How to Dye With Fabric Spray Paint – (Full Guide)

Last Updated on August 8, 2023

Hello and welcome, Tersia Jager here. Today, I’m excited to share a fantastic tie-dye technique that’s fun and less messy using fabric spray paint. We’ll be using fabric paint, a spray paint specially formulated for fabric, to create amazing tie-dye shirts you’ll love. Whether you’re a tie-dye enthusiast or new to the craft, this technique will inspire your creativity.

How to Dye With Fabric Spray Paint
Image Source: Angie Holden, Canva

How to Dye with fabric spray Paint

Can you dye fabric with spray paint? Yes! You can dye fabric with spray paint using fabric spray paint; you can make fantastic tie-dye shirts. To begin, pre-wash cotton shirts. Apply Testor’s fabric paint on a cardboard-covered surface using techniques like the Swirl or Accordion Fold. Allow 3 hours for drying before adding optional heat transfer vinyl designs. Enjoy your one-of-a-kind, mess-free tie-dye creations!

Dive into the art of dyeing with Acrylic Paint, Turmeric, Tea, Coffee, Black ink, Polyamide, Wine, Sharpie, Food Coloring, Mica Powder, Turmeric, Rose Petals, Indigo Leaves, Onion Skins, Avocado, Flowers, Dylon, Kool-aid, Rit-Dye, and Hair Dye. Intrigued? Explore the captivating articles and unleash your creativity.

So, let’s get started with the full process in detail.

Supplies You’ll Need

  1. Testors fabric paint in your chosen colors (spray bottles)
  2. 100% cotton shirts (or other fabric blends)
  3. Scrap piece of cardboard
  4. Cricut EasyPress (optional for adding HTV)
  5. Designs for Heat Transfer Vinyl (HTV)
  6. Well-ventilated workspace
  7. Gloves (recommended)
  8. Protective apron (recommended)
  9. Plastic table cover or drop cloth (recommended)
  10. Water and soap for cleanup

Step 1: Prepping Your Shirts

Prepping Your Shirts
Image Source: Angie Holden
  • Lay your 100% cotton shirts flat on a clean surface.
  • Place a scrap piece of cardboard inside the shirt to prevent paint from bleeding through to the back.
  • Choose your tie-dye technique: swirl or accordion fold. Scrunch and fold the fabric as desired.

Step 2: Applying Fabric Spray Paint

Applying Fabric Spray Paint
Image Source: Angie Holden
  • Take your prepared shirt and place it on the scrap cardboard.
  • Shake the fabric spray paint bottles well before use.
  • If using multiple colors, spray one color at a time, allowing each layer to dry slightly before adding the next.
  • For unique effects, spray from different angles, adjust the intensity of spraying, or use a combination of colors.
  • Let the paint dry for at least three hours or overnight before proceeding to the next step.

Step 3: Adding Heat Transfer Vinyl (HTV) – Optional

Adding Heat Transfer Vinyl
Image Source: Angie Holden
  • Preheat your Cricut EasyPress or iron according to the HTV manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Place your chosen HTV design onto the shirt’s front, where you’d like it to be.
  • Press the HTV design onto the fabric using the Cricut EasyPress or iron. Follow the recommended temperature and time settings.
  • Peel off the HTV backing once the design has cooled slightly.

Step 4: Final Touches and Care

How to Dye With Fabric Spray Paint
Image Source: Angie Holden
  • Allow your shirt to cure for at least three days before washing or wearing it to ensure the fabric paint sets properly.
  • Once cured, your tie-dye shirt is machine washable. Follow the fabric paint manufacturer’s care instructions.
  • Enjoy your vibrant and unique tie-dye creation!

How do you make your own tie-dye spray?

To make your own tie-dye spray:

  1. Mix one cup of water with three spoons of fabric paint in a spray bottle.
  2. Adjust the amount of paint for different colors – use two spoons for a pastel shade or more for a vibrant hue.
  3. Repeat the process with separate spray bottles for each color.

Can you tie-dye with regular spray paint?

No, it’s not recommended to tie-dye with regular spray paint. It’s best to use fabric spray paint specifically designed for tie-dyeing on fabric. Regular spray paint may not adhere properly and could result in an unsatisfactory outcome.

Can you tie-dye a shirt with spray paint?

Yes, you can tie-dye a shirt with spray paint. Crumple a dry T-shirt, press with a hot iron to define folds, then spray Fabric Sprays in your desired patterns on both sides of the shirt.

Tips and Notes

  • Work in a well-ventilated area when using fabric spray paint.
  • Wear gloves and a protective apron to prevent staining your hands and clothing.
  • Protect your workspace with a plastic table cover or drop cloth.
  • Experiment with different tie-dye techniques and color combinations for varied effects.
  • The fabric spray paint does not need heat setting, making this technique ideal for tie-dye projects.
  • Customize your designs with optional HTV embellishments for a personalized touch.


Creating tie-dye shirts with fabric spray paint is a fantastic way to achieve stunning and colorful designs without the mess of traditional tie-dye methods. Whether you’re a tie-dye enthusiast or a beginner looking for a fun and creative project, these techniques will help you produce eye-catching shirts you’ll love to wear.

So, gather your supplies, unleash your creativity, and embark on your tie-dye adventure using fabric spray paint! Remember to share your creations and let your imagination run wild. 

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