Can I Spray Paint Fabric? Is There a Way To Seal It?

A woman examining two cans of spray paint while inside a store.

Spray paint was invented in 1949 as a means of covering radiators with aluminum paint.

Ever since its invention, spray paint has been coveted for its quick, easy, and permanent application to a wide range of materials, from automobiles to furniture to city walls around the globe.

Can you spray paint fabric? Fabric can be spray painted, but spray paint designed specifically for fabric should be used as regular spray paint tends to crack, peel, or become stiff when used on fabric. For best results, clean the fabric thoroughly before beginning, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

If you’re interested in learning how to change the color of a piece of fabric without having to undergo the laborious processes of dyeing or applying paint via brush, then keep reading!

In this article you will learn how to spray paint fabric as well as the best types of spray paint for specific jobs.

How To Spray Paint Fabric

While you definitely can use the kind of regular acrylic spray paint preferred by graffiti artists and auto detailers alike, you may not like the results you get.

Regular spray paint can dry stiff and tend to crack or peel when applied to fabric. 

While this might be fine for fabric that will be used only once or temporarily (such as for a Halloween costume), if you’re planning on washing or reusing the fabric, choosing a spray paint designed especially for use on fabric may be a better option.

In order to create the best results, you will need a few things to get started. Your supplies should include:

  • Fabric of choice. 
  • Fabric spray paint.
  • A thin piece of cardboard to separate fabric layers as needed.
  • A disposable tablecloth or newspapers to protect your painting area.
  • A well-ventilated space to work in.
  • Gloves and an apron or old paint clothes.
  • An iron for heat setting.

Before applying the spray paint to the fabric, you will want to thoroughly wash and dry the fabric to be painted.

If you are painting fabric that has multiple layers, such as a T-shirt, you will want to separate the layers of fabric with the piece of cardboard.

Aerosol paint can be irritating to the lungs, so be sure to open windows and doors and use a fan if painting indoors.

You will also want to protect your skin and clothing from the spray paint by wearing an apron or old paint clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty as well as a pair of disposable gloves. 

Why Use Fabric Spray Paint

When it comes to changing the color of fabric, fabric spray paint is a much better option than regular spray paint.

Fabric painted with fabric spray paint can easily be washed without worrying about damage to your appliances, and it will dry much softer than regular spray paint.

Where regular spray paint tends to dry to a crunchy texture, the dried texture of most fabric spray paint will blend into that of the fabric that you are spraying.

Best Fabric Spray Paint

The best fabric spray paints are easy to use and will leave your finished product looking vibrant and feeling soft to the touch.

Tulip Multicolor Color Shot

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Tulip Fabric Spray Paint, Multicolor
  • Aerosol fabric spray available in 2.5-oz. spray cans – includes 6 colors in a rainbow palette
  • Perfect for creating tie-dye effects, allover color or using with stencils

Tulip Multicolor Fabric Spray Paint comes in a pack of six colors and is a great choice for painting clothing. These fabric spray paints work well for stencil work and are easy to blend directly on the fabric.

Best Used For: Creating tye-dye effects. 

Tulip Essentials ColorShot

Tulip ColorShot Instant Fabric Color 3oz....
  • Spray paint for fabric. Aerosol Fabric Spray available in a 3-oz. spray can. Works great on natural...
  • Dries quickly and soft to the touch. Colors can be blended on fabric

Tulip ColorShot Instant Fabric Color comes in a variety pack of three colors: you can choose a combination of either White, Black, and Shimmer Silver, or Neon Pink, Purple, and Neon Blue.

These are quick-dry paints that can be used on both natural and synthetic fabrics, and are easily machine washable.

Best Used For: Light-colored clothing.

Tulip Interior Upholstery Color Shot

Tulip ColorShot Instant Fabric Color Interior...
  • Works on natural (absorbent) and synthetic (non-absorbent) fabrics
  • Applies evenly with no drips or splatters

Tulip ColorShot Instant Fabric Color Interior Upholstery Spray comes with an ergonomic spray pump that allows for continuous application without hand fatigue.

It comes in an assortment of darker and neutral colors that work great for interior upholstery.

Best Used For: Furniture that will remain indoors.

Dupli-Color Vinyl & Fabric

Dupli-Color High Performance Vinyl and Fabric Spray is an excellent choice for transforming automobile interiors as it can be applied to dashboards, door panels, seats, and carpets with gratifying results.

It comes in 13 different colors and is formulated for maximum adhesion so that there is no primer necessary.

Best Used For: Automobile interiors.

Rust-Oleum Outdoor Fabric

Rust-Oleum 358831 Specialty Outdoor Fabric Paint,...
  • Use to refresh and recolor outdoor fabrics including furniture cushions, pillows and more; not...
  • Specialized polyurethane formula protects from fading, weather and UV damage while remaining light...

Rust-Oleum Specialty Outdoor Fabric Paint is an easy-to-apply spray paint with a matte finish that is designed for use on outdoor fabrics.

It is fast drying and water resistant, making it a perfect choice for painting outdoor furniture.

Best Used For: Fabrics on outdoor furniture, such as cushions and pillows. 

How To Seal Fabric Spray Paint

While many fabric spray paints are designed for durability and longevity, if you are painting a piece of fabric that will be exposed to harsh elements or high moisture for long periods of time, you may want to seal it.

To seal fabric spray paint, you will need to first let the paint completely dry.

This may take anywhere from several hours to several days, depending on the amount of paint used and the type of fabric it has been applied to. 

Next, you will want to heat set the fabric by applying a hot iron to the underside of the painted area for 3-5 minutes.

If you are heat setting a type of fabric that can’t be flipped over, you can place a thin piece of fabric material between the iron and the painted material to protect the paint from the heat of the iron. 

Alternatively, you can apply a fabric sealer spray after painting. Some fabric sealers are waterproof, making this a good option for protecting fabric items that will be left outdoors.

How Long Does Spray Paint Last on Fabric?

Most spray paint is permanent once it has completely dried. Allow at least three days for the paint to dry before washing the fabric to ensure permanence.

Tips for Spray Painting Fabric

  • To get the best possible results, make sure to apply the spray paint in a continuous and even motion.
  • Spray the paint horizontally, and from the same distance throughout the painting process.
  • Allow the paint to completely dry before applying a second coat or sealing it.

Related Questions:

What Happens If I Use Regular Paint on Fabric?

You can create some cool artwork by using regular paint on fabric, but be warned that it tends to dry to a crusty texture.

A rough texture might be just what you’re looking for when creating artwork, but it can tend to be a bit uncomfortable when it comes to furniture or clothing.

Are Fabric Paints Permanent?

Most fabric paints are designed to be permanent. Be sure to check the label before use if you’re concerned about permanency.

Conclusion 

Using fabric spray paint is a fun and easy way to transform the color of clothing, curtains, furniture, auto interiors, and more.

Choosing the right paint for the job is the key to creating rewarding results! 

Last update on 2021-12-03 at 10:18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Rich

Rich

I'm a hobby enthusiast with a real love for painting miniatures. I also happen to run this site and write the majority of its content!