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Custom T-ShirtsHow to Effectively do DIY T-Shirt Painting

How to Effectively do DIY T-Shirt Painting

DIY T-shirts are trendy and popular, with these levels continuing to grow well into the future. 

The problem is that not all t-shirts are the same and some are good, while others look like something an amateur designed. 

You want to create a t-shirt that someone will proudly wear for many years to come, versus putting it in the back of their drawer after one use. 

There are specific steps you should use to create a t-shirt that captures the right message and looks good when people wear it. Keep reading to learn more!


The key to effective t-shirt painting is preparation and planning before you start working on it. The first part is to wash the blank t-shirt and dry it to account for shrinking and ensure your image looks good when this happens. 

You want to use a t-shirt that is made of cotton or linen with less than 15% synthetic material. Be sure to read the tag on the back carefully to determine if it meets these standards to limit shrinking as much as possible. 

Nobody wants a t-shirt where after one wash, it is no longer usable. 

Next, you want to practice your design on a piece of paper to ensure you have the proper techniques down. You want to take your image and compare it to how it will look on the washed shirt. This will tell you if it is too big or small and the best ways to center it correctly. 

T-Shirt Painting

The painting involves keeping the shirt flat and locking it in place, so it does not move around. You want to tape off all areas where you do not wish to paint and place a piece of cardboard behind it. These techniques are designed to prevent the ink from seeping through and damaging other parts of the shirt. 


After you finish painting the t-shirts, you want to let them dry for two to three days. Set them in a place that is cool and away from the sunlight to ensure the ink dries correctly. 

Sealing requires placing a piece of cardboard underneath the t-shirt after it is completely dried and cotton on top of the design. You want to gently iron it at a low setting and go over it for five or ten minutes. 

T-Shirt Painting Rules

Painting t-shirts requires following specific guidelines to have the most effective designs that convey your message and ideas. There are select ones that create the best outcomes to include:

  • Make sure the shirt is flat against the surface and locked into place. 
  • Use cardboard and something that will stop the paint from going through to the back of the shirt.
  • Use tape to surround the parts that you don’t want to be painted and limit the ink from going onto the clear spots. 
  • Anything involving several layers needs to be applied one coat at a time, where you let the first coat dry and move onto the next one. 
  • Practice your painting on a sheet of paper to ensure everything goes the way you planned. 
  • Create your design in advance by drawing out a picture on a separate sheet of paper and placing it up to the blank t-shirt to see how it looks. 

We Can Help!

These t-shirt painting techniques can help you to create a design that everyone likes and ensures it looks professional. Call SeeMore Shirts today at 954-708-1100 and to see how we can help you.