How To Soften Painted Fabric? A Must Read!

The stiffness of fabric is a common problem and may occur due to different reasons. It may occur due to residue of soap or fabric softener, or sometimes painting a fabric makes it harder and the fabric looks no more appealing. Adding the wrong amount of detergent also makes the fabric harder.

How To Soften Painted Fabric?

Softening a painted fabric is an easy task.  Using the right type of paint according to the fabric will prevent the fabric from stiffening. Furthermore, an appropriate amount of heat is also essential to set the paint well.

Abstract green watercolor on white background.This is watercolor splash.It is drawn by hand. Stock Illustration | Adobe Stock

Although various types of fabric softeners are available in the market, research shows that these softeners damage the fabric and are harmful to health.

Some easy steps to soften the painted fabric

Below are given some steps you should follow carefully to soften the painted fabric:

1. Cleaning and Brushing The Fabric:

Properly clean the fabric along with vacuum brushing to remove all the waste or dust particles. The presence of these particles makes the painting job tough.

2. Make a Paint Mixture:

After the cleaning step, the next step is to make a paint, fabric medium, and water mixture. After proper mixing, the mixture is ready for use.

3. Soak the Fabric Well:

The fabric should be soaked in the misted water well that it gets softened completely because a softened fabric is easy to paint upon.

4. Apply the First Coat of Spray:

Apply the first coat of the paint to the fabric but make sure that the coat is thin. It should look like a primer which means the fabric can be still seen from the primer layer. Set the fabric until the first coat is dried completely.

5. Apply The Second Coat:

Following the same way as the first spray coating, apply the second coat. But this time, be more careful to hide all the pores, corners, etc. Again, let the paint dry completely.

6. Apply the Final Coat:

This is the most important of all coats and should be thicker than the previous ones. Apply the final coat and leave it to dry.

7. Enjoy the Soft Fabric:

Finally, the fabric is softened. Clean it once more with a brush to remove any debris.

How to Choose Best the Paint For Fabric?

You just need to do a little research to find out the right type of paint for your fabric. After all, the right type will add a unique touch to the designs and make them look more appealing. Also, the perfect paint will stay long on the fabric.

To find out what should be the right qualities for a paint that does not stiff after applying, follow the steps given below:

Type of Paint:

Acrylic paint is the best type of paint for textiles. The acrylic polymer is made durable by bonding it with a color and then further it is emulsified. Doing this, the fabric gets refrained from daily usage or sunlight.

Transparency and Consistency of Paint:

Figure out the requirements of your project and then find which transparency and consistency of paint type suit the project well. In the case of darker fabrics, opaque colors are best.

Set the Fabric Paint With The Help of Heat:

Heat is the best element to set the paint on the surface permanently. But make sure the fabric type you are using is heat resistant.

Consult the Fabric Makers:

A master will guide you that why fabric makers can find out the right type of paint for your fabric.

How to Keep Acrylic Paints Soft on Your Fabric?

Acrylic paints are the best for fabrics, but they have one major disadvantage. They become hard to crack once they dried off completely and due to this it is impossible to remove them.

A small fraction of acrylic paint must be spilled onto a plastic plate. You should use an acrylic paint textile medium to assure that the acrylic paint retains soft after drying.

However, you must do so in the proper proportions. Two parts of acrylic paint should be mixed with one portion of the textile medium.

Always add the medium directly to the center of the paint puddle. After pouring, mix them properly. You can use a toothpick or a spatula to stir the mixture.

Once you are done with the mixture, start applying the paint. For this purpose, I prefer using an artist’s brush in the mixture because they are perfect for all types of art and then applying it to the material of choice. The brushes will give smooth strokes.

After that, let the paint dry completely for at least 7 days. Heat should be provided in ample range so that it does not dissolve the paint.

When it is dried, settle the material between two pieces of white paper and, during this process, apply heat through iron which should be set to the fabric setting. After this process, you will notice that the paint doesn’t remain hard in texture.

Why Should You Stop Using Fabric Softeners?

Fabric softeners are hazardous to the environment. They not only damage your clothes but also impose serious impacts on your health.

They diminish the absorbing ability of materials especially towels. The fragrances used in their making can cause severe respiratory problems such as asthma, tuberculosis, etc.

Related Questions

  • Do acrylic paints wash out of fabrics?

Acrylic paints are the most commonly used paints on fabrics. Once they are completely dried, they will stay permanently on clothes. But before using them, make sure you are not using washable paints.

  • How to soften chalk paint?

Soften the dried chalk paste is easy and quick. You just need to add a few drops of distilled water and stir. Stir the mixture continuously by adding water until you get your desired consistency.

  • Can I use a hair dryer to heat the fabric paint?

Yes, you can use a hairdryer to set the paint. Most artists painting with acrylics use hairdryers to dry the paint faster. Be careful that the hairdryer should not get close enough to the paint. If this happens, it will remelt the paint.

  • Is it possible to use fabric paint on polyester?

Though fabric paint can be used on almost any fabric, the best results come from natural fabrics with a tight weave, such as cotton, denim, or silk.

Cotton/polyester blends are also a good option. Your paint colors will pop against the white fabric the most, but other light colors will also work.


The soft texture of the fabric is what everyone demands. It may get hard due to softeners, detergents, or the wrong type of paint.

Although there is no proper way to soften fabric, following the appropriate guidelines given in this article, you can ensure to restore the softness of your fabric.