Going to paint a T shirt for the 1st time, any tips before I start?

M

Melbee

Guest
Hi peeps,
Tomorrow I'm gonna try painting my first T shirt. I have a design which I have tried to keep simple, inspired by the competition I just missed.

T shirt is water only washed to get out soap/chemical residue and ironed flat with a board inside ready to paint.

So 1st I will cut out the stencil of the basic shape using a plastic transparent sheet or would card be better? I have both.
I have repositionable spray glue to attach the stencil to the T shirt.
I'm gonna use Golden Fluid acrylics with Golden Airbrush Medium paint. (only other paint I have which is suitable for fabric is Trident)
Airbrush with my Eclipse 0.3mm HP-SBS or would I be better using one of my cheapos with a 0.5mm needle?
Not sure what psi but I'm thinking 40?

First paint the darkest colour to get basic shapes and form using the stencil, then remove stencil and add the different shades freehand, it's basically all blues.

Is there anything I should watch out for?
Have I missed a vital step?
Do I need to move slower to let paint soak in?
Any advice appreciated, I'm off to bed now and look forward to reading any tips in the morning :)
Cheers Mel
 
W

wmlepage

Guest
Sounds like you have most of it covered.

Use the clear sheet for the stencil, unless it is a one time only deal, then card will work, but still recommend the clear sheet.

Use at least 40 psi to drive the paint into the fabric and don't be afraid to make multiple passes for best color saturation. Less pressure will work but you would want a bit of reducer.

Fabric can be fun to paint on. Just have to watch your overspray. If on white or black, those colors in opaque can clean up the overspray any other colors are harder. Have fun with it.

I just did one of a pair of flowers , with an out of focus dark background, started doing the foreground first, didn't like the way it looked, and then started fresh doing the background first. I used a printed image on paper, stuck between 2 layers of clear shelf paper. Yet another way to do a temporary stencil and have your reference image at hand.

I always get a multi pack of shirts incase I make a mistake, if you do, keep the shirt to practice on later.

Good luck.



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M

Melbee

Guest
Thanks guys, great tips,
wmplpage, I like the image stuck between 2 sheets of shelf covering. I have some of that cheap plastic book cover stuff I could try that method with. I was hoping to use it as cheap frisket film but I think its too sticky and I'm too scared to use it on a painting. Nice to find other uses for it :)

MadAsA, Ha Ha Ha I consider myself warned.

Brilliant video but now I feel very sad because I've just read Jaime died.
Cheers Mel
 
M

Melbee

Guest
OK, I think this is going to take me a bit longer than I hoped! Like no actual painting today.

I've only just started cutting out the stencil and I've stopped because I can't make up my mind what to cut out and what to leave. I find the plastic sheet quite hard to cut and if I cut out all the bits I was intending to it will be riddled with holes!! It might fall apart and spraying could get awkward. So I'm thinking, maybe to cut less and go for the main guide lines and do the rest freehand. It's a tough call cos the small bits will be made much easier with a stencil. I'm even thinking of cutting a few different stencils to cover the more intricate parts but then I'll have to line them up good but as it's see through plastic it should be ok. This is all for one colour.

Any tips?
 
M

MadAsA

Guest
not sure if this going to be any help at all but i was thinking about printing what i wanted my stencil to look like on a sheet of iron on tranfer paper...then iron it onto a plastic sheet and then cut it out from there. i'm sure i'm making is harder than it needs to be but being an IT/gaming person it was the first thing that came to mind.

If thats any help then your welcome if its complete rubbish the feel free to ignore me :D
 
M

Melbee

Guest
Thanks MadAsA, but I think that's too much effort for me ;) My iron would probably melt the plastic sheet :)

What it did make me think though, is I could have used some of my repositioning spray glue on the plastic sheet before I laid it onto the printed image (I've just used low tack tape) and then as I cut the small sections out they would stick in place on the paper. That way I wouldn't loose them and I'd know where each piece belonged. I might still do that as I've only cut the outside line so far.

I'll be using the repositioning spray glue on the back of the stencil anyway when I put it on the T shirt. Duh!

Still don't know how much to cut out and what to leave but it might not be a bad as I think. I just need to take it slow and step back awhile. I do want to use the stencil again so I don't want to rush it. I guess I can tape parts back in if I make a mistake though so it's not such a big deal. Maybe I'm over thinking it.
 
J

jgny1

Guest
Maybe post a pic of what your painting and someone may be able to give you some ideas how to cut the stencils..
 
B

bikergranny

Guest
I usually would just cut out the darkest darks on the stencil to map out where stuff goes and then freehand it from there. Print out your reference in color and black and white. Have your image handy on your computer screen so you can zoom in on certain areas for the detail work.
You don't have to cut out each and every line on your image. Usually just the basic outline and the darkest areas.
Don't overthink it. It's just a t-shirt. If you mess this one up, chalk it up to practice and grab another one out of the package.
 
B

Brix

Guest
Hello there... Hard to say because idk the image you want to create how dificult it is etc. I also may miss info about what color is t-shirt you gonna paint on... If its black some ppl reccomend use uniform white ( layer ) paint under... so far my experiences are like: when you doing something on black t-shirt you ll use a lot more colour to fit tone you like... i usualy use white colour as 1st for highlights etc. and adding more layers after... about the stencil: I am usualy using adhesive transparent plastic foil ( good that it stick on spot, and less overspray... ) or transparent plastic sheet ( good if you may use motive in future )... I usualy print my motive on paper and retrace it on transparent plastic sheet just by hand... After just cut with scalpel and stencil is done. If you gona do shaded motive you may use your Eclipse if uniform cheap guns are good enought. I am thinking about: if you may need some small parts just give every piece you gona cut number before you cut it, and take photo of it so you ll know what belongs where...
I hope this helped you a bit...
 

