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The Olive Sparrow Posts: 2

I read and see people using oil paints for tinting, however, oil paints are notorious for rotting away their substrate if they are painted on textiles without the use of Gesso.

Some of the posts of people recommending oil paints are now about 15 years old. How have those bears held up?

From the following link:
Artists have used oil-based paint on fabric for hundreds of years. Starting with the Renaissance, oil paints were applied to canvas on stretcher bars. Unfortunately, fabric painted with oil paints will deteriorate over time, and that is why canvases must be primed before use with oil paints. To "prime" a canvas, apply one or two layers of acrylic gesso to the canvas before beginning a painting. If you are painting on a T-shirt or other clothing, know that oil paint will eventually rot away the fabric unless it is primed. As it dries, oil paint becomes brittle, and for this reason it may eventually crack. However, you may want to paint an image on fabric using oil paint because of its superior blending abilities and its color quality. If you opt to use oil-based paint on fabric, first apply clear or white gesso to the fabric to prime it. … bric_.html

I used to be a professional mixed media artist, but I've never worked in oils -- acrylics all the way, but bought some oils today, then when speaking to a professional oil painter friend was made aware of the danger of oils on fabrics...

Would love to hear your thoughts.

SueAnn Past Time Bears
Double Oak, Texas
Posts: 21,798

SueAnn Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

I have used permanent markers and acrylics to paint on fabric, but never oil paints.  Is there a good reason for you to use oil paints instead of what you already know works on fabric?


The Olive Sparrow Posts: 2

I've bought some tutorials and read some posts here from people stating they use oils -- some of the posts are from 2005 and I'm curious how that has aged. After doing some research, I do not think I will use oils. I will do some experiments using watered down acrylics and acrylic inks. I don't trust oil paint on fabric because of what I've been reading on it.

I really hope some of the people from years ago will reply.

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