the stencil, use spray paint for the fabric
Spray paint for fabrics dries faster than other types of fabric paint and is easier to use to fill in the subtleties of stencils.
Step 6. To create a texture, use the comb tool
You can add variety and create depth by simply brushing the paint over one section. Be careful not to mix unpleasant colors.
Step 7. Once done, allow the paint to dry for 24 hours and do not wash the fabric for 72 hours after painting
Method 4 of 4: Adding Decorations
Step 1. Make your fabric sparkle with glitter
Just sprinkle the glitter over the painting evenly while it's wet. Then let it dry completely.
Step 2. Add embossed knick-knacks such as beads and buttons
Attach it to the fabric using a small amount of paint that matches the color of the knick-knacks. If the fabric painting doesn't seem strong, try using fabric glue.
Step 3. Cut a sponge shape with scissors and press the soft side of the paint against the fabric
Make sure you press firmly.
- Do not mix paint with water until it is too runny.
- If there is an error, use a mixture of water and alcohol to remove the wrong part.
- Practice on tissue paper before transferring the design to the fabric.
- Bleach can also be used to remove fabric paint before it becomes permanent.
- If your cloth paint bottle is clogged, try removing the cap, soaking it in warm water and punching a hole with a needle.
- If there are errors that cannot be erased, you can overwrite them with decorations.