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Can You Use Acrylic Paint on Fabric?

Have you ever wanted to know if you could use Acrylic paint on fabric? I’ve answered this question and more with product details too.

I’m no stranger to painting fabric. Heck I paint nearly everything I can get my hands on from laminate to tile and the list goes on…

In the past I’ve painted a few old cushions with chalk paint and wax, and most recently I updated a few outdoor lumbar pillows with fabric spray paint. If you are looking to dye fabric, I’ve also shared my thoughts with a quick project on a lampshade with Rit Dye. Both projects turned out well!

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Acrylic paint in rainbow colors

So the question is;

Can you use acrylic paint on fabric?

Absolutely. The key is adding fabric medium to the acrylic paint to give it more flexibility and better adhesion properties.

fabric paint

What is Acrylic Paint fabric medium?

Fabric medium is an additive (made of acrylic polymer) that you mix with acrylic paint that allows the paint more flexibility and adhesion. In a nutshell, it allows the paint to adhere better to materials like fabric and it allows it to be more moveable and bendable (like when wearing clothes).

Where do you buy fabric medium for acrylic paint?

You can order acrylic paint fabric medium online at stores like Amazon and Walmart. You can also find it at any craft store.

One of the best things about fabric medium is it allows you essentially make any color acrylic paint into fabric paint!

Acrylic paint is fairly cheap and comes in so many colors so it’s a great (and cheaper) option than trying to buy actual fabric paint.

Fabric Medium for Acrylic Paint

Although not required, It’s best to try to use the same brand fabric medium as acrylic paint you are using when painting on fabric with acrylic paint.

For example, if you plan to use a DecoArt acrylic paint, the best option would be use the DecoArt fabric medium.

Below are a few options of Acrylic paint Fabric Mediums:

As far as fabric medium products go, be sure not to confuse them with pouring mediums. I’ve made this mistake before so I know how easy it is to do!

What’s the difference in all these mediums?

Dick Blick says, “An acrylic medium is a substance that is added to paint to change one or more of its properties. In acrylic mediums, these mixtures can be incorporated into the pigment to lengthen its drying time, make it thicker, or change the texture. Mediums are bought in addition to paints.”

Each type of Acrylic Medium serves a different purpose and alters the paint in a different way. There are a number of acrylic mediums that produce different effects like a matte effect, making it more flexible like on fabric, make it thinner and the list goes on.

acrylic paint on fabric

Pouring Medium vs. Fabric Medium- are they interchangeable?

Fabric medium mixes with acrylic paint to both make it adhere properly directly to fabric and make it less prone to cracking and separating from the fabric. This allows it to better withstands washing.

Pouring medium mixes with acrylic paint to allow the paint to flow more smoothly and freely. Pouring mediums act to dilute and bind the paint better to the surface.

So to answer the question above;

Even though both of these acrylic mediums have similar properties and create similar results, they are altered slightly for whatever purpose they are created for. That being said, I would not use them interchangeably.

Has this answered your question? I sure hope so. If I haven’t, please feel free to drop a comment below and I’ll get back to you!