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Unread 04-13-2011, 03:08 PM   #1
tifaia
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Post All Inclusive Fabric Painting Thread

We have the wonderful Fabric Dyeing thread, but seeing the increase in the number of questions about fabric paint, why not give it a thread as well. Apologies if there already is a thread. Search pulled up nothing, and if there is one, itís buried pretty well. lol

Feel free to post questions, suggestions, tips, tricks, whatever you wish. Iím going to provide some general info as well as links to tutorials and products on this subject.



How To Guides:

Generic Ė How to Stencil Fabric: http://www.wikihow.com/Stencil-Fabric
Michaelís FAQ about Fabric Paint: http://www.michaels.com/FAQ%27s-abou...efault,pg.html
Stampington Company Fabric Paint Basics: http://www.stampington.com/html/begi..._fabpaint.html
TE Online Fabric Painting: http://www.teonline.com/knowledge-ce...-painting.html


Fabric Paint:

Dylon: http://www.dylon.co.uk/products/craft/fabric-paints/
Folk Art Fabric Paint: http://www.plaidonline.com/folkart-f...11/product.htm (selection expanding at Joannís)
Jacquard Textile: http://www.jacquardproducts.com/prod...textilecolors/
Simply Spray: http://www.simplyspray.com/
Tulip: http://www.ilovetocreate.com/tulip.aspx (Scribbles and Puffy also created by the same company)


How To Remove Fabric Paint:

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/in...7160255AAuWUmU
http://www.mahalo.com/answers/is-it-...-from-clothing
http://www.thriftyfun.com/tf955587.tip.html




Common questions.

Answering these based on personal experience. Iíve been working with paints and dyes on fabric for well over 15 years, so I hope someone will find this information of use. These arenít hard-fast rules, so feel free to add in your thoughts and comments and Iíll be happy to update. ^^

As a strong suggestion, always test on scraps before you go full scale. Your choice of paint, the color of the fabric, the brush that youíre using will all have an effect on the final product. Itís always good to test before moving forward to fix any problems early on. Fabric paint can be a hassle to remove after it has dried. Testing is your friend.


Acrylic Paint vs. Fabric Paint:

Acrylic paint is a fast drying paint containing pigment suspended in acrylic polymer emulsion. Basically the paint is composed of particles of a plastic resin that are suspended in water and pigment. As the water evaporates the resin particles fuse together to form a bond of strong, durable paint. While wet, the paint is water soluble. When dry, it can be permanent. The paint can be quite stiff in colder weather, softer in warmer.

Because of its ingredients, acrylic paint can make fabric quite stiff as it fuses on and between the fibers to create a stable bond. Acrylic paint can be diluted with water to make the paint not as stiff, however it doesnít provide the same flow and movement as one would expect from fabric.

Fabric paint is one that is specifically designed for use with textiles. You can use it just like normal paint to create patterns. Fabric paint wonít stiffen fabric and allow for a more ďnaturalĒ feel as if the paint was blended into the fabric during manufacturing. The elasticity of the paint allows for the fabric to still move like fabric after drying. The downside is that treated fabrics tend to resist paint more then natural fibers. Though fabric paint has expanded recently to include more synthetic fibers, they can be expensive in comparison to acrylic.


What fabric is best for fabric paint?

As a general rule, natural fibers will take to paint better, i.e. cotton, linen, and silk. However, products such as Jacquard and Dylon have created formulas that will adhere to polyester, spandex, suede, leather, and the like. Blended polyester fabrics will handle paint better then 100% polyester. If youíre ever unsure, always test on a scrap piece of fabric to see what happens.


What paint is best?

It depends upon the fabric youíre using, but there are multiple options available. Iím a fan of Jacquard because it has a wide variety of colors and will adhere to most fabrics. Itís also easy to blend multiple colors and not get an odd blend because Jacquard colors are richer.

Dylon paints are troublesome to get in general craft stores in comparison to their dying products. Most places only carry the dyes. But like Jacquard they will adhere to a larger variety of fabrics. Dylon also has a series of paints that are specifically made to show up on darker fabrics so that you donít need to paint with a layer of white first. However with polyester blends, I find with Dylon you need to use an extra coat or two before you can achieve the color shade intended.

