Permanent Spray Paint for Clothes: Our Top Picks for Long-Lasting Fabulousness


As someone interested in decorating clothes with spray paint, you want colors that will stand the test of time. Regular spray paint, while readily available and inexpensive, tends to crack and fade with washing and wearing. For a long-lasting pop of color on your wardrobe, permanent spray paint is the way to go. Permanent spray paint is designed specifically for use on fabrics and contains a fixative to help the color bond strongly to the material. The results are vibrant hues that can endure multiple washes without losing their intensity.

In this article, we review some of the top brands of permanent spray paint for clothes and provide recommendations to help you choose a product that will give your outfits a splash of permanent fabulousness. Armed with the right can of spray paint, you’ll be customizing t-shirts, jazzing up jeans, and adding flair to jackets and bags in no time. Let’s get started!

The Best Permanent Spray Paint for Clothes

When choosing a permanent spray paint for clothing, durability and vibrancy are key. We recommend the following top-rated options:

Rust-Oleum Stops Rust Protective Enamel Spray Paint

This oil-based spray paint provides superior coverage and adhesion to fabric. It dries to a durable, protective finish that resists chipping and scratching. Available in a wide range of glossy colors, Rust-Oleum Stops Rust spray paint is a premium choice for permanent, decorative applications on clothing, canvas, and other fabrics.

Krylon Fusion All-In-One Spray Paint

Formulated for use on diverse surfaces including fabric, Krylon Fusion spray paint provides maximum adhesion and durability. It bonds permanently to clothing, dries quickly, and requires no priming or sanding. Krylon Fusion comes in a variety of sheens from matte to glossy and over 150 color options. For the most permanent results, apply 2-3 even coats waiting 5 minutes between each coat.

Montana Cans MTN 94 Spray Paint

Designed for graffiti artists, MTN 94 spray paint contains a highly pigmented formula for bold colors and coverage. It works on nearly any surface, including clothing, and creates a durable, scratch-resistant finish. MTN 94 comes in 400 matte colors with a comfort tip for easy handling and application. For permanent adhesion to fabric, heat set the paint with an iron for 30 seconds after application.

With the appropriate preparation and product, you can transform clothing and other fabrics into unique, personalized works of art. By selecting a high-quality, permanent spray paint and properly applying it, your creations will last and look fabulous for years to come.

How to Use Permanent Spray Paint on Fabric

To properly use permanent spray paint on fabric, there are a few key steps to follow:

First, ensure you are in a well-ventilated area and wearing protective gear like gloves, goggles and a mask. Permanent spray paint contains chemicals that can irritate your skin and eyes.

Next, clean and prepare your fabric. Wash and dry the item of clothing to remove any dirt or stains. Then place cardboard inside the clothing, especially behind the area you want to paint, to prevent bleed-through. Secure the cardboard in place with painter’s tape.

Third, consider doing a test spray on an inconspicuous area of the fabric to check how the paint adheres and looks. Let it dry completely. If satisfied, proceed to the next step. If not, try a different type of permanent spray paint or pretreat the fabric.

Finally, begin spraying in even coats, waiting 5 to 10 minutes between applications. Start spraying further away and get progressively closer with each coat. Apply 2 to 3 coats for best results, waiting until each coat is touch-dry before adding the next one.

Once complete, heat set the paint by tumble drying the item on high heat for 30-60 minutes. This helps the paint fully adhere to the fibers. Avoid washing the item for at least 72 hours to prevent damage to the design. With the proper technique and care, your spray painted fabric creation will last through many washes while maintaining its vibrant look.

Tips for Using Permanent Spray Paint on Fabric

When using permanent spray paint on fabric, follow these tips to achieve the best results:

Prepare the Area

Clean and degrease the area to be painted. Wipe away any dirt or oils from the fabric surface using rubbing alcohol or a degreaser. Lightly sand the area to rough up the surface and provide “tooth” for the paint to adhere to. Mask off any areas you do not want to paint.

Apply a Primer (Optional)

For the most durable finish, apply a coat of primer designed for use on fabrics. This provides a base for the topcoats of paint to bond to. Let the primer dry as directed before applying your first coat of permanent spray paint.

Apply Thin Coats

Apply 2-3 thin coats of paint instead of one thick coat. Thin coats dry faster and provide better coverage. Wait 5 to 10 minutes between coats. Multiple thin coats also help prevent drips and runs in the paint.

Seal the Finish

Once the final coat is dry, apply a sealant like a acrylic sealer or water-based polyurethane. This protects the finish and prevents cracking. Re-apply the sealant every few months to maintain protection.

