When art meets fashion, even the most ordinary outfit can transform into a masterpiece. The reason denim painting is an exceedingly growing concept among urban cultures.
You can customize your old or new denim apparel by simply hand painting something appealing and unique to set you apart from the ordinary.
However, denim art is not just about being trendy but also about expressing one’s feelings, ideas, or personality.
If you are hoping to get your foot through the door with this kind of art, then there’s likely just one question on your mind:
What are the best fabric paints for denim? Despite what you may think, acrylic paint is the best paint for denim, and is even better than most fabric paints as long as you use an acrylic fabric medium with it.
We know that fabric paint is widely used to color clothing, but it won’t cut the mark for this particular project. Simply because it soaks into the fibers and cannot achieve the design precision needed for detailed artwork.
Also, fabric paint only works with natural fibers, and you do know that traditional jeans are cotton but contemporary makes may be blended with other synthetic fibers.
In this article, we will tell you why acrylic is the better option. We also recommend five top quality paints for denim projects of every size and budget to set you off on the right foot.
And because we care about the longevity of your projects, we will answer questions surrounding application and durability.
Why Acrylic is the Best Paint For Denim
We know you came here looking for fabric paints, but we’re here to convince you to go ahead and stick with high-quality acrylic paints instead!
There are so many reasons why acrylic paint is actually the best to use for your denim painting project:
- Acrylic paint is versatile. It is compatible with all kinds of fabric (natural and synthetic). So you can paint on any type of denim regardless of fiber content.
- You get a more permanent and water-resistant artwork when working with acrylic paint. Once dry, you can wash your denim outfits without fear of damaging the painting. The art on your denim jacket, booty shorts, or jeans will stay solid and won’t fade over time.
- The vibrance of acrylic colors is on another level. This gives you the chance to express your unlimited creativity in your denim outfits with a huge variety of realistic colors. The artwork on your denim will truly stand out.
- Most acrylic paints are not toxic because they are water-based. Therefore, you may decide to finger paint your denim without fear of harmful substances penetrating your skin or fumes entering your lungs.
- It is easier working with paint that dries fast because you can add a successive layer without mixing the colors. This saves you waiting time. Acrylic paint is one of the fastest drying paints out there.
5 Best Paints For Denim
And now to the creme de la creme of paints for denim. Here’s an expert recommended list to choose from:
|1.||Liquitex Basics Acrylic Paint Set||24 colors, archival quality, sticks to fabric|
|2.||ARTEZA Acrylic Paint Set||60 colors, high viscosity, metallic|
|3.||Zenacolor Acrylic Paint Set||12 colors, high viscosity, highly pigmented|
|4.||MyArtscape Acrylic Paint Set||12 colors, ready for fabric, professional quality|
|5.||Color Technik Acrylic Paint Set||18 colors, ready for fabric, high quality|
Let’s look at each in more detail so you can pick the best one for your needs.
1. Liquitex Basics Acrylic Paint Set
We have no idea why this paint bears the name basics when there is nothing basic about it. The Liquitex paint formula is one of the best paints for denim in its class.
It gives you unlimited freedom of color and size options with a set for every preference. You can go primary colors with generous 118 ml tubes in a small set of 6.
For additional pastels, fluorescent and metallic colors in compact 22 ml (0.74 oz) tubes, go for the larger sets of 26, 32, or 48.
You will save time mixing up colors to get desired tones, which may be a frustrating ordeal for a non-experienced artist.
There are in-between sets of 8 and 9 colors in 75ml tubes, as well. If you want to go really small for only tiny details on your denim, you’ll be happy to know they also have 5ml pots set of 12 colors.
Regardless of your set choice, you get the same amazingly smooth texture and thick consistency. Its colors are of acceptable opacity, intensity, and mix well. And the best part is that once dry, you can flex your denim without fear that the design will crack.
It carries the AP mark of safety, so it is great for students and home painting hobbyists. With such an astounding color diversity and quality, you can’t go with better!
2. ARTEZA Acrylic Paint Set
When it comes to paints, ARTEZA never disappoints. The artist-grade paint comes in 60 22ml (0.74 oz) aluminum tubes.
It is thick yet smooth and dries rapidly. The rich pigmentation ensures the end artwork is vibrant. It has a variety of quality colors with lots of interesting hues and tones for realistic illustrations.