Tulip and Folkart are great for cotton, linen, and other natural fibers for general coverage for pastel colors. Folkart tends to chip on non-natural fibers. Tulip seem to have a hint of glitter in all of their paints, even in their matte paints. It may have been my bad luck, but Iíve brought a couple of Tulip paints ranging in colors and styles and all had a bit of glitter in them. So if youíre looking for glitter, itís a good way to go. iLoveToCreate (Tulip) also have Scribbles that allow you to freehand with a paint pen format. Great for lines and embellishes that you wish to stand out.


Should you wash/iron before painting?

Yes. This is to help remove sizing. You wouldnít want to have all of your hard work shrink in the wash. Or in the case of pre-made clothing (shirts, pants, etc.) a washing or two will remove any additional chemicals on the fabric. Donít use fabric softener while washing. The point is to remove chemicals, not add more.

Ironing should be a staple of sewing. Always, always, always iron before doing any form of painting or sewing. This is to ensure you have clean lines and not pattern mishaps due to an unforeseen crease in the fabric.

What can I use to keep the paint from bleeding through?

A shirt board, wax paper, paper grocery bags, cardboard; even parchment paper will work. Anything of those surface types that you have around the home will keep the paint from becoming a mess on the rest of your fabric or whatever surface youíre painting on.



Can you use painters tape or masking tape to help make lines?

Absolutely. There are a few painting methods that will work. Personally I like to use stippling, with a very small amount of paint along and on top of the painters tape. This causes the least amount of potential bleeding onto the fabric that has been taped off. But if youíve taped it off properly, then it shouldnít be an issue in the first place.



Can you use lighter paints on darker fabric?

You can, however because the fabric is darker, itíll absorb more of the light and the color you wish to achieve will take several coats. Itís best to do start with a white base coat before using the preferred color. Note that it still may take a few coats to obtain the intended color.


Do you need to heat-set after painting?

It depends upon the instructions of the paint you use. Tulip paints typically donít need to be heat-set, but do take longer to dry. Jacquard does recommend heat-setting on synthetic fabrics. Always read the instructions on the bottle.
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Unread 04-13-2011, 03:08 PM   #2
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Additional Common Questions

What about fabric paint spray?

The most common that can be found at major craft stores is Simply Spray. Typically used for stencils and t-shirt designs, itís an alternative for an all-over color on a fabric. This technique can be useful for bodysuits that are meant to replicate skin, or for larger designs on a kimono without the use of appliquť. Itís also a great alternative if you need to make stripes or dots on fabric without having to individually paint each line/dot. Iíve used this on both natural and natural/synthetic fiber blends and itís a good option if you need all-over coverage in a short time. The sprays recommend using natural fibers and I havenít had a chance to test this on 100% polyester or dominate synthetic fabrics (more then 60/40). The spray will act like fabric paint, in that it wonít stiffen or crinkle the fabric. Itís smooth to the touch after drying.


Are there alternatives to fabric paint?


Krylon Spray Paints have an alternative if you prefer their products. http://www.krylon.com/expert-advice/...bric-painting/

Acrylic paint can be turned into a fabric paint medium using GAC 900. Itís an acrylic polymer that you can blend with acrylic paints to obtain a more fabric paint blend that requires heat setting. This gives you more color options, but can cost more money. If you are looking to use Acrylic for screen painting or spray painting, Silk-Screen Fabric Gel with some water is an option that you can mix with the acrylic paint to get the right consistency without stiffening the fabric. Another option is to use one part acrylic and one part PVA glue. I havenít personally tried this, but Iíve heard itís a good alternative if youíre low on funds.


How can you remove paint if I made a mistake?

If you have just painted the fabric, a cold, damp paper towel can quickly clean up the mess before setting in. If the paint has dried, there are a few options. Acetone based products, such as nail polish remover, can help break up the particles.

Hand sanitizer, rubbing alcohol, and a butter knife are another option. Mix the hand sanitizer and alcohol in 1/1 equal parts and massage the area of paint you wish to remove. Then use the butter knife to scrape off any excess paint and wash the fabric. If there is any additional paint left over, hairspray can be an effective removal method. Wash the fabric in cold water, apply hairspray, and using scotch tape or packing tape, apply the tape to the fabric and pull off any excess paint.

If you have used something like Scribbles where the paint is raised off the fabric, you can use the freezer method. Toss the fabric into the freezer for a few hours and when you pull it out, you can peel off the paint (same as the hot glue removal method).

If itís an oil-based paint that was used, a traditional solvent thinner will work.



How do you paint stretchy fabrics?

You need to paint while the fabric is stretched. This is to ensure even coverage and no clumping/breaking of the paint when you do stretch out the fabric for the first time after painting.