Set with Heat (Optional)

For an even more permanent finish, apply heat to the sprayed area using a heat gun. Hold the heat gun 6 to 8 inches from the surface and keep it moving to avoid scorching the fabric. The heat causes a chemical reaction in the paint, hardening the finish. Exercise caution to avoid the risk of fire.

Allow to Cure

Permanent spray paint on fabric can take up to a week to fully cure. Avoid washing or dry cleaning the item during this period. Once cured, the finish should withstand machine washing and drying. For best results, dry cleaning is not recommended and may damage the finish over time.

Best Permanent Spray Paint Brands for Clothing

When selecting a permanent spray paint for clothing, there are a few well-known brands that produce high-quality, long-lasting products:


Krylon is a reputable brand that offers a variety of spray paints for fabrics, including their “Fusion for Plastic” and “Dual Paint + Primer” lines. Both provide maximum adhesion and durability on most fabrics. Krylon spray paint is available in a wide range of colors and finishes like matte, satin, and glossy. For the most permanence, apply a clear topcoat sealer after painting.


Rust-Oleum is another trusted name in spray paints that provides a “Painter’s Touch 2X” and “American Accents” line of fabric and multi-surface sprays. Their formula provides twice the coverage of standard spray paint and dries to a durable, long-lasting finish. An anti-chip topcoat can be applied for added protection. Rust-Oleum comes in popular colors like metallic, neon, and chalky finishes.

Montana Cans

Montana Cans manufactures high-quality spray paints, especially suited for graffiti artists and muralists. Their “Montana BLACK” and “Montana GOLD” lines contain a highly pigmented, low-pressure formula that provides excellent coverage on most fabrics. For permanence, heat-set the paint onto the fabric using an iron or heat tool. Montana Cans offers one of the largest color selections with many unique shades.

Plasti Dip

While not technically a spray paint, Plasti Dip creates a durable, flexible rubber coating that can be applied to fabrics. It comes in a spray-on formula and dries to a matte finish. To apply, spray multiple light coats, waiting 5-10 minutes between applications. Plasti Dip is available in a range of industrial colors, as well as clear gloss and matte topcoats for adding protection. For the most permanent bond, heat the Plasti Dip coating after it dries.

Tips for Getting the Most Vibrant Colors

To achieve the most vibrant, long-lasting colors when using permanent spray paint on fabrics, follow these tips:

Properly Prepare the Surface

Ensure the area you wish to paint is clean and free of dirt or debris. For best results, pre-wash the item of clothing to remove any oils or residues. Allow it to air dry completely before painting. Lightly sanding the area with fine-grit sandpaper will provide more for the paint to adhere to, resulting in improved durability.

Use a Primer

A primer is designed specifically to provide a base for spray paint and helps it bond strongly to fabrics. Apply 1-2 light coats of fabric primer and let it dry as directed before painting. The primer will prevent the paint from soaking into the fabric, allowing the topcoats to remain bright.

Apply Multiple Thin Coats

Instead of applying heavy, saturated coats of spray paint, build up thin layers. Start with a base coat, followed by 2-3 subsequent coats. Let each coat dry for 2-3 minutes between applications. This technique will produce an even, opaque color without drips. It also allows you to blend and mix custom colors by applying different shades for each coat.

Seal the Finish

To maximize durability and prevent cracking, apply 2-3 coats of acrylic sealant or clear topcoat spray after the final paint coat has dried. Re-sealing the finish every few months, especially for areas subject to frequent washing or abrasion, will help maintain vibrancy.

Heat Set (Optional)

For permanent spray paint on fabrics that will be washed frequently, heat setting the paint is recommended. Use an iron on the reverse side of the painted area for 3-5 minutes. The heat will fuse the paint into the fibers of the fabric, resulting in a durable finish that can withstand repeated wash cycles. Be very careful to avoid contact between the iron and the painted surface.

Sealing Permanent Spray Paint for Maximum Durability

To maximize the durability of permanent spray paint on clothing, properly sealing the design is crucial. Applying a sealant protects the spray paint from cracking, fading, and chipping caused by washing and wearing the item. We recommend the following steps to seal permanent spray paint:

Apply 2-3 Coats of Spray-On Sealant

Allow the spray paint to dry as directed, usually 24 to 48 hours. Then, apply 2 to 3 coats of a spray-on sealant, waiting 5 to 10 minutes between coats. Popular sealant options include acrylic sealers, urethane sealers, and water-based polyurethane. These provide a durable, protective coating for spray paint. Be sure to work in a well-ventilated area and follow the directions on the product.

