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Does Acrylic Paint Wash Off of Jeans?

Painting with acrylics is a fun and rewarding way to express your creativity on a variety of surfaces, but sometimes the one thing you don’t want the paint to get on is your own clothing, including your favorite jeans. Accidents happen right? On the other hand, if you’re passionate about customizing your clothing, sometimes getting acrylic paint on your jeans is the point of the project!

So, does acrylic paint wash off of jeans? Yes, it absolutely does, but it involves some work. In this article we go over removing acrylic paint from your jeans, all the way to using acrylic paint to decorate your jeans. Let’s get to it.

Because acrylic paint is considered to be permanent, it does not easily wash off of material like denim or other types of clothing. As such, it is one of the best types of paint to use when you’re hoping to add a permanent, unique flourish to a pair of otherwise ordinary jeans. Similarly, it’s also why acrylic paint should be handled carefully if you’re wearing clothing you don’t want splattered. I recommend this Mont Marte acrylic paint set, because it’s great for denim and fabrics.

Tips For Removing Acrylic Paint from Jeans

We all make mistakes! While working on a project that had nothing to do with the jeans you were wearing, perhaps you accidentally splattered acrylic paint on them. Don’t worry – there are ways to effectively get it off.

These steps are also good to know if you’ve grown bored of a painted pair of jeans and want to start over fresh with a new design. Similarly, if you were painting a pair of jeans with acrylics, but accidentally got some paint on an area of the jeans that you didn’t intend to, you can get it off with the help of the following method.

The first step is to quickly remove the jeans and wash them as soon as possible, to avoid the paint drying and hardening on the denim. Put a lot of detergent and even spot removers to make sure the paint comes off in 1-2 wash cycles. I would recommend washing your jeans a few times until the paint comes off.

From personal experience, I got spilled green acrylic paint on a black shirt, and it took almost 6 washes for it to fully come off. Always make sure to put your washer and dryer levels to a minimum to avoid any shrinking or fading.

For acrylic and other water-based paints, you should first dampen the painted area with warm water and then soak the fabric in isopropyl rubbing alcohol. Then, you’ll need to scrub the jeans. Start by rubbing the fabric against itself and then switch to a cleaning brush, scrubbing against the grain of the fabric. Finally, rinse the area with warm water and then throw the jeans in the washing machine alone.

How to Wash Jeans Painted With Acrylics

If you purposely paint your jeans, for fashion or just to decorate them, there are a number of methods to wash jeans with acrylic paint on them to avoid fading, cracking, or altogether ruining the creation. The riskiest of choices is throwing the painted jeans into the washing machine, but it can still be done if you are sure to use a mild detergent and the delicate cycle. This method is only recommended if your jeans are in desperate need of a thorough wash.

When using acrylics to paint jeans, it’s important to make sure that you are following the best possible washing methods so that you can avoid fading and cracking the paint.

One of the safest ways of washing painted jeans while still ensuring that they get clean is by hand washing them. This method is much more gentle than using a washing machine and will allow you to cleanse away visible dirt on the jeans while being able to avoid scrubbing the painted portions. 

Another option for washing jeans painted with acrylics is to spot clean. Spot cleaning means that you can wipe away any areas that had been soiled without submerging the jeans in water or touching the painted areas at all. It’s the best choice when your jeans aren’t in need of a thorough wash and would be good with a simple wipe-down.


Overall, the permanency of acrylic paint is what makes it such a great choice for creating unique painted designs on your jeans. Acrylic paint does not wash off of jeans without considerable effort, but will tend to fade over the course of several washes. In order to keep your painted creations vibrant for as long as possible, make sure you’re washing the customized jeans properly.

On the other side of the equation, if getting acrylic paint on your jeans was the result of an accident, you’ll need to know how to remove it. Follow the above recommendations, and then consider setting aside specific pieces in your wardrobe that can risk being splattered before you start any future painting projects. For more info on using acrylic paint on fabric, check out my other article that will answer all your questions.

Don’t forget to check out my other articles for all your acrylic painting needs. Happy painting!

Acrylic Art World

Annick's passion has been painting with acrylics since her youth. She has a lot of experience with all sorts of projects, from simple acrylic painting to advanced techniques like acrylic pouring.

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