Whether trying to cover up a stain or trying to enhance your current pair of denim blues, painting on jeans is a fairly inexpensive option. You don’t need to be much of an artist to make the image come out clearly. All you need is a decent stencil and some supplies. Painting on your jeans is also a great way to update a hand-me-down or a thrift-store find. Read on to learn how to paint jeans.

Things You'll Need


Find the pair of jeans you’re ready to paint. Wash and dry them, especially if they’re brand-new jeans you want to embellish or jeans that haven’t been used in a while.

Iron the jeans and stretch them out on a table or other workspace. Make sure you protect your work surface from possible paint splatters. Cut out a piece of cardboard or other heavy paper so that it will slide down into your jeans. This should go directly underneath where you plan on painting because it will prevent paint from seeping through to the other side of your jeans.

Secure the stencil either by applying a self-sticking stencil or taping the edges down. Use the plates as your palette and squeeze out the various colors you plan to use. Keep a separate plate for mixing colors.

Dot the paint in even amounts throughout the stencil. Use different sized brushes as needed. Remember when using a stencil you don’t make sweeping brush strokes; instead, use short, quick dabs. Never press too hard or scrunch up your bristles. Be patient and don’t let the paint get gloppy.

Leave your jeans at least overnight to let the paint set. After the paint is completely dry, iron the image. Put a dishtowel or other cloth between the image and the iron.

Wash your jeans in cold water, you may wish to turn them inside out to protect the image you just painted. Let your jeans air dry unless you want your stencil to have a faded look. If you do, place them in the dryer.

Tips

  • Make sure you use fabric paints. Acrylics can crack over time. You can also use fabric pens if you prefer.

  • Your local craft store should have everything you need to complete this project.