THE BEST FABRIC PAINTS FOR HOBBYISTS & HOME DECORATION
Fabric paints are must-have products in a hobbyist decorator’s kit. Versatile enough to revive old upholstery or give life to original wall art, these products can be used for many home decoration projects. You can even use them to give new life to an old tee or to an old pair of canvas shoes.
But with so many options available on the market, how to choose the best fabric paints? What features should you consider before you buy?
To save you the hassle of figuring out which are the best products, we’ve tested and rated the most popular fabric paints in the UK. Our top picks include paints ideal for either small or large home clothing or DIY projects. Check them out below.
OUR BEST PICK FABRIC PAINTS
POPULAR FABRIC COLOUR PALETTES
Fabric paint comes in a rainbow of colours, and most of them can be used in home décor. But going beyond preference, consider the project and the colour scheme of the environment before deciding which colour to buy.
When using fabric paint to revive old upholstery, choose a colour that contrasts yet complements the original colour of your furniture. On a beige armchair, for example, you can create nature-inspired or geometric patterns with red or green dyes.
Navy and blue pair wonderfully with white upholstery, but yellow is a great choice if you’re aiming to a more delicate effect.
For fabric wall art, try to pair your pieces with the rest of the room. White and green wall art gives its best on a wall painted in neutral hues. A geometric black pattern can complement a red feature wall. Brown and cream wall art inspired by culinary elements could look great in the kitchen.
Lively designs made with bright colours such as yellow, fuchsia and emerald green are easy to blend in a contemporary context. Use a light grey colour on the walls and pair the wall art with pouffes or accent chairs in similar hues.
Black and gold fabric paint can create stylish decorations for an elegant interior. Glitter and silver paint are two other suitable options.
Neutral hues including sand, dove grey, cream and beige are ideal to use on darker shades such as chocolate brown, navy, dark green or black.
Ideal for a wide range of applications, the All Acrylic Paint Set by Crafts 4 is our favourite fabric paint kit. Including 24 vibrant colours, the product can decorate fabric, canvas, plastic, ceramic, decorative wallpaper and more.
All paints included in the set are made of high-quality raw materials that outperform the alternatives on the market. The primary characteristic of Crafts 4 paint is its buttery consistency that allows for easy mixing and blending.
Thanks to this trait, it’s possible to blend the colours to create new, original shades for your home décor projects. Another stand-out characteristic is the brilliance and colour clarity of each shade. Whether you’re decorating old upholstery or creating original wall art, the pigments in this set will enhance your creative spirit.
The non-toxic formula is another great feature. These paints can be used in all environments of the home and are suitable for children.
Ideal to use for multiple decoration projects, these fabric paints are easy to apply with a paintbrush or spatula. The manufacturer even includes three paintbrushes in the kit, which is a real added bonus!
Convenience and quality – these are the traits that define Memory Fabric Paint Set. This set of 12 professional fabric paints is manufactured specifically for DIY design and home decoration projects and can paint a wide range of fabrics including garments and upholstery.
The greatest feature of these fabric paints is their permanent formulation. Once dry and set, the colours can be washed in water up to 40°C. Another thing we like is the brilliance of the colours. These paints can be used on fabrics of all shades and tones and still make a statement.
Suitable for use by children, hobbyists and artists, the paints are non-toxic and water-based. The richness of the colours is achieved by mixing the pigments with transparent acrylic emulsion; fixing the colour on the fabric is very easy – just let the colour dry and iron the fabric to permanently fix the pigments by heat.
The kit comes with all national and European certifications and is safe to use in enclosed spaces. They are also easy to apply with a paintbrush, spatula, or even with DIY decoration stencils. We’re sure this set will help you to create patterns and designs you’ll love!
Scola Textile Paint is a set of six 150ml bottles of permanent paint ideal to use on natural and synthetic textiles. Easy to apply and fix, the products are non-toxic and safe to use near kids and pets. They can even be used by children older than three years.
Six vibrant colours included in the set are easy to mix or blend in an array of designs. The colours included are white, black, yellow, green, red, and blue – all complementary colours that can be blended to any other shade.
Fixing the pigments permanently is easy by heat, but because the paint should be ironed on the reverse, we wouldn’t recommend using on upholstery.
Other than this, the paints are ideal for use on almost all fabrics to decorate: garments, fabric containers, bags, tea towels and more.