Most people will suggest that you wear the clothing you wish to have painted and use an assistant to paint the design on you. Itís the best method if you have a few hours to spare to ensure your pattern is on the right spots of the clothing. Which also means you canít really move around nor do anything until the paint has set. Itís also a guarantee that youíll get paint on your skin so if you move before it dries, you might cause nasty streaks on the garment.

My alternate method is to use rolled up paper grocery bags inside the garment that fit to my measurements. Wear the piece you wish to paint and stencil out the design using tailorís chalk. Take off the clothing and fit the paper grocery bags into the clothing so that it looks like your body, but in paper bag form. This allows the fabric to stretch while you paint without having to get it all over your body. The paper bags are stiff enough to maintain their shape while flexible enough to mimic the approximate curves of the human body. And! no bleeding of the paint through the fabric. Itíll just hit the paper bags. Less mess. Less fuss. This method does take longer then the assistant painting listed above.


Can you use fabric dye with fabric paint?

Yes and no. Iíve had mixed results with this process in the past. Using white fabric paint, I took a few grains of RIT dye into hot water and added in the paint to create the desired color. On the upside, it looked pretty. On the downside, thereís still dye in there so it required running the fabric under water after drying, which removed some of the color in the paint. So like dyeing, you want to make the color 2-3 shades darker then intended, because some of it will be removed during washing.

You can also make a dye from scratch to act like fabric paint. Using a mixture of Procion MX dyes (primary colors and black only) with print paste, soak white cotton fabric in soda ash and allow it to settle for at least 24 hours. The soda ash is to help the dyes fix to the fabric. After which, you can paint on the fabric as if you were painting on a canvas. If you are doing multiple layers of dye, the dye needs to settle for at least 24 hours before adding another layer. Much more expensive, but youíll get a more customer/quality feel for your work.
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Dear society: want us to stop dressing up skanky? Stop putting only the skanky chicks on G4 and start giving your comic women pants.
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Unread 04-13-2011, 05:18 PM   #3
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Unread 04-13-2011, 08:29 PM   #4
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A small addition: several brands make a Textile Medium that can be added to acrylic paints to essentially turn them into fabric paint - I'm not sure if it's GAC 9000 in every forumulation or something else that just gets labeled "textile medium," but it exists and can be used. I've never personally used it because Jacquard so far has met every single one of my needs, but I can see how if someone wanted to quickly paint something a very specific color, and that color only comes in acrylic paint/they don't have the knowledge or time to mix colors, they could use textile medium with their paint.

I will always extoll the wonders of Jacquard's brand, their black is real black, their NeoOpaque white can be painted easily onto black t-shirts, and their paints can be watered down and blended like watercolors for neat effects. It really is a shame that Joann's is phasing them out, I don't want to have to start ordering online.
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Unread 04-13-2011, 09:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CapsuleCorp View Post
A small addition: several brands make a Textile Medium that can be added to acrylic paints to essentially turn them into fabric paint - I'm not sure if it's GAC 9000 in every forumulation or something else that just gets labeled "textile medium," but it exists and can be used. I've never personally used it because Jacquard so far has met every single one of my needs, but I can see how if someone wanted to quickly paint something a very specific color, and that color only comes in acrylic paint/they don't have the knowledge or time to mix colors, they could use textile medium with their paint.

I will always extoll the wonders of Jacquard's brand, their black is real black, their NeoOpaque white can be painted easily onto black t-shirts, and their paints can be watered down and blended like watercolors for neat effects. It really is a shame that Joann's is phasing them out, I don't want to have to start ordering online.
Thanks for the addition. The only one that I have any luck finding locally has been the GAC, but if people are willing to do the search online, I'm sure they'll have no problem finding other textile mediums that can be added to acrylics.

And glad that others are on the Jacquard bandwagon. I've been stocking up knowing that Joann's is going to be letting them go.
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Unread 04-14-2011, 02:07 AM   #6
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I have a problem.
-I used fabric spray paint on my pants, and it feels kind of rough.
Is it suppose to feel like this?
-Can I spray another layer of paint over the first layer?
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Unread 04-14-2011, 11:02 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by SaiTheKid View Post
I have a problem.
-I used fabric spray paint on my pants, and it feels kind of rough.
Is it suppose to feel like this?
-Can I spray another layer of paint over the first layer?
What paint did you use and what material are the pants? Are they textured (like jeans) or solid fabric? How far away did you spray the paint from the material?
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Dear society: want us to stop dressing up skanky? Stop putting only the skanky chicks on G4 and start giving your comic women pants.
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Unread 04-14-2011, 12:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CapsuleCorp View Post
It really is a shame that Joann's is phasing them out, I don't want to have to start ordering online.
I'm not happy to hear that. Guess I should think about stocking up on some myself then. I don't do a lot of fabric painting but I chose Jacquard's over most anything else when I do and it's been totally worth the price.