This paint does not fade easily from light exposure hence the durability of your painting on the denim. It will last really long. Plus, it is ACMI non-toxic certified safe so kids and teens can create their own unique wardrobes with no issues!
It comes in neat storage trays and a box for an organized space. You can go smaller if you want to try it out first. There is a set of 36, 14, or single tubes if you want more of a specific color. It’s really up to you.
For a premium set like ARTEZA, we recommend it for a seasoned artist doing professional denim pain work, but anyone will enjoy using it.
3. Zenacolor Acrylic Paint Set
It’s near impossible to get both quality and quantity in the same paint tube, but Zenacolor has made it possible.
Each tube has a generous amount of 4 oz (120ml) of color so you can do your entire denim wardrobe without having run back to the store to order more. The consistency is decent, coverage is quite good and the pigment really pops and stays true to the color after drying.
The 12 colors blend well to create an infinite possibility of shades. They are also built to be fade resistant so you can rock your denim artwork for many years without losing radiance.
This paint set from Zenacolor has got to be the best denim paint for the value. The set is still of decent quality, so you shouldn’t have any problem finding another use for your leftovers!
4. MyArtscape Acrylic Paint Set
Let not this little 12 color 12ml set deceive you into thinking of it as a cheap play paint. The performance is beyond expectations.
It has a decent viscosity (not thick but definitely not thin or runny), high pigmentation, excellent vibrancy, rapid dry time, and non-toxic certification.
You don’t have to worry if they burn out fast. You can upgrade to the 21ml, 100ml, and 300ml for those who are truly impressed with the results or do heavy-duty artwork on denim.
The quality of this set of paint is worth every penny and is the best budget paint for denim and those looking for affordable introductory paint.
5. Color Technik Acrylic Paint Set
If you are a beginner artist, this is your go-to starter set for painting denim outfits. The consistency is so creamy and easy to spread, so your brush will glide over the denim effortlessly.
It comes in 18 colors with impressive vibrancy in 59ml (2 oz) bottles, you’ll wish there were more. The pigments are so strong, you need to paint just one coat and still achieve the best results. They also remain bold long after drying.
Color Technik is also a US non-toxic certified brand so you can work with peace of mind. We like that it is within an affordable range, which is good for practice as a beginner.
One downside, however, is that you may have a bit of difficulty in squeezing paint out of the bottle. We suggest storing the box upside down and avoiding the problem!
How Do You Paint on Denim?
To paint on denim, you will need acrylic paint color(s) of your choice, white acrylic paint, acrylic fabric medium, mixed media paintbrush, artist pen, and painters tape.
From there, you can paint on denim with just a few easy steps:
- Tape a border around your painting surface, whether that’s the back part of your jacket, a pocket, or anywhere you intend to paint. This prevents colors from straying where they are not supposed to and will give you much cleaner lines.
- Mix fabric medium with your paint in a palette. Start with white (or whatever color you want as a base primer).
- Paint a double-layered white background for a popping effect and true colors. The blue denim normally affects the colors.
- Once fully dry, draw your design.
- Paint your design drifting a little bit off the borders of the drawing.
- Allow to dry, remove the tape and voila!
- Set with heat for best results!
How Do You Make Acrylic Paint Stay on Denim?
To seal acrylic paint on denim, you need to heat set your artwork. You can either use an iron, a dryer, or a standard blowdryer for hair to do this.
To iron, turn your garment inside out and hot press the opposite side of your artwork. Go over the area for 5 minutes or so.
Alternatively, throw the denim in your clothes dryer for about 15-20 minutes on a high heat setting.
A blowdryer works just as well but is the slowest setting method. If you have the luxury of time, blow hot air over the design for at least 30 minutes.
How Do You Prevent Denim Paint Art From Cracking?
To prevent cracking, you need to use the best paints for denim and utilize a medium to enhance the paint’s staying power. Do not forget to heat set first, no matter how eager you are to proudly show off your designs. Ironing is the most effective method.
Hard and medium elasticity denim are the best surfaces for your paint. Cracking is a result of stretching the fibers underneath the dried paint further than the paint can go. While the paint dries solid hard, the fibers beneath are still flexible to move. Denim that is too stretchy, therefore, has a greater propensity to crack.
Lastly, avoid adding water to the paint. It is not necessary when working with denim. Thick paint is alright and the fabric medium is enough to thin the paint.
Up Next: The 5 Best Acrylic Paint Pens