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Home > Tutorials > Stenciling with Fabric Spray

Stenciling with Fabric Spray

Basic Information & FAQ

Step-by-step Tutorial

 

Basic Information:

We offer two types of fabric sprays - Stencil Spray and Simply Spray. Stencil Spray feels like silkscreen when it's dry, and is best for dark colours and synthetic fabrics as it is completely opaque.

Stencil Spray is a thicker paint that should only be used for stenciling. It does not spray in a fine mist, it sprays thick, like a stream, and is meant to spray in a sweeping motion.

Simply Spray is soft when dry and is more like a spray dye, so works best on light colours and natural fabrics; for best results use on light-coloured 100% cotton. Simply Spray is great for tie-dye and shadow effects but can be stencilled as well.

 

Tips for use:

Prewash and dry fabric to remove sizing. Cover work area with craft/newspaper. Read instructions on back of Simply Spray or Stencil Spray. Practice spraying on a separate piece of fabric or paper before starting your project. (Get used to the feel of the trigger, apply even pressure.)

Cover a piece of cardboard with a paper towel. Always start your spray on this paper towel. Then, while spraying, move onto your project and continue spraying back onto the paper towel before letting go of the trigger. This will avoid any spatter on the project.

 

FAQ

 

Will Simply Spray work on my fabric?

Will Simply Spray work on wood?

Will Simply Spray work on silk or polyester?

Is it safe for children?

Will the color fade or wash out after I wash it?

My can will not spray again, what should I do?

Do I have to heat set my project?

Can I wash my painted shirt with other garments, or will it run?

Can I iron?

Can you use stencils with Simply Spray or just Stencil Spray?

How long will it take to dry?

 
Will Simply Spray work on my fabric?

Please be sure to test your fabric before attempting to complete a project. Be sure your material absorbs the paint before beginning. Also keep in mind that you must check the fabric after it is dry as well to make sure the paint fully absorbed. Do not use if paint does not absorb after normal drying time, 72 hours is recommended. Practice spraying before spraying directly onto your project. Paint is permanent.

Simply Spray works best on 100% cotton light-colored fabric; cotton knits such as t-shirts get better results than plain-weaves such as broadcloth.

The best test is to spray your fabric with water and see how the water reacts. If the water absorbs into the fabric, the paint should as well. If the water spreads out sideways easily along the weave, the fabric may be prone to bleeding and may not be suitable for stencilling with Simply Spray; you may require Stencil Spray. If the water sits on top of the fabric, or beads, then the paint will do the same. You can try to rub the paint into the fabric, but it might take a few coats to get the right color. Keep in mind that Simply Spray was created for apparel and small home decor projects.

 
Will Simply Spray work on wood?
Simply Spray and Stencil Spray will work on wood. Simply Spray will stain wood. Apply a few coats for darker coverage. Stencil Spray will not absorb into the wood, which will allow you to stencil your favorite design on the surface.
 
Will Simply Spray work on silk or polyester?
Simply Spray will work on silk, but it will not have the same effect as it will on cotton. Simply Spray will run on silk or polyester, leaving a more tie-dyed look. So, yes, it will work, but won\'t be as controllable as it is on 100% cotton.
 
Is it safe for children?
YES! Simply Spray and Stencil Spray Fabric Paint are safe for everyone! It is non-toxic and non-flammable! Simply Spray is an aerosol - but does not contain ANY harsh ingredients or inhalants! Its secret formula is safe and conforms to ASTM-D 4236!
 
Will the color fade or wash out after I wash it?
We recommend that you wash your garment inside out to minimize fading. Also, do not use fabric softener in the washing machine or dryer - it will make the paint fade. The first time you wash your garment you will notice a slight fade in color, but the color will remain vibrant after many washings! You should wait 72 hours before washing.
 
My can will not spray again, what should I do?

DON'T PANIC! You might have pulled the trigger back to hard. If the trigger is pulled back too hard, it can "stick". Simply put your index finger behind the blue trigger an push it forward. A "pop" or "click" should happen. If you push on the trigger a few times, it should start spraying again.

If you leave your can with the trigger out of position, the gas with seep out, rendering the can unusable. Think of the paint as a can of whip cream - if you only pull lightly on the nozzle the gas will seep out.

Sometimes paint might build up in the nozzle after it is used. We suggest that you pick off any excess paint from the nozzle opening and then flip the can upside down and spray to clear the passage. The force of the spray should clear the way! We also suggest storing your used paints upside-down in water if you will not be using them right away.

 
Do I have to heat set my project?
NO! One of the greatest things about Simply Spray is that it sets itself! You do not need to iron or put it in the dryer! Just wait 72 hours before washing
 
Can I wash my painted shirt with other garments, or will it run?
The first time you wash your shirt you should wash it separately. After that, washing it with like colors is recommended. Do not iron Stencil Spray.
 
Can I iron?
You can iron directly over Simply Spray, but not Stencil Spray. It is not necessary to iron Simply Spray to heat set it. Stencil Spray should be treated like silkscreen and care should be taken to avoid ironing it. Ironing directly over the paint could distort the appearance.
 
Can you use stencils with Simply Spray or Stencil Spray?
Yes, you can stencil with Simply Spray. It requires a little more skill than stenciling with Stencil Spray does. The paint for Stencil Spray is thicker and it sticks to the stencil allowing nice crisp edges! To stencil with Simply Spray you should pat the top of the stencil off with a paper towel after spraying to avoid excess paint dripping. You should lightly spray stencil with spray glue and use and absorbent material to protect the rest of your project. Be careful when pulling the stencil off!
 
How long will it take to dry?
On average it will take about 1 hour for your project to dry.  Depending on how much paint you used it could be longer or even shorter.
 
 

Step-by-step Stencilling Tutorial

Design your pattern; in this case I printed it out from the computer and taped it down to the cardboard I would use for the stencil. Thin cardboard works fine but if you wish to use a stencil more than once, plastic is preferable as the paint can warp the cardboard.
 
Cut out the pattern carefully with an x-acto knife.
 
Apply temporary spray adhesive (such as basting spray) to the back of your stencil to secure it and prevent paint running under the stencil. Carefully place stencil onto your fabric and press firmly.  This stencil required separate pieces to be adhered for the centre of the motif.
 
Cover any exposed fabric around the stencil to protect it, and make sure that the work area is protected as well! Start spraying on a piece of paper towel, then continue using even pressure onto your stencil. The Stencil Spray will come out more like a stream of paint rather than a mist, so don\'t panic! Just make smooth even strokes until the motif is covered evenly. It may look very messy now, but it\'ll be fine once it dries. Wait 5-10 minutes, then carefully remove the stencil and let paint dry for 1 hour.
 
The finished product!  Dry motif is shiny and looks silkscreened.
 

Stencilling with Fabric Spray

Follow similar steps as above. The Simply Spray comes out more like a mist and will soak into the fabric rather than sitting on top. It is possible to stencil with Simply Spray, but for best results use a paper towel to gently pat extra paint off the top of the stencil immediately after spraying. This reduces bleeding. For tie-dye effects, swirl, scrunch, twist or fold fabrics and spray with one or more colours. Paint will be dry to the touch in about an hour. Allow to dry thoroughly (72 hours) before washing.

Examples of Tie-Dye:

Shadow Resist effect, by laying items down and spraying around them:
 

What not to do:

This photo shows an attempt to use Simply Spray on a stiff synthetic fabric; as you can see the paint has beaded up on the surface instead of soaking in. For fabrics like this, Stencil Spray is the best choice.