Using fabric paint is a great way to update a wardrobe or give furniture in a home a new look. It is inexpensive and lets one use their imagination to come up with wonderful and exciting ways to spruce up an outfit. Tips to help complete a successful paint job includes information on types of fabric and how to treat painted objects.

The best type of fabric to use with paint is 100 percent cotton. It absorbs color better than most fabrics. Rayon, silk, 50/50 cotton-polyester blends and other washable natural-fiber fabrics are also good for paint jobs.

Preparing fabric for painting involves washing clothes or furniture covers. It is best to not use fabric softener when drying material because it adds chemicals to fabric. After objects dry, waxed paper is a good material to place between layers of objects when painting on a smooth surface.

Choosing the right color is key to making sure a paint job goes well. Paint that is the same color or darker than the material is best for painting. Fabric paint will not make darker colored objects lighter. For those who are nervous about painting fabric, paper towels are good for test runs. Before painting an entire object, it may also help to do a small test on a hidden area of the furniture or garment.

Painting on fabric is akin to drawing with a pencil. It is best to hold the paint like a writing utensil. This helps when holding the applicator to make outlines on fabric. After outlining, fabric brushes help to spread paint. Brush types include those with chiseled edges, liner tips and scrubbers.

Using a charcoal outline to transfer a drawing onto fabric helps when painting a design. A line art pattern traced on paper gets transferred using chalk pence and tulle netting taped onto the fabric.

It takes 24 to 72 hours for fabric paint to dry depending on the thickness of the paint. Clothes with paint designs require washing in mild detergent on a gentle cycle.