Can Fabric Paint Be Used on Canvas?

There are times when you see lovely canvas paintings that inspire you to start painting right away. You look through your paint supplies and discover that fabric paint is the only option. For an art canvas, fabric paint is not frequently the material of choice.

It can be utilized for that aim, nonetheless. When used appropriately, fabric paint, like other non-traditional mediums, offers a distinctive presence in color and vitality.

Everything about applying fabric paint to canvas has been covered in detail in this article. Go through it before you begin your fabric painting project.

What Is Fabric Paint?

The two components of fabric paint are binding agents and fabric dye. It sticks effectively to fabric and is frequently used to dye or paint on clothing. It is suitable for bed linens, scarves, purses, boots, etc. The fabric doesn’t lose its softness and folds well without becoming rigid. The fabric paint does not also come off when you wash your items to get rid of water spots on the fabric.

Fabric paint only adheres to natural fabrics. To dry, it also needs heat, else, it would come off.

Can Fabric Paint Be Used on Canvas?

Canvas can indeed be painted with fabric paint. The explanation for that is that fabric paint is an altered version of acrylic paint. A new recipe for acrylic paint helps it adhere to the fabric while not making it stiffer.

The acrylic paint adheres effectively to the fibers of the canvas thanks to this chemical combination. Once dried, that bond has good flexibility and resistance to cracking, allowing the clothes to be worn as desired. You don’t need to master any specific skills or techniques to produce your artwork, because fabric paints are available in many colors and apply fairly effortlessly. No matter what type of canvas you are using, remember that acrylic or fabric paint should dry quickly.

Therefore, you should be cautious about how long you expose your brushes to the air and temperatures outside. You might need to buy a new brush if the paint dries on your old one.

How Can I Choose Between Fabric Paint And Acrylic Paint?

Oil and water-based acrylic paints are the two most commonly used types of canvas painting. The modified acrylic paint, known as fabric paint, was modified for use with natural textiles. Its formulation prevents the fabric from becoming rigid as it dries.

Color pigments are added to fabric paints, which are subsequently emulsified. The paints may be reused again without drying out because of their special recipe. Because of its robust, flexible qualities, fabric paint can be successfully applied to more challenging surfaces and even around corners.

Compared to paints that dry to an inflexible finish, fabric paint is less sensitive to temperature changes, wear and strain, and cracking. They won’t fade or crack even after prolonged exposure to direct sunlight.

If you have acrylic paint on hand and prefer a more conventional appearance, combine two parts of fabric paint with one part of acrylic paint. The two paints mix together easily, since they are closely related. To create texture and depth of shading, the mixture will be denser than fabric paint, but thinner than acrylic.

The Difference Between Fabric Paint and Acrylic Paint

Those who have experimented with both paints will notice the real difference between them. Let’s look at the differences between these two paints.

1. Versatility

Only natural fabrics can be painted on with fabric paint. Acrylic paint, on the other hand, can be used on any type of fabric, making it more adaptable than fabric paint. Fabric paint peels off when applied to a surface with a regular texture.

2. Washing Effect

Because fabric paint absorbs easily in fabric, washing your garments will not remove it. The color of your painted clothing may fade after several years of use. However, the design would not be broken or damaged. With acrylic paint, a single wash removes the design from the fabric.

3. Drying Ability

Acrylic paint dries just as quickly as fabric paint. To quickly dry cloth paint, though, you would require a heat source. Direct sunlight, an iron, or a dryer can all be used as sources of heat.

If not dry, it will wash out of your clothing when you wash it. Since acrylic paint is permanent, it doesn’t require exposure to heat. It rapidly dries out.

4. Adherence

The cloth takes fabric paint beautifully. The fabric paint seeps into the fabric, since it is made of a dye and binding agent.

Acrylic paint, on the other hand, does not adhere well to fabrics, thus it remains on the surface. Acrylic paint leaves a rigid and taut design on materials when applied.

How To Set Up The Canvas While Using Fabric Paint

Given that most canvas is made of cotton, linen, or a combination of these materials, canvas surfaces can definitely support fabric paint. In addition to being environmentally beneficial, many canvases are produced from recycled materials.

Though there are a few synthetic canvas choices available, remember that these won’t work well with fabric paint. Rolls or pre-mounted canvases are available for purchase. If you choose to mount your canvas yourself, remember that the surface must be as taut as possible before painting. You can provide the necessary interfacial tension with mounting kits.

Before applying fabric paint to a canvas surface, priming is essential. Without a good primer, fabric paint will penetrate the surface too deeply and take on a drab, faded appearance. After priming, the canvas stiffens and gains durability. Less sagging or bulging is likely to occur on the frame. Any canvas that isn’t taut before painting will also be exposed by priming.

The canvas surface will be ready for fabric paint with the help of an art primer like Gesso. Online and local paint and art supply businesses both sell canvas primers. Although not the only primer on the market, gesso is well-liked by painters for its excellent results.

Additionally, you can combine heated acrylic and fabric paint to create a canvas sealer. The mixture will become thinner and more easily absorb into the fibers when heated. By using a primed canvas, colors are kept vibrant and authentic to their natural color. Less deterioration over time is possible, since the colors remain on the surface.

Tips To Paint On Canvas Using Fabric Paint

Here are some suggestions to help you get stunning results once you’ve chosen the colors and style you would like to paint.

1. Priming Is Essential

It’s crucial to prime your canvas. The paint will adhere better if the surface is smooth. You might paint the canvas a complementary color. Drying the primer takes some time.

Before painting on it, make sure it is entirely dry. The canvas might already be primed if it has previously been stretched.

2. Take Your Time

The painting result will be more impressive with greater preparation. Before applying any paint to the canvas, make sure the primer dry completely. A wet primer will cause paint to bleed through, leaving dull patches.

3. Set Up Your Canvas Properly

Consider the position once you have finished priming your canvas and have all the materials around. Position your canvas so that you can paint comfortably from it.

Find a convenient location for your paint, brushes, and water after you’ve set up your canvas. To achieve accurate outcomes, you must be familiar with the brushes.

4. Check The Size Of The Canvas

Use a smaller canvas if you need to finish quickly. A smaller size is also simpler to handle, and ought to be simpler to put up and transport if you’re a beginner. However, the size entirely depends on you, the subject of your painting, and the size you desire.

5. Create An Accurate Sketch Of Your Design

Create a sketch that is as accurate as possible, then decide on the colors you’ll need to achieve your objective. Any faults with the sketch must be immediately corrected, because the fabric paint dries quickly.

You are powerless to make modifications after the painting dries. Before you proceed to the final step, gather all your brushes and rags, and have water on hand.

6. Be Swift and Precise

Swiftness should be taken into account once you start painting the canvas. Canvas is a dry medium that readily absorbs moisture even when primed.

Therefore, fabric paint will dry quickly on canvas. Before the paint drying, quickly apply new coats and fix any mistakes. To make the colors merge while they are still damp, add shading as you go.

7. Be Cautious Of Your Painting Brush

Once more, fabric paint dries rapidly, so brushes need to be washed in water as soon as they are through with a project. A paintbrush could be damaged if left in the air for an extended period.

More Tips For You:


Don’t be afraid to use fabric paint if that’s the only paint you have on hand, and you’re desperately in the mood to paint.

The brilliance of fabric paint is distinctive and alluring. The results will be pleasant if you prepare your canvas and paints.