I've had a lot of questions about the "Weaving a basket with crochet thread", "Can I paint the basket afterwards?" I paint the thread first so the thread is stiff and easier to work with. It stays where you put it. If you have ever worked with waxed linen thread you would know what I mean. You want the stiffness. Anyway, if you paint afterwards you might clog up the weaving and take away the detail. So, please take the time to paint.