Color Blocking to Spray Paint T-Shirts

You’re doing a craft project at home, a dot of paint gets on the shirt you’re wearing, and in the trash it goes. Wrong! I follow all the latest trends in shirt painting because, I do a lot of projects, and I ruin a lot of clothes. If I threw my shirt away every time I got a stain, a paint mark, a permanent marker indication, or another small flaw, I would never have any clothing. Instead, I prefer to paint over a shirt that has a minor stain to give it a longer life. I do the same for clothing my grandchildren ruin. They bring over their t-shirts and we all get together to have a great time while giving their shirts a make-over. One quick way to do that is to just break out the ol’ spray paint. Many people think spray painting a shirt is taboo but, in my experience, it’s one of the quickest and cheapest ways to give a stained shirt a new look, especially when you use a color block technique.

Whether you’re using paints made especially for drawing on shirts, or you just have some leftover spray paint out in the garage, you’ll find it fun to work with color block. Sold alongside shirt paints, color block does what it says – it blocks all color from any area where you apply it. The product is dispensed from a squeeze tube, making it easy to draw the desired design on the t-shirt.

For best results, launder the shirt, but don’t use fabric softener; iron if needed. Lay the shirt out flat and slide a trash bag, wax paper, or even foil, inside the shirt. The material between the two layers of the shirt will prevent any paint from seeping through the fabric.

Draw the design you want on the shirt with the color block. You can write, scribble, or draw. You can use stencils or draw freehand. Make stripes, dots, or other images. When you’re happy with the design you’ve drawn just get busy painting. Spray paint on the shirt, right over the top of the color block, to create the color(s) you want. When you’re finished, just allow it all to dry. Follow the instructions on the color block product to decide how long you’ll need for drying time.

Launder the shirt as you normally would but wash it by itself. When it comes out of the dryer, you’ll see the area that you drew on is blank, and the rest of the shirt retains the new color. You – and especially any child – will have a great time drawing on a t-shirt and painting over it. You can make so many different designs that you’ll never get tired of this technique.


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