Can You Use Fabric Paint on Canvas?

Can You Use Fabric Paint on Canvas?

Continue reading our blog to find out more about whether you can use fabric paint on canvas and how to do that.

As you stare at a blank canvas, you wonder what you’ll make, and then you start digging through your art supply drawers to see what you have to paint with. Then, as you wonder how it will perform on canvas, you come across some fabric paint.

So, can you use fabric paint on canvas? Fortunately, you can use fabric paint on canvas fabric. Depending on the look you’re going for, you can paint something with either cool tones or vibrant colors. See How to Care for Canvas Fabric?

Read this blog to learn more before dipping your brush into the fabric paint you purchased and applying it to the fabric.

Can You Use Fabric Paint on Canvas?

Yes, fabric paint can be applied to canvas. Fabric paint is a type of modified acrylic paint, which is why that is the answer. A new formulation for acrylic paint makes it easier for it to adhere to the fabric without making it stiffer.

Related: Can You Use Acrylic Paint on Canvas Fabric?

The acrylic paint adheres well to the fibers of the canvas thanks to this chemical formula. When that bond is dry, it resists cracking and has good flexibility, allowing the clothing to be worn as desired.

To create your artwork, you don’t need to learn any specific skills or techniques because fabric paints come in a wide range of colors and apply fairly easily. Keep in mind that fabric or acrylic paint should dry quickly, regardless of the canvas item you are painting on.

You should therefore be cautious about how long you expose your brushes to the air and temperatures outside. You might need to get a new brush if the paint dries on your old one.

Tips For Painting On Canvas Fabrics - Chicago Canvas & Supply

Will Fabric Paint Work on Canvas?

There should be no problem in using fabric paint on canvas. But you should take the time to prime any canvas item you are going to paint. Primer is necessary because it helps to seal the fibers and stiffen the canvas. The primer is probably used more on regular painting canvas than clothing as you do not want your clothing items to be stiff. That makes it a little challenging to move.

Priming a canvas, however, is one of the most crucial steps you can take when using regular paint. Although other primary colors are frequently used, the primer’s typical color palette is black, gray, and white. The primer is offered in spray cans or liquid form. Thus, you can either prime the canvas with a paintbrush or a spray can.

Related: How to Tie-dye Canvas Fabric?

How to Use Fabric Paint on Canvas?

Below are the steps to use fabric paint on canvas:

Preparing the Canvas

Since most canvas is made from cotton, linen, or some combination thereof, canvas surfaces can certainly support fabric paint as a medium. In addition to being environmentally friendly, many canvases are made from recycled materials. However, keep in mind that there are a few synthetic canvas options available as well, and those won’t be suitable for fabric paint.

Rolls or pre-mounted canvas are available for purchase. If you decide to mount your own canvas, remember it is essential for the surface to be as taut as possible before applying paint. Mounting kits are available to help you produce the needed surface tension.

Prior to applying fabric paint to canvas, prime the surface thoroughly. Without a good primer, fabric paint will penetrate the surface too deeply and take on a dull, faded appearance.

Upon priming, the canvas stiffens and strengthens. The frame has less of a tendency to sag or bulge. Any looseness in the canvas before painting will be quickly revealed by priming.

Can You Use Fabric Paint on Canvas?

The canvas’ surface will be ready for fabric paint with the help of an art primer like Gesso. You can buy canvas primers online or at your neighborhood paint or art supply store. Although not the only primer available, gesso is preferred by artists due to its dependably executed design.

In order to create a canvas sealant, you can also heat fabric paint and acrylic paint together. The mixture will become thinner and more easily absorbed into the fibers when heated.

By using a primed canvas, colors are kept vibrant and true to their original hue. Less deterioration over time is possible because the colors stay on the surface.


Fabric paint on canvas can make bright, long-lasting designs. There are many different brands and colors to choose from. But before you begin, preparing the canvas for the paint to stick and stay in place is essential.

Before painting, canvas typically needs a primer coat. The paint will adhere better and won’t peel off or deteriorate with priming. Additionally, it won’t be water-resistant if the canvas isn’t pre-treated with an acrylic sealer before painting with fabric paints.

The fabric paint and canvas size determine the kind of primer to use. Most applications require water-based acrylic spray or brush-on primer. Check the instructions for your fabric paint before applying any waterproof or moisture-blocking sealers.

Some manufacturers advise against using any sealer because solvents in the paint could cause the product to fade or contract. Before using a sealer, make sure the paint is compatible with it.


