The tradition and craft of painting on fabric have been practiced for almost as long as humans could create the first fabrics. In particular, Asia holds a rich history in fabric painting; from the colorful Indian fabrics to stencil and resist techniques in China and Japan; these techniques are now used globally. These techniques have evolved into what we use today from various civilizations, developing them uniquely. Today, Rust-Oleum is a global market leader with high-quality spray paints. But can you use Rustoleum spray paint on fabric?
The answer is yes! You can indeed use Rustoleum spray paint on fabric. Rustoleum provides an outdoor fabric paint line with excellent adherence to fabric and is flexible enough to be used on various types of material. Their spray paint is also UV and weather-resistant, making it an excellent choice for personalizing your outdoor furniture.
Spray painting is a fabric painting technique that offers convenience, efficiency, and speed. Gone are the days when this form was associated only with graffiti and car painting in body shops. Today, you can buy equipment specially crafted, such as the artist’s spray paint gun, which helps create intricate designs that look and feel uniform.
How to Choose the Best Fabric Paint for Your Project
- Paint type
Fabric/textile paints are specially created to create designs on clothing that will resist fading and will stand up well to laundering over time. Fabric paint can be classified according to the paint base and the method of application used.
When classified according to the base used, here are two main types of fabric paint that you can use: alcohol-based paint and acrylic-based paint.
- i) Alcohol-based fabric paint
Alcohol is used as the binder in alcohol-based fabric paints to deliver the pigment to the fabric, and pigment delivered using this fabric paint is usually more of an in than a paint. This paint delivers the best results when used on a non-porous fabric. When used on porous material, it tends to seep through the fabric. This seepage makes its use rare as most fabrics are naturally porous.
Since this type of paint soaks the fabric’s fibers, they cannot produce color as saturated as acrylic paint. You will need to use a large amount of it before achieving a somewhat rich and saturated color and texture. However, on darker fabrics, alcohol-based fabric paints produce unsatisfactory results. These paints work best when used on pale color applications as well as tie and dye. You will also need to seal any fabrics painted with a protective finish before washing.
- ii) Acrylic-based fabric paint
Acrylic-based fabric paints are often the best choice when looking to paint a fabric piece due to their range of convenient properties. Acrylic polymer is the binder that is used in this type of paint. One significant advantage of this paint over alcohol-based paints is the richness in color. Acrylic paints are opaque and the best choice if you want saturated color in your design. Since they are soluble in water when wet, you can add water to achieve your preferred viscosity without affecting the paint’s color saturation. Depending on the amount of water you use to dilute the paint, you can achieve various looks, from watercolor to oil painting.
Acrylic-based fabric paint also offers you greater control in modifying the appearance, texture, and other paint surface properties by controlling the amount of water or using acrylic mediums. This paint bonds well to different types of fabric, making it more durable and fade resistant.
- Fabric paint properties to consider
- i) Opacity
As mentioned above, some paints, such as acrylic-based fabric paints, are opaquer, while others give a more transparent look. You will need to choose your paint depending on the final look you prefer in your design and the type of fabric you are working on. Transparent paints are light and translucent, allowing the underlying color to show through. They do not produce the best results on darker fabrics. On the other hand, opaque colors are thicker and will not be absorbed as quickly by the fabric, making the best choice for dark fabric. Both opaque and transparent paints can be used for lighter fabrics.
- ii) Consistency
The consistency of the paint you are working with can easily be controlled using water and other additives. Apart from changing the paint’s viscosity, additives can have several other significant effects, such as improving the final appearance and modifying surface tension. You will need to add just enough water or additive to achieve the flow properties you desire for the best results.
When buying fabric paints, likely, you will not get all the colors you want in their exact and different hues. A fabric paint that is easily mixable will allow you to paint the precise hue and shade you desire. This feature will allow you to produce work that is more intricate than ever.
- The fabric
Fabrics that have a tight weave are best for painting with fabric paint. Besides holding color better, painting fin details in such fabrics is also easy. A loosely woven fabric allows the paint to seep through the threads before fully drying, reducing the colors’ intensity. 100% cotton is considered the best choice for fabric painting, while natural fiber fabrics such as silk and linen make suitable choices-if a bit more difficult to work with. You can also use canvas for furnishings and upholstery.
How Long Does Spray Paint Take to Dry on Fabric?
The average time it takes spray paint to dry to touch on fabrics is anywhere from one to two hours. This time depends on the climate conditions and the number and thickness of coats you used. To be safe, wait for at least 24 hours so that it can be fully dry before you heat-set the paint.
How to Apply Spray Paint on Fabric
Step 1: Prewash your fabric
Fabrics are pre-washed before being spray painted on to remove any sizing that the manufacturer may have added. These fabric finishes may prevent the paint from adhering to all the fibers, causing it to flake off when you wash the fabric. Do not use fabric softener or any other chemical after you are done washing it. If the garment you plan to paint has already seen some use, ensure it is free from starch and softener.
