8 Best Fabric Paint for Creatives in 2019 | Buyer’s Guide

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Best Fabric Paint

Jacquard Lumiere Fabric PaintThe cheapest and the most convenient way to transfer paint to any kind of fabric is by using fabric paints.

It’s substantially more hassle-free and inexpensive than other methods like heat transfers and sublimation.

So, going for fabric paints is the best way to go if you design fabrics as a hobby or recreation.

If you have already realized that and are in the market for fabric paints but can’t decide upon which one to get then don’t worry.

Because we have brought the 8 best fabric paints for creatives and also added a buyer’s guide to help you make your purchase.

Go ahead and give it a read!

Best Fabric Paint

  1. Jacquard Dye-Na-Flow Specialty Paint Set 

Jacquard Dy-Na-Flow is an acrylic-based bodiless fabric paint. It has amazing saturation and the colors are superbly vibrant on light-colored fabrics. The way it behaves resembles more to fabric dye than fabric paint. It is extremely durable as well, so, it won’t be a problem to wash the fabric you’ve worked on.

Jacquard Dye-Na-Flow Specialty Paint Set, 2.25 Ounces, Assorted...
  • The Jacquard Dye-Na-Flow Specialty Paint Set is...
  • Non-Toxic paint offers great results on all kinds...

Experience

The acrylic is very transparent. The feel and consistency of it while painting is similar to watercolors.

It reacts to a porous fabric in a very similar fashion to fabric dye.

Since it’s a bodiless paint it won’t work that well on darker colors. But on light-colored fabrics, the colors were incredibly saturated and vibrant.

On regular t-shirts or garments, the dried result is not very noticeable. It’s very light and transparent. This paint is rather more ideal for something like silk since it is also very durable.

It won’t budge at all even after several washes because of the way it is able to penetrate the fabric given how thin it is compared to heavy body acrylic paint.

Dy-Na-Flow is also perfect for an airbrush system because of how thin it is. Hence, making it versatile in terms of use.

Pros
  • Extremely vibrant and intense colors considering that it’s a bodiless paint
  • Wash-fast and extremely durable. Significantly more durable than heavy body acrylic paint
  • Ideal for using in an airbrush system because of how thin it is
Cons
  • The paint is very thin, hence, not ideal for dark-fabric
  1. Jacquard Products Textile Color Fabric Paint

Jacquard’s Textile Color is a renowned fabric paint line-up. Professionals love it because of how well-rounded it is in its performance. It can be used both as thin and thick paint by playing around with additives like water, Color Extender, etc. It’s a good pick for a beginner as well because of how versatile it is and how good it performs.

Jacquard Products JAC1000 Textile Color Fabric Paint (8 Pack), 2.25...
  • Eight 2.25oz bottles of paint
  • These colors leave your fabric as soft as possible

Experience

It’s a semi-opaque paint that is extremely modular because it can experiment with various additives.

You can make it more transparent by adding water, or you can use any color extender to do the same thing without changing its viscosity.

It performs mediocre on dark-colored fabric but you can also mix some additives to make it thicker and perform better.

On lighter-colored fabric, the colors are well saturated and vibrant. The thing we love about it is that it doesn’t harden the fabric – remains soft even after drying up the paint.

The best part is that you can also mix Textile Color with other Jacquard paint lines to make something unique that can cater to your needs.

The paint is also very durable and if you paint on garments the design will stay on even after several washes.

It’s a well-rounded good performer and is especially good for new users because of how versatile it.

Pros
  • It’s semi-opaque paint and can mix well with different kinds of additives to achieve a wide range of use
  • It’s extremely durable and wash-fast
  • The colors are intense and have high saturation, especially, on light-colored fabric
Cons
  • It’s not good for working with textures or to have a raised appearance
  1. Jacquard Products Neopaque Acrylic Paint

Jacquard’s Neopaque fabric paint is one of the best options if you plan to work on dark-colored fabric. It’s fully opaque and has a high pigment count which makes it vibrant and intense even on dark textile. If you prefer heavy bodied paint then this one is right up your alley and if you want something slightly thinner, then you can mix it with water.

Sale
Jacquard Products JAC5800 Neopaque Acrylic Paint (8 Pack), 2.25 oz,...
  • Eight 2.25oz bottles of paint in Assorted colors
  • Use on all surfaces including Wood canvas paper...

