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It is a technique to paint on unprimed canvas, with colors that are waterproof once dried up and therefore, the fabric can be washed. New industries have developed dyes and paint colors that are resistant to washing, light and heat, and therefore serve to paint clothes, scarves, shoes, curtains, tablecloths, towels and other fabrics with which we live.

Painting on fabric

Shirts painted with fabric paints.

Techniques used in the direct painting on fabics

  • Painting with brushes and sprays.
  • Stamping with stamps or solid forms. You can also extend the paint with a roller on a surface that have the desired shapes or applying buffers with various printing techniques that exist.
  • Stencil templates. With brushes and sponges or using templates with holes designed drawings.
  • Serigraphy.
  • Reservations with wax or batik technique.
  • Markers to fabric. To define, write, draw, etc.. Ideal for children.

Step by step in the decorating of a small tablecloth with the technique of painting directly on canvas.


  • Wooden board
  • Cotton Fabric
  • Thumbtacks
  • Paints for fabics
  • Brushes, pencil and markers
  • Clothes iron
  • Vegetal and tracing paper

If it’s a shirt, for example, you should add a wood or thick cardboard between fabrics, so they do not go through and staining the back fabric.

Paint the tablecloth – Step by Step:

  1. To wash and to iron the fabric. Spread it on a smooth wood and fix it with thumbtacks.
  2. Create the basic designs and shapes. You can use a pencil and the markers if it´s something that you don´t need to erase. Also you can trace with a tracing paper.
  3. We paint the picture and let it dry thoroughly. According to the drawing, we will use the brushes bigger o thinker.
  4. We let it dry for 24 hours and then we set the colors by ironing the fabric, by the reverse side, without steam and even with a thin material above the colors. The iron must not be at the top or too soft.

Youtube Videos related Painting on canvas

Some videos to get an idea and inspiration.


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