Can You Use Acrylic Paint On Canvas Fabric?

Acrylic painting is such a blessing for artists like us, which we can use for our daily art experiments. But is it okay to use them on canvas fabric too? 

I know you have the same query, and I did some research to find out the actual fact.

Can you use acrylic paint on canvas fabric? Of course, you can use acrylic on canvas fabric made of different materials. But the result will vary if you prime the surface or not before painting. The colors pop on canvas so well that you can easily hang them on the wall as artwork. But try to seal the paint with a varnish for a long term preservation.

I have so much new information to share, and you keep reading the article to explore those facts.

Can You Use Acrylic Paint On Canvas Fabric?

Can You Use Acrylic Paint On All Types Of Canvas Fabric?

Canvas Fabric is an extraordinary plain surface that every artist prefers for painting over it. 

This comes in different shapes, and you can even choose different fabric materials. Some of these are cotton, linen, duck, and hemp. 

You can use acrylic paint on all of these fabrics. But they may function differently in the presence of paint. 

Can You Use Acrylic Paints On All Types Of Canvas Fabric?

Cotton fabric is cheap and can soak acrylic if you do not prime it. Linen fabric is most suitable for acrylic painting as it is durable and can hold paint if the surface lacks primer. 

Duck canvas fabric is also super durable, and it has a smooth surface. The tight weave fabric can hold acrylic nicely. 

But hemp fabric is the most durable and expensive type of canvas fabric. Artists of different time periods used this one for their projects and their artworks are still beautiful.

Is Acrylic Paint Permanent On Canvas Fabric?

As you might have noticed, when you get acrylic marks on your dress, it sticks after drying. You find it hard to wash away the paint. 

Same as when you paint canvas fabric with acrylic; it stays permanently. But there is a high chance that it will crack or peel off if you do not seal the paint. 

So, to make acrylic permanent, you can add a fabric medium to thin the paint or heat seal the art after drying. It can give you long-lasting results. 

Can You Use Acrylic Paint On Canvas Fabric Without A Medium?

You can use acrylic paint on canvas fabric without any sort of medium. But the result will be a total disaster. because the fabric will try to soak the paint within the fiber, and your artwork will ruin. 

Yet if your canvas fabric is tightly woven, it will hold the paint on the surface. But you will find it difficult to preserve as the natural fiber may deteriorate with time. 

So, try using a medium or gesso to build the surface for your paint and seal it with a varnish afterward.

How To Paint Canvas Fabric With Acrylic Paint?

If you want to try some acrylic paint on the canvas fabric, then you need to have 

  • Good quality acrylic
  • Paintbrush
  • Fabric medium
  • A canvas fabric
  • A piece of cardboard
  • A hairdryer
  • Varnish liquid or spray

When you have these, you can move to the next step.

Wash Your Fabric

You can wash your canvas fabric if you want the surface to be soft and stable for your paint. This also allows you to witness if the fabric seems to shrink a bit. But you can totally skip this step.  

Prepare The Paint

Prepare The Paint

You can use regular acrylic on canvas fabric but for a better outcome, mix fabric medium to it. Mix two parts of paint and one part medium to keep the vibrant color of your paint.

Prepare The Fabric

Prepare The Fabric

Now use a piece of cardboard below the fabric as a barrier. You can also press the surface with iron to remove any wrinkles. Next, apply a coat of primer or gesso and then let it dry.

Outline Your Design

Outline Your Design

Draw the design that you want on your canvas fabric with a pencil. Be precise so that you can follow the border while using a paintbrush.

Apply Paint In Layers

Apply Paint In Layers

Now the fun begins. Apply any paint you desire and let it dry before applying the next layer. You can use a dryer on a low setting but for a few minutes from a distance.

Dry The Paint

Dry The Paint

After you are finished painting is complete, let it dry for at least 24 hours. You can leave it under a fan or even outside but avoid direct contact with sunlight.

Apply A Varnish

After your acrylic dries, apply a liquid or spray varnish. You can choose either a matt one or a glossy one. This will protect your masterpiece from cracking or peeling off.

Can I Heat Dry And Heat Set The Acrylic Paint On Canvas Fabric?

