Can You Use Acrylic Paint on Burlap? [DETAILED]

Yes, you can use acrylic paint on Burlap. However, there are a lot of ifs and buts to it. Let’s go into detail to find out the real picture.

While burlap is not the most traditionally fashionable fabric, it is frequently used in home décor and craft projects.

Its sturdy and eco-friendly nature makes it a popular choice for many DIY enthusiasts. If you’re considering using burlap in your next project, you may be wondering if acrylic paint is the right medium. The answer is… it depends! Keep reading to learn more.

One of the main things you need to consider when working with burlap is its coarse surface.

This can make it difficult to get an even coat of paint, and the fabric can absorb a lot of paint pretty quickly.

can i acrylic paint burlap

As a result, you’ll likely need to use more paint than you would on a smoother surface. One way to combat this issue is to dilute your acrylic paint with water before applying it to the burlap. This will help the paint go on more evenly and prevent it from being absorbed by the fabric quickly.

Furthermore, the inconsistencies in the burlap weave can also cause problems when trying to achieve an even coat of paint.

To get around this, try using a thin brush or a sponge applicator instead of a regular paintbrush. This will help you get into all the nooks and crannies of the weave.

Another thing to consider when deciding whether or not to use acrylic paint on burlap is the water-soluble nature of the medium. This means that once the paint dries, it will be permanently attached to the fabric.

However, if you get acrylic paint wet while it’s still wet, you’ll be able to wash it off relatively easily. This can be both a good and a bad thing depending on what you’re trying to achieve with your project. 

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One final thing to keep in mind when working with acrylic paint on burlap is that not all paints are created equal in terms of colorfastness.

This refers to a fabric’s ability to resist fading or bleeding when exposed to light or water. Some acrylic paints are more colorfast than others, so be sure to do your research before choosing a specific brand or type of paint for your project. 

Once you’ve found a colorfast acrylic paint that you’re happy with, test it out on a scrap piece of burlap before moving on to your final project piece. This will help ensure that you’re happy with both the color and the opacity of the paint once it dries. 

How to Use Acrylic Paint on Burlap

Follow the steps below to make it happen-

Supplies You’ll Need

Before we get started, let’s go over the supplies you’ll need for this project:

  • Burlap.
  • Acrylic paint (choose any colors you like!).
  • Paintbrushes (a variety of sizes will be helpful).
  • Pencil.
  • Ruler or straightedge.
  • Water container & cup (for cleaning brushes).
  • Sealer/Primer.

Now that we have our supplies, we can get started!

Step One: Preparing the Burlap.

Before you start painting on your burlap, you’ll need to do a few things to prep the fabric. First, lay the burlap flat on a surface that you don’t mind getting paint on.

Next, use a piece of tape to secure the fabric down at each corner. This will help keep it from moving around while you’re working. 

Once the fabric is secure, use a primer or gesso to prime the surface. This step is important because it will help the paint adhere better to the fabric and prevent it from bleeding through. Allow the primer or gesso to dry completely before moving on to the next step.

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Step Two: Sketch Your Design on a stencil material (Preferably, Mylar)

While the primer or gesso is drying, you’ll need to sketch out the design you want to paint on a stencil material.

Mylar is a great option because it’s durable and easy to see through. If you don’t have any Mylar, you can also use tracing paper or even regular paper. 

Once you have your material, use a pencil or pen to sketch out your design onto the stencil. If you make a mistake, don’t worry – you can always erase it and try again. When you’re happy with your design, use a sharp knife or scissors to cut out the shape. 

Step Three: Add the design to a transfer Tape.

The next step is to add your design to a piece of transfer tape. This will help you move the stencil onto the fabric without losing details.

To do this, simply place the transfer tape on top of the stencil. Then, place the design on the burlap and remove the lining from the transfer paper.

Step Four: Paint Your Design.

Now it’s time for the fun part – painting! Choose acrylic paints that are specifically made for fabric. These paints will have better adhesion and won’t bleed through the fabric like other types of paint can.

Begin with the lightest colors in your design and work your way toward the darkest. This will help prevent smudging and allow each color to stand out.  

As you work, pay attention to how much pressure you’re putting on the brush as this can affect the final appearance of your painting.

Too much pressure will result in thicker brushstrokes, while too little pressure will make them thinner. Experiment a bit until you find a stroke that you’re happy with. 

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Step Five: Seal Your Painting.

Once your painting is finished and dry, it’s time to seal it. This step is important because it will help protect your painting from wear and tear.

Use a spray-on sealer or brush-on sealer and apply a thin layer over the entire surface of the painting. Allow the sealer to dry completely before displaying or using your burlap project.

What Paint is Best to Use on Burlap?

Acrylic paint is a great option for painting burlap because it is very versatile. You can use it to create different effects and textures, and it dries quickly, so you won’t have to wait long for your project to be finished.

Acrylic paint is also very affordable, so it’s a great option if you’re on a budget. Keep in mind that you will need to seal the paint with a clear coat after it dries to protect it from the elements. You can find acrylic paint at most craft stores or online.


Painting on burlap is a great way to add a personal touch to any project. With a little bit of practice, you’ll be able to create beautiful designs that are perfect for home décor, gifts, and more.

Remember to prep the fabric before you start painting, sketch out your design beforehand, and use acrylic paint specifically made for fabric.

Seal the paint after it dries to protect your work and enjoy your new painted burlap project!

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