How To Use Fabric Paint Medium?

Have you ever wanted to paint on fabric but were afraid of ruining your favorite shirt? This blog post is for you! Fabric paint can be a great way to add personal touches and brighten up clothing. In today’s blog post, you will learn how to use fabric medium so that the paint doesn’t bleed and ruin your clothes.

What is fabric paint medium, and why use it?

Fabric paint medium is like a glue for paints! It holds the dye to the fabric so that it doesn’t run. If you use regular fabric paint without using fabric paint medium, your painting will bleed onto other clothing once they are washed. The reason is that fabric paints have soluble dyes in them, and soluble dyes cause bleeding when they are washed.

The fabric paint medium makes the painted areas softer and more flexible. It is also an excellent option for denim because it allows paint to be integrated into a variety of fabrics without making them stiff or brittle as would happen with acrylic paints, allowing artists greater fluidity in their work by exploring different techniques that cannot be done on other surfaces like canvas. Still, though, you should experiment on small swatches before planning projects around any products just to make sure you get desired effect first time round!

How to mix the medium with paint?

Mix the fabric paint medium with the fabric paint before applying it to your project. You can eyeball the amount of medium you need, but it is recommended to use a scale if possible. Using too much or too little may cause problems when painting on fabric! 

Start by deciding how many layers you want to add to your clothing item. Depending on your desired effect, you may want to paint on multiple layers. Use a separate bowl for each color, so that it stays cleaner.

Mix well with the fabric medium and paint.

You may need to add more fabric medium to your project if it is too thin or doesn’t cover the clothing item adequately. Different brands of paints have different viscosity, so you may need to adjust accordingly. Keep in mind that a little bit goes a long way!

How much fabric paint medium do I need?

The amount of medium needed is based on your desired effect and the number of layers you are applying. As a general guideline, it is recommended to use 1 tablespoon (15ml) of fabric paint medium for every cup or bowl (40ml) of fabric paint. You may need more or less depending on your project!

If you want a more polished look, you can add a few drops of rubbing alcohol to each paint color. Rubbing alcohol prevents the fabric paint from sticking to the brush and makes it easier to clean up if any spills happen! It also helps make your project shinier.

What about the flow of fabric paints?

Fabric paints usually have an almost runny consistency, so adding an extra layer of medium will help keep them in place! This is specially true for darker colors, but you may want to adjust if you use light colors. White fabric paint is less prone to bleeding, and it always works as an excellent base for fabric painting projects!

What about after washing my clothes?

Once you wash your garment, you may notice that there will be some differences in the color on the front and back of the clothing item. This could be because the fabric paint medium might have caused a difference in tension between the front and back of your clothing item, so be wary.

If you don’t use enough medium, the back of your item will be more prone to bleeding.

Is there anything that I should avoid when using fabric paint?

Yes! Avoid using fabric paint on rayon or spandex clothing items, as the fabric may shrink and stretch out when painted.


1. I don’t have a fabric paint medium; can I use something else instead?

Fabric paints work best with liquid medium, but you can also try using glossy accents or textile mediums found at any craft store. You may even want to try drying the back of the painting if it is prone to bleed by ironing and drying your garment in the dryer.

2. I don’t want to use fabric paint medium; can I wash my garment normally?

No! It is important to remember that if you are painting on a clothing item washed with other garments, the dye may bleed onto other clothing items during washing. You will notice that the color has changed once it is washed. Wash your garment by hand or separate from other clothing items to prevent this from happening!

3. Is there a way around bleeding and fabric paint?

You may want to use water-based paints instead of solvent-based fabric paints for smaller projects, but you will have similar problems with bleeding in the wash.

4. My fabric paint bleeds; what can I do?

The bleeding will stop once you have washed the garment at least twice by itself in a washing machine on a regular cycle. Hang dry the item to prevent shrinkage due to heat and iron when it is completely dry! If you are using dark colors, it may be a good idea to wash the item more than twice.

5. Can I use fabric paint on 100% polyester? 

Fabric Paint works great with polyester, especially if you are looking for a very polished look after painting! You will notice that this way seems more like traditional screen printing, but the effect is similar once it has been washed.


You now have enough knowledge about fabric paint medium and its uses to confidently start a project and not worry about it coming out wrong. Hope that you will use the information in this article to create something extraordinary! Happy fabric painting, everyone!