Of course, you can heat set acrylic paint on canvas fabric, but you should skip heat drying your paint. I will tell you why. 

Because if you heat dry the paint too much, you are just sucking out the moisture of the paint early, which may create some cracks. 

So, you can just let the acrylic paint dry naturally and heat set it with an iron for a long-lasting effect. 

Do You Need To Seal Acrylic Paint On Canvas Fabric?

Do You Need To Seal Acrylic Paint On Canvas Fabric?

You can leave your acrylic paint on canvas fabric without sealing it. But the result will be unpleasant. Because acrylic paint without sealing can crack or even peel off from the surface of fabric after a while. 

Seal Acrylic Paints On Canvas Fabric

The sealer gives protection from dust and harsh environment. So, to preserve your acrylic on canvas fabric, try to use a clear varnish as a sealer on it.

Does Acrylic Paint Harden The Canvas Fabric After Drying?

When you apply regular acrylic over canvas fabric and let it dry, you will feel the surface is rough. After a few hours, it will be stiff and you cannot feel the fabric as before. 

To avoid such a situation, you can add a fabric or textile medium with your paint and mix well. Then spread it out evenly on the surface and let it dry. Next, you will find soft and smooth artwork on canvas.

What Other Paints Can You Use On Canvas Fabric?

In the world of paint, you have many options to decorate your canvas fabric. Some are too easy to use, and some may not be appropriate for such a fabric.

Oil Paint

Oil paint is a very classic paint to use on Canvas fabric. It just takes a longer time to dry, but it dries pretty smoothly. So does the fabric paint as it is specially made to apply on canvas fabric.

Spray Paint

If you have spray paint, then you can tape a stencil on the fabric and spray over the fabric. It will create some patterns. You can also use Fabric dye to form a tie-dye pattern or to dye fabric in one color simply.

Latex Paint

Latex paint might be available at your house, which you can try on your canvas fabric. But be careful because it will not hold your art for a long time.

Tempera And Watercolor

Tempera and watercolor are not recommended for such fabric because these paints have the least density. 

That makes the paint drip on the surface or make unpleasant patterns. So, try not to experiment with these if you are working on a serious project.

Suggested Materials You May Need

#1 ARTEZA Craft Acrylic Paint : (Recommended Acrylics For Canvas Fabric)

ARTEZA Craft Acrylic Paint is a perfect choice for your primed canvas fabric. It has multiple color options that will help you to paint your imagination on fabric.

I personally prefer Arteza because it has a proper density that allows it to spread the paint evenly. Even children can have fun with this non-toxic paint. 

People find that it can dry quickly, and you can add layers without scraping off other paint from the fabric. 

Arteza is giving you their acrylic paint set at a very reasonable price. I bet you will like this amazing product.

#2 Mod Podge Waterbase Sealer : (Recommended Sealer For Acrylic Paint on Canvas Fabric)

Mod Podge Waterbase Sealer is a matt finisher for your acrylic paint on canvas fabric. It will protect the paint from water and give a long-lasting shine.

I would love to have them on my counter because it is odorless and quite sufficient for multiple projects. Some have used this on canvas fabric, and they have got some amazing results.

Try using this magical sealer to secure your paint crack-free on the surface of a fabric.

Over To You

At the very end, all I can say is you can use acrylic paint on Canvas Fabric with or without fabric medium with two different results. 

I tried to cover all the necessary information and hope it was helpful. But if you think I missed some important point, then do mention it below. 

The comment section is all yours, where you can share your questions and thoughts. 

Further Readings

Can You Use Fabric Paint On Canvas? (How To Paint On Canvas)
Is Cotton Really Bad Canvas?
Can You Use Acrylic Paint On Fabric?
How To Soften Fabric After Painting?
Painting With Acrylics On Raw (Unprimed) Canvas
Can You Use Acrylic Paint On Fabric: A Guide For Beginners
Painting A Tote Bag | DIY Acrylic Paint On A Canvas Tote Bag!
Paint On Canvas Bag
Painting A Canvas Bag: Everything You Need To Know
The Best Alternatives To Painting Fabric With Acrylics
The Best (And Worst) Types Of Paint To Use On Canvas

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