Waterproof Outdoor Fabric Paint, 25 Things You Should Know

As experienced DIY enthusiasts and outdoor lovers, we understand the struggle of wanting to personalize and protect our favorite outdoor fabric items without compromising their water resistance. The answer lies in using the right type of paint: waterproof outdoor fabric paint! We have not only tried and tested multiple products and techniques but also found the best options available in the market.

Waterproof outdoor fabric paint:

Waterproof outdoor fabric paint is a special coating applied to fabrics, providing a barrier against moisture, water, and weather elements. This durable and long-lasting paint offers benefits like water resistance, durability, fade resistance, versatility, and aesthetic appeal. Common types of such paint include acrylic, silicone-based, vinyl, and polyurethane-based. The proper application ensures optimum results in creating water-resistant textiles.

Looking to revamp your outdoor space with vibrant colors? Discover the wonders of waterproof outdoor fabric paint in our comprehensive guide. Learn about its unique qualities, application techniques, and how to select the perfect paint for your project.

Don’t miss our expert advice on achieving long-lasting and eye-catching results. Keep reading for endless inspiration!


Water-Resistant Exterior Fabric Paint

Water-resistant textiles are widely used for various purposes, from clothing and accessories to outdoor furniture and decorations. Thanks to modern technology and innovative solutions, there are now various methods to create water-resistant textiles.

One such technique is the use of waterproof outdoor fabric paint.

What is Waterproof Outdoor Fabric Paint?

Waterproof outdoor fabric paint is a specially-formulated coating that is applied to fabrics to create a barrier against moisture, water, and weather elements. This makes the fabric resistant to water absorption, protecting the material from getting wet and eventually causing damage.

Waterproof outdoor fabric paint is designed to be durable and long-lasting, maintaining its water resistance over time.

Benefits of Using Waterproof Outdoor Fabric Paint

  1. Water and weather resistance: The primary benefit is, of course, protection against water and weather elements. Waterproof outdoor fabric paint ensures the fabric remains dry and damage-free under rain, snow, or even when exposed to humidity and dew.
  2. Durability: Another advantage is the durability of the fabric after the application of waterproof outdoor fabric paint. The paint creates a strong barrier that helps prevent the fabric from tearing and wearing out easily.
  3. Fade resistance: Certain waterproof outdoor fabric paints are formulated with UV-resistant properties, providing protection against fading and discoloration caused by exposure to sunlight.
  4. Versatility: Waterproof outdoor fabric paint can be applied to a wide range of fabric materials and products. This includes outdoor furniture (cushions and pillows), clothing, shoes, handbags, and even car seat covers.
  5. Aesthetic appeal: In addition to protection and durability, waterproof outdoor fabric paint can enhance the appearance of a product. The paint is available in various colors and finishes, allowing for customization to fit individual preferences or match an existing color scheme.

Types of Waterproof Outdoor Fabric Paint

Different types of waterproof outdoor fabric paint cater to specific needs and fabrics. The most common types are:

  1. Acrylic Fabric Paint: Acrylic fabric paint creates a waterproof barrier on most fabric types, making it suitable for various applications. It is also flexible, ensuring it does not crack or peel off the fabric, providing lasting protection.
  2. Silicone-based Paint: Silicone-based paint has exceptional water-repellent properties, making it perfect for fabrics requiring a higher level of water resistance. It also creates a flexible and durable barrier that withstands wear and tear.
  3. Vinyl Fabric Paint: Vinyl fabric paint is particularly suited for upholstery and heavy-duty outdoor fabrics. It bonds well with the material, providing an excellent barrier against water and weather elements.
  4. Polyurethane-based Paint: Polyurethane-based paint is a popular choice for its superior waterproof properties and its resistance to abrasion, tearing, and environmental elements. It is suitable for various fabrics, including canvas, polyester, and nylon.

