When it comes to painting on denim, things can get a little bit tricky. Some fabric paints will have problems on denim. They might not hold up well. Some will crack while others will peel. It’s important, when selecting fabric paint, to look for paints that say they are specially designed to remain flexible and resist cracking and peeling after they’ve dried.
Best Fabric Paint for Denim
Here are our Fabric Paint for Denim Reviews
This paint is a popular choice with both beginner and professional artists. The colors are extremely vivid. It does need to be brushed on like a regular paint and is on the thicker side, but also tends to apply smoothly and after the paint dries, it remains very soft. The paint can be used on many different types of fabrics. They are great for painting apparel items, but also work well on household fabrics, on shoes, and on accessories like tote bags.
- The paint usually holds up well to laundering
- Available in over 30 different colors
- Paint remains soft and flexible when it dries and can be used on other mediums like leather, wood, paper, and synthetic fibers as well
Tulip Dimensional Fabric Paint works great with many different types of fabric. Often, fabric paint on denim will tend to crack or peel, but Tulip’s Dimension Paint is resistant to both of those issues, making it a great choice for denim. Tulip paints tend to be quite budget friendly and often come in packages of many different colors.
- Machine washable
- The paint comes in squeeze bottles with a nozzle that makes for easy application
In addition to making Dimensional Fabric Paint, Tulip also makes their Soft Matte Fabric Paint line. This line of paint won’t get stiff or crack easily, which is great news for painting on denim. This line of paint comes in over twenty different colors.
- Can be brushed on like regular paint, used with stencils, or stamped on
- Dries opaque so it can be used on darker backgrounds
- Dries flexible and tends to wash well
One problem with fabric paint is that some brands won’t work well with denim since it can crack and peel. A great solution is to make your own fabric paint. Delta Creative Textile Medium can turn many ordinary acrylic paints into fabric paint that will likely work well with denim fabrics. The paint and textile medium should usually be mixed two parts textile medium to one part paint.
- Able to be washed (machine wash on gentle with mild soap and air dry- prewash denim before applying paint)
- Penetrates the fabric’s fibers to help the paint remain permanent
- Usually dries flexible without cracking or peeling
SoSoft Fabric Paint is one of the softest fabrics paints available. It dries soft and flexible and will not crack or peel, which makes it a good candidate to use on denim fabrics. The paint has excellent coverage and can be brushed on.
- Bonds to many different fabrics
- Can be cleaned up with soap and water before the paint dries
- Dries without any heat setting or medium being applied to the paint
Fabric Paint for Denim Buying Guide
While it might be more difficult to find the right fabric paint for denim, there are paints that will increase your chances of having a successful project. There are also a couple things you can do to help your paint have a longer lifespan and perform to the best of its abilities.
Give Your Paint a Helping hand
One thing you can do to help the fabric paint adhere well to denim and hold up better is to pre-wash your denim fabric or apparel items before you apply the paint. Let the paint dry fully before applying secondary layers if they are needed. Another trick to helping the fabric paint adhere well to denim is to wait until the paint has dried then heat set the denim by placing it in the dryer for 20-30 minutes on medium heat.
If you really can’t find a fabric paint that works well for your denim project, you can try and transform acrylic paints to paint on denim with a textile medium. This medium is usually mixed with acrylic paint at a 2:1 ratio (2 parts fabric medium to one part paint). Most textile mediums will help the paint stay flexible and will prevent against cracking and peeling. These paints do tend to have to be heat set in the dryer after they are dry and should be laundered carefully after.