Lowrider

Mac-Valve Maestro!
I agree with jgny1. You should post some pictures. I want to know about setting the paint on the t-shirt after it is complete. I heard you can clearcoat protect it with a clear acrylic. You can iron the paint in using a piece of paper between the iron and the t-shirt. This is so it doesn't wash out of the t=shirt like the Einstein I did for my son. I can barely see Einstein on it any more after five washes.
 
M

Melbee

Guest
Thanks folks, nice advice and every bit helps.

Bikergranny, I am going for the dark parts first so I'm glad I got that right, cheers :)

jgny1, I don't want to put the image up because I don't want to show it before its done ;) Don't want the picture to make my T shirt look drab Ha Ha! But anyway I've decided what I'm going to do with cutting the stencil.

Brix, Funnily enough it kind of looks like your picture of the scorpion only its from the March competition photo, the woman with the long hair and the flower.
I've used the repositionable glue to stick the plastic sheet to the image and now I'm going to draw the dark areas outlines with felt tip on the plastic and then cut it out more. Numbering the parts is a good idea. I realise it doesn't have to be perfect cos I can always take it back to white and redo bits.

Its on an old white T shirt. Next after cutting the stencil will be to mix the paints. Ho hum when will I be done :)

Lowrider, I'm using Golden Fluid acrylics with Golden Airbrush Medium and apparently these are great for fabrics and do not need heat setting (but you still can if you want to), they will air cure in 4 days. That is also part of my experiment, to let the T shirt air dry as required and then wash it a few times to see how good it stays.
 
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B

Brix

Guest
Brix, Funnily enough it kind of looks like your picture of the scorpion only its from the March competition photo, the woman with the long hair and the flower.
I've used the repositionable glue to stick the plastic sheet to the image and now I'm going to draw the dark areas outlines with felt tip on the plastic and then cut it out more. Numbering the parts is a good idea. I realise it doesn't have to be perfect cos I can always take it back to white and redo bits.

Haha my scorpio pic is on my black T-Shirt its like 2-3 years old 1 :D I used old stencil when I airbrushed scorpios on my friends snowboard :)))
And yeah looks like you doing it well :) best experiences you still get just by yourself doing things :)) So good luck man and after post the result.
 
M

Melbee

Guest
Hey Lowrider, what paint did you use for your sons T shirt?

Thanks Brix, If I don't make a complete mess I'll post the finished T shirt :)
 
W

wmlepage

Guest
Hey Lowrider, what paint did you use for your sons T shirt?

Thanks Brix, If I don't make a complete mess I'll post the finished T shirt :)

If you can do the portraits you have done, a t shirt should be a cake walk.


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M

Melbee

Guest
Finally finished cutting the stencil today, mixed the paint and laid down the first main colour, Yeay!! :) I actually like it like this but I will paint it as planned.

Here's what I learned;
1. Spraying the transparent with repositioning glue and then tracing the image was a mistake. The glue fogs up the transparent and I couldn't see the image too well. It would have been better to tape the image to the back of the transparent and then trace the image with a felt tip THEN glue it to the image to cut out. When I pull the main stencil off all the little pieces stick to the image and I know where they belong.

2. To be careful with the overspray on the outside of the image, I tried to blend it outwards but it's ended up making the T shirt just look a bit dirty in places. I can live with it but it is not how I would like it.

3. Mixing Golden Fluid paint with Golden Airbrush Medium 1:1 works great and sprays fine at 40 psi from my Eclipse 0.3mm needle airbrush. Oooops silly me, when I went to clean my airbrush I saw I'd been using my HP-SB+ 0.2mm!! Duh!!!

4. Cutting a stencil is time consuming but now its done I can paint many T shirts using the stencil but in different ways, colours etc. Nice :)

5. Now I know how the paint sprays onto the cloth.

6. I like doing it :) :)
 
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W

wmlepage

Guest
quote:

4. Cutting a stencil is time consuming but now its done I can paint many T shirts using the stencil but in different ways, colours etc. Nice :)


This is why many of us have purchased a plotter, cutting stencils is a pain, and you can cut vinyl decals and make a few bucks.




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M

Melbee

Guest
Hi wmlepage,
I just had a look at plotters and I think I'm gonna have to use elbow grease for now. I'd want an A3 size at least and the A4 one is already over my budget :)

Out of interest, can you paint on the vinyl? Like, if I cut out a fish shape in vinyl could I then airbrush the fish details on it? If yes, would it need preparing and varnishing?

It would be easy to send airbrushed vinyl through the post as presents for my brothers kids and they could stick it where ever they wanted. I am presuming the vinyl is sticky backed for use as decals.
 
W

wmlepage

Guest
From my understanding, yes you can paint on vinyl, you would just want to coat it, with either a clear top coat, or a clear top vinyl layer. Decals are made this way all the time. Same typing goes for inkjet printable vinyl.

I went with a small plotter. I figured my wife will eventually use it for crafting too. Price was definitely a deciding factor, as well as compatibility with Mac OS X. Models that are Mac compatible are most all not in the budget area of plotters. I got mine for $209 USD, which was $60 off of the MSRP, thanks to EBay. Very easy to set up and use. I plan on painting my motorcycle this year, and will get some paintmask vinyl, so I can cut some of my masks, without risking cutting directly on fresh paint.


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