Is Acrylic Paint Good For Fabric?

We all know that acrylic paint is designed to work on canvas and paper. But what if you want to use it on fabric? Is this good for fabric or not? Read more for the answer! 

This blog post will also give you an overview of some popular acrylic paints used for fabric painting, their benefits and drawbacks, as well as which ones we think are the best overall choices. We’ll also provide a quick guide on getting started with these products if you’re just starting out in this craft.

Is Acrylic Paint Good For Fabric

What is acrylic paint?

Acrylic paints are water-based paints that contain acrylic polymer. This is a stable, flexible form of plastic that dries to an opaque matte finish and tends to be more permanent than other kinds of paint. They work by soaking the fabric instead of sitting on top of it, which means they tend to feel stiff when dry.

Acrylic fabric types:

You can find acrylic paints in both liquid and powder forms. Liquid acrylics, usually applied with paintbrushes, tend to be easier to work with than the dry powder form since you don’t have to mix it beforehand.

Liquid acrylic typically comes in a tube or bottle like this:

liquid acrylic pain bottle
Liquid acrylic paint

On the other hand, powdered ones are usually sold in a bag that you mix with water and apply using a paintbrush. They also come in small jars like regular acrylic paints:

powder acrylic paint bottle

How to use acrylic paint on fabric?

Acrylic paints work best when applied in thin layers onto a surface free from dirt or grease. This includes both the area you want to paint and your paintbrush since oily brushes are harder to apply with.

It’s also recommended that you use a clean, damp paintbrush for painting with acrylics since it will make it easier to control the paint and achieve fine details. Using an old or dirty brush can result in streaks as well as bubbles in your finished piece.

If any part of your fabric is wrinkled up when applying the paint, you can stretch it out flat with a rolling pin or something similar. Be careful, though and take your time since acrylic paints don’t really play well with heat.

Using a paintbrush allows you to apply the smallest of details, although if you’d rather work on a much larger scale, there are also ways to use fabric paints by hand. One way is to squirt the paint directly from the bottle onto your fabric and use a foam brush to apply it. 

Another option is to drop dollops of paint directly onto an absorbent surface like paper towels, pressing them into the cloth with your fingers. We recommend doing this only if you really want very bright colors and avoid using a paintbrush.

Acrylic paint use on fabric

Acrylic paints are easiest to use on fabrics with minimal texture such as cotton, linen or silk. It’s possible to do this on woolen fabric too, but it’s important not to add too much water at once since the paint sometimes doesn’t absorb well into it. You might also want to use a medium like Mod Podge on the backside of your fabric before applying the acrylic paint, which will make it more flexible and easier to work with.

Acrylic paints can apply to fabrics that have been previously dyed or painted using other methods. However, they’ll tend to get absorbed into them instead of sitting on top, so be aware that you might have to work on a smaller scale.

Acrylic paints are also good at brightening up darker colors and can help with achieving pastel or neon effects. However, some light fabrics might not stand up too well to repeated washes over time, and you’ll need to experiment with them if you hope to make any dyed clothes you make with them washable.

How to clean acrylic paints off your hands and other surfaces?

If you get acrylic paint on your skin or a surface that is difficult to get off, try dabbing it with a dry paper towel first before using soap and water. Acrylics are water-soluble, so they should come right up after that.

If the paint is still there despite your efforts, don’t panic! Just sweep over the surface with a blow-dryer set on low heat, and it should disappear. It won’t hurt to try this over clothes either but be aware that acrylic paints can sometimes melt fabrics if you keep the heat too close for too long.

You should avoid using a steamer to remove the paint since acrylic might not be able to withstand high heat, which could make the colors run. 

The paints are fairly permanent, so it is not too much trouble washing the fabric afterwards. However, if you’re concerned about it or dyed clothing doesn’t seem to hold up well after you’ve painted on it with acrylics, consider testing your paints on fabric scraps first before diving in.

Also, be aware that the colors of some dyes might not mix very well with acrylic paint, so either use a medium like Mod Podge or avoid painting over-dyed fabric altogether. 

Best Acrylic Paint for Fabric:

There’s a lot of variety when it comes to acrylic paints, so it’s important to know which acrylic paints you’ll want to use on your fabric so that you can choose ones that are suitable for your project. I have listed here a few acrylic paints that will give you good results when used on fabric.

1. Crafts 4 All Acrylic Paint Set – 24 -Pack

Crafts 4 All Acrylic Paint Set - 24 -Pack

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These paints are the perfect gift for beginners or seasoned pros. They come in a convenient kit of different colors, enough to create infinite possibilities without having to constantly stop and head back into town. They have excellent coverage that makes it possible to paint on any surface with precision and ease and give your art piece maximum color clarity. It is made with a nontoxic formula – perfect for safe usage around children and more sensitive surfaces. The professional colors stay vibrant longer than other brands, resisting fading over time, allowing your masterpiece to be viewed by anyone at any distance!

