Q1: What kind of paint/supplies do you use?
I mainly use acrylic paint! You can find a list of the paints, brushes, and tape I use on my Amazon Board. On a couple of occasions I have used fabric paint, but I prefer to use acrylic paint for the paintings I do.
Q2: Is the acrylic paint permanent?
Short answer: yes, acrylic paint is permanent on clothing. Acrylic paint will stay on clothing if it is properly cared for (see washing directions below), but there is still a possibility of it slightly fading overtime.
Heat-setting will also help make the acrylic more permanent.
Q3: How do you wash painted denim?
Hand-wash painted denim inside-out with a mild detergent to preserve the painting. It can also be washed inside-out on the delicate cycle in the washing machine, but may fade slightly.
Q4: What is heat-setting?
Heat-setting is the way I preserve the paint on the jeans. Applying heat to the paint will make it more permanent and less likely to fade through wear and washing.
There are 2 ways I think work best:
1. Turn the jeans inside-out and put them in the dryer on high-heat for 15-20 minutes
2. Iron the backside of the painting.
Q5: Do you put a top coat on after painting?
Nope! After painting with acrylic and heat-setting, it becomes a plastic which does not need any sort of top coat or layer.
Q6: Do you use fabric medium?
I only used plain acrylic the first 1.5 years of painting on jeans. Starting this year, 2019, I began mixing fabric medium with my acrylic paints and have had great results!
It’s great if you are painting on stretchier material or are worried about cracking/flaking overtime.
Q7: Can I send you my jeans or jacket to paint on?
Yes! I announce on Instagram whenever I open commissions. You can stay up-to-date by following me on there.
Q8: How did you start painting on jeans?
While I was looking for a job in San Diego in 2017, I started selling vintage jeans on Depop to make money. I was also just starting to play around with acrylic paint on canvas – I had previously only drawn portraits with graphite pencils.
I noticed some people on Depop were painting on denim and I decided to try it out! One person had painted a quick sketch of Starry Night on a pocket and that’s the first painting I started with. I wanted to make mine highly detailed and precise – just like I had done with my realistic pencil portraits.
I am not the inventor of painting famous art on jean pockets, but there are definitely WAY more people doing it now than when I started in 2017. I get tagged weekly in posts of people who created painted jeans inspired by mine which is fun to see and nice to receive credit.
Q9: How Can I avoid cracking?
Let me first say that I have never had an issue with cracking. I receive messages often with people saying their acrylic painting on denim has cracked. There are a few reasons this could have happened. The most common reason for acrylic cracking is if it is painted on stretchy denim.
• Acrylic hardens into a plastic and if it is stretched, it can break apart and crack. This is why I paint on sturdy, vintage jeans – no jeggings or stretchy jeans.
• Another reason for acrylic paint cracking is from low-quality paints. I use mostly Amsterdam Acrylics for my denim painting.
• If neither of those seem to be the case – you may be painting too thick! Try painting thin layers and let each one dry in between.
Q10: Where do you get your jeans?
All the jeans I paint on are sourced from local thrift shops – it’s amazing what you can find! Because of this, I do not have every size, style, or wash of denim to choose from which makes each pair even more unique!
Q11: How long does it take to paint one pair of jeans?
Each pair takes me 10-20 hours to paint depending on the painting. Some are more detailed and complicated than others which can add more time. Paintings I have done many times that have simple shapes, like Starry Night, are now much quicker for me than paintings like Persistence of Memory or The Great Wave which take much longer.