No 57 – Series: Fabric Painting Supplies – Fabric paints – Overview, Part 3

Can we mix fabric paints? If yes, – how should we do it?

How can we take care of our paints? And of our painted fabrics/garment?

Dear friends of Your Colourful Mind,

In recent posts we already learnt some useful facts about fabric paints.

Today, we focus on part 3 of the

Three posts to study Fabric Paints:
  • Fabric paints, Part 1: Which types of paint can we use for fabric painting? Which are the differences? – Post 52
  • Fabric paints, Part 2: What’s the relationship between different fabric painting techniques and paints? Which characteristics of fabric paints are especially important? – Post 55
  • Fabric paints, Part 3: Can/Should we mix paints? How can we take care of our paints? And of the painted fabric?TODAY

Can we mix paints to get custom colours?

Most textile paint brands offer a wide variety of colours which in most cases makes mixing unnecessary. But, of course, if custom colours are needed, the ready-made paint colours can be mixed and an infinite number of shades can be produced.

It is not recommended to mix different brands together, since each one is formulated differently.

The colour mixing can be done by pouring colours into a clean plastic cup or palette and then mixing them using a paintbrush or other tool. The lightest colour should be poured first and then slowly darker colour can be added and stirred until the desired shades are show up.

It is better to mix too much than too little colour. If not enough is mixed to finish the project, it might be difficult to replicate a custom colour. If some custom-mixed paint is left, it can be kept and used in another project again.

The same applies to the dilution of paints: diluting paints in a very accurate and replicable way is not easy. Thus, if bigger areas of fabric are being painted or if a diluted paint colour is needed again and again, it makes sense to prepare and keep a bigger amount of diluted paint in a plastic bottle.

Are painted fabrics machine washable?

Nearly all fabric paints and also the textile-medium-acrylic mixtures allow machine washing of the painted fabric, as soon as the paint has been heat-set.

Only a few brands offer paints which don’t need head-fixing. The manufacturer’s directions should be followed.

Those directions usually also inform about how long the paint should be left to dry after the painting and before the fixing process: often several hours, but sometimes even days.

Most instructions demand that the heat-setting has to be done by ironing the fabric with a dry iron, sometimes it is recommended to put the fabrics in a clothes dryer for some time, or fixing of the paint in the oven is possible.

An alternative to the different heat-setting methods is to allow the paint to cure for a long period, such as some weeks, before washing the fabric for the first time.

After the heat-setting the painted fabrics should be washed separately, once. After that, they usually can be machine washed together with other clothes, up to 40° or 60° C.

It is recommended to wash and iron the painted fabric from the reverse: Wash and iron inside out.

How can we take care of the paints?

The paints themselves are sterile, thus if contamination is avoided, they can be kept for years.

For each painting process, the amount of paint needed should be poured on a palette or, if it is planned to dilute it with water, into a container.

Water or medium should never be poured into the paint bottle or jar, also never should brushes or other tools be dipped into the original container.

If paint is left after the painting, it should not be poured back but into another little container with a lid.

This is, at least for the moment, the end of our studies of fabric paints. Do you have any further questions? Please, don’t hesitate to send them in! Fill in the comment-form below or send your email to

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Have fun with your fabric painting projects, and share images of the results with us  :),

signature - Margot


3 thoughts on “No 57 – Series: Fabric Painting Supplies – Fabric paints – Overview, Part 3”

  1. Hi Margot,

    I always like your attention to detail and practical tips.

    Best Ferdie

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