Seal and complete the fabric paint after it has dried. Make sure you use the right sealant to avoid invalidating warranties or harming the canvas. Heat setting may be required. This “rings out” moisture and fuses the paint into fibers.

Can You Use Fabric Paint on Canvas?

It brightens colors, makes them last, and makes velvet and flannel smoother. If the paint’s label recommends it, iron items from the inside out. Follow product instructions for the best results.

Things to Know When You’re Painting Canvas With Fabric Paint

The most crucial thing to keep in mind when painting on canvas is probably to prime it. By using a primer, you can prevent the paint from penetrating the fabric too deeply and becoming dull.

With a good primer on your canvas, your paint will stay true to its original colors and your vision will come out better in your art. You can purchase primer online or at any paint or art supply store. Typically, primer comes in a can or a spray bottle that you’ll cover the canvas with first and let dry before you begin painting.

In addition to the primer, you must make sure that your canvas is taut before you begin painting. It is challenging to completely flatten canvas because it is a sturdy material.

To make your art project successful, it’s crucial to get it right. If it’s not completely flat, your brush will run into creases and bumps that will end up making gaps or spaces in the final version.

The canvas should be pulled taut with the aid of tools and clips before the primer is applied for the best results. You can proceed after doing this to help ensure that the entire surface has been primed.

Can You Use Fabric Paint on Canvas?

Tips for Applying Fabric Paint to Canvas

  • Don’t rush into starting to paint! The result will be spectacular the more preparation you put into it. Before applying any paint to the canvas, allow the primer to dry completely. A wet primer will cause paint to bleed through, leaving dull patches.
  • Sketch your design. Plan your color scheme and create a sketch that is as detailed as you can. Before starting the final step, gather all of your rags and brushes, and have water on hand.
  • Think about how long the paint takes to dry. Once you begin actually applying paint to the canvas is time to consider alacrity. On canvas, a dry surface that quickly absorbs moisture even when primed, fabric paint will dry quickly.
  • Apply paint rapidly, and correct any errors immediately before they can dry. To make the colors blend together while they are still damp, add shading as you go.
  • Clean up the canvas right away. Once more, fabric paint dries quickly, so brushes should be cleaned as soon as possible after each project. A paintbrush could be lost if it is left hanging in the air for a very long time.

How to Fabric Spray Paint on Canvas Shoes?

Can You Use Fabric Paint on Canvas?

The first step in this simple project is to make sure the shoes are thoroughly clean and dry before applying the paint. Use masking tape or painter’s tape to then cover the areas you don’t want to paint.

Once that’s done, stuff newspaper inside the shoes to keep them flat and prevent creases and wrinkles. Before painting, take off the lace and other decorations.

Simply follow the directions on the paint can and keep the nozzle 4 to 6 inches or more away from the shoes when applying paint. Use old newspapers to cover the surface underneath your shoes to keep the paint from ruining it.

When spraying, make long, even strokes, and if you plan to add layers, wait until the first one is completely dry before adding the second. Once finished, let dry.

How to Fabric Paint on Canvas Bags?

This is a good option, and by incorporating various colors and patterns into the fabric, you can bring life to your plain fabric bags. The process is like painting on other canvas materials. Both brushes and spray paint are acceptable, though the latter is more difficult to control.

The most important thing is to choose the proper colors, and if you’re creating a design, sketch it out on canvas first to avoid mistakes. Allow the canvas bag to completely dry after use before using it for your upcoming outdoor adventure.

Conclusion: Can You Use Fabric Paint on Canvas?

No matter the style, the canvas is a good material to paint on. It is a robust fabric that takes paint quite well. One key is to make sure it is clean and primed properly before you start to paint.

The same principles apply whether you’re painting a canvas sheet or a tote bag. Keep it taut, prime it as well as you can, and make any necessary corrections before the paint dries.


How Do You Put Fabric Paint on a Canvas?

Place the item in a clothes dryer for 30 minutes on the highest setting allowed for the type of fabric used, Alternately, you could use a dry iron, a pressing cloth, and a painted piece to heat set it. Simply place the pressing cloth over the painted piece and iron the canvas for 10 seconds.

Can We Use Fabric Colors on Canvas?

Yes, you can, but shouldn’t use it because more primer is used in canvas.

How Long Does Fabric Paint Take to Dry on Canvas?

This depends on the thickness and how many layers of fabric paint have been used, but generally, it can take 30 minutes to dry. Using a hair dryer will also hasten the paint’s drying time.

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