Felt is a highly absorbent fabric made from cotton, wool, or other synthetic fibers matted together using heat, water, and pressure.
Being such a versatile material, felt can be used for various purposes, such as making clothing, jewelry, toys, and even home decor.
It’s also a popular choice for school and art projects for kindergarten through 12th-grade students.
If you’re looking for a way to add color and decoration to a felt project, you might wonder if you can use spray paint.
The answer is yes. Spray painting is a popular crafting technique that can create attractive, unique designs on various surfaces, including felt.
However, before spray painting your felt project, it’s essential to know a few things about the process, the correct type of paint products that should be used, and the best way to go about it.
Spraying Paint Over Felt
Felt can be painted in many ways, but the most popular is acrylic spray paint.
The process is fun and creates beautiful colors that can quickly turn your belongings into beautiful art pieces.
Acrylic paint is specifically designed for art and craft projects and can be sprayed easily after thinning with water, paint thinner, or even mineral spirits.
Here is a step-by-step process of how you can use acrylic spray paint on felt:
Step 1- Start by Protecting Your Working Surface.
Place a drop cloth or old newspaper down on the surface where you will be working.
This will help to prevent any acrylic paint from getting on your furniture or flooring.
Another thing to remember is that you should always use spray paint outdoors in a well-ventilated area.
Spray painting indoors can be dangerous due to the fumes, so it’s best to do it in a place with plenty of fresh air.
Step 2- Choose the Correct Type of Paint for Felt.
When deciding to spray paint your felt project, you first need to know that not all spray paints are created equal.
Some spray paints are specifically designed for use on fabric, while others are meant for use on other surfaces, such as wood or metal.
To get the best results, it’s essential to use spray paint specifically designed for fabric use. These types of spray paints are usually labeled as “fabric” or “textile” spray paints.
A few brands that offer good quality fabric acrylic paint for spraying are DecoArt Americana, Martha Stewart Crafts, and Rust-Oleum.
Step 3- Prepare Your Felt Project for Painting.
Once you have chosen the correct type of spray paint, it’s time to prep your project.
You can get started immediately if you have a project design (like a felt hat, felt board, pool table, felt buster, tiles, etc.).
However, if you’re working with a large piece of felt or multiple pieces of felt to cut and prepare, it’s best to turn them into smaller, manageable pieces before starting the painting process.
This will make it easier to work with and help you avoid accidental paint mishaps.
Begin by placing the felt roll flat on your work surface. Then, use a measuring tool to cut the felt into whatever shape is necessary for your project.
Step 4- Thin the Paint, If Needed.
Thinning may be required if you plan to use a paint sprayer instead of an aerosol paint spray can. This will be useful if you have a large paint surface area to cover.
For smaller projects, a single aerosol paint sprayer can will be enough to suffice your needs.
- Before you start painting, check the consistency of your spray paint.
- If the spray paint is too thick, it may clog the spray nozzle and prevent a smooth application.
- To thin the paint, simply add water, paint thinner, or mineral spirits to the paint container and shake well.
- The amount you’ll need to add will depend on the paint brand you’re using. Most brands will provide exact instructions on their product labels.
Step 5- Paint the Felt and Let it Dry Completely.
Now, you’re ready to start painting!
To get started, hold the aerosol can about 8 to 12 inches away from the surface of the felt and start spraying.
- Use thin, smooth strokes to apply the paint evenly across the surface.
- Allow each layer to dry completely before adding additional coats.
- After you’ve finished painting, set the felt project aside to let the paint dry.
Felt will usually take about 12 to 24 hours to dry completely. Once the paint is dry, you can put your project to use!
Challenges with Spray Painting Felt
Spray painting felt isn’t tricky, but it does have an effect on the felt’s texture.
Plus, if you aren’t careful, it’s easy to overdo it and end up with paint drips.
A few other problems you may face when painting felt include:
- Felt is a very porous material. This means that when you try to paint it, the paint often seeps into the fabric and bleeds through.
- Initially, the paint you use may make the felt stiff. But eventually, it will loosen. Patience is the key to success.
- If you use a brush to paint felt, the material may look scruffy and will feel uncomfortable to touch. This may also affect its appeal and overall beauty.
And for these obvious reasons, many people prefer to draw on felt paper/fabric with a pencil and marker and then use a fabric paint squeeze bottle to color – instead of using acrylic or fabric paint.
Here is an illustrative method on ehow.com that can help you use this felt paint technique.
Alternatively, these challenges can be overcome by taking suitable precautions when preparing your project and using the correct type of paint.
Below is a video by Danielle where she tested seven ways to color felt.
Hopefully, the video may help you get started and choose the right paint products if you are still confused.
The Bottom Line
Felt is a versatile material used for various craft and art projects.
You can paint over felt with different types of paint, depending on the type of felt and painting method you’re using.
If you decide to spray paint felt, take all the precautions, and I hope with a little practice, you’ll be able to achieve great results.
So, why not give it a try and see for yourself how easy and fun it can be to spray paint felt?
Who knows, you might even discover a new favorite hobby that you can turn into a pastime business.
Jack Luis is a semi-retired painter who loved painting his clients’ ideas on their walls.
He had worked as a painter for more than a decade to serve the customers in areas such as Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Beaufort, Georgetown, SC (South Carolina). Today in his free time, he likes to read and write about the newer techniques that are being implemented in his profession. You may read more about him here or get in touch with him here.
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