Unparalleled quality and 27ml tubes define Craftamo Acrylic Paint Set. These arts and crafts paints are ideal to use for a wide range of projects and on multiple surfaces that include fabrics, ceramics, clay, glass and even leather.
Odourless and non-toxic, the paints are safe to use in enclosed environments. The product complies with ASTM D-4236 and can be used by adults and children over three years old.
The feature we like best is the versatility of this kit which includes 12 colours that can be mixed and matched or blended to create more shades. We also like that the kit includes a mini palette that allows the paints to be blended without creating a mess.
What we liked less is that the colours are not permanent. You can still use them for most projects as long as you protect them with a sealer, but this has an impact on the project’s length and costs. For this reason, we recommend using these paints to create wall art or to decorate objects that won’t come in contact with liquids.
Besides traditional acrylic paints, Crafts 4 also proposes this set of 24 professional-grade fabric markers that includes a selection of matt and fluorescent colours. The paints are easier to use than traditional paint for precision designing of geometric or floral patterns.
Easy to use, the colours are formulated to adhere to natural and synthetic fabrics permanently, but require heat fixing with an iron. Once dry, the pigments are machine washable at low temperature and fade resistant.
In addition to fabric, the markers are also suitable to use on paper. The non-toxic formula makes them ideal for both adults and children while the fine writer bullet-tip enhances design accuracy.
Compared to traditional fabric paints, these markers also allow a mess-free application. Fast-drying formula allows you to use the product on all objects, including fabric upholstery, garments, shoes or decorative objects.
Weatherproof and fade-proof, the markers are even suitable to use on outdoor objects like garden pouffes or gazebo curtains. Coming at an affordable price and backed up by a lifetime guarantee, this set delivers excellent value for money.
HOW TO PAINT CLOTHING & FABRICS
• Fabric paint
• Fabric marker pens
• Fabric medium
Clothing, upholstery, curtains and any fabric objects can benefit from fresh paint just like the walls of your home. Follow this step-by-step guide to learn how to paint them.
Step 1 – Prepare the material
Painting fabric isn’t complicated, but results could be unflattering if you don’t prepare the material first. Most fabric paints available on the market are suitable for both natural and synthetic fibres but they adhere better to clean textiles.
If you’re painting upholstery, just use a good upholstery cleaner to remove all stains and dirt. Wash all machine washable items like curtains or tea towels. If you’re making wall art or decorations using new fabric, washing could be unnecessary.
An exception to this rule is new clothing made of cotton or other natural fibres that tend to shrink during the first wash. Shrinking could damage your artwork which is why we recommend washing the garment before decorating it.
Step 2 – Prepare the paint
Most fabric paints available on the market are acrylic; they have bright colours but stiffen the fabric – think canvas painting to get an idea. Furthermore, acrylic paint is usually thick and hard to impregnate into textiles.
To ease your workload and improve the results, it’s necessary to mix the paint with fabric medium and water in a 1:1:1 dilution. The fabric medium will keep the fabric soft and the water will dilute acrylic paint at the right point.
The exception to this rule is fabric markers, which can be used straight from the box. Some fabric paints may also not need any dilution. Manufacturers also tend to sell fabric paint with instructions, so you can check whether it should be mixed with fabric medium and water or not.
Step 3 – Draw the design
For any artwork project, draw your design on the fabric before applying the paint. Alternatively, you can use stencils to ensure precision.
If you’re painting clothes or small pieces of fabric, place cardboard under the side to be painted to avoid colour bleeding through the fabric.
Step 4 – Paint the fabric
Depending on the size and type of the project, choose the right tool to apply paint to the fabric. For decoration work, a paintbrush and a stencil could be the best tools to rely on. If you want to change the colour of a curtain or sofa, a roller can help you finish faster.
Apply the first coat of colour and let it dry to assess the results. Because the fabric is an absorbent material, it may take two or more coats to get a bright finish. Repeat the procedure until you get a satisfactory colour intensity.
Step 5 – Fix the colour
Acrylic paint is water-based and therefore it washes off unless fixed. Fabric paints are usually fixed by heat. Just follow the manufacturer’s instruction to fix the paint with an iron or hair dryer. Paint may not need fixing on objects that are not supposed to come in contact with any liquid, but we still wouldn’t recommend skipping this step.
After all, accidents happen and even a few drops can spoil your hard work.