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How To Paint On Denim

The quarantined life has undoubtedly inspired people to take their styling sense to new heights. With that, painted denim outfits have become an in-thing in the current fashion universe. So, to enhance your fashion DIY skills, here’s your safest guide to paint on denim.

Art-inspired fashion is not a new trend. In fact, it keeps on upgrading itself with each passing style. While you might have seen skirts, tops, and shrugs featuring painted designs, painting on your denim shirt or jeans might sound new.

Street-style fashion always includes artful denim as a prerequisite. Whether it’s a tie-dye design or rainbow stripes, denim pieces bring some color and light to your closet. And presuming that it has become a wardrobe essential is not an exaggeration. Keep reading on to learn how to paint on denim.

How To Paint On Denim?

Painting your denim is a great way to take your wardrobe staple to new heights. You may paint old denim and breathe new life into it. A couple of ways you can paint your jeans. Let’s learn them from the given narration.

The following are the three ways you can paint on your denim shirt, jacket, or jeans. Let’s learn the methods, one by one.

Method 1: Make Splatter Painted Denim

So, this brings forth the concept of splatter painting! For this, you can use stencils and some freehand painting. You can add beautiful elements to your denim shirt, jacket or jeans by adding such a painting design. Here’s how to proceed.

Step 1: Cover The Area Where You Will Work

This is your beginning point where you need to cover the work area. Also, ensure that you protect the surfaces from the paint. Remember, this method requires a splattering technique.

So, it’s likely to splatter everywhere. Thus, you need to lay newspapers or a tarp to cover the entire area.

Step 2: Put Your Gloves On

A fantastic thing about this method is that you don’t need brushes. However, you need to use your hands carefully. As splattering means mess, paint onto the jeans delicately.

And to protect the skin from the paint, all you need to do is choose a pair of disposable gloves. Wear it before working!

Step 3: Fill The Containers with Colors

Now is the time when you have to fill the containers with your chosen paint colors. For this reason, pour some ounces of fabric paint into all containers.

You must have enough paint for properly splattering the surface of the denim outfit. You must also have more paint, just in case you run out of it while working.

Step 4: Time for Splattering The Paint

So, it’s time to dip the gloved fingers into those paints and splatter the jeans. Remember to hold your hand just like the closed claw. Upon which, you must hold the hand over your jeans & flick paint towards it as you open your hands quickly.

Keep on splattering the surface of your denim outfit with paint until you achieve the preferred design.

Step 5: Switch Over Colors As Preferred

You may change the colors after splattering one side of the denim or even a part of it. But only ensure that you put on a clear disposable glove right before dipping fingers into the new paint colors.

Step 6: Wait for It to Dry

You might be excited to flip your jeans over, don’t you? But wait before you do that! You must keep your patience level high and wait for the paint to dry! You must leave the outfit to dry for an hour or two.

Don’t make a mess by turning the jeans while it’s still wet. Else, the paint gets smudged. As a result, all your hard work goes in vain. As soon as the paint is dry, repeat the same process for the opposite side.

Step 7: Let Other Side Dry before Wearing

The paint on the shirt, jeans, or jacket requires drying completely right before you wear it. So, you must leave it to dry overnight. Toss your denim outfit into a dryer and set the paint. You can also use a blow dryer too.

After the paint gets set, you can wash, dry, and wear the jeans accordingly. So, that’s it! Enjoy the new pair of splatter jeans and flaunt the look!

Method 2: Paint Denim Using Stencils

Step 1: Keep Your Jeans Flat

When it comes to using stencils for painting the jeans, the first step is to flatten the jeans. You also require tossing the denim in a dryer if you see wrinkles on it. You can iron it too!

Step 2: Preparing the Area Where You Work

So, the first thing is to protect the work area. For this reason, lay down the tarp or old newspapers. Put the paints on the paper plate. Lay the jeans out in the work area.

Ensure that the paint does not stain your furniture or floors. For extra safety, create a wide work area and place enough newspapers or tarp to cover the area.

Step 3: Taping the Stencils

Use the masking tape or tape to attach stencils to the denim for painting. You can apply tape around its outer edges. It ensures that stencils are in the right position when you trace the design’s outline.

One Quick Note:

Use stencils of any shapes (stars, smiley faces, flowers, or letters)

Step 4: Use a Marker or Pen to Trace

You need to mark the inside of the stencil. Thus, you need to use a marker or pen to outline the design. After finishing, you can remove the stencil from the jeans. It simplifies the process.

Step 5: A Paintbrush for Filling The Outlines

Use the small or medium-size paintbrush for filing the inside. You can apply two or three layers to achieve even coverage. After doing so, you need to use a smaller brush to paint over the outline.

Always stay extra careful while painting over the outline. Ensure that you achieve even lines and don’t extend out the border!

Step 6: Allow for Completely Drying

As soon as you finish painting, let that paint dry. It would be best to let it dry overnight. It will ensure that it gets dry totally. As soon as it dries overnight, you toss the denim into a dryer.

You can also use a blow dryer before washing the denim for the first time. It will make the paint get set and ensure extra protection.

Method 3: Paint On Denim Freehand

Step 1: Preparing The Work Area

First things first, you need to prepare your work area. Ensure that you put down newspapers before starting off. Also, put the paints into the containers or paper plate for dipping your brushes into them easily.

Step 2: Outlining With Pencil

As it’s a freehand painting, you need to use your pencil. That way, if you go wrong with any line, you can erase it and create it again. It makes your task of painting more seamless.

Let’s say that you want to paint a rose on your denim jacket! For this reason, you need to draw a rose with a pencil. Outline it with petals. You can also mark the borders of leaves just in case you want to paint some leaves on your denim outfit.

Step 3: A Paintbrush for Creating The Design

As soon as you finish outlining the design with a pencil, start painting! Here, you will require a paintbrush to create a vibrant design. Fill the design with the colors of your preference accordingly

You might require applying two or more coats to get full coverage. Also, you may even layer the paint colors and create a design of your choice.

Step 4: Dry The Paint Overnight

The next step is to allow the paint to dry completely. You can keep it for drying overnight. Also, ensure that the paint is dry before you wear it. If you want, you can also paint on both sides. Let it dry overnight.

Step 5: Ironing The Jeans

As soon as it dries overnight, you need to iron the jeans. For this, you need an ironing board and iron. As a matter of fact, ironing sets the paint. So, even if you wash, the paint will not fade away.

For your preference, you can also use a blow dryer or toss the denim into a dryer! And that’s it, folks! You can now flaunt your new freehand painted denim!

How To Avoid Denim Painting Cracks?

Cracking is the term used for dried paints that split across the surface. In denim outfits, cracking can be an obvious aftermath of painting. Cracking in painted denim can occur due to several factors, including stretchy denim, low-quality paint, and lack of expertise or experience.

Thus, it’s imperative to understand the importance of ironing or tossing the denim once it dries completely. Additionally, one should use the right amount of paint. The best ways to avoid cracking are using a fabric medium, high-quality painting, and ironing.


Hello, I am Jessica Flores, and you are welcome to my website. I am a professional fashion designer and a seamstress. I always carried a passion for craftwork. My love for craft grew along with time. I have spent years researching and practicing in this field to gather colossal experience.

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