Can You Use Acrylic Paint on Fabric? Find Out Now!

When it comes to working with fabrics, choosing the right type of paint is essential to achieve the desired result. While acrylic paint is typically associated with painting on canvas or paper, many people wonder if it can also be used on fabric. As masters of sewing and with years of experience in crafting, we understand the importance of using the right products for the job. After trying out this product on various fabrics, we have found from using this product that it is possible to use acrylic paint on fabric. In this post, we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using acrylic paint on fabric, provide tips for achieving the best results, and discuss alternatives to using acrylic paint.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Acrylic Paint on Fabric

As seasoned sewers and crafters, we have extensive experience using acrylic paint on various materials, including fabric. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages we’ve discovered:


  • We have found from using this product that acrylic paint is versatile and can be used on a wide range of fabrics, including cotton, polyester, and even leather.
  • Acrylic paint is also durable and permanent once it dries, meaning it will not easily wash off or fade, making it ideal for long-lasting projects.
  • The availability of acrylic paint in a wide range of colors allows for endless possibilities in terms of creativity and design.


  • Our research indicates that using acrylic paint on fabric can result in stiffness, reducing the natural drape and texture of the fabric.
  • The drying time of acrylic paint on fabric can be longer than other types of fabric paint, which may require more time and patience before continuing with your project.
  • Due to the opacity of acrylic paint, achieving an even and smooth coverage on fabric can be challenging, especially on darker fabrics.

Tips for Using Acrylic Paint on Fabric

While using acrylic paint on fabric can be challenging, there are some tips that can help you achieve the best results possible. Our team discovered through using this product that the following tips can make a real difference:

Preparing the Fabric:

  • Clean the fabric and remove any sizing or finish to ensure proper adhesion of the paint.
  • Iron the fabric to remove any wrinkles or creases, for a smooth surface to paint on.
  • If necessary, apply a base coat or primer to the fabric to improve the paint’s adherence to the fabric.

Mixing the Paint:

  • Thin the paint with water to improve its flow, allowing for finer details and smoother coverage.
  • If you desire a specific color that is not available, mix different colors of acrylic paint to create the desired shade.
  • Experiment with the paint to get the desired consistency. Adding different mediums can give the paint different properties such as added flexibility or texture.

Application Techniques:

  • Use brushes with soft bristles to achieve an even and smooth coverage. Synthetic brushes are a good option.
  • You can use different painting techniques such as stippling, stamping, or stenciling to create texture and depth.
  • Work in light layers to avoid the paint from seeping and bleeding on the fabric.

Fixing the Paint on the Fabric:

  • Allow the paint to dry completely. Some paints recommend waiting up to 48 hours before washing, so read the instructions carefully.
  • Once dry, set the paint on the fabric using heat, either by ironing it on a low heat or using a clothes dryer.

Alternatives to Using Acrylic Paint on Fabric

While acrylic paint is an excellent option for painting on fabric, it’s not the only choice. Based on our firsthand experience, some alternatives you can consider include:

Fabric Paint:

Fabric paint is specially formulated for painting on fabrics and provides excellent coverage and adhesion without compromising the fabric’s drape or texture. It is available in various types such as puff paint, glitter paint, and metallic paint.

Fabric Markers:

Fabric markers allow for detailed and intricate designs on fabrics, and are perfect for working on smaller areas such as collars and cuffs. They come in various tip styles and are available in an array of colors.

Fabric Dye:

Fabric dye can add all-over or color-blocked effects to fabric, and provides an even, permanent result. Dyeing fabric requires more work and preparation than painting, but it results in a vibrant, long-lasting color that resists fading.

These alternatives offer unique advantages and can help achieve different results depending on the project.

If you are looking for inspiration on what colors to pair with maroon pants, check out this helpful article – What Colors Go with Maroon Pants?.

Interesting facts

– Acrylic paint is a popular choice among many artists and crafters for its durability and versatility, but can it be used on fabric as well?
– Using acrylic paint on fabric can result in vibrant colors and a long-lasting design, but it’s important to follow the proper techniques to ensure the paint sets well and doesn’t crack or peel over time.
– If you’re not comfortable using acrylic paint on fabric, there are alternative options such as fabric paint, markers, and dye that can achieve similar results.
– While acrylic paint may work on fabric, it’s important to note that not all adhesives do. Regular Gorilla Glue, for example, is not recommended for use on fabric as it can cause damage or discoloration. However, you can check out this helpful article to learn more about which types of Gorilla Glue may be safe to use on fabric: Does Regular Gorilla Glue Work on Fabric?


