Enhance your next home decor project by learning how to dye fabric with milk paint and provide a timeless look for any project big or small! This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Plaid. All opinions are my own! Affiliate links have been provided for your shopping convenience!
The first week of school is officially over! Every year when school starts I begin transitioning right into Fall mode. Our schedule is back in place, I have a little bit more time in the day, and the weather starts to cool down. All these things just scream pumpkin spice don’t they? In preparation for a little Fall Decorating I wanted to spruce up my white cloth napkins and decided to try something new by using Folkart® Milk Paint™ to dye fabric.
I can’t tell you how many shirts I have ruined with paint, so I knew there would be a way for me to dye these napkins in the exact colors I was looking for! I decided to go with the FolkArt Milk Paint because it’s pretty thin to begin with and I knew it would mix well with water to dye the fabric!
So let’s dye some fabric!
Disclaimer: I have only tested this material on white fabric. If you dye fabric of any other color it will alter the appearance. I would also not suggest using this method on any clothing unless you are willing to risk how it turns out! ; )
**FolkArt Milk Paint is not intended to be used for dyeing fabric. Please use at your discretion.
- Pre-washed Plain White Napkins (make sure they are cotton)
- FolkArt Milk Paint
- Bucket for dipping the fabric
- Stir Stick
How to Dye Fabric with Milk Paint
Step 1: Mix your Paint
Add about 2 gallons of water to a clean bucket. Then begin adding the FolkArt Milk Paint to the water. I used about half a bottle of paint (approx. 3.4 oz) per 2 gallons. However, the good thing about this paint is that it is thin and mixes well. You can use more or less to your liking.
I would suggest testing the color intensity on a scrap piece of fabric first. Use your stir stick to completely mix the paint and water. Also, feel free to mix paint colors if necessary.
I used a few different colors. In the above picture I used 3 parts Plymouth Rock and 1 part Inkwell to give it a slightly blue tint. I used the Bristol Green on one napkin, and on the last napkin I used a combination of 3 parts Brass Buckle and 1 part Plymouth Rock.
Step 2: Saturate the Fabric
Once the paint and water are thoroughly mixed add in one pre-washed napkin at a time, or your fabric of your choice, and place it into the bucket of water. Using a stir stick make sure the fabric is fully saturated. Agitate the fabric with the stir stick for about 1 minute making sure every part is covered.
Step 3: Remove the fabric and let dry.
Squeeze all the excess water out of the napkin. If you feel it’s a little too dark, just use a hose to rinse out the excess and it will lighten it up for you. Then allow the fabric to dry in the sun. I hung mine over a pole, but I would actually suggest laying it flat to dry somewhere because as it hung the dripping fabric did result in some uneven coloring. If you are going for a vintage look, then hanging it will work, but for a more solid finish I would lay it flat, while still allowing air to flow and a place for the water to drip.
Step 4: Tumble Dry Fabric
Once the fabric has dried in the sun, put the fabric into your dryer and run it at a high heat to set the paint to prevent it from running later on. I would highly recommend making sure there is no paint left in your dryer when you are done. Ideally the fabric should be dry before placing it in the dryer, but always best to check!
Step 5: Iron
After the fabric has run in the dryer for a while it will need to be ironed. You might also want to protect your iron and ironing board with old towels or sheets just in case any paint comes off. I didn’t have this problem, but it could certainly happen.
Now your new colored napkins are ready to use. I love the vintage vibe the milk paint gives the fabric, and by soaking it in water it doesn’t leave it all crispy feeling! You can use this method to dye fabric with milk paint for any occasion or holiday. I’d love to see how you use it, so be sure to tag me in any pictures!
How to Dye Fabric with Milk Paint
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Have a Beautiful Day!
For more Painting Techniques check out the posts below!
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Karen Simon Peterson says
Do these napkins lose color when washed? I love the effect of the milk paint dyed cloth.
Wonderful informative post. Good to know can use something besides “dye” to change color of fabrics. If you live out a ways from stores it’s not always an option to head to store when you want to do a project. When I get an urge it’s now, so love knowing can use something am more likely to have handy than “dye”. Bookmarked this post. Just never know what will want to do.
Have great week
Kathleen Rupp says
Dyeing fabric is so much fun! I have only done it with RIT dyes and tea bags. Both times I had a blast. I have never used milk paints before and definitely have not tried dyeing with them. This is an excellent project I will have to try. Just pinned it! Just found your site from Talk of the town party:)
Oooh, this is a good trick for SO many of my clothes I’ve ruined with crafty pursuits! #MM
Autumn Brown says
I’m wondering how would the colour last! Is it wash and light fast? Safe for machine wash?
Milk Fabric says
Fabrik with milk is good idea, milkfabrik.com
Milk Fabric says
I have always enjoyed creating unique and custom clothing. I used to even have special fabric dyes, because I was actively into it. Now things are much easier and I can create custom clothes with Printful. I choose a print that I like, and it can be anything I want. I am also satisfied with the quality of the clothes from this site, it is also at the highest level.