Experience

The colors have high saturation and that’s why it’s perfect for dark garments or fabric of any sort. It’s highly pigmented giving it a rich color and feel.

Hence, it performs really well with light fabric as well.

Although it is heavier than the Dy-Na-Flow and Textile Color out of the box, it still leaves the fabric soft. It’s easily mixable with water, so, you can get something lighter if you may desire so.

It’s also very durable and once heated, it won’t leave the fabric easily. Because of how thick it is, of course, it is not recommended to use it with an airbrush system.

It can be a little hard to work with heavy bodied paint so we recommend picking up some other line-up if you are not planning to work with dark fabrics.

Pros
  • It is heavy-bodied and has a rich consistency
  • It’s durable and doesn’t wear off after washing
  • The colors are vibrant and intense. Hence, perfect for working with dark-colored fabrics
Cons
  • It’s not ideal to use it with airbrush systems
  1. Tulip Dimensional Fabric Paint

Tulip Dimensional Fabric Paint is a fantastic option if you are planning to use it for casual purposes or for children. It is extremely inexpensive and has a great variety of color options. Even though it is cheap, it’s still plenty durable and the colors are of good quality.

Tulip Dimensional Fabric Paint 6pk, Puffy
  • 6 bright fabric paints that get super puffy when...
  • Nontoxic - safe for everyone to enjoy

Experience

The design and the affordable nature of this product make it the perfect choice for a painting party or for a children’s birthday party.

All the colors are non-toxic and safe for people of any age, including children. And the way it is made, you don’t need to provide brushes or any other kind of applicators to use it in a party. Also, leading to a lot less cleanup afterward.

If you are planning to use it for a party then you should also take look at the Tulip party pack option because then you’ll get a variety of colors in a convenient package.

Even though it is inexpensive, the colors are vibrant and saturated, and it is also very durable and wash-fast.

Pros
  • Extremely inexpensive and great for a painting party
  • Rich colors and durable – wash-fast and the colors don’t fade
  • Non-toxic and completely safe for children
  • easily
  • It doesn’t need brushes or any other kind of applicator
Cons
  • Not useful for any serious use
  1. Jacquard Lumiere Fabric Paint 

Jacquard’s Lumiere line-up provides great color options if you want something shiny and bright. The colors have a metallic or pearlescent effect which works great especially for dark fabrics. The colors are semi-opaque and light-bodied which keeps the fabric soft after application.

Jacquard Products Lumiere Fabric Paint 2 Oz. Jar: Pewter
  • Light-bodied metallic and pearlescent paint
  • Exhibit unparalleled adhesive properties

Experience

Lumiere is one of the best line-ups if you are looking for a little bit of sparkle in your creations. The metallic or pearlescent look is very attractive and can make any ordinary project seem more beautiful.

The colors are well saturated and pretty vibrant. Even though it is semi-opaque and light-bodied, it works really well on dark fabrics.

It has amazing adhesion and pretty much sticks to any kind of fabric you want it to. So, you can even apply it in multiple layers to gain more intensity.

The results are exceptionally good on leather as well but if you want something even better in that regard then you can try Lumiere 3D which gives a better raised-appearance.

The paint is also extremely durable and resistant to wear due to washing or exposure to light.

If you want a shiny color set then there’s nothing better than this line-up for you.

Pros
  • It has a gorgeous metallic or pearlescent effect
  • It performs excellently on dark fabrics
  • The colors adhere incredibly well and the paint is extremely durable
Cons
  • Not ideal for a thin application or airbrush systems
  1. Jacquard Pinata Color Alcohol Inks

Alcohol-based fabric paints are great for a more transparent and dye-like application, and Jacquard’s Pinata alcohol ink is a great option for people looking for that. With beautiful-looking colors and good durability overall, we recommend Jacquard’s Pinata over any other alcohol-based fabric paint.

Jacquard Products Pinata Color Alcohol Inks, 1/2-Ounce, Silver
  • JACQUARD PRODUCTS-Pinata Color Alcohol Inks
  • This ink works on any surface

Experience

If you read our buyer’s guide – where we have talked about alcohol-based paint in greater detail, you’d know that alcohol inks have a more translucent and light application than acrylic based paint.