Recommendations for Successful Application

To ensure optimum results when using waterproof outdoor fabric paint, consider the following tips:

  1. Choose the right paint: – Make sure to select a paint that is suitable for the fabric you wish to waterproof. For example, acrylic fabric paint works effectively on many fabric types but may not provide the same level of waterproofing for heavy-duty outdoor materials.
  2. Clean the fabric: Make sure the fabric is clean and free of dust, dirt, and grease before applying waterproof outdoor fabric paint. Any surface contaminants can affect the adhesion of the paint, leading to a less effective waterproof barrier.
  3. Apply multiple coats: Depending on the type of paint and the intended application, consider applying multiple coats for added protection. This can help ensure the fabric has a strong, waterproof barrier.
  4. Test a small area: Before applying waterproof outdoor fabric paint to the entire surface, test a small, inconspicuous area to ensure the paint works effectively with the chosen fabric and maintains its flexibility.
  5. Dry thoroughly: To achieve the best results, allow the painted fabric to dry completely as per the manufacturer’s instructions. The paint should form a strong, water-resistant barrier when fully cured.
  6. Maintain your painted fabric: Although waterproof outdoor fabric paint provides long-lasting protection, some maintenance may be required. If the fabric begins to show signs of wear or water ingress, apply additional coats of paint as needed to maintain its protective properties.

In conclusion, waterproof outdoor fabric paint is an effective and versatile solution for creating water-resistant textiles.

By following the recommendations provided in this article, you can successfully apply waterproof outdoor fabric paint to your products and enjoy the benefits it offers for both protection and aesthetics.

Is Waterproof Exterior Fabric Paint Effective?

Understanding Outdoor Fabric Paint

Outdoor fabric paint is a special type of paint designed to adhere to and withstand the elements on fabrics exposed to the outdoors. Unique in its composition, outdoor fabric paint is formulated to provide durability, resist fading, and endure harsh weather conditions.

The paint is intended for outdoor use on items such as patio furniture cushions, umbrellas, awnings, and other fabric decorations subject to sun, rain, and humidity.

Waterproof vs. Water-Resistant Properties

– What Does Waterproof Mean?

In general, the term “waterproof” refers to products or materials that are impervious to water, not allowing penetration even when submerged. Waterproof items are designed to withstand long periods of exposure to water without compromising their quality, performance, or appearance.

– What Does Water-Resistant Mean?

On the other hand, “water-resistant” pertains to products or materials designed to resist water penetration. While water-resistant items can repel water to some degree, they might not be able to handle prolonged exposure without allowing water to penetrate.

Is Outdoor Fabric Paint Waterproof?

Technically speaking, outdoor fabric paint is not entirely waterproof but water-resistant. The formulation of the paint includes water-resistant properties that help it resist water penetration and withstand the wear and tear caused by exposure to precipitation, humidity, and dew.

The water resistance of outdoor fabric paint depends on several factors, including the brand, the specific formulation, and the application method. For best results, it is essential to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and apply the paint according to their recommendations.

Enhancing Water-Resistance with Sealants

Some outdoor fabric paint brands offer products designed to enhance water-resistant qualities when used in conjunction with the paint. These fabric sealants create a barrier on top of the paint to improve the water-repellent properties and, in some cases, help make the painted fabric waterproof.

When using a sealant, it is crucial to apply it evenly and in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines. For optimal results, apply the fabric paint first and allow it to dry completely before applying the sealant.

Maintaining Your Outdoor Fabric Paint

To ensure that your outdoor fabric paint remains water-resistant and long-lasting, follow these maintenance tips:

  1. Clean Regularly: Keep the painted fabric clean by wiping it down with a damp cloth or using mild soap and water. Avoid harsh detergents or chemicals that could damage the paint or the fabric.
  2. Dry Properly: Allow the painted fabric to air dry after cleaning or exposure to water. Excess water can cause the paint to weaken and eventually peel off.
  3. Reapply as Necessary: Over time, the elements could cause the outdoor fabric paint to peel, crack, or fade. To maintain the appearance and water resistance, reapply the paint as needed to touch up any areas showing signs of wear.
  4. Utilize Protective Covers: When not in use, protect the painted fabric from prolonged exposure to sunlight or rain with a waterproof cover. This practice can help prolong the paint’s life and keep it vibrant and water-resistant.

