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What if I told you that you can use acrylic paint on fabric and save money at the same time?! Of all of the fabric dye and tie-dye techniques using Acrylic Paint On my Fabrics to tie-dye or dye the fabric, my shirts are my favorite way.

Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with using fabric dye or dye powder to color your fabrics for a project. But why limit yourself to only a few colors when you can have over 150 colors, plus you can also mix and make your own unique colors!

red Acrylic paint on a white shirt with words on it

Can Acrylic Paint Be Used On Fabric?

Yes, acrylic paint works on fabrics, however, you will need to mix your paint colors with an acrylic medium or textile medium. You can not use regular acrylic paint on a piece of fabric without the medium and expect it to work.

You will mix the medium (ours is a glycerin wanter mixture) 5 to 1 and then mix it with your acrylic in equal parts. The drying time will vary when you use acrylic paint on fabric.

The paint should dry at least 24 hours before you heat set. You can toss in the dryer for a full cycle to do this or use an iron or heat press.

Then you will wash it on the gentle cycle or a quick wash, and toss it back in the dryer till dry.

red Acrylic paint on a white shirt

What Do I Need Dye Fabric With Acrylic Paints?

Just follow the step-by-step acrylic paint on fabric tutorial below. And watch the video to get even more clarification on how I used Apple Barrel Acrylic paints to scrunch-dye these awesome shirts for my kids to wear back to school.

purple Acrylic paint on a white shirt with words on it

Where Can I Find Apple Barrel Paint?

Although there are lots of places that sell this amazing paint. My favorite place to get it is at Walmart. The variety of colors is great and they also sell so many of the available colors.

Apple Barrel paint is so bright and vibrant. I love the way the colors look when I use them to dye fabric.

Troubleshooting Acrylic Paint on Fabric.

  1. My colors aren’t as vibrant as yours.
    • You added too much of your medium. The more medium you add the more diluted your colors become.
  2. My paint dried hard, it doesn’t feel like the fabric.
    • Double-check the measurements on your glycerin mixture. It should mixed be 5 to 1.

There honestly isn’t a ton that can go wrong when you use this method to dye your clothing as long as you follow the instructions.

I used the scrunch method for these shirts, but you can also use other traditional tie-dye methods too. You can use rubber bands to fold and secure to get different designs.

Can You Spray Acrylic Paint on Fabric?

Yes, you can, that is exactly what we did here. I took my Acrylic Paint and added a medium that made it dry soft like the fabric. This glycerin medium also thinned the product out so that it could easily travel through the small tube in the spray bottle.

How Do You Make acrylic paint for fabric?

To make the spray you have to mix the glycerin with water. You then mix the mixture with equal parts of Apple Barrel paint.

The 1 problem I have with this method is that there is always dye left in my bottle. But, it is always an easy fix. Just grab another shirt!

If You Are Looking For More Great Projects Then You Should Try These Out!

red, purple and blue Acrylic paint on a white shirt with words on it
Yield: 1 Acrylic Painted Shirt

How To Use $1 Acrylic Paint On Fabric

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Active Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 37 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Estimated Cost: $10

Using acrylic paint on fabric gives you so much variety. Learn in this video tutorial how to use acrylic paint on fabric instead of dye.


  • White Tshirt
  • Acrylic Paints
  • Glycerin
  • Water


  • Measuring Cup
  • Spray Bottle
  • Plastic Tub or Bowl


  1. Gather all of your supplies. acrylic paints, white shirt and a spray bottle in hands on a white table
  2. Mix 1 part glycerin to 5 parts water. (exactly how much will depend on how many shirts you want to make. hands pointing to glycerin on a white table with other acrylic paint on fabric cupplies
  3. Mix the water, glycerin mixture 1, and paint part to 1 part in your spray bottle. I used 2 ounces, so 1 ounce of each. opening red acrylic paint
  4. Shake the bottle vigorously to mix well. shaking spray bottle getting ready to paint on fabric with acrylic
  5. Put on your gloves. putting on gloves
  6. Scrunch your shirt into the bowl/bin. scrunching a white shirt
  7. Spray all exposed white areas well. spraying red paint on a white shirt
  8. Flip and repeat. flipping shirt to sprat paint on other side
  9. Put the t-shirt on a hanger and allow it to dry completely. Then toss into the dryer for a full cycle to heat set. putting white shirt on a hanger so it can dry
  10. Now put it in the washing machine on a quick wash or gentle cycle and dry. You can optionally add vinyl. red, purple and blue Acrylic paint on a white shirt with words on it

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