After the fabric dries, take the time to iron out any wrinkles that may have formed. Wrinkles can distort and cause breaks and flaws in the design you had imagined.
Step 2: Prepare your working area.
Flat surfaces offer an even working area to produce neat and precise results. After identifying your workspace, cover it using plastic to avoid staining the wood or material underneath.
Step 3: Prepare your tools.
- a) The Spray Bottle
Fill your spray bottle with the fabric paint that you plan to use. Spray bottles can easily be made at home if you are a hobbyist looking to do a little painting. However, if you plan to paint fabrics often, you may want to invest in an artist’s spray paint gun. This gun will give you more control over the spray and allow you to work out intricate and detailed designs.
- b) Stencils
stencils are an excellent way of creating unique and repeat patterns with your spray bottle easily. Attach the stencil to the fabric before you begin spraying in color. You can also make stencils of the design you want at home by cutting out the design’s printout.
- c) Solid designs
Solid designs are a great way to create silhouette images on the fabric. All you need to do is place them on the fabric and then spray the background with color.
Step 4: Spraypaint your fabric
With your garment, workplace, and tools ready, you can now begin spray painting your designs. If you work on a garment with at least two layers, such as a T-Shirt, place either cardboard or other protective material between the layers while painting. This extra material will prevent the paint from seeping into the other fabric layers. You can use materials such as newspaper, waxed paper, and even a plastic piece.
Step 5: Aftercare
It is important to read the paint manufacturer’s instructions regarding handling the fabrics after you are done painting for an adequate paint setting. Wait for at least 24 hours after painting before ironing the fabric so that the paint dries completely.
Most paints will need to be thermoset to make it permanent. You will usually need to heat set the front of the design using a pressing cloth to protect the paint and iron the reverse side of the fabric. If you would rather not iron the fabric, you can use a hairdryer to cure the paint.
You can then wash the fabric a few days after heat-setting (when the paint is completely cured-according to the manufacturer’s instructions). Wash the material while it is inside out.
Does Spray Paint Dry Faster in Heat or Cold?
For spray paint to dry properly, the fabric being painted will need to be at least 50F, and at most 90 F. If the temperature is too low, it will be difficult for the paint to bond to the fabrics. This difficulty in bonding might make it look sloppy, and some areas need to be redone. On the other hand, if the fabric temperature is too high, the paint may dry too quickly and tend to crack. The top of the paint may also experience a hazy film.
Despite this, water-based paints will dry up quicker in hotter conditions. The high heat helps to evaporate the moisture in the paint, causing it to dry faster. However, it is important to read the manufacturer’s instructions on the paint you have bought to get insight on the right temperature you can use them at. If you live in areas outside this temperature zone, you can also get paint that works at lower or higher temperatures.
How Can You Make Spray Paint Dry Faster?
Here are four tips to help you speed up the paint drying process without compromising the paint and fabric bond.
- Use thinner coats
This tip’s reasoning is quite straightforward, the thinner the coat of paint, the faster the drying process. The good thing about spray painting is that it paints in thin coats already. Try to avoid repeatedly piling on paint in the same area if you want it to dry faster. Spray a light coat, allowing it to dry before spraying again until you get your preferred result.
- Reduce the humidity levels
Humidity is the saturation of water vapor in the atmosphere. Lower humidity levels mean that the paint on your fabric will evaporate much faster. If you are painting your fabric outside, and the weather is humid, let your fabric dry indoors. If you are spray painting indoors, close the windows where your fabrics are drying. You can also run a dehumidifier to assist you in this. The optimum humidity levels for most paints are around 60%.
- Circulate air using a fan
Circulate the air in the room where the fabrics are drying using a fan. Circulation works to increase the rate of evaporation of water in the paint. Ensure that the room is clean to avoid having debris stuck on the fabric.
- Use a heater
Since paints dry faster at a relatively higher temperature, increase the heat in the drying room. Alternatively, you can use a small space heater pointing at the fabric.
Watch how to spray fabric using Rustoleum fabric paint
Fabric painting does not have to be limited to graphic T-Shirts and other items of clothing. The design possibilities are near limitless. You can use this technique to decorate your upholstery, furniture furnishings, bedding, towels, and even fabric to be hung as art. So with this movement into spray painting fabric, the question of the day is this…
Can You Use Rustoleum Spray Paint On Fabric?
Yes! You most definitely can. Rustoleum is a well-established and respected brand that offers diligent service, as evidenced by the number of loyal customers. Furthermore, their long presence in this market has left them with a fortune in experience and knowledge that will see you receive the best possible service.
I hope that this post’s information has been insightful and will help you in your fabric painting journey. Do not hesitate if you need to contact us with any inquiries and to write down your suggestions and thoughts on this subject matter in the comment section below.