Final Thoughts

Although outdoor fabric paint is not entirely waterproof, its robust formulation provides strong water resistance, allowing it to withstand harsh weather conditions when properly applied and maintained.

To further enhance its water-repellent properties, consider using a fabric sealant on top of the paint. Regular maintenance is essential to keep your painted fabric looking its best and remaining water-resistant for an extended period.

What Type of Paint is Suitable for Outdoor Fabric Applications?

Outdoor fabric painting is a popular and creative way to renovate and personalize various items such as furniture, bags, clothing, shoes, and more. However, not all paints are suitable for outdoor use, and choosing the correct paint is essential for achieving long-lasting and vibrant results.

Acrylic Paints for Outdoor Fabric

Acrylic paints are versatile and can be used on various surfaces, including outdoor fabric. They are water-soluble, which makes them easy to clean up and work with, and once they dry, they become water-resistant and flexible.

– Regular Acrylic Paints vs. Fabric Medium

While regular acrylic paints can be used on outdoor fabric, they may not adhere as well or be as flexible as intended. To overcome this issue, you can add a fabric medium to the acrylic paint. The fabric medium enhances the paint’s adhesion to the fabric, making it more flexible and less likely to crack or peel.

An example of a fabric medium is the Golden GAC 900, which can be mixed with regular acrylic paints to improve its performance on fabric surfaces.

– Acrylic Paints Designed for Outdoor Fabric

Alternatively, you can opt for acrylic paints specifically designed for fabric use. These products are formulated to adhere better to fabric surfaces and offer long-lasting, fade-resistant results. Some popular outdoor fabric paint options include:

  • DecoArt SoSoft Fabric Paint: This is a soft, flexible water-based acrylic paint specially designed for fabric surfaces. It provides opaque coverage, is permanent, and does not require heat setting.
  • Jacquard Textile Color: This is another water-based acrylic paint designed for fabric. It offers excellent colorfastness and durability, and it can be mixed with a fabric medium for added flexibility.

Spray Paints for Outdoor Fabric

Spray paints are a quick and efficient way to paint outdoor fabric surfaces, especially large areas or surfaces with intricate designs. When choosing spray paint for outdoor fabric, picking a product specifically designed for fabric use is important.

– Outdoor Fabric Spray Paints

Spray paints formulated for fabric have a few key features that set them apart from regular spray paints. They are:

  1. Flexible: They dry to a soft, flexible finish that won’t crack, flake, or peel.
  2. Fade-resistant: They are formulated with UV inhibitors to resist fading from sunlight.
  3. Water-resistant: They create a barrier that repels water and helps protect the fabric from moisture and mildew.

Some popular outdoor fabric spray paint options include:

Fabric Dye for Outdoor Fabric

For a more immersive color application, fabric dye can be used on outdoor fabric. It’s important to note that dyes work best on natural fibers such as cotton, linen, and silk. Synthetic materials may not absorb the dye as effectively.

– Dyeing Outdoor Fabric

Dye options for outdoor fabric include:

  • Rit DyeMore: A synthetic dye that works on polyester, nylon, and other synthetic materials. It can also work on outdoor fabric made from a blend of natural and synthetic fibers.
  • Procion MX: A cold water fiber reactive dye that works well on natural fibers like cotton, silk, and linen. Procion MX dyes can be mixed with water and applied to the fabric using a brush, sponge, or spray bottle.

Before dyeing outdoor fabric, it’s crucial to follow the manufacturer’s instructions closely and pre-treat the fabric if needed.

Tips for Painting Outdoor Fabric

Before diving into your outdoor fabric painting project, consider these additional recommendations for the best results:

  1. Clean the fabric: Always start with a clean surface. Dirt and oils can hinder paint adhesion.
  2. Test first: Before painting the entire surface, do a small test patch to see how the fabric reacts to the paint.
  3. Apply even coats: To avoid uneven coverage or paint blotches, apply the paint in thin and even coats.
  4. Protect surrounding surfaces: When using spray paint, protect any surrounding surfaces from overspray by using masking tape and drop cloths.

