Every day of the week, we use textile paint to transfer stencil designs to our 100% organic cotton jersey. While the colors that can be produced by mixing paints are limitless, we primarily work with the following base colors: opaque black, transparent sand, opaque blue, pearl silver, opaque red, opaque white, opaque yellow, opaque sky blue, pearl red, and forest green. By mixing these colors, we create all of the hues and shades that help define our patterns, stencils, and collections. Our artisans use our painted stencils as a guide for embellishing our designs with appliqué, reverse appliqué, and beading techniques. We have also discovered that a basic garment featuring a subtle stencil adds texture and delicate details to our designs. Many of our Studio Style DIY customers and workshop participants have asked for these unique combinations of textile paint; below, we share recipes for some of our most popular colors. You can find everything you need to create your own stencil and spray kit in our online store.


500 mL opaque red
15 mL opaque black

105 mL opaque white
70 mL transparent sand
1.25 mL opaque yellow

300 mL pearl silver
100 mL brownie (see recipe below)

115 mL opaque red
115 mL fluorescent blue
15 mL transparent forest green (Shake)
250 mL opaque yellow (Shake)
42.5 mL opaque black

15 mL opaque white
19.5 mL opaque black

100 mL opaque white
10 mL opaque yellow

5mL opaque white
100 mL transparent forest green
25 mL opaque yellow
30 mL transparent sand
5 mL opaque red (Mix)
1.25 mL opaque black

75 mL fluorescent blue
20 drops opaque black

45 mL opaque white
5 mL sky blue


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Click to read 17 comments
  1. mindy

    oh, how kind of you to share! I have been afraid to use anything but watered-down black with a soupçon of pearl silver. and I have never tried using transparent colors. these recipes give me renewed stenciling energy. thank you so very much!

  2. Gail

    When I’ve tried adding fabric paint to fabric, using a sponge or brush, it’s very heavy, even when I’ve tried thinning it – is it the airbrush that gives it a light-weight quality? I’m assuming it’s light-weight, otherwise it’s unwearable.

    1. Alabama


      A makeup sponge works great for the sponging method. We do not water down our paint. When the paint is airbrushed, it is much lighter, but it still has “a hand” to it. (Also if you are doing reverse applique, most of the paint gets cut away, so it’s not nearly as stiff as it starts out.) Hope this helps.

  3. Fran

    I have been checking on the spray kit for a while now, but it continues to say unavailable. Will there be some available soon? I would love to get started on some projects. Like Gail, my luck with sponging and brushing has not been a great solution. Thanks for the recipes (food and paint) and for Alabama Chanin!

    1. Nadine

      I Found the spray kit at both Joann Fabrics and Michales Craft store. They also have 40% off coupons, so it was quite a deal !

  4. sarwat murtaza


    I wanted to ask that the paint that you use to print your cotton fabric is it fabric paint? or color extracted from natural material??

  5. margaret

    I wondered if you had published any additional stencil paint recipes, and if so, where. If you have not, I wondered if you would consider writing another journal article with additional paint recipes.

  6. Verónica Moraga

    This is Too Generous of you !!!
    You have no idea how Alabama Chanin has helped me through these dark days of sadness .
    Thank you so very much.
    Love from this part of the world.

  7. Nancy schomaker

    Please help me with the recipe for black -gold spray paint. I’ve gotten all the createx colors but I don’t want to ruin my fabric with the wrong mixture. Thanks, Nancy Schomaker.

    1. Alabama

      Thank you for your comment, Nancy. The Black Gold paint is a Collection paint color and is not mixed and packaged for sale, nor do we have an official recipe for mixing it. However, our Workshops Coordinator recommends mixing White Gold paint and Black paint – that may get you the results you are looking for (try testing on a small swatch of extra fabric as well, to ensure it is the color and sheen that you are wanting to achieve.)

  8. Marie

    Thank-you! Are you also able to share your recipe for “White Gold”, is it just opaque white and pearl gold. Shipping to Australia from your store is unfortunately over my budget…

    1. Alabama Chanin

      Hi Marie. We currently do not have our recipe for White Gold published, but we are hoping to add more paint recipes in the future. Keep a look out!