Can you mix white wall paint and tie dye you use for clothes? I want to paint my walls different colors but the only thing I have is white paint and found some tie dye you use for clothes and it's permanent so I was thinking you could do it. That should work, right?

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    paint!=fabric, so i doubt it will work (ph balance, emulsify, non-fading, etc).
    – dandavis
    Commented Jul 10, 2018 at 16:45
  • You might be disappointed with how little the dye colors your paint. It takes a substantial quantity of actual paint dye to get anything close to bold coloration. It's not like dying fabric, wherein you're not diluting the dye a thousandfold.
    – isherwood
    Commented Jul 10, 2018 at 18:25
  • "Tie dye" is a process, not an additive. At least, it used to be. Tie the cloth in knots and dye it. The dye doesn't penetrate into the knotted parts. So, no, you can't tie dye a wall. <g> Commented Jun 26, 2022 at 15:21

5 Answers 5


Not a hard no but you may want to reconsider for a few reasons:

  1. As @dandavis pointed out - the compounds may not work well together. This could cause long term negative effects. OTOH it might not.
  2. The hand mixing of paint will take a lot of mixing to get it even. However, if you're going for a tie-die look this might work in your favor (but probably not)
  3. All paint is sold as white - the paint store will happily, for free (usually) make it whatever color you like at no charge and mix it for you.

I did the same thing, used procion fabric dye as a colorant. I added hot water to form a liquid and it colored the paint very well however when I had to paint over it, not a single water based color blocking primer worked. 8 coats later I finally resorted to the oil based Kilz with the gold label, the one that off gasses so violently that I had to wear a mask, open all the windows, and my neighbors complained...that one finally worked. The color was a dark navy blue and that didn't help but the bottom line is that it bled and bled and bled. Will never do that again. On the other hand, as an artist, I love using procion dyes to make my own alcohol inks for use in painting and in epoxy resin. Alcohol inks are very expensive. You can also use fabric dye to color concrete and plaster but it's not super UV resistant and will fade in direct sunlight. I always seal anything I've used fabric dye to color because it can still "dye" anything that touches it, long after its "dry". As far as tinting paint, I buy the colorants from Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore (Novo Color and Maixitoner) because I can tint my own paints on the fly as well as use them in resin, concrete, or put them directly into various mixing mediums. I get into artistic modes that often have me working in the middle of the night when nothing is open so I want to be able to make whatever I need right when I need it. Another fun thing to have on hand is pigment powder.


You may be able to do it, but you have to take into account some things. White paint is filled with a lot of Titanium Dioxide, which is a VERY strong and opaque colorant. This is going to make your colors very muted. Fabric dyes aren't going to be strong enough to overtake this.
Next, a lot of clean colors, especially reds and yellows, have a tendency to fade with exposure to light when used in paints. Keep this in mind. A good green can fade because the yellow will break down over time. So if you are ok with pastels, give it a shot, but don't expect strong colors and don't expect the particular shade you achieve to last. A final note, this paint is going to be next to impossible to match perfectly. Contents of the dye may or may not react with the solids that are responsible for the sheen of your paint. That could make touch ups look terrible even if you match the color perfectly.


My daughter added purple clothing dye to my white paint and painted 3 walls in her room....she moved out and I repainted. I am still painting... About 8 coats later and the walls now look pink and splotchy. Bad idea...DONT DO IT


I Found this thread because (obviously) I was contemplating the same thing. However, I don't plan to use it on the walls. I was going to make chalkboard paint and I've done it with craft acrylic paints, but I think a nice matte or eggshell latex would be better. More durable. And I'm only applying it to hardboard. I have used fiber reactive (non-brand procion) for lots of things. To refill my printer ink (works pretty killer if you have PURE turquoise, lemon yellow and fuschia. These colors are not mixed so therefore don't split and feather) Ive used it to refinish wood (Also killer. I'll try to attach a pic of that) to dye fabric of all types, including protein based like silk and wool which is not specifically meant to be used on such fibers, but a little citric acid and a microwave makes magic on silk. I'm contemplating a more permanent purple on my hair... Just the ends that keep washing out. Tinting stone or brick and bleach will make it disappear if it's not right or you spill it on concrete. Honestly the possibilities are endless. Even plastic with the right chemical compound. I want to try it in electroplating. I have pounds of the stuff to F*** around with. dyed wood finish collapsing desk enter image description here

Anyway, if I can find this place again, I'' show you how my latex chalkboard paint turns out. I'm going for a very deep violet shade, so I can't think of anything better than dye to get it there. But yeah, never on the walls. I have seen that first hand by accident on a small splash. That stuff don't mess around. And latex being water base is the perfect vessel in which to travel through coats unless it's been properly sealed.

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    Commented Jun 26, 2022 at 3:15

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