Painting outdoor fabric can be a fun and rewarding project that can breathe new life into your belongings. By choosing the right paint or dye for your fabric, following the manufacturer’s instructions, and applying the paint with care, you can achieve professional-looking, long-lasting results.

Does a Type of Fabric Paint Exist that is Resistant to Washing Off?

Permanent fabric paint is a versatile and fun tool to have in your crafting arsenal. It’s ideal for adding a personal touch to your clothes, bags, shoes, or home decor items. There are many fabric paints on the market that promise durability and long-lasting results.

What Makes a Fabric Paint Permanent?

Different types of fabric paints offer varying levels of durability. Permanent fabric paints (also known as fabric dye or textile paint) contain pigments that bond to the fibers of your fabric, ensuring they don’t wash off.

The key to finding durable fabric paint is to understand its chemical makeup and the techniques used for application.

Permanent fabric paint is typically water-based and consists of pigments, binders, and additives. The binders are crucial for helping the paint adhere to the fabric, while the additives offer various effects, like enhancing texture or improving washability.

Fabric paint labeled as acrylic-based usually offers better durability than water-based fabric paint; however, it can also stiffen the fabric to some extent.

Top Permanent Fabric Paints

Having explored the composition of fabric paints, let’s look at some of the top-performing permanent fabric paint brands that deliver long-lasting results.

– Jacquard Textile Paint

Jacquard Textile Paint is a highly-rated fabric paint known for its durability, versatility, and vivid colors. It is suitable for natural and synthetic fabrics and can also be used on other surfaces, like leather, paper, or wood. This paint is water-based, non-toxic, and easy to work with.

When properly heat-set, it remains washed fast, ensuring your designs won’t fade or wash off.

– Tulip Soft Fabric Paint

Another popular choice among crafters is Tulip Soft Fabric Paint, which is known for retaining the fabric’s softness while delivering bright and lasting colors. The paint is water-based, non-toxic, and comes in a variety of finishes, including matte, metallic, and glow-in-the-dark.

Once heat-set, your designs should stay vibrant even after several washes.

– Liquitex Professional Fabric Effects Medium

Liquitex Professional Fabric Effects Medium is designed to be mixed with acrylic paint, transforming it into durable, washable fabric paint.

This medium provides an excellent option for artists who already work with acrylic paint and want a versatile solution to create designs on fabric without investing in separate fabric paints. When properly heat-set and cared for, your fabric designs will remain long-lasting.

Tips for Applying and Maintaining Permanent Fabric Paint

To ensure that your fabric paint doesn’t wash off, follow these best practices for applying and maintaining your designs:

1. Prepare the fabric

Before applying paint, make sure your fabric is clean and free of any dust or oils. Wash and dry the fabric according to its care instructions, and avoid using fabric softeners, as they can create a barrier that prevents the paint from adhering effectively.

I recommend ironing the fabric to remove wrinkles and create a smooth surface for your designs.

2. Use a fabric stabilizer

To prevent your fabric from slipping or stretching while you work, use a fabric stabilizer or place the fabric on a flat surface, like a table or an embroidery hoop. This will help you achieve clean, precise designs.

3. Apply the paint with the appropriate tools

Depending on the desired effect, you can use a brush, sponge, or stencil for your fabric paint application. Make sure to use the appropriate tools for your chosen fabric paint brand, as some paints work better with specific tools.

4. Heat-set your design

Heat-setting is essential to ensure that the fabric paint bonds to the fibers and becomes wash fast. This can be done with an iron or a heat press, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Be sure to let the paint dry completely before heat-setting.

5. Care for your painted items

To preserve the longevity of your fabric paint designs, always follow the care instructions provided by the paint manufacturer. Typically, this includes turning the item inside out before washing, using a gentle detergent, and avoiding high heat during drying.


Yes, there is fabric paint that doesn’t wash off when appropriately applied and cared for. Brands like Jacquard Textile Paint, Tulip Soft Fabric Paint, and Liquitex Professional Fabric Effects Medium offer lasting results on a variety of fabrics.

