How to Paint on Denim Jackets: 2 Awesome Designs

Villamor Twins
by Villamor Twins
6 Materials
30 Minutes

In this tutorial, we’re going to show you how to paint on a denim jacket with acrylic paint. Perhaps you already have an idea of what you’d like your design to be, but if not you can just take a look on Pinterest as there are a lot of ideas there to give you some inspiration such as the ones shown above.

For this DIY, you can use a long-sleeve denim jacket or a sleeveless denim vest, we have one of each style but you can use whichever you prefer.

Starting with the sleeveless vest, we’re going to paint a beginner-friendly design with some retro-style swirls. All you do is paint multiple lines like a rainbow but you can do this design in whichever shape you want.

Tools and materials:

  • Denim jacket
  • Acrylic paints
  • Paint palette
  • Brushes
  • Iron
  • Cloth
Painting jacket

Retro-style swirls design

1. Paint with white

Lay the jacket flat and start painting with white paint. Painting with white first and then adding your colors on top will really help to make them pop. Wait for the white to dry before adding on your colors.

Painting jacket

2. Paint with color

Then go over the places that you’ve painted white with some color. We recommend adding a fabric medium to your acrylic paints so they remain fairly flexible.

For the long-sleeved denim jacket, we’re going to be doing a more advanced design with some koi fish.

Painting jacket

Koi fish design

1. Paint with white

As before, start by painting the places on the jacket that you would like with white paint.

Adding color

2. Add color

When the white paint is dry, go over it with color. This design will actually feature some white in it so we will be leaving some parts of it white. Make sure that you are using thin brushes for this design so that you can create a lot of intricate detail.

Adding shadow effects

3. Add shadow effects

We are also adding shadow effects around the fish to create more of a contrast and help them stand out.

Ironing jacket

4. Let dry and iron

With both designs, let the paint dry for 24 hours. Then heat-set the fabric with an iron using a cloth.

Cool rainbow paint on denim jacket

Cool koi paint on denim jacket

Paint on denim jacket

Here are the two acrylic paint designs on our denim jackets. We’ve shown you a beginner-friendly design as well as a more advanced one to show you that whatever level of painting ability you have, you can try out this acrylic paint on denim DIY.

This is a great way to spice up a plain denim jacket and I’m sure you’ll agree that the finished designs are fun and full of character!

Suggested materials:
  • Denim jacket
  • Acrylic paints
  • Paint palette
See all materials

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 1 comment
  • Roberta Roberta on Sep 20, 2022

    Very cute! What is a fabric medium? I have this trouble all the time with the tutorials cuz I am pretty new, and most use terms they are familiar with, but I have no idea what they are trying to say! Thank you for sharing! 💜😊🕊️🌈✌️🌻