Removing unwanted fabric paint from clothing

Name: Martha


Fabric paints
for both natural
and synthetic fibers

Metallic and Pearlescent Fabric Paints
Jacquard lumiere colors

Jacquard Lumiere Colors


Opaque Fabric Paint
Jacquard neopaque colors

Jacquard Neopaque


Country or region: United States

Message: My grandaughter got a little fabric paint on a white dress and we need to try and get it out.  Is there a way to remove it or at least get most of it out of the material?  It is a very dressy dress and she needs to wear it in a wedding.  Thank you for any help you can give me.

The only way to remove fabric paint from fabric is by washing it immediately, before the paint dries. Once the paint dries, the acrylic binders in the paint polymerize, forming long molecules that are permanently bound to the fabric. The moment you notice a spill of fabric paint, immediately use a large amount of water to dilute and wash out the paint, even if it means washing it at a bathroom sink while you are still wearing it. The sooner you wash it, the better your results will be. A small amount of detergent, such as hand dishwashing liquid, or any available soap, may help in washing out the fabric paint, if the paint has not dried at all.

Some fabric paints do not set, and become permanent, until they are heated, but even those paints which require heat-setting will set partially at room temperature if allowed to dry for several days, enough to stain very badly, so try washing even dried fabric paint as soon as possible, using cool or lukewarm water. If the fabric paint has already set, there is no solvent or cleaner that can be relied on to remove it. However, if the paint is only very loosely applied to the surface, some of it may wear away by abrasion when you wash it, so you may as well try washing it even if you know it;s a paint that does not require heat setting. Do not dry the dress using heat until you have completely given up on removing any more of the paint. Heat from machine drying will accelerate the polymerization of the fabric paint, causing it to set more quickly.

If the paint cannot be washed out, as is very likely to be the case, you may have to consider using some fabric from a less conspicuous portion of the dress to replace the stained section of the fabric. You might be able to embroider over the stain, or sew on sequins, or even paint on some sparkly fabric paint that looks better on the dress, or use an opaque fabric paint to stamp on designs all over the dress that will look like they were the look you intended all along. 

When fabric paint is used to cover dried fabric paint, the results will never look anything at all like the original unstained fabric, but even dressy fabrics can sometimes look very nice with random all-over shapes or swirls, made using the right color of a sparkly paint. Silver or gold metallic paint, for example, can look wonderful on a white or colored background. Most fabric paints are transparent, which means that they will not cover up a darker color, but if you look for a metallic or pearlescent fabric paint, these are usually opaque and should, in many cases, be able to cover up an otherwise clashing color of fabric paint. An excellent brand of fabric paint that I recommend for both metallic and pearl effects is Lumiere. If your local crafts store does not carry Lumiere fabric paint, you can mail-order it from a dye supplier such as Dharma Trading Company, or from an arts and crafts supplier such as Blick Art Materials.

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Posted: Saturday - June 26, 2010 at 09:24 PM          

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