By following the recommended application and maintenance practices, you can create beautiful and long-lasting designs on your favorite garments and accessories.

Does Fabric Paint Exhibit Weather Resistance Properties?

When embarking on a fabric painting project, it’s crucial to consider whether the paint you choose will withstand various weather conditions.

Weather Resistance of Different Types of Fabric Paint

Fabric paint comes in numerous formulations, each with different characteristics, making some more weather resistant than others.

– Acrylic-based Fabric Paint

Acrylic-based fabric paints are widely used for their versatility and ease of use. They adhere well to most fabrics, dry quickly, and offer a broad range of colors to choose from.

Additionally, acrylic-based fabric paints are water-soluble, meaning they can be easily thinned or mixed with water to achieve various consistencies or effects.

In terms of weather resistance, acrylic-based fabric paints generally offer good resistance to sunlight and moisture. However, they may not completely withstand heavy rain or direct exposure to prolonged sunlight, causing the colors to fade or wear off over time.

– Textile Medium Fabric Paint

For an enhanced weather-resistant option, you might consider using a textile medium, an additive that is mixed with acrylic paint to create fabric paint. This medium is designed to increase the flexibility and durability of acrylic paint, making it more resistant to both washing and weather conditions.

When combined with high-quality acrylic paint, the resulting fabric paint provides better adhesion and a longer-lasting finish.

– Outdoor Fabric Paint

Specific fabric paints have been formulated for outdoor use, offering enhanced weather resistance compared to acrylic-based or mixed textile medium fabric paints.

These outdoor fabric paints are designed to endure sun, rain, and general wear and tear, making them the ideal choice for items such as outdoor cushions, upholstered furniture, or outdoor decor. They may also be UV-resistant, helping prevent fading due to sunlight exposure.

Check the paint’s label to ensure it is specifically formulated for outdoor use before starting your project.

Tips to Improve the Weather Resistance of Fabric Paint

To maximize the longevity of your fabric paint project, consider implementing these expert recommendations:

  1. Surface preparation: Washing and thoroughly drying your fabric before painting can help remove any contaminants or residue that may prevent the paint from adhering correctly. Ironing your fabric to remove wrinkles will help ensure an even application of paint.
  2. Heat setting: Many fabric paints require heat setting to cure the paint, locking it into the fabric fibers for increased durability. Follow the instructions on your paint’s label, which often call for either ironing the painted fabric or placing it in a dryer for a specified amount of time.
  3. Sealant: Applying a sealant or protectant spray, such as a fabric or UV protectant, over your painted fabric can provide a barrier against moisture and sunlight, helping to extend the paint’s lifespan.
  4. Proper drying and curing: Give your painted fabric project ample time to dry and cure properly before exposing it to weather conditions. Drying time will vary depending on the paint used, the thickness of the application, and ambient conditions.

Alternative Options: Weather Resistant Dyes and Fabric Markers

When fabric paint does not meet your weather-resistance needs, explore alternative solutions, such as weather-resistant fabric dyes or fabric markers.

Weather-resistant fabric dyes involve a chemical process that bonds the dye molecules to the fabric fibers. This process offers enhanced durability when compared to fabric paint, including greater resistance to fading when exposed to sunlight.

Research and select dyes that are specifically formulated to endure outdoor conditions.

Fabric markers may also offer a weather-resistant alternative to fabric paint. These markers work like a typical pen or marker but are filled with fabric-safe ink designed to adhere to fabric surfaces. As with fabric dyes, it’s essential to research and locates fabric markers with weather-resistant properties.


Fabric paint can be weather resistant, depending on the type used and the preparation steps taken. Acrylic-based fabric paints and medium textile fabric paints offer a reasonable level of weather resistance, while outdoor fabric paints provide the best protection against the elements.

By following expert recommendations and considering alternative options, you can create vibrant and long-lasting fabric projects that can withstand the test of time and weather.

Identifying the Most Effective and Permanent Paint for Fabric That Will Not Wash Off

As an experienced artist and craft enthusiast, I’ve worked with a variety of materials, including fabric. There are many paint options, but finding the best paint that won’t wash off fabric can be quite a challenge.

