Good to Know: Make Your Own Fabric Spray Paint


I’m a little obsessed with fabric paint, in case you didn’t know – and since discovering the wide world of awesome stuff you can do with it, I’ve hit a color limitation (“but I want artichoke, not granny smith green…”). Not just that, but I found myself thinking – man, this could be cheaper…

Cheaper, with an unlimited color spectrum? Sign me up!

Here’s how to make your own fabric spray paint:



1. Mix your fabric medium with desired paint color (using 1 part medium with 2 parts paint) – I just poured the medium & paint into the spray bottle, closed the spray bottle & shook to mix.

2. Add water in small increments, shake to mix, and spray test. In my case, I made a pretty small amount, so I just added a tablespoon or so of water at a time, closed the bottle, shook it – and sprayed to see if it had reached the consistency I wanted.


1. I used a pretty loosely structured mixing approach – but you may also mix the fabric medium and paint together in a separate container, then pour into the bottle, and add water in small increments until you get it diluted to the point you want (thicker spray solution is good for texture, but may clog the pump; medium consistency gives a good opaque color; if you want more of a watercolor effect, add more water).

2. It was less messy to just pour the medium and paint directly into the spray bottle, so if making a mess is a concern, there you go.

3. Before painting – make sure you prewash the fabric you’re spraying on; after you finish painting, let it dry for 24 hours, then turn the garment inside out and put in dryer for a full cycle to heat-set. When you launder it, wash it inside out with cool water.


– Add glow in the dark medium and you have glow in the dark fabric spray paint. From my research, the mediums out there seem to have a weak, short-lived glow, but if you use them correctly you’ll get decent results (read: if you use a lot of it).

Use metallic paints (I’d stay away from glitter paints, though).

Projects To Try:

Rainbow lace tank

Galaxy Shirt

Tie Dye Effect

Flag Hoodie Idea (can also try on shorts)

–  Here we go! American Flag Shorts

Great tutorial on using fabric spray paint

Skull Print Scarf

– Upcycled/ Refashioned Leopard  Print Scarf

Fabric Spray Dress

Stencil Skull Shirt (and more fabric spray paint diys!)

13 thoughts on “Good to Know: Make Your Own Fabric Spray Paint

  1. Pingback: Stars & Stripes Hoodie Refashion Tutorial | Coxal Collaborative

  2. Pingback: Refashion Friday: Paint Me Pretty |

  3. This is awesome!! My one question is do you think it would work well on like fur fabric? I’m currently making something that will use fur fabric and I need to spray more then one color onto the fur but I’m trying not to have it mat down. Any ideas?

    • In order to keep the fur from getting ruined, you should try a dye based spray – acrylics will dry stiffly and make the fur stick together. What type of fur & color are you working with?

    • The milk method didn’t work out so well for me after a few washes (what type of milk and ratio of milk to paint do you use? I’d love to give it another shot!), but a mixture of washing soda and fabric softener blended into the paint has worked best thus far!

    • I add fabric medium to the acrylic paints I use on fabric because it reduces the stiffness of the design when it dries – it also seems to help the paint adhere to the fabric better and not crack once dry. You may buy it at most craft stores – the one I have the most experience with is from Martha Stewart’s line:

  4. would this work for furniture? I found a couch at a thrift store for super cheap bu it is a terrible yellow couch that is a pretty cloth like material

    • It would, but depending on the type of fabric the couch is upholstered in, you’d have to take a few extra measures to make sure the paint adequately adheres to the fabric fibers – perhaps mix latex paint with the fabric medium?

Thoughts? Ideas? Tips?

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