Randy Charles
Randy Charles
Professional Painter

Hi, I’m Randy Charles, the creator and chief editor of this site Paintcentric. I’m a businessman now by profession, but I used to work as...Read more

Randy Charles
Randy Charles
Professional Painter

Hi, I’m Randy Charles, the creator and chief editor of this site Paintcentric. I’m a businessman now by profession, but I used to work as...Read more

Can I Use Fabric Paint on Canvas?

Randy Charles
Randy Charles
Professional Painter

Hi, I’m Randy Charles, the creator and chief editor of this site Paintcentric. I’m a businessman now by profession, but I used to work as...Read more

Canvas has proven to be a perfect surface for painting. Owing to its smooth surface and the ease of painting on it, lots and lots of artists use it for their creative works. And as many are employing this excellent painting material, questions start popping in their minds. For instance, one common question is can I use fabric paints on canvas?

As much as fabric paints are direct to apply to clothes, it takes a different approach to use them on canvas effectively. Unlike acrylic paints that stay put on canvas with direct painting, fabric paints require initial canvas priming to prevent crack. Beyond that, priming your canvas will enhance the glow of your images and make them last longer.

What Type of Paint Should You Use on Canvas?

Canvas provides a way for smooth and easy painting. And pros constantly use different paint types on the canvas to create colorful pictures. If you desire to result with beautiful images on a canvas, here are some of the paint types you can use:

What Type Of Paint Should You Use On Canvas

  • Acrylic Paints: Pro artists usually use acrylics for their paintings than any other paint type. This paint is water based and dries fast. Upon drying, it sticks hard to your canvas. Also, it comes in various colors that you can use to brighten your paintings and make them attractive. One con, however, about it is that it needs a warmer temperature to paint with it. Also, when it dries on the brush, it might be uneasy to remove.
  • Oil Paint: Another paint type for creating pictures on canvas is oil paint. Paint producers carefully make oil paints by mixing the linseed oil and pigments to form a colorful product.

One downside of using oil paints is that it can take years to dry totally. And apart from that, it can be toxic to some level. So, you’ll want to avoid its contact with your mouth or nose. But that doesn’t mean oil paint is all bad. It has upsides which are that it is typically smooth. If you try using your hands in rubbing the surfaces of oil painted objects, you’ll feel how smooth they are.

Oil paint is smoother than regular paints. Also, it lasts long. Though it’s relatively costly,   it’s suitable for painting on canvas.

  • Tempera: The popular name of this paint is finger paint. Students in school use it for finger painting. It has agents like pigments and binders like egg yolk. It’s nontoxic. It’s relatively cheaper than other paint types.

Because it is a water based paint, you can remove it quickly from your dress with little wiping. Many people love it because its colors are bright. Its con, however, is that the paint can crack off when it is too thick. Being a simple paint type, Tempera is ideal for beginner painters or students.

Can I Use Fabric Paint on Canvas?

Many artists have been asking that question. And the answer to it is yes. You can use fabric paints on canvas. It’s pretty beneficial to use the canvas for paintings. Made from fibers or cotton, the canvas is 100% natural. Therefore, you don’t need to worry about chemical reactions while painting.

Can I Use Fabric Paint On Canvas

Fabric is like an upgraded version of acrylic paint. Unlike the acrylics that stick to clothes “×2″, fabric paints stick to clothes” ×10” because it has natural binders. Using fabric paints will ensure long lasting pictures. But to use them effectively on canvas, you have to prime the canvas first.

How Do You Paint Canvas Fabric?

Once again, the canvas is made of two fibers — linen and cotton. The major difference between both is that cotton canvas is cheaper than linen canvas. Also, the latter is thicker and has a smoother surface to paint on. But despite all said, both do well. To paint canvas fabric, the first process is to decide the canvas type you’re going for. Is it linen or cotton?

How Do You Paint Canvas Fabric

Besides, you have to prepare painting materials such as brush, paints, water, and palette. As you already know, the brush is for stroking your paints on the canvas. And for the palette, it’s for setting down the paint colors you’ll use while painting. Then, water is for washing the brush properly during the process.

Now, when you have chosen your desired canvas type and set down all the materials, the next thing is to stretch the canvas. Extending it will smoothen the surface. And that will allow ease in painting as the brush will smoothly swipe across the canvas. So, when you want to paint on canvas, please do not forget to stretch it for ease.

After stretching the canvas, the next step is to prime the canvas to ensure your picture lasts long. As using primers on walls allow paints to stick better, using primers on canvas helps your painting last longer. Plus, it prevents your fabrics from looking rough on the canvas. Besides, the primers you use on your canvas help your color paintings glow. Therefore, always prime your canvas before painting to ensure your images last long.

After priming your canvas, you have to draw your outline on the canvas. That will guide and ease your painting process. Then, you’re free to use your fabric paints on your canvas.

Tips for Painting on Canvas Fabrics

After you must have considered what you want to paint and the colors, it’ll help a lot if you arm yourself with a few tips to upscale your painting. While you’re painting, there are certain things you need to look out for. Here they are:

Tips For Painting On Canvas Fabrics

  • Confirm Your Canvas: Basically, some canvas come with prime. Also, they may be taut already. So, you need to confirm that. If a canvas is primed already, there’s a high chance it is tight. Once your canvas comes taut or primed, there’s no need to stretch or prime it again.
  • Prime the Canvas: Perhaps if your canvas is not primed, you can follow this. To prevent the canvas material from retaining the paint and mudding your picture, you should prime the canvas. It’s the same white primers painters use in painting buildings. So, use a brush to spread it overall on the surface of the canvas. It’ll ensure your pictures last long.
  • Paint the Canvas White: If priming doesn’t work for you, you can paint the canvas all white. The white paint also does the job of primers.
  • Find a Suitable Location for the Painting: Place your canvas on your easel. And find any good spot where you’ll do your painting. On painting, you can lay your canvas flat, or better still, place it upright to do your painting.
  • Consider the Size of Your Canvas: We have two canvas sizes— small size and big size. Though beginners should start with the small size, you can go for any size of your choice. But in using the big size, you’ll have to do more painting.
  • Do Your First Sketch: Before you start painting, you’ll want to sketch your painting outline carefully. It’ll help guide your painting process. And it’ll make work easier.
  • Painting Method: The method with which you paint matters. Will you be painting from light tone to dark tone areas? Or will you be doing the reverse, from dark to soft tone areas? The choice is yours.
  • On Winding Up: When you’re done painting, you’ll want to clean your brush in water thoroughly. That will prevent the paint on the brush from drying. It may be uneasy to remove once it dries. And at least, by washing, you can use the brushes for your following paintings.

Final Thoughts

One question many artists ask is can I use fabric paints on canvas? Such a question arises because the canvas allows smooth painting. Even though the fabric paint is primarily for clothes, you can use it on canvas. But you have to carefully prime the canvas first to get beautiful paintings with fabric paints.

Randy Charles
Randy CharlesProfessional Painter

Hi, I’m Randy Charles, the creator and chief editor of this site Paintcentric. I’m a businessman now by profession, but I used to work as a painter earlier in my professional career. There is simply nothing about painting that I didn’t do as a painter. From painting a fridge to a multi-storied building, I left nothing. I retired from my painting job in the mid of 2018 due to back arthritis problems.

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