Through trial and error, I’ve discovered which paints are most effective on fabric, with the best durability and longevity.

Fabric Paints: Advantages and Disadvantages

Fabric paints are specifically designed for use on fabric, providing durability and flexibility. They adhere well to most fabrics and typically don’t crack, peel, or fade, even after multiple washings.

– Pros of Fabric Paints

  1. Highly Durable: Fabric paints are resistant to washing and fading, ensuring long-lasting designs.
  2. Smooth Application: They offer great coverage and blend easily on most fabrics.
  3. Wide Color Selection: Fabric paints come in various colors, including metallics, neons, and even glitter finishes.
  4. Heat-Setting: Heat setting, using an iron or dryer, can further increase durability and colorfastness.

– Cons of Fabric Paints

  1. Stiffness: Some fabric paints can make the fabric stiff, especially when applied in thick layers or multiple coats.
  2. Limited Fabric Compatibility: Some fabric paints don’t work well on synthetic or dark-colored fabrics, requiring special paint formulations.

Top Recommended Fabric Paints

Based on my personal experiences, here are my top recommendations for fabric paints that won’t wash off.

1. Jacquard Textile Color

Jacquard Textile Color is an excellent choice for various fabrics, with its soft, flexible finish and superior durability. It is highly resistant to washing and fading and can be thinned with water or thickened with a medium to achieve the desired consistency.

2. Tulip Soft Fabric Paint

Tulip Soft Fabric Paint is another highly recommended option. It offers excellent color payoff and durability, with minimal stiffness on the fabric. This paint can be purchased in sets with various finishes, such as matte, metallic, and glitter.

3. Plaid Fabric Creations Soft Fabric Ink

This paint has a unique, ink-like consistency that spreads smoothly on fabric, providing even coverage with minimal stiffness. The Plaid Fabric Creations Soft Fabric Ink also offers high durability and vibrant colors that stand up to repeated washings.

Alternative Options: Acrylic Paints and Permanent Markers

In some cases, you may opt for alternative options, such as acrylic paints or permanent markers. However, these alternatives come with their own set of pros and cons.

– Acrylic Paints

Although acrylic paints weren’t designed specifically for fabric, they can be used effectively with the right technique and additives.

Pros of Acrylic Paints
  1. Versatility: Acrylic paints can be used on a variety of surfaces, including fabric, making them a good option for mixed-media projects.
  2. Color Variety: There is a vast selection of colors and finishes, from matte to metallic and everything in between.
Cons of Acrylic Paints
  1. Stiff Finish: Acrylic paints often leave the fabric feeling stiff and less flexible than fabric paints.
  2. Less Durable: They may flake or peel off fabric over time, especially without adding a fabric medium.

To increase durability and reduce stiffness with acrylic paints, add a fabric medium, such as the Golden GAC 900 or Liquitex Fabric Medium, to your acrylic paint before application.

– Permanent Markers

Permanent markers, like Sharpies or fabric markers, can also be used for fabric projects. However, their durability and color vibrancy can vary significantly.

Pros of Permanent Markers
  1. Fine Detail: Markers allow for intricate, detailed work.
  2. Ease of Use: They’re simple and accessible, making them great for beginners or quick projects.
Cons of Permanent Markers
  1. Less Durable: Permanent markers can fade or bleed when washed.
  2. Limited Color Choices: They typically have fewer color options compared to fabric and acrylic paints.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the best paint that won’t wash off fabric is fabric paint, with top options including Jacquard Textile Color, Tulip Soft Fabric Paint, and Plaid Fabric Creations Soft Fabric Ink.

While acrylic paints and permanent markers can be used as alternatives, they often lack the durability and vibrancy of fabric paints. Ensure that you choose the appropriate paint for your project, taking into consideration the fabric, desired finish, and durability requirements. Happy painting!

Paint Brand
DecoArt SoSoft Fabric Paint
Jacquard Textile Paint
Tulip Soft Fabric Paint
Liquitex Professional Fabric Effects Medium
Golden GAC 900 Fabric Painting Medium

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