How To Paint Curtains? Complete Step-by-Step Guide

Helen Skeates
Helen Skeates
14 min read

Curtains: How to Paint Them? To put it simply, it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3! Only four easy steps are required.

It’s possible that your room features a unique color scheme. A matching curtain is difficult to find.

Some people like to use a white or neutral palette on the wall.

However, you should know that you can change the color of your curtains if you so choose.

How to achieve this is explained in detail below.

Things Needed

Before we get right into it, let us first know the things that you need to prepare.

How to Paint Curtains - Bob Vila

Let’s start with a quick rundown of what you need to do to get ready before we dive in.

  • A Drop Cloth
  • Cotton curtain panel in white
  • Stencil
  • Spray adhesive
  • Painting on textiles
  • The tape used by painters
  • Aqua and spray bottle
  • Painting with a stencil brush
  • Cloth

4 Simple Steps To Paint Curtains

Curtains: How to Paint Them?

When you’re ready to get started, and have everything you need on hand, here are the simple steps to take:

Step #1. Preparing the fabric

Fabric should be washed before being painted.

The length can be shortened to fit a specific window opening.

Step #2. Securing the stencils

Place your curtain right side up on a neat drop cloth.

You should first begin by taping or gluing the stencil into place.

To create a custom design, simply overlap or run over the edge of multiple stencils.

Step #3. Applying the first layer

Spray your fabric lightly with water before applying the paint.

Next, use a thin layer of any textile medium to apply the initial layer.

Always refer to the paint manufacturer’s instructions when attempting this.

There should be clear instructions on the bottle for this.

Step #4. Adding more colors

Layers of color can be added on top of one another to create any desired effect.

If you want to remove the stencil, wait until it is completely dry.

More paint can be used to finish the design.

Your additional curtain panels will benefit from the same treatment.

If they’re dry, you can bring them inside to hang up.

Best Paint For Curtains

The best results can’t be attained without the proper paint.

What follows are a few suggestions for interesting avenues to explore.

Option #1. Fabric medium and acrylic paint

Acrylic paint and fabric medium can be mixed to create virtually any shade.

Both the medium and the paint can be purchased in small bottles for a minimal cost.

Use them to combine the fabric medium with the paint and water.

Follow the directions on the packaging for optimal results.

Since any desired shade may be obtained, it is favored by many for use in their creations.

Moreover, their price is really low.

In addition, the fabric paint is quite gentle.

But if you want highly saturated and vivid hues, they might not be the greatest choice.

That is because adding fabric medium into the mixture tends to dilute the paint’s color.

Painting folds in fabric - drapery - YouTube

Option #2. Fabric Paint

That’s because when you add fabric medium to paint, it tends to water down the hue.

You may compare it to buying a fabric that already contains the desired hue.

You can get a nice, gentle sheen with this paint as well.

However, it’s only available in a few different shades, which is a drawback.

They are also often more pricey.

The Benefits of Curtains and Draperies for Homes

Light Control

Curtains and drapes not only improve the aesthetic appeal of your home, but they also serve practical purposes. Whether it’s to cut down on glare in the living room or to keep all light out of the bedroom, light control is an important feature in most homes.

In order to get a good night’s sleep without being disturbed by light, heavy, dark-colored drapes are a good choice for the bedroom. Choose a sheer curtain for your living room or home office to soften the sunlight and prevent glare on your screens without blocking out all the light.


Thicker materials in dark colors will not only provide more light control, but also more privacy, making them ideal for bedrooms. Sheer curtains are perfect for living rooms because you don’t necessarily need a lot of privacy there. If you need more seclusion in a space but would still like to let in some light, try stacking blinds, shutters, or shades with your curtains.

Window Insulation

Did you know that your windows might be responsible for losing as much as half of the air that your HVAC system pumps in and out of your home? All window treatments, fortunately, insulate windows to some degree, albeit the degree depends on the thickness of the cloth used. The best insulation will come from thicker, heavier fabrics like velvet, which will also help you save money on your heating and cooling costs.

Curtain Cleaning Do’s and Don’ts

When to Dry Clean

It’s possible that the linings and seams of your washable window coverings will shrink. If you are unsure of how to properly clean an item, it is best to have it dry cleaned instead. Curtains and drapes that include pleats, swags, or other ornate decoration that was stitched in should be dry cleaned.

Special Fabrics

In place of washing or dry-cleaning, periodically brushing velvet drapes with a chamois cloth dampened with hot water and wrung out well is all that’s needed to restore their luster. Silk curtains that need to be hand washed should be washed in cool or lukewarm water with a light liquid dish detergent. Gently swish and never wring out the towel.

Sun Damage

When exposed to sunlight continuously, even the most durable materials can deteriorate. Curtains and drapes should be washed in the gentle cycle of the washing machine with cool or lukewarm water and a mild detergent. Dry them on a clothesline or in a no-heat or delicate cycle in the dryer if you have the option.

