How to Paint on Vinyl Fabric


Vinyl fabric is used for many things such as upholstery coverings, tablecloths and certain types of outdoor clothing. It is also possible to paint over vinyl fabric if you want to add designs to a plain surface or if you just want to completely change the color. There are special types of paints from brands such Rustoleum or Colorbond which are specifically formulated to adhere to vinyl fabrics and can be purchased at major home improvement stores or online.

Things You'll Need

  • Vinyl paint (spray)
  • Painter's plastic or newspaper
  • Hot water
  • Cleaning rag or sponge
  • Clean the vinyl item that you will be painting. It is important that the vinyl is free of all dirt and grime so that the paint will adhere properly. You can clean your vinyl with hot water and a cleaning rag or sponge. Allow the item to completely air dry.

  • Place the item in a well-ventilated area, such as a garage or an unfinished basement with large windows. If weather permits, the outdoors also works.

  • Use painter's plastic or old newspaper to cover any surrounding area that may get paint on it, such as walls or floors.

  • Shake the can of paint well. Stand back about 1 foot from the item being sprayed and apply a light first coat of paint. Allow the paint to completely dry---this usually takes about half an hour. If you are spray-painting a double-sided item such as a bean bag or chair, spray the top portion first and let it dry completely before spraying the other side.

  • Apply a second coat of paint and allow the item to completely dry. A third coat of paint may be needed but this should be determined on an individual case. Items which have a dark color, such as a red or black, and is being covered up by a lighter shade such as white or cream, typically are the ones that need a third coat.

Tips & Warnings

  • It is better to apply multiple coats of thin paint instead of one thick coat. This will cut down drastically on areas of uneven paint and drips.
  • Always wear protective goggles for your eyes and a face mask over your mouth when using any type of chemical.


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