Fabric Painting 101: Sheers

Trying to paint sheer fabric is like trying to catch the wind.  It moves everywhere, all the time.  After my first attempt, I swore I’d never do it again.  But here I am painting tulle. 


Unless you frequently use sheers in your quilts, it’s simpler to buy white and paint it the color you need than to keep several colors on hand.


  • Attach the fabric to the painting surface.  It’s best to leave the piece whole and paint a small section instead of cutting a small piece.  Attach one long side to foamcore board using binder clips.  Use masking tape to secure the other three sides.  The tulle itself doesn’t show in the picture because it’s white.  The color you see is my well-used foamcore board.

       painting sheers #1 


  • Mix the paint.  I use a 3:1 ratio water to paint ratio.  Thick paint will plug the holes in tulle and leave more solid sheers stiff.

  • Paint the fabric.  I laid my foamcore on a flat surface with the binder clips to my left and placed my left hand on the fabric to stabilize it (I’m right-handed).  I used a wide foam brush (3 inch).  Start in the center and use gentle strokes to paint toward the taped edge.  To paint close to the tape, use the same gentle motion but paint parallel to the tape.  Notice the blue section closest to the camera.

       Painting sheers #2 

  •   Leave the fabric flat to dry.

It doesn’t get any simpler than that.  It’s hard to see in the picture, but the tulle has a definite blue color.

     Painting sheers #3 


I hope you’ll give this one a try.

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