Jacquard’s pinata is a great alcohol ink. It is lightfast and incredibly durable under regular wash. You can even wash the paint away, if you wish, by using alcohol.

Hence, the paint is extremely modifiable. It’s also a lot more hassle-free and easy to work, especially, compared to acrylic-based paint.

It’s also the best option if you are planning to work with an airbrush system since it is so thin and light-bodied. You can use an airbrush system to apply paint with a high flow.

We recommend using this paint with synthetic fabrics or non-porous surfaces. Keep in mind that the colors are going to be light and translucent. That’s why we don’t advise using this color to paint on dark fabrics.

Pros
  • It works great on non-fabric surfaces as well like glass, ceramic and plastic
  • Easily modifiable using alcohol
  • It is extremely durable and lightfast 
Cons
  • Not ideal for using on dark fabric
  1. Fabric Paint 3D Permanent by Crafts 4 ALL

CRAFTS 4 ALL 3D Fabric paint is a great affordable alternative if you are not looking to invest a lot in fabric painting or just starting out. Even though it is inexpensive, the durability and the quality of the colors are pretty excellent. Hence, it’s a great value-for-money option for those who don’t want to spend a lot.

Sale
Fabric Paint 3D Permanent 24 Colors Set Premium Quality Vibrant Color...
  • BRILLIANT COLOR SPECTRUM - This 3D fabric paint...
  • 3D OR 2D- Highly pigmented quick dry 3D paint can...

Experience

Due to its inexpensive nature, CRAFTS 4 ALL is an excellent option for painting or birthday parties.

For the money, you get a wide range of color choices -24 colors in a set – and a tip nozzle – if you don’t want to use brushes or any other forms of an applicator.

The colors are totally odorless and non-toxic so it’s very safe for children to use. They are also somewhat semi-opaque, which means they show good saturation on light fabric.

And for the price, the paint is also very durable and adhere really well to the surface. It is also wash-fast and lightfast.

The only gripe we have is that the colors come only in a set of 24 and the amount of each individual color is very less. Be careful not to use a single color a lot for a project, otherwise, you’ll have to buy the complete set again.

Pros
  • It is very inexpensive and the set comes with 24 colors
  • The colors are of good quality and they adhere well to the fabric surface
  • The colors also have good saturation and are reasonably vibrant
Cons
  • The colors come in sets and there’s seemingly no way to get individual colors
  1. Liquitex Professional Fabric Effects Medium

This final entry is not a fabric paint but it’s a great medium to make any acrylic based paint useable for fabric painting. It’s a great non-toxic additive to make acrylic paints adhere better with fabrics making heat setting almost unnecessary.

Sale
Liquitex Professional Fabric Effects Medium, 4-oz
  • A fluid medium incorporating an acrylic polymer...
  • Enhances the workability of acrylic paint on...

Experience

Liquitex’s fabric medium is an awesome way to make any acrylic-based paint adhere to fabric surfaces.

We tried it out with Liquitex’s paints and other brands of paint as well and found it to work absolutely fine.

It also makes the paint more lightweight and workable.

The best part of it all is that it doesn’t need to be heat set. The dried paint will automatically be permanent and will be pretty durable.

For any fabric painter, this medium is a must-have even if you already have acrylic-based fabric paints because of its many uses.

Pros
  • It is non-toxic and completely safe to use
  • It makes any acrylic paint usable on fabric
  • No need to heat set the paint if you use this
Cons
  • None

Best Fabric Paint Buyer’s Guide

Fabric paints, of a specific kind, are all more or less similar in terms of quality. Hence, when making a purchase you’ll only have to worry about the kind of Fabric Paints you get.

The classifications of fabric paints depend on the type of fabric paint – acrylic-based, alcohol-based and fabric dye – and the forms of application – liquid paint, spray, and marker.

Once, you have these parameters set – we’ll discuss it in more detail in the following section, all you have to worry about is your preference of brand.

Types of fabric paints

Fabric paint or textile paint, basically, consists of pigments of color, emulsified with a binder which makes the pigment stick to the surface of any fabric.

Various kinds of fabric paints try to achieve this using different chemicals, which results in the difference of texture, permanency, etc.

Fabric Dye differs a little from fabric paints. It binds the pigment molecules directly to the molecules of the fabric.

Because of that, different types of fabrics require different kinds of dye.