Sheer Curtains

Though you have sheer curtains, wash them often even if they don’t look dirty, because by the time the dirt shows up, the color may be irreparably damaged. Carefully wash these delicate materials. Allow them to soak in cold water for 5 minutes after filling the machine no more than halfway. Cleaning with a moderate detergent and, if desired, bleach, is recommended. Rinse the water out of the machine by pressing the appropriate button, then set it to the gentlest washing cycle and run it for 2 to 3 minutes.

Place the sheer curtains and the terrycloth towels in a dryer with the heat turned off and let them tumble for another two or three minutes. Pull back into form and rehang while still damp. When ironing the hems of your curtains or drapes, position an ironing board near a window if necessary. You can also use a standard steam iron with the vertical steam setting, or a portable steamer, to get them as smooth as possible.

Routine Curtain Cleaning

Regularly use the soft-brush attachment of your vacuum cleaner or a soft, long-handled broom with synthetic fibers (they are much better at collecting dust than natural fibers) to dust curtains and drapes after you’ve finished your deep cleaning.

The suction of the vacuum cleaner should be lowered so that fabric is not sucked into the nozzle. To stop it from happening, you could either put a piece of plastic screen over the nozzle or use a rubber band to hold an old nylon stocking over it.

Curtains and drapes that are easy to take down and rehang should be aired occasionally by hanging them outside or by drying them in a dryer on the no-heat or delicate cycle.

Step-by-Step Curtain Care

  • Before washing, take measurements in case you need to restretch the curtains. Make sure the tapes are loosened so they may lay flat, and take out the hooks and any weights.
  • Run the curtains through a no-heat dryer cycle to remove dust before cleaning them. You may also just shake them out, put them flat on a bed, and use the dusting attachment on your vacuum to get rid of the dust.
  • Don’t throw too much into the washing machine, and keep in mind that wet curtains will weigh a lot more than they do dry.
  • If washing by hand, agitate the fabric lightly rather than rubbing or wringing.
  • Curtains should be dried on two parallel lines, with the wet sides facing in opposite directions, to prevent the fabric from becoming waterlogged. It’s not a good idea to have the curtains lay on wood since the dye may transfer.
  • You should iron the non-visible side vertically while it is still damp. To prevent watermarks, re-wet the entire curtain even if certain spots have dried.
  • Curtains can be resized by laying them out on a clean surface, such a bed, and gently stretching the seams while ironing to prevent puckering.
  • After the curtains have dried, you may hang them by inserting the hooks and weights and adjusting the tape to the desired width.
  • Hang your curtains, then use a handheld steamer or the vertical steaming of a standard steam iron to smooth them, perhaps saving you a step.
  • You should clean the valances that are attached to the wall before you re-hang the curtains. Valances made of upholstered fabric should be vacuumed using the upholstery attachment, while those made of wood can be cleaned using the crevice tool. Plastic valances should be cleaned using a sponge dampened in a mix of liquid soap and water.
  • One person can stand on a ladder to put in the hooks, while the other checks that the curtains don’t drag on the floor as they are rehung.

Related Questions

Some of the most frequently asked questions about painting curtains will be addressed here.

Question #1. Can I spray paint my curtains?

Curtains can also be sprayed with paint.

This method makes it easy to create any pattern or design you can imagine.

Question #2. What paint will stick to fabric?

Many different kinds of fabric paint are available, and we’ve already covered some of them.

Fabrics usually respond nicely to acrylic paint because it is water-based.

As a matter of fact, it was designed with this in mind.

Fabric paint, often called textile paint, is typically comprised of acrylic polymer.

The process of emulsifying the acrylic paint after the dyes have been bonded to it makes it more resistant to fading from the sun and repeated washings.

Question #3. How long does paint fabric last?

Paint that has been combined with fabric medium or fabric paint both have reasonable durability. It’s durable enough to withstand many washings.

The paint must be heat set in order for the cloth to withstand repeated washings if you decide to use it.

The back of your curtain can be ironed to do this.

floral bloom abstract painting Blackout Curtain by lalunetricotee Art Paintings | Society6

Question #4. Does fabric paint crack?

Paint on fabric lasts forever. This paint does not need to be baked anymore, either.

As soon as it dries, you’ll feel how soft and flexible it is.

It is also washable and permanent, so it won’t harden or peel off of your clothes.

It’s A Wrap!

If you’re having trouble finding curtains that work with your room’s color scheme, painting fabric is your best bet.

However, it might be a messy process.

But if you’re still feeling brave after reading that, lace up your work boots and get to work on those drapes.

It’s important to keep in mind that this may require some trial and error.

The style you’ve imagined for yourself is not guaranteed.

However, I am confident in your ability to complete the task at hand if you acquire the proper paint and exercise some further patience.

And that’s how you make beautiful new drapes.

Have a good time!

Helen Skeates

Helen Skeates

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