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Fabric painting using paint in a tube - brand comparisons


Fabric painting using a nozzle applicator
For easy fabric-painting without the need to use a paintbrush, you can paint using a tube and a thin nozzle applicator, just squeez the tube. Different companies market these products, which are constantly being improved, especially in relation to their colorfast properties after washing.

Techniques and hints

Fabric painting using a tube and applicator nozzle
  • First of all, wash any new fabrics in order to remove the sizing finish that will prevent the paint from getting a good 'hold' on the fabric. Next, iron the fabric. This makes the painting stage easier.
  • To avoid any nasty stains, always protect any two-layered object you are painting, such as a t-shirt or a cushion by sliding a piece of cardboard between the two layers.
  • After it has dried, the color is often a little different from the color you had when you applied the paint.
    If you want a specific final color, or if the object being personalized is not white, but dark-colored (black, navy blue), you should test out the color on a fabric of the same shade to ensure you know what color you will have when the paint has dried.
  • Never reapply paint to paint that has started to dry because the second coat will always be sticky to the touch.
  • When working on a flat surface, make sure you bring the paint from the tube all the way down to the nozzle tip. If necessary, squeeze a spot of paint onto a cloth. Otherwise, when you squeeze the tube, there's a possibility you may create an air bubble, which will lead to you squirting the paint messily around the general area that you wanted to paint.
  • What if it doesn't work out? Unlike fabric paint that's applied with a brush (and it's hard to wash out paint applied in this way), if you don't like the design you've painted, you can get rid of it by washing the clothes in question under a running faucet.
The method of color-fixing may vary in line with the product manufacturer and any new developments in the product field.
PaintDrying timeColor-fixingWashing
Pébéo Gloss Touch at least12 hoursFix the colors using an iron on the cotton setting. Each painted area must be color fixed for 5 minutesMachine wash up to 60°C (140°F)
New Pébéo Touch Textile fabric paint12 hoursYou don't need to fix the colors, just wait 72 hoursMachine washing
Diams 3D/dimensional multi-surface paint24 hoursYou don't need to fix the colors, just wait 72 hoursMachine wash at 40°C (104°F)
Tulip Slick dimensional paint24 hoursYou don't need to fix the colors, just wait 72 hoursMachine wash at a low temperature

We tested Gloss Touch paint (the old version) and after we fixed the color using an iron according to the instructions, (the design, on a pure cotton garment, measured 4.7 x 4.7 inches), the color held fast in a 30° (86°F) machine wash.

These tubes of paint may also be used to personalize wooden designs or even for scrapbooking purposes.

For the kids...

It's not easy for little hands to apply paint from a tube (you have to apply an even force in order to produce a line of paint that's not untidy). For smaller children, it's best to draw on their t-shirt designs using a felt-tip pen for fabric, even if this doesn't produce the 3D effect. Here's a hint for moms: these tube-based paints are great for creating an easy design on a kid's t-shirt which can help hide a stubborn stain!