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Can You Use Acrylic Paint on Felt?

Felt has plenty of uses and is fun to work with. It has a lot of texture and exists in a variety of items. If you want to customize a piece of felt, what can you use? Many people turn to fabric paints, although you can use acrylic paint if you already have some of it at home.

So, can you use acrylic paint on felt? Yes! You can use acrylic paint on felt, although it’s good to seal the felt before applying the paint. Doing so makes it easier for the acrylic paint to stick to the surface. Plus, adding a seal prevents the paint from bleeding through the fabric.

Adding paint to felt will make it stiffer and unable to bend without cracking. You’ll want to apply it to felt you know you won’t need to fold where you plan on painting. Overall, you can use acrylic paints on felt easily! I’ll be discussing exactly how to do this below. Let’s read on!

How To Use Acrylic Paint on Felt

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There are two main methods for applying acrylic paints on a piece of felt. The first is by using paint like you usually would, as if it was a canvas. This method is suitable for when you want to add a design to the felt.

My favorite and top pick is always Arteza Acrylic Paints. They have so many different colors, and the quality is amazing! I usually use Arteza Paints for all my projects.

Start by sealing the felt with a layer of Mod Podge. Doing so ensures the paint won’t bleed through the fabric and gives you a sturdier surface to paint on. Otherwise, the acrylic paint would smear and be harder to work with.

When applying the Mod Podge, you need to give it ample time to dry before adding any paint to it! I recommend waiting a lot longer than you think you need to, then checking the seal before starting.

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The second way to use acrylics on your felt is by creating a dye. You can use this method when you want to change the color of the felt entire. Plus, you can even mix acrylics to customize the color of the felt further.

You’ll want to work on a flat surface with a layer of wax paper or other materials to catch spills. This project is very messy, so you’ll also want to wear gloves!

Rinse the felt in your washing machine, then give it time to air dry. Next, you’ll want to fill a bucket with enough room temperature water to cover the felt. Put a few drops of acrylic paint into the water and stir it. Adding more paint gives you darker, more vibrant colors.

Finally, dip the felt into the paint water for a few seconds- the longer you submerge it, the more paint the fabric will absorb. You’ll need to give the fabric at least eight hours to air dry after that. If you want a stronger color on the fabric, you can always dunk the material again after it dries.

Does Acrylic Paint Stay on Felt?

If you just add the acrylic paint to felt as is, you’ll have a tough time getting it to stick. Felt has a lot of fibers that can get in the way of your paint. Plus, if the fabric bends, the color could easily crack in that spot.

To get the paint to last longer, you’ll want to use some Mod Podge or a similar sealant first. The Mod Podge helps control the fibers in the felt, so you have a much smoother surface to work on. The seal also stiffens that area and prevents the fabric from folding there.

In short, adding a layer of sealant to the felt is the best way to get your paint to stick. Without it, you could easily run into a ton of issues while painting.

What Kind of Paint Can You Use on Felt?

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You can use various types of paint on felt, but the most popular options would be fabric paint and acrylic paint. I’ll explain what these two types of paint are.

First, fabric paint, or textile paint, consists of an acrylic polymer. This paint can go through the washing machine after drying without washing off or fading! If you’re going to paint something you want to wear, then fabric paint is likely the best choice for you. 

Acrylic paint is another option. You can use this type of paint on a variety of different materials with excellent results. However, felt will absorb acrylic, leading to the paint bleeding through to the other side. This characteristic also makes it possible for the paint to smear easily.

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As long as you add a base sealant to work on, the acrylic should stay firmly in place. You also may want to finish with a strong seal on top of the dry paint. That way, the design should last a very long time.

Will Acrylic Paint Work on Fabric?

Acrylic paints can work on various fabrics, but you may need extra steps in preparing your color. Applying regular acrylic to cloth will be challenging to work with and will wash off quickly.

One option is to use a fabric medium or fabric paint base. You can mix it with acrylic paint to get the color that you want. The medium allows the paint to bond with the fabric, so you won’t worry about washing away. Plus, it should help make it easier to use on the surface.

For most fabric bases, you’ll want to allow the paint at least 24 hours to dry before heat setting it. The longer you can wait, the better! To finish the heat setting, you can use a dryer or iron, depending on the instructions on the medium you used.

In short, it’s possible to use acrylic paints on fabric! You’ll want to make sure that you’re using materials designed for that purpose, so they last a long time.

How Do You Seal Acrylic Paint on Fabric?

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The best strategy to seal acrylic paint on your fabric is using the fabric medium mentioned above. I recommend mixing one part fabric medium with two parts of acrylic paint. You can always mix different colors to create something unique!

From there, you need to wait for the paint to dry. Then, you can heat set the fabric, so the color can’t wash out. To that, you’ll need to follow these steps:

  1. Allow the acrylic paint and medium mixture to dry for at least a full day.
  2. Set a scrap fabric over the painting- you don’t want to directly use the iron on it.
  3. Use an iron on medium heat for about five minutes. Make sure to shake the iron on the fabric so it doesn’t burn anywhere.

Alternatively, you can throw the fabric into the dryer for an hour. Once you’ve used heat to set the paint, you’ll want to wait a whole week before washing the fabric. Waiting ensures the paint has bonded fully with the piece of fabric and won’t come off.

Final Thoughts

So, you can use acrylic paints on felt! You can either paint on fabric or use the paint to dye it another color. Both of these methods are great to know since you can use them for a variety of projects.

In short, you can always use acrylic paints on your felt if you don’t have any fabric paints at home. Acrylic paint is very reliable and robust, so it should last you a very long time. Plus, adding custom designs to textiles is always a lot of fun! You can try this as soon as today.

Make sure to follow all my tips and recommended products to ensure your fabric project turns out great! Also, don’t forget to check out my other articles for all your painting Q&A’s. Happy painting! 

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