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How To Paint A Tote Bag Using Acrylic Paint

Nov 14

A hand painted tote bag can be a unique way for you to show off your artistic creativity as well as express yourself. A few basic supplies like a tote bag, an easel and paints will get you started on this fun and easy DIY project. Start with a design that fits your personality – a quote, a fun pattern or a beautiful illustration. Choose colors that reflect your favorite colors or moods and don't forget to finish with a clear sealant to protect your one-of-a-kind creation.

The type of paint you use to create your tote bag will impact how the finished product turns out. Mixing 2 year old paint are a popular choice for canvas painting because they dry quickly and offer good coverage. However, acrylic paints can crack when applied to a fabric that will be bent and moved often. To prevent this, you can add textile medium to the acrylic paints before applying them to the fabric. This will make the finished product both permanent and machine-washable.

If you want to keep the color of your paint bright and bold, use a spray can sealant that will not only protect the paint but will also give it a more vibrant finish. This is a great way to prolong the life of your tote bag and ensure that it will not fade over time.


If you are painting a rainbow on your tote bag, you will need to mix the acrylic colors before you start painting. To do this, simply add fabric painting medium to the acrylic paints and mix them together. This will make the paint a little more fabric friendly and also help it to flow a bit better. I used a 2:1 ratio of paint medium to acrylic paint, but you can play around with the ratios and find a formula that works for you.

You will also need a few other supplies to make this project a success. Some masking tape is helpful if you have a specific area that you need to keep protected or if you need a guideline for your design. Also, a re-usable mixing tray is handy for blending the perfect color before you apply it to your project.

Depending on the specific application, a larger pail may be required for traffic paints and other heavy-bodied products. For these products, it is important to use a mixer that is rated for the product's density and viscosity, container size and shape. This will determine the mixer power rating, torque, rpm range and impeller type that is needed to achieve a homogeneous product and successful solids suspension prior to application. For example, higher-density road paint products with specific gravities of 1.4-1.6 and viscosities of 600-1,700 centipoise require larger-diameter, high-torque mixers than those suited to smaller residential pails and IBC square totes. Ask the manufacturer for guidance if you are not sure which mixer is right for your application.