How to Make Your Own Fabric Paint

Updated April 17, 2017

Homemade milk fabric paint is a simple paint that you can create at home. It is supple and waterproof when dry, so it is great for painting items that are meant to be worn. Making milk paint takes very little effort and is practically goof proof since there is no "right" way of making it.

Sift the dry ingredients to get rid of any clumps.

Add an equal amount of pigment and dry milk to a bowl. You can experiment with different ratios of milk powder and pigment. For example, more pigment will yield a deeper colour. More milk makes the paint more waterproof and lightens the colour.

Add a little water (1 to 2 tbsp) and stir. Keep doing this until the paint is the right consistency for your project. Thinner fabric, for example, will do better with a thicker paint.

If the paint clumps, use a whisk to mix the paint.

Store the fabric paint in airtight jars in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.


Before using the paint, make sure that your fabric is clean, without fabric softener. Heat-set the paint with an warm iron.

Things You'll Need

  • Powdered milk
  • Dry pigment (these can be bought at craft stores)
  • Water
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About the Author

Since 1998 Alina McKee has written for dozens of traditional and online beauty, fashion, health and parenting publications including, Mama Health and Real Beauty. As a professional artist, her articles about these subjects have been used in magazines and websites around the globe. McKee has a diploma in fine art from Stratford Art School.