2. Apple Barrel PROMOABI 18pc Matte Finish Acrylic Craft Paint Set

Apple Barrel PROMOABI 18pc Matte Finish Acrylic Craft Paint Set

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These acrylic paints’ precise and clean matte finish will make your finished product look great no matter what you’re painting. Use Acrylic Paint Kit 18pc Matte Finish for decorative fabric crafts, furniture projects, decorations, favors, banners and wall murals so that they’ll last for years to come!

The set includes 18 – 2 oz bottles of vibrant colors, which makes both small to large projects manageable with the perfect amount of paint in each bottle. The wide range of colors is divided by color family (blue-purple; pink-orange; green; yellow-red) on one side by hue (golden pastels; bold blues/greens/browns) on the other it’s easy to find shades just where you want.

3. Acrylic Paint Set of 18 Expert Colors 120 ml

Acrylic Paint Set of 18 Expert Colors 120 ml

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When you want a good investment in quality color, the HisiCo Expert Acrylic Paint Set is the paint set for you! With 18 different colors and 120ml of paint per jar, this is the go-to acrylic mind for any project. Thanks to their deep pigmentation, you can create an endless variety of shades with these highly concentrated paints. Plus, they’re perfect if you like mixing and layering paint colors or just lining pieces together. These water-soluble paints won’t chip or peel off over time, so your work will look its best no matter when you revisit it someday in the future. 

4. Arteza Craft Acrylic Paint, Set of 20 Colors

Arteza Craft Acrylic Paint, Set of 20 Colors

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The Arteza Craft Acrylic Paint Set is a set of 20 colors that are great for any crafting project or industrial surface. These paints will dry quick and have a beautiful matte finish making it easy to layer additional coats and add depth to your work.

They can be used on fabric, ceramic, glass, paper, wood; just about anything you’re working with – perfect for all artists! Not only are these paints nontoxic they conform to ASTM D-4236 standards.

No matter the size of an area your working on they have the right color match for you that will create optimal results time after time without ever sacrificing quality. The quick drying formula lets you enjoy the effects of layered stripes or other craft techniques right away.

5. Mont Marte Signature Fabric Paint

Mont Marte Signature Fabric Paint

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Mont Marte fabric paint is perfect for any DIY fashion or homewares project. Whether you are creating clothes, cushions, canvas shoes or upholstery, Mont Marte fabric paints have got it covered! These 12 different colors will give you a good range to experiment with and mix your own unique variations of color too. You can wash these paints off once they are dry on the surface by soaking them in warm water and detergent. 

Kids need not worry because they can enjoy experimenting with this product without being scolded for messing up their clothes like regular old acrylics would do!

What can I use instead of acrylic paint?

If you’re looking for a paint that will work on the same materials, acrylics can and don’t have to worry about whether it’ll hold up after repeated washing.

Your best choice is probably fabric paint, which is made to be used on fabric and has an acrylic-like consistency. Both types of paints have similar properties, and you can even use them together to mix colors.


1. Is acrylic paint colorfast?

The short answer is yes. Acrylic paints are color fast meaning they will not fade over time. As long as the paint is protected from moisture, it can last for years and years without fading.

2. Do acrylic paints smell bad?

The odor of acrylic paint depends on its chemical composition. There are three main acrylic classes: alkyd resins, polyester resin and vinyl resin based paints, and each chemical composition smells different.
To put it bluntly, yes, they do. Unlike oil, watercolor or gouache paint, acrylic paints have a very strong smell – but it’s not toxic or harmful to your health as it is only the paint itself being dried, not any chemical compound.

3. Is acrylic paint water-soluble?

Artists use a lot of different paints, and the one used most often is acrylic paint. Acrylics are water-soluble paints, and they contain a colorant like any other paint on the market.
This means you can use water to thin the paint and remove it from your brushes and pallet after use. You can then add more water to your acrylic paints and make it runny again. Simply rinse your brushes and pallet in water to clean them when you’re done using the paint.

4. Is acrylic fabric paint washable?

Yes, you can wash acrylic fabric paints out of fabric once it has dried on the surface.

5. Can acrylic paints be used on fabric?

Acrylic paints are not specifically designed for use on fabric. However, you can try to paint on some fabrics with acrylic paints. As long as the fabric is made of natural fibers, acrylic paints will bond well with it. However, the paint will eventually crack and peel off the fabric when using it.


Paints can be used on almost anything, but all aren’t particularly great for fabrics. When deciding between fabric paint and acrylic, keep in mind what you’re trying to do and also the possible risks. If you’re working with transparent colors, fabric paints will probably be a better choice.

If you’re painting an object that will be used and washed or worn regularly, acrylic paints should be fine as long as they’re used in a controlled environment.

So, start making your own custom design fabric T-shirts, wall decor and so on using acrylic fabric paint today!