How to make fabric paint dry faster

Written by sylvia branch
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How to make fabric paint dry faster
Use fabric paint to make a sea scene. (seahorse fabric image by Katrina Miller from

Fabric paint is a fast-drying paint that goes on smoothly. You can use fabric paint to stencil designs on clothing, or you can paint freehand designs with it. Children can use fabric paint to decorate T-shirts with their handprints or footprints. Although the paint is naturally quick-drying, there are times when speeding up the process is important, such as when it's used in a school activity or for a last-minute gift.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Washer and dryer
  • Material
  • Fabric paint
  • Brush
  • Hair dryer
  • Pressing cloth
  • Iron

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  1. 1

    Wash and dry the material you'll be using. This removes the sizing and helps the fabric paint adhere better.

  2. 2

    Use a small amount of water or painting medium to thin the fabric paint. Thin paint dries faster than a thick application.

  3. 3

    Once you've painted your design on your material, set a hair dryer on low. Hold it at least 12 inches from the fabric, taking care to not spread the paint as you dry it. The fabric can also be placed in the sun or in front of a fan to speed drying.

  4. 4

    Further set the paint by placing a pressing cloth over fabric paint that is dry to the touch. Press with a warm iron, without steam, for 5 minutes. Carefully move the iron around the design. This will heat-set the image and allow the paint to dry completely.

Tips and warnings

  • Do not machine-wash your painted fabric for several days.
  • Read the label on your particular brand of fabric paint to determine how long it normally takes to dry.

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