How to Paint a Red T-shirt?


February 9, 2018

I am applying acrylic paint on a red t-shirt and the red is bleeding thru the acrylic. How can I prevent this from happening?


The shirt has been laundered several times. I have put 5 or 6 coats of flesh color on it and the red is still bleeding thru.


Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 105 Posts
February 9, 20180 found this helpful
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It has been my experience with painting on T-shirts, you'll need to buy special paint to do this with. Just using an acrylic spray paint in the can won't work for T-shirts. The paint is a water based paint and because of this the color from underneath will bleed through.

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Diamond Post Medal for All Time! 1,298 Posts
February 10, 20180 found this helpful
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Some acrylic paints are made for paper and canvas. But there are also some acrylic paints for fabrics - you might go with that instead.

Or, you might need a medium (paint thinner).


You could ask your local craft store.

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Gold Feedback Medal for All Time! 949 Feedbacks
February 13, 20180 found this helpful
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Red is rated as the color to "most likely fade/run/bleed" so you may always have trouble with the red bleeding any time it is laundered.

  • There are special paints for material but red is a strong color so if you are trying to put white on red it will probably never work the way you want it to.
  • Here is information from one web site:
  • Acrylic Paints
  • You can use acrylic paints on T-shirts. All you need to make regular acrylic paints suitable for T-shirt painting is a textile medium. Simply mix 1 tablespoon of textile medium for every tablespoon of acrylic paint before applying the paint to your T-shirt. The textile medium converts regular paint to fabric paint so it doesn't dry up and crack when applied. (Textile medium can be purchased on line or at any craft store.)
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  • I believe you will have to try and make your T-shirt colorfast before applying the paint or it will run into the "white" area every time it is laundered.
  • Here is one suggestion:
  • There is a lot of controversy about whether salt or vinegar will "set" the dye but it seems that it may depend on the material, temperature of water, as well as other factors.
  • If you are able to paint your shirt without bleeding, I would recommend you use something like "color catcher" in every wash.
  • (Affiliate Link)

Your local craft stores may have some suggestions, especially about what color to use on red cloth.

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February 17, 2018

Is textile medium the same thing as floating medium? It was suggested in my answer to painting t-shirts that I mix it with my acrylic paints. Is there any difference in them?


Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 105 Posts
February 17, 20180 found this helpful
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Your best bet is to buy a fabric paint that is rated for T-shirt material. I saw another post on here where a person used spray acrylic paint on their shirts and it bleeds through. This is a water based paint and it will bleed through.


I personally think you'll like the results much better. I've painted on shirts before and the only way to actually make them look good is with the fabric paint.

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