As for textile medium it works pretty well though it doesn't work so well with the glossy paints. A lot of the fabric painting on my Earth Queen costume was done with acrylics plus textile medium because I couldn't find the exact colors I wanted in any fabric paint and mixing paints wasn't really working out at the time.
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Unread 04-14-2011, 01:27 PM   #9
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What paint did you use and what material are the pants? Are they textured (like jeans) or solid fabric? How far away did you spray the paint from the material?
My friend has the paint right now.
The pants is like 70% cotton (or 60%) and 30% (or 40 %) polyester.
Sorry I forgot. Its a karate gi pants.
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Unread 04-15-2011, 10:23 AM   #10
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@SaiTheKid: Sounds like it could be a few things. The paint may have gone bad (even if it's brand new, it can happen), the pants weren't washed before painting, paint didn't fully dry and/or requires additional coats.

Because of the fabric content, I have a silly suggestion. Repaint the pants at least 1-2 more coats. After it's fully dried, use a vacuum with brush attachment (preferably a hand-held, small vacuum if available) and go over the pants to smooth them out. The vacuum will remove flakes and help the pants feel smoother. It can also fade the color a bit, which is why I suggest additional layers of paint. Test this out on a small area first to ensure that it works before doing the entire piece.

Removing it and trying again is another option, but that can be tricky depending upon what paint was used. Simply Spray can be removed with an immense amount of washing and fabric softener, but it's very time consuming.
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Unread 04-15-2011, 11:58 AM   #11
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So, I need to paint pleather, and I was wondering what the best brand was for that, that wouldn't break/crack once dry? I've been doing my own research, but the fact of the matter is I just don't have enough experience with fabric paints to make an informed decision. Any suggestions?
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Unread 04-16-2011, 10:27 AM   #12
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@RaeSeddon: Jacquard all the way. If you want a more embossed look, Scribbles or Puffy can work, but make sure you keep the paint thin and not clump during use. I've found that too much Puffy Paint on pleather can chip, but as long as it's a low amount, it stays on just fine.
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Dear society: want us to stop dressing up skanky? Stop putting only the skanky chicks on G4 and start giving your comic women pants.
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Unread 04-18-2011, 03:41 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tifaia View Post
@RaeSeddon: Jacquard all the way. If you want a more embossed look, Scribbles or Puffy can work, but make sure you keep the paint thin and not clump during use. I've found that too much Puffy Paint on pleather can chip, but as long as it's a low amount, it stays on just fine.
Thanks so much! That looked to be the best bet while I was doing my research, but having never used it I wasn't sure. What would you recommend as far as brush type?
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Unread 04-18-2011, 09:01 PM   #14
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FWIW, I've used fabric spray paint on a fairly fine polyester gauze material with no problems. The gauze was a gradation of brown to blue to yellow, and had a number of small star-like silver dots on it, and I wanted the gradation to be black to blue to yellow to red.

I laid out the material outside on a layer of newspaper, and, to prevent overspray, covered the brown/blue areas with additional newspaper. I spray painted red fabric spray paint along the bottom yellow edge, working upwards in even passes until I had achieved a gradation of the spray paint red to the native yellow of the material, with a nice blend of orange in between. Once it dried, I used the same technique to cover all of the brown with black fabric spray paint and blended it evenly into the blue.

It came out perfectly: a gradation that looks just like a sunset, and the paint did not adhere to the small silver speckles. Although the paint does cause a minor amount of stiffness in the material, it is still as translucent and gauzy as the original. It doesn't flake off or stain other fabrics. I used the gauze to make a set of fairy wings, and they came out great. One of these days, I'll have photos of it...
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Unread 04-18-2011, 10:14 PM   #15
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I'll keep that in mind as well. I already ordered some Jacquard in the color I need, but if that doesn't work, I'll keep the spray paint on the side. My concern is that the pleather is kinda thick, so I doubt the paint will really absorb into the fabric as sit on top.
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