How to Paint a Dress

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Did you know that you can paint fabric with house paint? It’s true!  I found a really cute dress at Goodwill Outlet, but the color didn’t suit my tastes, so I used some leftover paint to give it a makeover.  The key is to mix the house paint with fabric medium, which can be bought at any craft store or ordered online from Amazon.  Here is a picture of what the dress originally looked like.

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I used a light grey color for the base coat.  Then I made a triangle shaped “stamp.”  I folded a small, square cardboard box diagonally creating a right triangle.  Then I covered the bottom with aluminum foil.  The reason for the foil is to protect the cardboard from the wet paint.

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I put the dress on a mannequin when I was “stamping” it, because I wanted to make sure my triangles aligned correctly.  The bust was the most difficult part because of the extra fabric.

DRESS-TRIANGLE-6The “stamp” worked fairly well, but it didn’t leave crisp lines, so I did some touch ups with a paintbrush at the end.

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It’s definitely not perfect, but I actually don’t mind.  It has a lot of character.

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The one thing I wish was that I had used a bit more fabric medium.  The dress is a little stiff.   It is kind of hard to tell from the photos, but it doesn’t flow very well with movement.

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I am hoping that as I wash the dress more and more times, it will become softer. Luckily it has a liner underneath, so the painted fabric doesn’t directly touch my skin. I would imagine that it might itch if it did rub against my skin.

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Overall, I think it was a worthwhile makeover. I’m planning on wearing it to Bumbershoot tomorrow.   The weather is supposed to be nice.  I hope everyone has a happy Labor Day Weekend!

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