What Is the Best Type of Paint to Use on Denim?

The Best Type of Paint to Use on Denim

Denim is a rugged fabric that has been around for centuries. Denim was originally used for work clothes, but over time it has evolved into a popular fashion element.

Denim is a versatile material used to create everything from jackets and pants to handbags and shoes. It is known for its durability, strength, and easy-care properties, making it ideal for everyday wear. However, denim can also be turned into something unique and creative with the addition of paint.

In this article, we mainly talk about:

  • Importance of Choosing the Right Coating for Denim
  • Types of Denim Coatings
  • Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Coating

Let’s start now!


Importance of Choosing the Right Coating for Denim


Raw denim is not naturally resistant to damage from the elements, so choosing the right coating for your denim is critical. Denim fabric coatings help protect the fabric from various environmental elements such as water, wind, and UV radiation.

The right coating can prolong the life of your denim and ensure they stay looking great for a long time. Plus, choosing the right coating can enhance the look of your denim pieces, making them look cooler and more stylish. Coating your denim fabric also increases the durability of the denim fabric, making it less prone to abrasion, washing, and other forms of damage.

Overall, choosing the right coating for your denim is critical to protecting the fabric and maintaining its appearance and durability over time.


Types of Denim Coatings


  • Fabric Coating

Fabric paints are specially designed for use on fabrics including denim. It’s flexible, durable, and can stand washing and drying. Fabric paints are available in a variety of colors, including opaque and translucent shades, making it easy to create different designs and effects on denim.

    • Performance and application technology

The fabric paint is water-based and can be easily cleaned with soap and water.

It’s also non-toxic, making it safe to use around children and pets.

Fabric paint can be applied with a brush, sponge, or even a spray bottle. Always read the directions on the label carefully before use to ensure proper use.

    • Advantages and disadvantages

Advantages:- Versatile and easy to use- Available in different colors and finishes- durable- Can be used on all kinds of fabrics, not just denim

shortcoming:- May not be as vibrant as other types of paint- May harden on denim if not applied properly- Not as detailed as other types of paint


  • Acrylic Paint

Acrylic paint is another popular choice for painting on denim. It’s a versatile medium that dries quickly and can be mixed with other colors to create a variety of shades. Acrylic paint has a thicker consistency than fabric paint, making it ideal for detailed designs.

    • Performance and application technology

Acrylic paints are water-based and are also easy to clean with soap and water.

It can be applied with a brush, sponge, or even airbrush, depending on the design.

Acrylic paint should be mixed with the fabric medium to ensure it remains flexible after drying. You must read the directions on the label before use and work in a well-ventilated area.

    • Advantages and disadvantages

Advantages:- Allows for detailed design- Dries quickly and maintains color- Available in a variety of colors- Can be used on all kinds of fabrics, not just denim.

shortcoming:- May need multiple layers for better coverage- May harden on denim if not applied properly- May be more expensive than fabric paint


  • Oily Paint

Oil-based paints are not as common as fabric or acrylic paints when it comes to painting on denim. This type of paint is solvent-based, which means it requires a different type of cleanup. It is insoluble in water, which means it cannot be washed off with water but requires a specific type of solvent.

    • Performance and application technology

Oil-based paints have a thicker consistency than fabric and acrylic paints, making them great for creating bold lines and bold designs on denim. Takes longer to dry and may need to be styled with a hair dryer.

    • Advantages and disadvantages

Advantages:- Ideal for bold designs and thick lines- good color vibrancy- Smoother than other paint types- durable

shortcoming:- longer drying time- cleaning requires specific solvents- May not be as flexible as other types of paint- emits strong fumes and requires ventilation.


  • Spray Paint

Spray paint is becoming an increasingly popular painting option on denim. It’s ideal for creating gradients, solid colors, and unique designs. However, it may not be the best choice for detailed design.


picture from www.ganni.com
picture from www.ganni.com


    • Performance and application technology

The spray paint comes in a can and is applied by spraying a mist of the paint onto the surface. It dries fast and has great color coverage. When using spray paint, the surrounding area must be covered to prevent overspray. It should also be used in a well-ventilated area.2.

    • Advantages and disadvantages

Advantages:- Easy to use and apply- quick dry time- Excellent color coverage- Create unique effects

shortcoming:- May not be suitable for detailed design- Can be messy if used incorrectly- May not last as long as fabric or acrylic paint.


Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Coating for Denim


  • Durability and longevity

The durability and longevity of the coating paint are factors to consider when choosing a denim coating.

Different paint types have varying degrees of resistance to abrasion, washing, and fading, so choose a paint type that can withstand these factors based on what you want from your fabric.

Supreme Tear Strength
Supreme Tear Strength


  • Color fastness

Colorfastness refers to the ability of a paint to retain its color after washing or exposure to sunlight. Choosing a colorfast paint is critical to ensuring that the color stays vibrant and doesn’t fade or bleed.


People Also Ask


  • How do you permanently paint denim?

To permanently stain denim, it is best to use denim-specific fabric paint and apply and dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

  • Can I use acrylic paint on denim?

Yes, acrylic paint can be used on denim, but it may not last as long as fabric paint designed for denim.

  • What paint doesn’t wash off denim?

Fabric paints designed for denim are less likely to wash off, but it is important to follow the washing instructions on the paint product to ensure durability.

  • Will fabric paint stick to denim?

Yes, fabric paint should stick to denim as long as the fabric is properly prepared and cleaned before application.

  • Does paint wash off denim?

If the setting is incorrect or if the wrong type of paint is used, the paint may wash off the denim.

  • What paint is permanent on fabric?

Several types of paint are considered permanent on fabric, including fabric paints, acrylic paints, and oil-based paints. Paints specially designed for fabric and marked as permanent are best for achieving long-lasting results on fabric.

  • Is acrylic paint waterproof?

Acrylic paint is waterproof but not necessarily waterproof.

For water spilled on it, it is waterproof. But if soaked in water for a long time, it will still be damaged or worn by exposure to water.

  • How do you get acrylic paint to stay on fabric?

The best way to ensure that your acrylic paint stays on your fabric is to heat seal it. Heat sealing ensures fabric and paint blend into each other and won’t run when washed or worn. Acrylic paint can be sealed into the fabric by applying heat using an iron or heat press.




In conclusion, the best type of denim paint depends on the goals of the project and personal preference. Fabric paints are great for beginners, acrylic paints for detailing, oil-based paints for bold designs, and spray paints are best for creating unique effects.

When choosing the best paint for denim, the durability and longevity of the paint, color fastness, versatility, and safety must be considered. With the right type of paint and proper application, anyone can transform their denim pieces into something unique and stand out.



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