How To Soften Acrylic Paint On Fabric? A Must Read!

Did you know that acrylic paint is less than a century old! It was in the 1950s that they first had been made commercially available. This means that people have been enjoying all the quirks of acrylic ever since.

But even though they are considered to be an ideal choice for many, they can sometimes be a nuisance. You might know that acrylic paint tends to dry instantly after application. While it may be beneficial in some ways, it can also be a drawback for others.

Once the acrylic paint dries off, it’s impossible to remove, and it usually becomes so hard that the paint starts to crack. This can ruin the design of your T-shirt. So, to rid you of the dilemma, we have found a few tips on how to soften acrylic paint on fabric.

How to Soften Acrylic Paint?

There are two ways through which you can easily soften the acrylic paint. Mixing some warm water in the paint and using an acrylic medium.

Here are the detailed instructions,

How to Soften Acrylic Paint Using Warm Water?

Pour some warm water into the acrylic paint and mix it well until you are entirely sure that all of the water is combined with the acrylic.

You may think that this can be the most cheapest method that could easily soften the acrylic. But you could end up completely ruining the paint. Too much water can destroy the acrylic paint. And too little of it can have no result at all.

If the results are not good as expected, then try the advanced way and use the acrylic-based mediums to get good results. No doubt, by using advanced technology or synthetic acrylic-based mediums, acrylic paint will be softened, and then you can apply the paint on your shirt without the acrylic feeling hard to the touch later on.

How to Soften Acrylic Paint Using Acrylic Medium?

This may be a little advanced procedure, but it will surely soften that stain. Here’s what you will need,

How To Soften Acrylic Paint On Fabric?

  • Acrylic paint
  • Acrylic paint textile medium
  • Medium-sized artist paintbrush
  • Toothpick
  • Plastic plate
  • Pieces of white paper
  • Iron

Steps to Follow:

  1. Pour a small amount of acrylic paint on the plastic plate.
  2. Add some acrylic paint textile medium into the paint. I found Liquitex to be quite a useful textile medium. Keep in mind that the more medium you add to the paint, the longer it will take to dry. Set the measurements according to your needs. Longer drying time means that you can apply the paint on canvas without a care in the world.
  3. Use a toothpick to stir the mixture until they’re entirely mixed thoroughly.

Note: One part of the textile medium should be added to two parts of the acrylic paint (1:2).

When you mix the medium with acrylic, it reaches a certain level of consistency, which is the perfect for painting on fabric.

It’s time to paint your cloth. After applying the paint, let it dry off for 7 days. After the paint has been dried, place a piece of white paper on top of your acrylic and apply heat with the help of an iron.

Well, that should be it. You will notice that the acrylic paint doesn’t have a hard texture as it usually does.

Is Acrylic Medium Is Same As Fabric Medium?

Let me clear this ambiguity; Acrylic medium has its derivative or polymers that are fabric and gel mediums because fabric paint is the polymer of acrylic.

There are many different kinds of acrylic mediums. Mediums are mixed into the paint, and different ones do different things. Some make it take longer, some make it dry harder, etc.

Fabric medium can be used when you convert the acrylic paint into fabric paint. To convert your acrylic paint to the fabric paint, there is a need for liquid fabric paint, which is 1 part of the paint and 2 parts of acrylic paint.

What Can Be Used As A Substitute For Acrylic Medium?

Don’t have an acrylic medium lying around? Don’t worry, glycerol is a potential substitute for acrylic mediums.How To Soften Acrylic Paint On Fabric?

But too much of it can ruin the viscosity of the acrylic paint. So it is recommended to first mix it with water before proceeding along to combine it with acrylic paint. 1 part glycerol and 5 part of water (1:5) is the ideal mixture.

Why is Glycerol Used As A Substitute For Acrylic Medium?

Of course, this question must have popped in your head. Glycerol is one of the many ingredients used in regular acrylic paint. It is responsible for extending the time of drying along with increasing its viscosity.

Can Paint Thinner Be Used To Soften Acrylic Paint?

Yes, you can use a paint thinner to soften acrylic paint. Paint thinners are easier to apply on the surface. It may take some while to dry but will remain soft and easy on the fabric. But the resulting paint won’t be as vibrant and bright as you would have with regular acrylic paint.


Sadly, there is no way to soften the already dried up acrylic paint on your fabric. But with the methods mentioned above, you won’t have to face this problem ever again. Now, you can apply acrylic paint on your clothes without the scratchy, irritating sensation.