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How To Paint Fabric

This painting technique uses a masking-tape resist that gives clothing or furnishings a one-of-a-kind look.

More in Decorating

masking tape resist painting technique
  • Time


  • Price Range

    $1 - $50

  • Difficulty

    Easy to Moderate


Step 1: Apply Tape to the Fabric

Cover work surface with plastic. Place masking tape on areas of fabric to remain unpainted. Apply parallel strips of masking tape diagonally onto the fabric.

place tape on areas of fabric to remain unpainted

Step 2: Paint Between the Strips of Tape

Spread blobs of paint onto the palette. Brush one color of transparent fabric paint between two lines of the masking tape. Do not add water to the paint: paint that's too wet will wick under the masking tape. Continue to paint stripes of color between lines of masking tape. Let dry.

spread paint onto palette

Step 3: Remove the Tape and Heat-set the Fabric

Peel the masking tape off the painted fabric. Masking tape can be difficult to remove from fabric. Plan to complete this project in one day so the masking tape won't be left on the fabric too long.

After removing the masking tape, heat-set the painted fabric with an iron.

Take the process one step further by applying a tape resist to the previously painted fabric and applying another layer of fabric paint. Opaque white paint mixed with the colors previously used gives an interesting effect. Heat-set the fabric between each layer of paint after removing the masking tape.

Protect painted fabric to be used in home furnishings with ScotchgardB. Hand-wash hand-painted fabric used in clothing.

peel masking tape off  painted fabric

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