Paints That Work on Clothes

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Several different kinds of paint work on clothing.
Several different kinds of paint work on clothing. (Image: BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

You might think of paint as something that a person might be trying to get out of his clothing, but you can also use paint to decorate your clothes. For example, let children use paint to decorate T-shirts at a party that they can take home with them. Paint a design on an apron and give it to a friend as a gift. Just make sure you use a type of paint that works well with fabric, so that the design will adhere to the fabric and not be damaged.

Fabric Paint

Fabric paint is an obvious choice when you are looking for a type of paint to use on clothing. Fabric paint comes in a wide variety of colors and is available in most craft stores or art supplies stores. It is very flexible and is made so that it will not crack or distort when it is paired with a stretchable fabric. Fabric paint also comes in a variety of containers that make it easy to use, depending on the design you are trying to make. For example, you can find it in containers for applying it with a brush, squeeze bottles with thin tips or even spray cans.

Acrylic Paint

Acrylic paint is a good substitute if you do not have access to fabric paint. Acrylic paint can be inexpensive and is widely available at many types of stores. Although it is not extremely flexible, acrylic paint is more flexible than many other types, such as oil paint. It is also fast-drying and permanent when it dries, so it is a good option for clothing that will be washed.

Puff Paint

Puff paint is a type of paint that comes in a plastic squeeze bottle equipped with a fine tip. The paint comes out raised from the fabric, and remains that way when it dries. Puff paint dries quickly and comes in a wide array of colors, such as pastels and neons. Because of the fine tip, puff paint is easy to write with, so it is perfect if you are decorating T-shirts or another type of clothing with a slogan or a message. It also is easy for a child to use for drawing paint pictures.

Spray Paint

Spray paint is most often used for painting furniture, metal and craft projects, but it also works well on fabric. Use spray paint to make a graffiti-like design on a piece of clothing. Practice with the spray paint can before you create a design on the fabric because incorrectly using it could ruin the garment. For example, holding the spray can too close to the fabric could cause the paint to run, while holding it too far away could make it spray over more of the fabric than you want.

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