Can I Use Normal Spray Paint On the Fabric?

Spray paint has become a popular medium for creating various art pieces, especially for its convenience and versatility. While it is primarily used on surfaces like wood, metal, and plastic, some artists and DIY enthusiasts wonder if they can use normal spray paint on fabric. After all, spray paint on fabric can create unique designs on clothing, bags, and other textiles.

The short answer is yes, you can use normal spray paint on fabric. However, it’s important to consider several factors before spraying away. We will explore the details of using normal spray paint on fabric and some tips to achieve the best results.

Understanding the Types of Spray Paint

Not all spray paints are created equal; some work better on certain surfaces than others. The most common types of spray paint are oil-based, acrylic-based, and fabric-specific.

Oil-based spray paint best suits metal, wood, and other non-porous surfaces. It dries to a hard, glossy finish and is resistant to wear and tear. However, it’s not recommended for fabric as it can crack and peel off easily.

Acrylic-based spray paint is water-based and can be used on various surfaces, including fabric. It dries quickly and forms a flexible, durable layer that adheres to fabric. However, it can be more challenging to work with as it requires more coats and can leave visible brush strokes.

Fabric-specific spray paint is specially formulated for use on textiles. It provides better coverage, color retention, and flexibility, making it the best option for fabric-based projects. However, it can be harder to find and may be more expensive than regular spray paint.

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Preparing the Fabric

Before you start spray painting on fabric, it’s essential to prepare the material first. This involves cleaning, priming, and protecting the fabric from the paint.

Cleaning: Use a mild detergent and water to clean the fabric thoroughly. Avoid using fabric softeners or bleach, as they can affect the paint’s adhesion.

Priming: Use a fabric primer to prepare the fabric for painting. It helps the paint adhere better and prevents bleeding and fading. Apply the primer in a thin, even layer and let it dry completely before spray painting.

Protecting: Place a plastic drop cloth or cardboard underneath the fabric to prevent the paint from seeping through. You can also use painter’s tape to mask off areas you don’t want to be painted.

Spray Painting on Fabric

Now that you’ve prepared the fabric, it’s time to start spray painting. Here are some tips to help you achieve the best results:

  • Shake the can well before use to ensure that the paint is well-mixed.
  • Hold the can at least 8-10 inches away from the fabric and spray in a sweeping motion.
  • Apply thin, even coats of paint, and let each coat dry before adding another one.
  • Avoid saturating the fabric with too much paint, as it can cause the paint to bleed or crack.
  • Consider using stencils or masking tape to create designs or patterns on the fabric.
  • Allow the paint to dry completely before handling or wearing the fabric.


Once the paint has dried completely, you need to take some extra precautions to ensure that it lasts longer. Here are some tips to help you care for the fabric:

  • Wash the fabric inside out with cold water and mild detergent.
  • Avoid using fabric softeners or bleach, as they can damage the paint.
  • Do not tumble dry the fabric, as it can cause the paint to crack or peel off.
  • Iron the fabric on a low setting, avoiding direct contact with the painted area.
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Can any paint be used as fabric paint?

While any type of paint can technically be used on fabric, not all paints are created equal. Regular fabric paint can result in cracking, peeling, and fading, and it may not adhere well to the fabric. Regular paint is also not flexible enough to move with the fabric, which can cause it to crack or flake off.

In contrast, fabric paint is specially formulated for use in textiles. It is designed to be more flexible, adhere better to the fabric, and withstand washing and wear. Fabric paint comes in a variety of formulas, including acrylic, watercolor, and dye-based, and it provides better coverage, color retention, and durability.

If you’re looking to paint on fabric, using paint specifically designed for this purpose is best. While you may be able to use regular paint in a pinch, it’s unlikely to produce the desired results or last very long. Invest in some high-quality fabric paint and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results.


Normal spray paint on fabric is possible but requires careful preparation and execution. Choosing the right spray paint and priming the fabric before painting is essential to ensure the paint adheres well and doesn’t bleed or fade. When painting, apply thin, even coats of paint and let each coat dry before adding another one. After painting, take extra precautions to care for the fabric, such as washing it inside out with cold water and avoiding fabric softeners or bleach.

While normal spray paint can be used on fabric, it’s important to note that fabric-specific spray paint is the best option for achieving optimal results. Fabric-specific spray paint is specially formulated for textiles and provides better coverage, color retention, and flexibility.