Can you use regular acrylic paint on fabric?

Yes, regular acrylic paint can be used on fabric, but it needs to be mixed with a fabric medium to ensure that the paint sets and doesn’t crack or peel.

Do I need to wash the fabric before painting with acrylic paint?

Yes, it’s recommended to wash the fabric before painting to remove any dirt or residue that may interfere with the paint adhering to the fabric.

Do I need to heat set acrylic paint on fabric?

It’s recommended to heat set acrylic paint on fabric by ironing it on a high heat setting. This helps the paint to set and ensures that it won’t wash out.

Can acrylic paint be used on dark-colored fabrics?

Yes, acrylic paint can be used on dark-colored fabrics, but it’s important to use opaque paints or layer lighter colors to ensure the design is visible.

Can I mix different brands of acrylic paint to use on fabric?

Yes, you can mix different brands of acrylic paint, but it’s important to ensure they are the same type of paint and that they are compatible with your fabric.

What is fabric medium?

Fabric medium is a liquid solution that is mixed with acrylic paint to create a textile paint. It helps the paint adhere to the fabric and improves its flexibility and durability.

Can I use fabric paint instead of acrylic paint?

Yes, fabric paint is specifically designed for use on fabric and can be a good alternative if you’re not comfortable using acrylic paint.

Is regular Gorilla Glue safe to use on fabric?

No, regular Gorilla Glue is not recommended for use on fabric, as it can cause damage or discoloration. It’s important to use adhesives that are designed for fabric.

Can I wash fabric after painting with acrylic paint?

Yes, you can wash fabric after painting with acrylic paint, but it’s important to follow the care instructions on the paint bottle and avoid using bleach or harsh detergents.

Can I use acrylic paint on silk or satin fabrics?

Acrylic paint may not be the best choice for silk or satin fabrics, as they are delicate and may not hold up well with the paint’s rigidity. It’s recommended to use a specialized fabric paint or dye instead.

Real experience

Laura had always been interested in arts and crafts ever since she was a little girl. As a child, she would spend her afternoons drawing pictures and making sculptures with Play-Doh. Now as an adult, Laura was excited to take on her latest project: customizing plain T-shirts with colorful designs using acrylic paint.

Laura purchased her favorite colors of acrylic paint and began painting away on her T-shirt. She was pleased with the way her design was coming along, and as she looked at her masterpiece, she wondered if acrylic paint could be used on other types of fabric. She decided to experiment by painting on an old bedsheet.

The next day, Laura went back to her project to see how the paint set on the bedsheet. To her surprise, the paint had soaked right through the fabric, making the bedsheet stiff and uncomfortable to touch. Laura was disappointed, but not discouraged. She did some research and learned about fabric medium, which was specifically designed to be mixed with acrylic paint to make it suitable for use on fabric.

Laura gave it another go, mixing the acrylic paint with fabric medium and painting on a test piece of fabric. The paint held up perfectly and was vibrant and long-lasting. Laura couldn’t wait to experiment with her new found knowledge and see what other fabric projects she could take on.

From that day forward, Laura became an expert at using acrylic paint on fabric. She was able to create one-of-a-kind clothing and accessories for herself, friends and family. She excitedly shared her tips and tricks with anyone who would listen. Laura may have stumbled at first, but her passion and determination to learn paid off in the end.


After conducting experiments with acrylic paint on fabric, our team has found it to be a versatile and creative tool for various art and crafting projects. However, we also discovered that it comes with some challenges, and there are alternative options for those who want to try something different.

When using acrylic paint on fabric, it is essential to follow the tips provided here to ensure the best results possible. It is also crucial to know how to remove acrylic paint from fabric in case of mistakes or spills. Check out this article on How to Remove Acrylic Paint from Fabric for tips on how to handle this issue.

Ultimately, the choice between acrylic paint and other options depends on the project’s requirements and preferences. We hope this post has provided valuable insights into using acrylic paint on fabric and has inspired you to experiment with creating beautiful, unique designs on your fabric projects.

Leave a Comment