There is no such concern for fabric paints because they use a binder, instead of interacting directly with the fabric molecules, to attach to the fabric.

  1. Alcohol-based fabric paint

Alcohol-based fabric paints use, you guessed it, alcohol as the binding material.

It’s not a commonly used type of fabric paint mainly because it seeps through porous fabric surfaces. And most of our garments or fabrics are porous in nature.

The ink doesn’t have as much saturation as acrylic paint and will have more of a transparent look.

You’ll need to use a lot of it to achieve a rich color and texture. It also doesn’t fare too well on dark-colored fabric because of this.

But on a non-porous fabric, alcohol-based paint can give the best appearance.

  1. Acrylic-based fabric paint

In acrylic-based fabric paint, an acrylic polymer is used as the binder medium. Adding color pigments and water to it makes fabric paint.

It is the most popular medium of fabric paint because it achieves the best results.

It is more durable than alcohol-based ink. It sticks to the fabric even after several washes and it resists decay due to exposure to light.

It is also easier to apply as it doesn’t lose its saturation depending upon the flow or viscosity of the paint. Hence, it gives a more accurate and consistent experience while painting.

It also comes in all forms of applicators – liquid paint, markers or spray.

Hence, acrylic-best paint is the best option for working on your textiles and garments.

  1. Fabric dye

An alternative to fabric paint is fabric dye but it is significantly different from fabric paint.

There are many kinds of dye that are meant specifically for a type of fabric. Depending upon the type of dye, it may be transparent looking like alcohol-based paint or more saturated and rich like acrylic-based fabric paint.

The way to use it can also vary significantly on the type of dye and overall, is a very different experience than fabric paints.

Types of applicators

The type of applicator decides how you can paint or design your textile. Fabric paints come in a variety of ways to apply it.

Here are some ways you can use fabric paint.

  1. Liquid Paint

This is the most popular way people use fabric paint.

Fabric paints come stored in a bottle and usually, it is sold in a set containing various colors.

Different brands can have different consistencies and there are many available additives to change transparency and consistency of the paint.

You can use a brush or spray it using an airbrush system. Whatever is your preference. You can even splatter it, if you may desire to.

  1. Spray Paint

You can even use fabric spray paint. They look and are used like regular spray paints but are specially made for fabric paints.

It is a good way to paint a garment if you don’t have a lot of details in your design.

  1. Markers

For less elaborate design and finer detail, you can also use fabric paint markers. These markers are like regular markers but they paint on fabric.

Of course, like regular markers, these are convenient and portable – although, a little limiting compared to liquid or spray paint.

  1. Special- Dimensional Paint

Dimensional fabric paint, a.k.a. Puff paint, are special kinds of fabric paint that can give a specific texture or a separate-layer appearance.

These are awesome because they can add a certain amount of uniqueness to your design.

Parameters to evaluate fabric paint

The following are some parameters that can help you judge the quality and the kind of paint you are using.

  1. Opacity

The paint’s opacity can vary depending upon the kind of paint you are using, as mentioned before.

Some paints are more rich and opaque while some are transparent. Depending upon your use you may prefer one or the other.

If you are working on a dark-shaded fabric, you’ll have to use opaque colors. While both transparent and opaque colors work well on lighter fabrics.

You can also use additives to change the opacity of your paint.

  1. Body and consistency

Thin fabric paints are called bodiless. Bodiless paint is the most ideal to be used in an airbrush system.

Otherwise, you can use bodiless paint in making something transparent or watercolor-like.

On the other hand, you have thick or heavy body paint. Heavy paint is best if you want to have a texture or you want the paint to form an extra layer above the fabric.

You can change the consistency of the paint using additive and you can make heavy body paint thinner using just water.

  1. Heat setting

Most of the times, to make the fabric paint last long, you’ll have to heat it.

Different fabric paints need a different amount of heat to adhere properly to the fabric. Good paint should adhere better even with less amount of heat.

While heating, you will have to make sure whether or not the fabric you are working on can endure that heat.

Conclusion

So, that’ll be all for this piece.

We have listed out our 8 top picks when it comes to fabric paint. You can purchase any of the eight entries we have mentioned and make it a part of your next creative endeavor.

We have also added a buyer’s guide to help you make a purchase on your own.

With that, we hope this article was helpful to you in some meaningful way and thank you for reading.

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