Consider a Clear Topcoat

For extra protection, you can apply a clear topcoat such as a acrylic lacquer or water-based polyurethane over the sealant. These topcoats form an even stronger, scratch-resistant shield over the spray paint. Apply 2 coats of the topcoat, waiting at least 2 hours between applications. The topcoat may alter the finish of the spray paint, so test it in an inconspicuous area first.

Limit Washing and Heat Exposure

Even with a sealant and topcoat, permanent spray paint on clothing will not last as long as factory-applied designs. Limit washing the item to 3-5 times per year using a gentle detergent and the cold or warm cycle. Avoid using bleach and fabric softener which can damage the spray paint. Also, minimize exposure to high heat such as drying in the dryer on high heat. Tumble drying on low or air drying the item will help maximize the life of your spray paint design.

Following these sealing and care steps will allow you to enjoy your custom spray paint creation for many wears to come. With some basic maintenance, permanent spray paint on clothing can provide a long-lasting pop of color and self-expression.

What Is Permanent Spray Paint and How Does It Work?

Permanent spray paint is designed to create long-lasting decorations and designs on fabrics, unlike regular spray paint which is intended for use on hard surfaces. Permanent spray paint contains resins and polymers that bond strongly to fabrics, resulting in a durable finish that can withstand washing and weathering.

How It Works

Permanent spray paint is formulated with acrylic resins that create a plasticized coating when sprayed onto fabrics. As the spray paint is applied in thin coats, the solvents evaporate, leaving behind the acrylic resin. Heat is then used to cure the resin, fusing it to the fabric fibers. This results in a flexible coating that bonds at a molecular level. Additional protective topcoats can be applied to further seal the design and protect from damage.

The specific acrylic resins and solvents used in the spray paint determine factors like flexibility, washability, and color-fastness. More advanced formulations may also contain UV inhibitors and waterproofing agents. Proper curing using heat is critical, as it activates the acrylic resins and is necessary for maximum durability. Without curing, the spray paint will not achieve optimal adhesion and may eventually crack or peel.

Permanent spray paint allows you to create custom and long-lasting fabric designs without needing a background in fabric dyeing or painting. With the wide range of colors available, you can transform clothing, accessories, upholstery and more into unique pieces. When properly applied and cured, permanent spray paint results in vibrant colors and patterns that withstand repeated use and washing.

The Best Permanent Spray Paint for Clothes: FAQs

Permanent spray paint for clothes allows for long-lasting and durable designs on fabric. However, there are a few frequently asked questions to consider before purchasing and using permanent spray paint.

What surfaces can I use permanent spray paint on?

Permanent spray paint can be used on most fabrics like cotton, polyester, and denim. It works best on medium to heavyweight fabrics. Avoid using on delicate fabrics like silk or lace. Test the spray paint on an inconspicuous area first to check for colorfastness and texture changes.

How permanent is permanent spray paint?

Permanent spray paint creates a long-lasting bond between the paint and the fabric. The paint can withstand repeated washings without fading when properly heat set according to the directions. However, permanent spray paint may start to fade over time with normal wear and tear. The longevity depends on the specific brand and type of spray paint as well as how often the item is washed and worn. Proper maintenance and limiting washings can help maximize the lifespan.

Is permanent spray paint safe?

Permanent spray paint contains chemicals to create a durable bond with fabrics. Always use in a well-ventilated area away from open flames. Wear protective gear like gloves, goggles and a mask/respirator. Once dry, permanent spray paint is considered safe for most people. However, those with chemical sensitivities may experience irritation from the fumes. It is not recommended for use on children’s clothing.

How do I set permanent spray paint?

To properly set permanent spray paint on clothes, heat the area you sprayed using an iron or heat tool according to the directions on the product. Heating the paint creates a chemical reaction that fully adheres the paint to the fibers of the fabric for the most long-lasting results. Not heat setting the paint can lead to cracking, fading and poor wash-fastness.


With all the options for permanent spray paint on fabrics, you now have everything you need to unleash your creativity and make a bold fashion statement. Whether you want to revive an old jacket, customize a pair of sneakers or create a one-of-a-kind t-shirt, these spray paints will give you vibrant colors and lasting results. Just be sure to thoroughly clean and rough up the surface, tape off any areas you want to protect, and apply thin, even coats for the best outcomes. Once your masterpiece is complete, set it with a heat tool and you’ll be strutting in style with a totally unique design made by you. What are you waiting for? Pick up a few cans and get ready to express yourself. The possibilities for DIY fashion are endless.

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